November 21, 2014 at 09:22AM
"Weinberger argues that the Aristotelian notion that knowledge was shaped like a tree has fallen by the wayside" #readingToday

Pointing to examples like Wikipedia and Flickr, Weinberger argues that the old order of knowledge— the Aristotelian notion that knowledge was shaped like a tree— has fallen by the wayside and that the free-form structure of today's Web provides a more accurate depiction of culture, one that "better represents the wild diversity of human interests and thought." 16 In an expression of positivist-style thinking of which Otlet would doubtless have approved, Weinberger also describes the evolution of recorded knowledge as a series of progressive stages. In the first order, books are books; in the second order, metadata enters the picture, so that readers can find the books they want by way of descriptive cataloging information; in the third order— the era in which we now live— data becomes metadata, as everything becomes searchable, and top-down classification systems are no longer necessary.

Cataloging the World, Alex Wright