Reading Response to: “The Work of Knowledge”


“Discussing differences while standing on a shared ground, we work towards understanding.” Philosophers are lonely thinkers.  Through conversations things that we know are not “interesting to talk about.” In a conversation our thoughts are released less edited, versus the philosopher’s paper that is well thought through. “Paper drives thought into our head” while “web releases thoughts before they are complete, so we can work on them together.”  It is understood that we are not going to stay in a single, unified, “true, inescapable, and final knowledge of all that is.”  What powerful words. Realistic and true to the nature of the miscellaneous universe.

Miscellaneous universe is interesting and non-unitary.  The mess of the conversation is believed to create shared knowledge.  In comparison to Howard Dean’s campaign, it is the “letting go” that developed a sense of shared knowledge and trust by the voters, that is why it went as far as it did, but, David says, Dean lost because of the policy, organizational and personal reasons.


“Genius is topical.”  If a person is a genius in one thing, it does not mean she is going to be such in others.  We would question one person if she or he claims to be an expert on a field that has a sea of books, yet the field of inquiry that is too narrow is not going to be and accredited field of study.

Books, too, are valued accordingly to their content.  But books are limited to the physical properties.  Britannica, famous for its editorial content “picks its topics carefully” as it “must save room for it whatever else goes” (p 206), but the online encyclopedia Wikipedia does not have that problem.

However, the two works have very different structures.  One is a top-heavy one to many approach (Britannica), whereas the other is many to many, its knowledge becomes great when many people combine their knowing on the subject.  Social knowledge.

One of the physical disadvantages of print, is its limit in space, so, the topic can not go on forever.  Wikipedia does not have that problem, the links that sow the topics together introduce endless sprawl of information and contribute to miscellaneous.  Britannica maybe well edited and each topic show the genius of its author, the longer it is, Wikipedia contributes to the passion and interest of individuals when it gets longer.  As topics “bust out of their bindings” throughout the text in Wikipedia, Britannica provides us with reference to the articles at the end of its article, an afterthought.

In the miscellaneous order, the topics are anything anyone may have interest in.  Anything can be blogged, created, or posted in Wikipedia and immediately the text “miscellanizes” itself with links leading away from the topic.  This sparks an interest and makes it a fun site contributing to the further search for knowledge and understanding.


Knowledge is not simple in the “miscellanized world.”  As the book shows knowledge in politics, marketing and science is forced to be simplified.  Politicians make speeches, introduce problems and provide possible solutions for us.  Marketers provide us simple slogans for the products, scientists explain to us simple formulas applied to the universe.  But the minute it hits the internet, every idea is dissected, discussed, digested, and complexified.


Facts – that about which we no longer argue – compared to nails, they hold our understanding together and in order.  The knowledge is becoming a commodity  – some good for which there is a demand.  Google and Wikipedia commoditizes the knowledge, and the internet makes it available at one click of a button.  Commoditization of knowledge “frees us to understand.”  We understand something when we see how pieces are put together.  David says: “Understanding is metaknowledge.”


Thoughts on my blog organization

For the blog organization assignment I first decided to give it a name that is the same as the class, this way the reader is able to understand why I am talking about the subject.  Secondly I devided the blog entries into two categories: one is classwork and another is homework, one is meant to be done in class such as class projects and exercises, and another was given to us by the professor to work on outside of the lecture time.

categorization is probably not the hardest part of this assignment, after all, we are categorizing only two types of work in class and outside of class.  I could probably divide the class work on couple more categories, such as lectures and exercises. The homework category can be subdivided further into assigned reading response, and other material responses.  But the major part is not the categorization.

The challenges I see in categorizing my work sum up to one thing – tags.  How do I choose tags, what tags should I choose, and how many tags should I have for each entry.  To identify how and what kind of tags I choose is probably not the hardest thing in the world, one basically has to know the subject he or she is writing about.  But that is just in theory.

In reality I feel that I am going to spend a whole lot more time then I expected.  Do I have the same tags for both categories, or do I separate them into class work tags and homework tags, or do I not pay attention to the categories, and instead, concentrate on the topics for each individual entry.

I also need to consider that my tags should be understandable to the readers of my blog, so, I would probably have to look around the site to see how people are tagging their blogs and learn from the community.  I guess I am going to be wait for the lecture this Friday to get a better understanding of the word press and how this blogging site actually works in order to successfully conclude the task.

In conclusion, I used tags as index items for each entry to create a set vocabulary that promotes the main idea of the blog and guides the reader to the information he or she is willing to read about.  Also, the larger purpose of this blog is to introduce the new perspectives on the contemporary topics about electronic media and the techniques that help to organize, retrieve, evaluate and understand the digital realm of information and electronic research.

Class work: lecture notes on organization vs. access

in a pre-digital technology, its archival practices are fairly nice.  When we are trying to store something digitally, how do we store it?  are we using drives, are we using CDs, DVDs, etc.  Digitally stored file is a great way to back something up, but the technology is also evolving and today’s files are more or less going to become obsolete in a few years.  What is it that we want to back up is important to understand in order to know who to back it up.  Not only digital is a great way to store something, it is also an easy access advantages.

On the other hand there is no guarantee, if archeologists excavating the site of WSU Vancouver, there is no guarantee that they will find anything.

there is no guarantee that the way we access our information today is going to be the same in the future.