Something to Think About

Data Broken Free from Organization

Organization or, rather, lack of it, is the key: David Weinberger insists that “we have to get rid of the idea that there’s a best way of organizing the world.” Building on his earlier works’ discussions of the Internet-driven shift in power to users and consumers, Weinberger notes that “our homespun ways of maintaining order are going to break—they’re already breaking—in the digital world.” Today’s avalanche of fresh information, Weinberger writes, requires relinquishing control of how we organize pretty much everything; he envisions an ever-changing array of “useful, powerful and beautiful ways to make sense of our world.”

As businesses go miscellaneous, information gets chopped into smaller and smaller pieces. But it also escapes its leash–adding to a pile that can be sorted and arranged by anyone with a Web browser and a Net connection. In fact, information exhibits bird-like “flocking behavior,” joining with other information, creating swarms.

Obviously all my data has broken loose from its organization, which way is another way to say my room is a mess. (Which also means I’m working on my Mary Poppins snapping act today.)