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Bloggy party

I really enjoyed the bloggers Everything Is Miscellaneous get-together last night. About 30 people showed up at the very-inviting Yahoo Brickhouse offices. Some were friends, some were bloggers I read, some were people I was meeting for the first time.

After about an hour of everyone hanging around, Mary Hodder (founder of Dabble and the party’s co-host, along with Salim Ismail), dinged a bottle and I talked for about ten minutes. Since everyone there already had a copy of the book — we gave them away — I said I would tell them the non-marketing explanation of what the book is about: It’s an argument against Aristotle. That is, it’s an argument against the idea that there is a single, right order of the world, and that that order is defined by clear definitions. After I’d gone on for a while, someone (sorry, I’m bad at names) asked what really motivated me. Very helpful question. I said that the Aristotelian assumptions, combined with the limitations of paper-based knowledge, lead to authority over knowledge being placed in the hands of a few. The few tend to be highly qualified and often selfless, but it still is a power regime. Although I didn’t say this last night, that’s why I am so enamored of the idea that fundamentally the Internet is ours. In fact, another way to say what the book is about would be: Everything Is Miscellaneous is about meaning becoming ours.

Anyway, I had a wonderful time. I only wish I could have gone out to dinner last night with some of the folks, but I had to be in bed by 9:30 so I could get up for a string of radio interviews starting at 3:30am. All part of the glamor of a book tour. Yeah, that and the stomach flu. [Tags: ]

7 Responses to “Bloggy party”

  1. on 10 May 2007 at 12:59 pmmary hodder

    Thanks David. Your discussion was great. Really interesting and provacative.

    I’m really curious about this idea of authority, and how we transfer authority from the paper world to the internet. I don’t think anyone has come up with a metric that solves that question, nor do I think we want to let others do that for us. I think the best we can do is have good tools and interfaces that help users see what is happening and decide for themselves.


  2. on 10 May 2007 at 10:59 pmBetsy Devine

    David, I agree with you that the idea of “one truth” is corruptible–as is any elite.

    Power corrupts–as the old saying goes, and newspapers remind us. But my two quibbles with your work relate to this issue.

    1) Financial/corporate power also corrupts. So why are ecology professors who drive old Volvos more annoying than ExxonMobil execs who spent millions promoting doubt on global warming?

    2) Just a few short years of Web 2.0 and “the commons” demonstrate–they’re corruptible also. Or, excuse me, perhaps I should say–*we* are corruptible. Shills, stealth marketing, sock puppets, people paid to Digg stupid stuff…

    Anyway, I love your EIM analysis of the many new ways new tech helps us “know” things. But if our modern world is a story with heroes on one side and villains on the other–you and I seem to disagree on who the villains are.

  3. on 11 May 2007 at 1:41 amTim

    That was a great talk and a great discussion — my apologies for leaving early at 8.

    I’m really enjoying the book — it kept me up last night thinking.

  4. on 11 May 2007 at 3:23 pmdeb schultz

    David – alas I thought I would get out of my earlier event to attend but got stuck and was not done till after 9;30…next time, my loss.

  5. on 11 May 2007 at 3:31 pmTom Shugart

    David: It was so great to meet you at last–after five years of having your name up at the top of my blog. I really appreciated your sitting down with us in an informal setting and sharing your ideas with us. It was a nice prelude to tackling the book–which I’m sure is going to be crackling with your usual original and provocative insights. Thanks also to Mary, Salim et al for making it possible.

  6. […] goals, in our own context. And to help people find meaning in their organization. And then I read this quote from David Weinberger’s Everything is Miscellaneous blog and realized I was on the right […]

  7. on 12 May 2007 at 3:16 pmDavid Weinberger

    It was a highlight of the book tour for me. Thank you all.