David Weinberger at Burda’s DLD in Munich says knowledge, as we’ve traditionally known or referred to it, is singlar, binary, simple, scarce, and settled. Those properties of knowledge, he says, are, not by accident, are also the properties of the book. We think with our things. Knowledge, in short, was atoms. So now, we’re digitizing and connecting in an age of abundance. There’s an abundance of good and of crap but, he says, we’re much better at dealing with the abundance of crap. Yes, we filter it, kill it. David says that when there’s an abundance of good, our institutions are not built for it. “Control does not scale,” he says, “except at tremendous human costs.” Damn, he’s good at setting down the clear law. Control does not scale. Next: “The mess is essential.” The mess is the better reflection of who we are. In the era of scarcity, knowledge is limited in the book but online links and the ethic of the link are the means of generosity with abundance.
I’m flying to Munich tonight to meet with editors at Burda and at the German publisher of What Would Google Do? (Was Würde Google Tun?). Then I get to attend and participate in the great Burda DLD conference. And then it’s off to Davos, which should be fascinating this year as the machers grapple with crisis and tectonic change. There, I’m taking part in sessions on mass innovation, the end of privacy, and the need for employee health care. I’ll be blogging as I go.