Everything is Miscellaneous


This week's Technometria podcast is an interview with Dave Weinberger, author of Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder. I've known Dave for some years and find him to be a very interesting person to talk to. This interview was no exception.

The idea of everything being miscellaneous at first conjures up images of chaos, but the key is to remember that this isn't an argument against classification, but a priori classification. The Internet enables and requires that we classify things when we want them, not before. You may want things alphabetically and I may want them by shoe size. We can both be right.

An interesting connection to the content of the interview and book is the very name of this blog and podcast. As I say in the page that explains the Technometria name, Technometria was the name of a book by William Ames in the 17th century. Ames' goal was an encyclopedic systematization of the arts, the very thing Dave is claiming can't be done. I even mention Dave and his fascinating talk to the Library of Congress on this topic in that page.