Reading Response to: “What Nothing Says”

Citation
Weinberger, David. 2008. Everything is miscellaneous: The power of the new digital disorder. New York: Holt. (Amazon)
His Twitter account: twitter.com/dweinberger

A very easy to read chapter, unlike the previous, perhaps because it talks about the ones and zeros of our basic mentality.  We read signs and if they are not simple enough we don’t understand them, therefore those signs are useless…  The understanding of the signs comes from the implicit cues become explicit.  We can understand the signs and visuals before we learn how to read.

The implicit is made very explicit when we use mental paths to understand a communication, once we know the direction where to go and how to get there, we create a path, the more path is used the wider it becomes, the implicit becomes explicit.  When the text is written on the sign it is creating a path to that destination, which is ultimately going to become a symbol.  A good example with the tsunami sign.  Before I moved here, I lived in a middle of the continent and there was no tsunami signage, as there was no water to hide from, in case of a large earthquake.  The word “tsunami” although harder to get because you have to read the word first, it would be easier to understand.  Once we are able to associate the word with the symbol, we are done, the path from implicit to explicit is complete, although we probably had to rub a whole or two in trying to understand the communication.

as we map implicit in the chapter the author talks about the Friendster list and how he paints a virtual portrait of himself through explicitly describing his profile of implicit details about himself that he wants the people to know of himself.  “Making something explicit is often a social act with consequence.”

further we read on about maps and how they “lie on purpose in order to tell the truth.” This phrase made me stumble for a second, how do the maps lie?  well, I understand it that the maps don’t tell as exactly everything, they only give us a certain direction or a certain clue to something that is too dynamic.  And perhaps it would be too irrelevant to put everything on the map (for example, the location of all the automobiles in the city) We don’t need to know that, but, what we do wan to know is the congestion on which arterial and how can we get from point a to b without getting stuck in traffic.  Maps work, because what “gets included and excluded is driven by a purpose…”  “the line is between the implicit and explicit isn’t drawn by the intellect.  It is drawn by purpose, and… what matters to us.”

What matters to us is the implicit understanding before we can make any conclusions.  If Jefferson wouldn’t have studied the Koran he wouldn’t have concluded that the Islam is a decay and it lies between Christianity and peganism.  Isn’t Islam a religion, just like Christianity?  Even further, I don’t like the word paganism, because it is a Christian way of defining every other religion, so Jefferson’s quote shows its bias.

Reading Response to: “Search is too important to leave to one company – even Google”

Search engines becoming very important in our lives, our news, our education, and even politics are dependent upon the searchability of the subject we search for.  As Dewey’s, rigid structure of categories has its flaws because once the ingredients are mixed, you can’t go back and undo what you already mixed in to the bowl.  In a digital world we don’t need categories, all the things could be just piled up in one folder.  It is kind of like digital communism, every file is equal and has no hierarchical importance to any other file on the internet.  Except when we are talking about one company owning all the accumulated information, how powerful does it become…  The idea that Google saves every single piece of information I ever entered into their search engine, makes me think “what if I am being watched by the big brother?”

The fact that what we can and can not see when we search for answers demands transparency.  But Google is not dependent upon advertising for having its searchability, so the question then takes different turn… do we risk exposing a great algorithm of let’s say Google search engine by making it public transparent and then get slammed with advertising capitalism invading our very “private” relationship with the search box…

Reading Response to: “Social Knowing”

Weinberger, David. 2008. Everything is miscellaneous: The power of the new digital disorder. New York: Holt. (Amazon)
His Twitter account: twitter.com/dweinberger

In a first few paragraphs David Weinberger introduces a social royalty of the highly hierarchical order – the his/her majesty the Editor.  Ultimately editors decide what to put together and how to organize it.  What if the editorial throne was given to the commonwealth of the readers. How does that affect the social order? It clusters the users together and creates social groups.  Over time the community of groups and individuals will rely on the social knowledge rather than on the expertise of an individual in a “well-lit room” (the editor).

This chapter talks about how a 2,500 year-old system of knowledge demands the fundamental change – the approach from the bottom up, rather then the top heavy rigid second order.  Third order of knowledge that exists between us, rather than being inside of our heads.  The emergence of a public knowledge from the social groups on a global scale is the new and developing phenomenon.

Social knowledge is an organic system that is able to evolve and improve itself. On the contrary, the rigid encyclopedic system is top heavy and is a set (non-evolving) compilation of information.