Summary Too Big to Know : Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room
Today’s book, Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room, is recommended by Seth Godin. Here are ten popular highlights from this book.
1. Filters no longer filter out. They filter forward, bringing their results to the front. What doesn’t make it through a filter is still visible and available in the background.
2. Transform the medium by which we develop, preserve, and communicate knowledge, and we transform knowledge.
3. It’s not information overload. It’s filter failure.
4. Our most basic strategy for understanding a world that far outruns our brain’s capacity has been to filter, winnow, and otherwise reduce it to something more manageable.
5. It’s the connecting of knowledge — the networking — that is changing our oldest, most basic strategy of knowing. Rather than knowing-by-reducing to what fits in a library or a scientific journal, we are now knowing-by-including every draft of every idea in vast, loosely connected webs.
6. The real limitation isn’t the capacity of our individual brains but that of the media we have used to get past our brains’ limitations.
7. Knowledge is now a property of the network, and the network embraces businesses, governments, media, museums, curated collections, and minds in communication.
8. The smartest person in the room is the room itself: the network that joins the people and ideas in the room, and connects to those outside of it. It’s not that the network is becoming a conscious super-brain. Rather, knowledge is becoming inextricable from — literally unthinkable without — the network that enables it. Our task is to learn how to build smart rooms — that is, how to build networks that make us smarter, especially since, when done badly, networks can make us distressingly stupider.
9. The property of knowledge as a body of vetted works comes directly from the properties of paper. Traditional knowledge has been an accident of paper.
10. First, knowledge is a subset of belief. We believe many things, but only some of them are knowledge. Second, knowledge consists of beliefs that we have some good reason to believe, whether it’s because we’ve done experiments, because we’ve proved them logically, or because God revealed them to our people. Third, knowledge consists of a body of truths that together express the truth of the world.
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