Knowledge

Back before Ackoff’s pyramid, back when the idea of knowledge first occurred to us, the ability to know our world was the essential difference between us and the other animals. It was our fulfillment as humans, our destiny. Knowledge itself fit together into a perfectly ordered whole.  Knowledge therefore was considered for thousands of years … Continue reading Knowledge

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Crowds good? . . . Yes, so long as, and then . . .

According to James, Surowiecki, there are “precise conditions under which crowds do better than experts — it depends on there being a diversity of opinion, independence, decentralization, and a way to derive a collective decision — but almost as soon as he published it, “the wisdom of crowds” was used to refer to everything from … Continue reading Crowds good? . . . Yes, so long as, and then . . .

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Thoughts on David Weinberger’s Too Big To Know

“There were certainly facts before the start of the nineteenth century; it was a fact that the ocean was salty even before humans first tasted it, and it was a fact that polio is caused by a virus even before we had discovered viruses. But only recently have facts emerged as the general foundation of knowledge and the … Continue reading Thoughts on David Weinberger’s Too Big To Know

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getting oriented

As we end our fourth class meeting on January 22nd, we are nearing the end of the first two weeks of this introduction to digital humanities: that is, we have been in the introduction of an introduction. So what does it mean to get started — or to get started with getting started? We’ve actually already traversed  a number of different entry points as we push off from land into the yet-to-be-mapped regions where — maybe? — “there be [digital?] dragons.” The New York Times’  2010/2011 “Humanities 2.0” series by Patricia Cohen offered examples of what kinds of projects and…

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