Too Big to Know; David Weinberger

Actually, the name of the book is, “Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room”. It would not have made sense as the title for this post, so I cut it short.

Too Big To KnowThis wasn’t an easy read as I had imagined it to be, when I started the book. I thought it would be the likes of many such books that have a very basic (and sometimes interesting) premise and the rest of the pages would be filled with examples to prove the same point from 32 angles. I usually finish these books within an hour, because all you really need is to know the premise and one example.

Weinberger book is more of a philosophical text, rather than an exposition of what’s changing because of the Internet. His focus, clearly, is on the changing nature of the shape of knowledge and while there are a few examples, they aren’t randomly chosen to fit the premise. There is this decoupling, this unnailing, this coming away, of what we know and how we know. The arguments are valid, but not forceful. It’s easy to participate in the arguments rather than passively absorb the argument. And he says:

A new strategy for knowing our world is emerging, but we are not passive in its arrival.

If you have a deep-seated interest in the nature of understanding, I recommend this book. If you feel conflicted as you consume more and more information, I recommend this book.

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