JSB Symposium: David Weinberger

"Too Big to Know: How the Internet Affects What and How We Know"

October 3, 2011

What happens to knowledge and expertise, now that there is far more to know than can possibly be known by any individual? David Weinberger hypothesizes that the sheer quantity of networked knowledge is changing the nature of knowledge itself. He presented a compelling vision of the future of knowledge in a connected world in this talk, "Too Big to Know: How the Internet Affects What and How We Know."

The talk was held Monday, October 3, 2011 in the Blau Auditorium of the Ross Business School. Weinberger spoke at the seventh John Seely Brown Symposium on Technology and Society. The centerpiece of the symposium is the JSB Lecture, supported by a gift from John Seely Brown, formerly chief scientist of Xerox Corp. and director of the Palo Alto Research Center. Brown is an alumnus of the University of Michigan, where he earned his Ph. D. in computer and communication sciences in 1970. He holds five additional honorary doctorates and in 2005, delivered the spring commencement address at Michigan.

Weinberger is one of the most respected thought-leaders at the intersection of technology, business, and society. He is a senior researcher at Harvard University's Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, co-director of the Harvard Library Innovation Lab at Harvard Law School, and a Franklin Fellow at the U.S. State Department.

His upcoming book, to be published early next year, is Too Big to Know, about the Internet's effect on how and what we know. He is the author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined, Everything Is Miscellaneous, and coauthor of the best-selling The Cluetrain Manifesto, which InformationWeek called "the most important business book since In Search of Excellence."

The former philosophy professor has been a gag-writer for Woody Allen, a strategic marketing VP and consultant, an early blogger (Joho the Blog), and an Internet advisor on two presidential campaigns. His articles have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Guardian, Wired, and Smithsonian, to name just a few. He is a frequent contributor to NPR's "All Things Considered" and "Here and Now."

His doctorate in philosophical studies is from the University of Toronto.