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Everything is Miscellaneous

By murray - Posted on 04 April 2008

Human beings are information omnivores: we are constantly collecting, labeling, and organizing data. But today, the shift from the physical to the digital is ripping, burning, and mixing our lives apart. In the past, everything had its one place – the physical world demanded it – but now everything has its places: multiple categories, multiple shelves. Suddenly, everything is miscellaneous.

In this presentation, David Weinberger takes us on a rollicking tour of the rise of the miscellaneous. He examines why the Dewey Decimal system is stretched to the breaking point, how Rand McNally decides what information not to include in a physical map (and why Google Earth is beating them out), how Staples stores emulate online shopping in order to increase sales, why your children’s teachers will stop having them memorize facts, and how the shifts to digital music and playlists are not just transforming the music business but stand as models for the future in virtually every industry.

Weinberger charts the new principles of digital disorder that are remaking business, media, education, politics, science, and culture, with profound consequences for how we work and how we live.