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Harald Staun in the Frankfurter Allegemeine  says “Weinbergers Thesen … welche tektonischen Verschiebungen auf der Landkarte des Wissen derzeit zu beobachten sind, sind dabei gar nicht so wahnsinnig originell, die Art aber, wie er die gegenwärtige Entwicklung zusammenfasst und wie er ihre Effekte auf die unterschiedlichsten Lebensbereiche skizziert, macht die Tragweite der Veränderungen so klar wie kaum eine Arbeit zuvor. „Everything Is Miscellaneous“ ist ein wissenschaftlicher page turner in der Tradition jener amerikanischen Sachbücher, die keine Angst haben, gelegentlich etwas banal zu klingen, weil sie die Relevanz ihrer Aussagen für den Alltag andeuten wollen.” And, he contines, “In diesem Fall ist dieser Zugang besonders wichtig…”

I think this means: “Weinberger’s theses … about which tectonic shifts in the map of knowledge are currently to be observed are not so much insanely original as to be of the sort that — in how it outlines the current developments and   how it sketches the effects on the most varied aspects of life — makes the consequences of the changes clearer than any work before. EiM is a scholarly page turner in the tradition of the American non-fiction book that has no problem occasionally sounding  banal because it wants to hint at the relevance to everyday life of what it says.  In this case, this approach is especially important …” (Here is Google’s  automatic translation.) Harald is skeptical, however, about the wisdom of the crowd.

4 Responses to “Frankfurter Allegemeine thinks EiM is a “scholarly page turner””

  1. on 11 Jun 2007 at 4:45 pmChristian Kreutz

    Hello David,

    yes he seem skeptical about the wisdom of the crowd, and he questions, like so many other journalist, whether internet users will find well investigated information without the “gatekeeper” function of media. Interestingly, social bookmarking showed to him that people prefer low quality content. Even though it is the exact opposite. In my opinion it is a typcial reaction of German media to blogging and the participatory web. Would you say that one can expect the same reaction in other countries?
    What is the reason behind it? Journalists see the potential of these new forms of interaction. But willingly or unwillingly, journalists underestimate the effect of the collaborative webs on traditional media and on their work. Some journalists criticize the style of bloggers but rely on them in articles or even create blogs themselves. They warn for the information chaos and see themeselves as the ones who rightly sort and process information.

    But what they completely underestimate is that this collaboratively woven web has just started. In a web with far reaching connectedness, newspapers lose not only their role as gatekeepers but also have to be very inventive to play roles as one of the many nodes which process and link relevant information with each other.

    Nevertheless Harald Staun is ahead of many of his colleagues.

    Best regards


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  3. on 12 Jun 2007 at 7:58 amDavid Weinberger

    I appreciated Harald’s review. But, head-to-head comparisons of traditional media and the Web are enormously difficult. Harald picks trivial stories chosen by readers of Digg, et al. I could pick trivial stories from one of the German high-circulation tabloids or I could pretty much pick TV shows at random to show that the mainstream media are trivial also.

    But, as you say, we are just at the beginning. Digg is a blunt instrument. We need to be able to filter through our social networks and through people whose views we value…including mainstream media editors.

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