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David Weinberger

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Latest Blogs from David Weinberger
I really enjoyed Jay Rosen’s post of a draft of a talk he’s going to give in which he talks about “wicked problems.” These are problems so complex that they’re hard to describe, and so difficult that you may not even identify them until you have a solution. Jay talks about how to journ...
(This is the lead article in the new issue of my free and highly intermittent newsletter, JOHO. Also in it, a Higgs-Bogus Contest on particles that would explain mysteries of the Internet.)   Louis C.K. now famously sold his latest comedy album over the Internet direct to his audience ...
Everything is interesting if viewed at the right level of detail. Everything is controversial if it is discussed long enough.
A post by Stacy Higginbotham at GigaOm talks about the problems moving Big Data across the Net so that it can be processed. She draws on an article by Mari Silbey at SmartPlanet. Mari’s example is a telescope being built on Cerro Pachon, a mountain in Chile, that will ship many high-re...
“You can ring me here tonight from Finland. If you’ve got the film, just say the deal’s come off.” “And if not?” “Say the deal’s off.” “It sounds rather alike,” Avery objected. “If the line’s bad, I mean. ‘Off’ and ‘Come off’.” Then say they’re not interested. Say something negative. Y...
Except Randall Munroe thinks going miscellaneous means giving up, rather than embracing the new organizational possibilities of blah blah blah. (I am, of course, an awestruck fan of XKCD.)
Neil Jeffries, research and development manager at the Bodleian Libraries, has posted an excellent op-ed at Wikipedia Signpost about how to best represent scholarly knowledge in an imperfect world. He sets out two basic assumptions: (1) Data has meaning only within context; (2) We are ...
I was checking Facebook yesterday afternoon, as I do regularly every six months or so. It greeted me with a list of friend requests. One was from the daughter of a colleague. So I accepted on the grounds that it was unexpected but kind of cute that she would ask. Only after I clicked d...
Two sets of amazing photos: Wikimedia Commons has announced its best photos of the year. Here’s one I like. It’s by Simon Pierre Barrette. Also, the New York Hall of Science is exhibiting the winners of the international The Olympus BioScapes Digital Imaging Competition. These are amer...
Eric Schmidt is being interviewed by Jeff Goldberg about the Net and Democracy. I’ll do some intermittent, incomplete liveblogging… NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Pa...
Robert Putnam is giving a talk at the Aspen Ideas Festival called “Requiem for the American Dream? Unequal Opportunity in America.” It’s a project in its middle stages, he says. If a book comes out of the research, it’s a year or two out. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Miss...
Tim Brown of Ideo is opening his Aspen Ideas Festival talk with a slide presentation called “From Newton to Design”. He says he’s early in thinking it through. He points to a problem in how we’ve thought about design, trained designers, and have practiced design. The great thing about ...
Amanda Michel, who I know from her time at the Berkman Center, is being interviewed by Matt Thompson. She’s pretty amazing: Howard Dean campaign, Huffpo’s Off the Bus, Pro Publica, and now social media at The Guardian. She’s talking with Matt Thompson from NPR. NOTE: Live-blogging. Get...
Holy cow! I did not see that coming. Amusingly, at 10am this morning, I was giving my talk here at the Aspen Ideas Festival about knowledge in the age of the internet. I’d asked someone to interrupt when the news came through. So at 10:05, someone said: “The court overturned the indivi...
Walter Isaacson is interviewing Ricardo Salinas (Mexicon media billionaire) and Richard Haass (president of the Council on Foreign Relations) about our relationship with Mexico. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial ...
I’m at the Aspen Ideas Festival, at a panel on how professionalism has changed. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangl...
I saw my friend Michael O’Connor Clarke just about a month ago, after too many years of being cheered by his tweets, rather than by his in-personage. We were at the Mesh conference where Michael gave a paste in the face to traditional marketing in his normal insightful, laugh out loud ...
There’s a fun infographic — and aren’t all infographics fun, one way or another? — at Visual News about how much information is made every minute. It’s poorly sourced (a list of sources at the bottom without references to which data came from which sources, and no links, but, heck info...
A new report from Pew Internet says that most Americans don’t know that they can borrow e-books from their local public libraries, while 12% of e-book readers (16 years and older) have borrowed an e-book from their local public library. (More than 75% of local public libraries in the U...
I’ve now finished Brad Abruzzi’s New Jersey’s Famous Turnpike Witch. It ends well, although not in the sense of tying up all the loose ends. But, then, it wouldn’t. Here’s my review. Here’s where you can download it. It’s awesome. I sent Brad some questions. He responded: Q: How long h...
I’m at an event put on by Sogeti, in Bussum, about 30 km outside of Amsterdam. Sogeti is a technology consulting company of about 20,000 people. Last night on the way to a dinner event, Michiel Boreel the CTO, explained that the company markets itself in part by holding events designed...
Most fiction is crap. Often the plot is arbitrary or unsurprising. More often, the you can see the author’s plans behind the writing: The author needs a brainy nerd, a wisecracking minor character, a mysterious presence, someone with the key to the jalopy. Whatever. The characters, the...
I love Amsterdam so much. I know the residents have their complaints — including that tourists love it too much — but it is such a physically beautiful city, and so full of life. So, I’m very happy to have 2 days here between jobs. Over the past 1.5 days, I have done nothing but [...]...
My Radio Berkman interview of John Palfrey and Urs Gasser about their suprisingly wide-ranging book Interop is now up, as is the video of their Berkman book talk…
At the Future Forum conference in Dresden, I had the opportunity to hang out with Ranga Yogeshwar, a well-known television science journalist in Germany. We were deep into conversation at the speakers dinner when I mentioned that I work in a library, and he mentioned that his grandfath...
Here is the text of a short talk I gave at PDF yesterday. I did not use slides, and I actually read from pieces of paper because I wanted to make sure that I stayed on time (it took about 8 minutes, I think) and did not stray too far from what I wanted to [...]
As I have mentioned before, I have what I think is particularly strong inner narrator, especially when I’m alone. I’ve always attributed this to my proclivities towards writing, since my narrator drafts and often redrafts descriptions of what I’m experiencing. It’s either that or I’m a...
The sessions from the DPLA Plenary meeting on April 27 in SF are now online. Here’s the official announcement: …all media and work outputs from the two day-long events that made up DPLA West–the DPLA workstream meetings held on April 26, 2012 at the San Francisco Public Library, and th...
…at least on the web it tends to be. That in any case is the contention of my latest column in KMworld.
More than a dozen universities are holding bake sales for NASA. The aim is to raise awareness, not money. To me, NASA is a bit like a public library: No matter what, you want your town and your country to visibly declare their commitment to the value of human curiosity.   In other scie...
[Note that this is cross posted at the new Digital Scholarship at Harvard blog.] Ralph Schroeder and Eric Meyer of the Oxford Internet Institute are giving a talk sponsored by the Harvard Library on Internet, Science, and Transformations of knowledge. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting thing...
I learned yesterday from Robin Wendler (who worked mightily on the project) that Harvard’s library catalog dataset of 12.3M records has been bulk downloaded a thousand times, excluding the Web spiderings. That seems like an awful lot to me, and makes me happy. The library catalog datas...
Aaron Shaw has a very interesting post on what sure looks like contradictory instructions from the White House about whether we’re free to remix photos that have been released under a maximally permissive U.S. Government license. Aaron checked in with a Berkman mailing list where two t...
Is it just me, or are we in a period when new distribution models are burgeoning? For example: 1. Kickstarter, of course, but not just for startups trying to kickstart their business. For example, Amanda Palmer joined the Louis CK club a couple of days ago by raising more than a millio...
John Palfrey and Urs Gasser are giving a book talk at Harvard about their new book, Interop. (It’s really good. Broad, thoughtful, engaging. Not at all focused on geeky tech issues.) NOTE: Posted without re-reading NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key...
Last night was the annual Berkman dinner. Lovely. It inevitably turned into a John Palfrey love fest, since he is leaving Harvard very soon, and he is much beloved. People stood and spoke beautifully and insightfully about what John has meant to them. (Jonathan Zittrain and Ethan Zucke...
Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission, has issued her statement on Net Neutrality. In my view, she correctly assesses the importance of Net Neutrality, but wrongly gauges the ability of a free market to deliver it. As a result, her policy is (in my view) seriously misguided. But ...
Dries Buytaert [twitter:Dries] , the founder of Drupal and co-founder of Acquia, is giving a Berkman lunch talk about building and sustaining online collaborations. NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. O...
David Kay pointed out to me a piece by Arthur Brisbane, the NY Times Public Editor. In it Arthur deals with a criticism of a NYT article that failed to acknowledge the work of prior journalists and investigators (“uncredited foundational reporting”) that led to the NYT story. For examp...
Christine Dobby posted at the Financial Post about my session at the Mesh conference on Thursday in Toronto. She accurately captured two ideas, but missed the bigger point I was trying to make, which — given how well she captured the portion of my comments she blogs about — was undoubt...