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Errors, weaknesses, infelicitous phrases

Page 9: Nick Carr takes issue with the paragraph that begins “For decades we’ve been buying albums. We thought it was for artistic reasons, but it was really because the economics of the physical world required it…” In fact, Carr convincingly shows that long playing records came about to meet the artistic requirements of classical music. Good point, and Carr presents the history interestingly. Nevertheless, when Sgt Pepper’s was released, it was hailed as one of the very first “concept” albums, i.e., a pop album that was more than a collection of singles. (I remember Van Dyke Parks’ Song Cycle as a less popular progenitor). The economics of popular music albums are as stated and I stand by the point the passage makes. [Aug. 1, 2007: Clay Shirky posted a rousing critique of Nick’s point.]

Page 120: Jim (see comments) points out that I got the LibraryLookup url wrong. A better one is

Page 125: I quote Ted Nelson on “intertwingularity.” Scott Rosenberg, in conversation, has pointed out that that quotation is difficult to track down. He’s right. It is. I can’t find an original source for it. (Later: Shortly thereafter, Scott tracked it down. I’d quoted a popular slight misquotation.)

Page 127: Jim (see comments) points out that I got the ThingLink url wrong. The right one is

Page 131: From Karen (see comment #13 below): “…you should know that Library Journal is not affiliated with the American Library Association. ALA publishes American Libraries. Library Journal is an independent trade magazine. For more information, see and” Thanks, Karen.

Pages 196-7: I slip from talking about the tag “italian” to referring to the tag as “italy.” (This was noted by Joanna Briggs, who turns out to have taken the glamor shot of toothpaste the book mentions.)

28 Responses to “Errata”

  1. on 23 May 2007 at 12:34 amScott Rosenberg

    David, this is the best I could do in my notes to Dreaming in Code, which also references the quote. (I don’t have the first edition of Computer Lib; Nelson completely revamped the book for the 1987 reprint edition, which I do have, and my attempts to track the quote down in it were fruitless.)

    “These lines by Ted Nelson are widely distributed on the Net, and the word ‘intertwingle’ appears frequently in Nelson’s writing, but the original source of the full quotation is obscure. One source cited is p. 45 of the first (1974) edition of his book Computer Lib/Dream Machines. There are two discussions of the quote’s origins at and”

  2. on 29 May 2007 at 4:19 pmStephen Francoeur

    Tom Hickey, mentioned on page 121 and 122, spells his first name as “Thom.”


  3. on 04 Jun 2007 at 4:23 pmFrank Hecker

    Regarding the Theodor Nelson quote: I have a copy of the sixth (May 1978) printing of the first (1974) edition of “Computer Lib/Dream Machines”. Page 45 of the “Dream Machines” half of the book (marked as “DM 45”) does indeed have the quote “Everything is deeply intertwingled”; in fact, it appears twice on the page. However it does *not* have the “People keep pretending…” quote; I don’t know if that quote is from an earlier printing of the first edition, is a paraphrase of Nelson’s actual quote in CL/DM, or is from another of Nelson’s writings.

    In any case, here are the actual quotes from my copy:

    [First quote, after a discussion of the shortcomings of “information retrieval”, “computer-assisted instruction”, and “artificial intelligence” — scare quotes courtesy of Nelson.]

    The hypertext solution in many ways obviates some of these other approaches, and in addition retains and puts back together the great traditions of literature and scholarship, traditions based on the fact that dividing things up arbitrarily just generally doesn’t work.


    (The only way in which my views differ from those of Engelbart and Pask, I think is in the matter of structure and hierarchy. Both men generally assume that whatever natural hierarchy may exist in particular subjects needs to be accentuated. I hold that all structures must be treated as entirely arbitrary, and any hierarchies we find are interesting accidents.)

    [Second quote, in a side bar at the top right of the page.]

    Everything is deeply intertwingled.

    In an important sense there are no “subjects” at all; there is only all knowledge, since the cross-connections among the myriad topics of this world simply cannot be divided up neatly.

    Hypertext at last offers the possibility of representing and exploring it all without carving it up destructively.

    [end quote]

    I hope this is helpful.

    P.S. If you’d like I could try to scan a copy of the page in question and send it to you.

  4. on 04 Jun 2007 at 6:11 pmFrank Hecker

    I just remembered that I also have a copy of the 1987 revised edition of Computer Lib/Dream Machines. The first “Everything is deeply intertwingled” quote I mentioned above can be found on page 32 of the Dream Machines half of the book; the entire quote is identical to that in my copy of the first edition, except for correction of a typo (“I think is in” changed to “I think, is in”). The 1987 edition apparently doesn’t include the second quote from above.

  5. on 05 Jun 2007 at 6:22 amFrank Hecker

    Afflicted by insomnia, I decided to try to track down the Nelson “intertwingularity” quote from EIM once and for all. After skimming through all of the older version of Computer Lib/Dream Machines, I finally found it in the 1987 edition, on the top left hand portion of page 31 of the Dream Machines half of the book. The full quote is as follows:

    “Hierarchical and sequential structures, especially popular since Gutenberg, are usually forced and artificial. Intertwingularity is not generally acknowledged–people keep pretending they can make things hierarchical, categorizable and sequential when they can’t.”

    This text (typeset in italics) is then followed by the sidebar quote from the original version of CL/DM, beginning “EVERYTHING IS DEEPLY INTERTWINGLED. In an important sense there are no ‘subjects’ at all …” (the second quote I gave above). So the quote as it appears in EIM and elsewhere (including Wikipedia, before I corrected it) actually mixes Nelson’s original words from 1974 with his added comment from 1987.
    Also note that the quote in EIM and (previously) Wikipedia is incorrect: It states that “people keep pretending they can make things deeply hierarchical”, but the original text omits “deeply”.

    As noted above, I corrected the Wikipedia article on “intertwingularity” to provide proper citations, including page references.

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  8. on 02 Jul 2007 at 6:26 amEverything is miscellaneous : La Cofa

    […] en la página web creada como respaldo al material impreso. Resulta curiosa la sección de erratas que referencia las críticas de Carr. Pero es que, como reza el título del libro, no todos han de […]

  9. on 31 Jul 2007 at 3:20 pmJoanna, CKO » links for 2007-07-31

    […] Errata | Everything is Miscellaneous I’m an erratum. (tags: books ia toothpaste) […]

  10. on 21 Aug 2007 at 3:11 pmbob

    Hey Dave,
    I finished your book a few weeks ago. I think you indicated that the folksomony originated in 2005. I just did a quick check at wiki and it indicates that the word originated in 2002 (with citation). I was in library school at the time and remembered the word being used then, but didn’t have time to check it. Also, did you teach at Gahanna High School? Time does fly.
    Anyway, I enjoyed the book and found many interesting ideas, but I had expected a more academic work. One thing that I wonder about is how instructional approaches will change. Awareness of various learning styles has grown over the years, but I haven’t heard of instruction actually utilizing alternative instructional methods in public schools beyond an occasional group project or exercise that makes students aware of various learning styles. I remember “slow” students being segregated by classroom from regular or accelerated students. Do you know of any public schools that have similar segregation by learning style. As a square peg that was forced into a round hole, I want to believe that if more students were given an opportunity to have a whole year of education tailored to their learning style more students (considered to be marginal or less) would learn and be less inclined to be disruptive.
    my two cents

  11. on 26 Aug 2007 at 10:48 amDavid Weinberger

    Bob, Thanks for checking, but the 2002 citation in Wikipedia is not to a use of the term “folksonomy” but to an early instance of that to which the term refers. The term doesn’t show up in the cited article.

    Nope, I didn’t teach at Gahanna HS. There are a bunch of us David Weinbergers roaming at will.

    I don’t know the current status of segregating students by learning styles. Sorry.

  12. on 03 Oct 2007 at 1:00 amArliss

    I believe there are five questions asked of citizens for the 1790 census: numbers of free white males 16 and over; free whte males under 16; free white females; other free persons; and slaves.

  13. on 09 Oct 2007 at 8:49 amKaren

    Dear David Weinberger-

    As a librarian I am really enjoying your book. I’m laughing at your tales of Melvil Dewey and your book has even inspired my 15-year-old daughter to work on redesigning the periodic table after I told her about chapter 2. I do have to point out one misstatement though. While I am a little embarrassed by Michael Gorman’s anti-blog rant you write about on page 131, you should know that Library Journal is not affiliated with the American Library Association. ALA publishes American Libraries. Library Journal is an independent trade magazine. For more information, see and

  14. on 09 Dec 2007 at 12:02 pmJim


    Just finished reading the book and am glad I did. A couple of web links need correcting:
    – p. 120 – takes you to a parking site. Perhaps would be better
    – p. 127 – – same story. The correct URL is (singular)

    Be well. Thanks for the thinking and the work.

  15. on 07 Apr 2008 at 10:30 amGiulia

    P. 210: “In the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza (the Institute and Museum of the History of Science), just a few blocks away from the river Arno in Florence”.

    There isn’t *any* block between the Museum and the river. It’s a very clear and simple notion everyone could get, even if living in Boston, from any map of the center of the city, even from actual maps, from the static, partial, no-interactive ones currently available on printed paper. No Google maps or similar devices required.

  16. on 24 Oct 2008 at 12:54 pmBob

    Hi David,

    Interesting book, but I feel that a couple of spots could use some clarification:

    p. 199 “Because [a catalog card is] not very large, catalogers have to make tough decisions about what information to include”.

    As a former catalog librarian at New York Public Library, I can assure you that catalogers do not enter information onto 3 x 5 in. cards. Using the present tense “have to” rather than “had to” perpetuates the stereotype that the digital age has left librarians behind, which is unfair and untrue.

    p. 58 “Every one of those [New York Public Library] branches … has [The Little House Cookbook] listed under its call number: 641.59 W. That translates to: Technology and Applied Sciences > Home economics and family living > Food and drink. That’s one logical place for it. But just one”.

    A description of the book’s catalog record would be appropriate here (link below). Here you’ll find not only the call number, but also Library of Congress Subject Headings, a brief summary of the book, first chapter excerpts, links to Google & Yahoo, etc. Granted none of these items are part of a classification scheme, but from a user’s perspective, a keyword search in the library catalog will not only lead them to the book, but take them on a path outside of the library’s walls, if they so wish.

    I understand that your point is to compare the second order world of libraries to the third order digital world, but what about the third order world of libraries? To gloss over the fact that libraries are in the digital age (and that the Encyclopaedia Britannica is available online!) is a disservice to all information management professionals.

    Best regards.

    Link to The Little House Cookbook:–3&source=~!dial&view=subscriptionsummary&uri=full=1100001~!847241~!0&ri=1&aspect=basic&menu=search&ipp=20&spp=20&staffonly=&term=little+house+cookbook&index=GW&uindex=&aspect=basic&menu=search&ri=1

  17. on 23 Jan 2009 at 3:47 amEric VH

    You could have mentioned Paul Otlet. Paul Otlet serves as an example of those encyclopedists, who feel the urge to let no piece of knowledge slip. He devised a kind of scholar’s workstation years before Vannevar Bush appealed to men of science to make the store of knowledge accessible and decades before Ted Nelson invented the term hypertext. In 1934, Paul Otlet imagined the day when users would access a database of world knowledge from great distances through an “electric telescope” connected with a telephone line, retrieving a facsimile image to be projected on a flat screen [Levie, F. (2006). L’homme qui voulait classer le monde. Brussels (BE): Les Impressions Nouvelles]. In Otlet’s time, no word existed to describe the notion of networked documents, until he invented one: links [Rayward, B. W. (1997). The Origins of Information Science and the International Institute of Bibliography. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 48, 289-300]. See:

  18. on 23 Jan 2009 at 8:25 amDavid Weinberger

    Thanks, Eric. I did indeed miss Otlet. I didn’t hear about him until I read Alex Wright’s book, Glut, which I did after writing EiM. (I blogged about it here and here.)

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