Epistemological questions

/ 6 January 2012

Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, which is partly due to the holidays, and probably more due to the impossibly bad cold I’ve been fighting. I’m finally surfacing enough to read, and discovered that I’m really looking forward to David Weinberger’s latest book, Too Big to Know. He’s interviewed on the Atlantic’s blog, and among other observations noted :

I think the Net generation is beginning to see knowledge in a way that is closer to the truth about knowledge -- a truth we've long known but couldn't instantiate. My generation, and the many generations before mine, have thought about knowledge as being the collected set of trusted content, typically expressed in libraries full of books. Our tradition has taken the trans-generational project of building this Library of Knowledge book by book as our God-given task as humans. Yet, for the coming generation, knowing looks less like capturing truths in books than engaging in never-settled networks of discussion and argument. That social activity -- collaborative and contentious, often at the same time -- is a more accurate reflection of our condition as imperfect social creatures trying to understand a world that is too big and too complex for even the biggest-headed expert.

I can’t help thinking that this makes Parker Palmer’s observations even more pertinent — as these diagrams point out.