Sunday, May 06, 2007

"Everything is Miscellaneous"

Everything is Miscellaneous - how the Web destroys categories, disciplines and hierarchies

Weinberger's thesis is this: historically, we've divided the world into categories, topics, and hierarchies because physical objects need to be in one place or another, they can't be in all the places they might belong. Computers and the Internet turn this on its head: because a computer can "put things" in as many categories as they need to be in, because individuals can classify knowledge, tasks, and objects idiosyncratically, the hierarchy is revealed for what it always was, a convenient expedient masquerading as the True Shape of the Universe.
It's a powerful idea: from org charts to science, from music to retail theory, from government to education, every field of human endeavor is tinged with hierarchy, and every hierarchy is under assault from the Internet. One impact of this change is that it reveals the biases lurking underneath the editorial carvery of our systems.

Historically, we've divided the world into categories, topics, and hierarchies because that is the structure of the Universe, and that is what man learned since the dawn of humanity.
Computers cannot turn this upside down, neither change it.
Computers can put the same things in more than one category, but they cannot change the World.
It is a big mistake seeing computers and the Internet as something apart from life.
Every small detail of everyday life is reflected on the Internet, because the Internet is NOT a reality per se, it is made by Humans and follows Humans' laws.
Too much may be, but sometimes we are so fascinated by what computers can do, that we forget one simple thing: when we unplug them, their world disappears.
Computers are made by men, ruled by men, and reflect men's world.
The Internet makes things easier, because it is faster to communicate and we need just the virtual infrastructure to work and sell and produce.
We can have a simple market place, we do not need middlemen anymore, may be.
But hierarchies, they are hard to die, because they are what we are made of.
Every men is differnet and there will always be the better and the worse.
Following other rules, may be.
At Adam's times the best whas the one with the biggest muscles, because life was mostly physical work.
Now a days, may be the best is the one with the best brain.
But that doesn't change the fact that hierarchies always were and always will be, computers or no.
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