Information Revolution

October 22, 2007 ⋅ 4 Comments »

Anand pointed me to another cool video from Michael Wesch, an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the Kansas State University. It’s a short video called Information R/evolution that explores the consequences of the shift from paper-based information to digital information, with nods to Clay Shirky’s Ontology is Overrated and David Weinberger’s Everything is Miscellaneous. The style of the video is incredibly cool. Check it out:

If you didn’t see his last video — Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us, which made the rounds in February — it’s definitely worth checking out as well.


  1. Chris - October 22, 2007:

    Those videos are both really well done. They make me want to run out and tag something.

    And I get it, I think. I know we're not stuck in categories anymore.

    But, tags have never struck me as the 'answer'. I know they're doing good things. I know they allow interesting ways to view information. But, I'm not sure that tagging information is making it easier for me to get my hands on.

    Maybe I just don't grok it. Maybe because I can't see the light, I don't really put enough effort into tagging my own information properly.

    What do you think? Any other material on the subject?

  2. Patrick - October 22, 2007:

    I agree with you, I don't think tags are "the answer" either. But it's not about rigid categories vs. tags. It's the combination of powerful search, linking, tagging, collaborative filtering, etc. that provides the alternative to rigid categories.

    David Weinberger, the author of Everything is Miscellaneous, wrote on his blog that this video explains the thesis of EiM. Here's a description of the book from one of the reviews posted on his site:

    The world is messy, like it or not, and it’s only going to get messier as the Web destroys rules and rule-makers. You can either complain about the chaos and wish for the good old days of order, or you can buy this book and understand why delirious disorder will soon make us all smarter.

  3. Chris - October 22, 2007:

    Right, right - I realize it's more than just tags.

    I'm a huge fan of collaborative filtering - and obviously powerful search and linking are cornerstones.

    I just find that tags are not yet filling any need in my information discovery / management experience. But, maybe they need to reach a critical mass. Or maybe they're playing a huge part in making the other pieces of the puzzle come together, and I simply don't realize it.


  4. - There are no little boxes: Everything is deeply intertwingled - October 23, 2007:

    [...] The post yesterday on Information R/evolution reminded me of a concept that I ran across not too long ago. Ted Nelson, who coined the word hypertext (among other things), introduced the concept of intertwingularity in his 1974 book “Computer Lib/Machine Dreams”: [...]