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Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified…
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Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web (edition 2003)

by David Weinberger

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Member:alexbarnett
Title:Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web
Authors:David Weinberger
Info:Perseus Books Group (2003), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:computers, culture, internet, media, network, non-fiction, social commentary, software design, technology, www, web, tech,

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Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web by David Weinberger

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Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory Of The Web was as philosophical as it sounds. The view of the web presented here is very abstract, focusing on the way the web has (according to the author) caused people to re-define fundamental concepts such as space, time and togetherness. I found a lot of the evidence he offered in support of these views self-evident although I'm still not sure I agree with his assertion that we view time differently because of the internet. I do, however, agree with his final point which is that the internet in many ways allows people to interact in a more intuitive way than we can in the real world. I think the book would have been better had he focused more on this point throughout.

Read more here... ( )
  DoingDewey | Jun 29, 2014 |
Fascinating read. It was written in 2002 and yet in a way it prophesizes the web2.0 (social web) as if it were already in fulls swing as it is now 5 years later.Not technical and very interesting. ( )
  CarloA | Feb 14, 2013 |
The cover of my copy of the book has a quote from Don Norman, "Small pieces provides the best of all combinations: deep, thoughtful commentary written as light, easy reading". I'd go along with that for the first three-quarters of the book, which provides case studies of life on the web with occasional references to philosophy to throw light on them. The last part of the book is more of an attempt to write 'plain language' philosophy with occasional references to the web, and it's less successful. Still, this is an excellent set of reflections on the not-so-obvious ways the web is changing how we live and think. ( )
  djalchemi | Jan 13, 2008 |
The author makes some very interesting points associations making the book very enjoyable to read. It does however lack an ending chapter tying it all the small pieces together. ( )
  dege | Jun 20, 2007 |
The Web doesn't exist in space, yet we talk about going to sites, entering them, and leaving. Diaries move online and suddenly they're more about creating selves than writing about them. Web sites don't have fences, yet a site for auction hunters was found to have trespassed on eBay, a metaphorical offense for which it paid a very real price. Companies invest heavily in professional, polished Web sites, but the Web rewards sites that revel in imperfection. Bits are the ""atoms"" of the Web, but they have no weight, no size and no real existence.
These anomalies are just a few that show how uncomfortable the fit between the Web and the real world is -- and how deeply weird the ordinary life of the Web is. In this one-of-a-kind book of social commentary, David Weinberger takes us beyond the hype, revealing what is truly revolutionary about this new medium. Just as Marshall McLuhan forever altered our view of broadcast media, Weinberger shows that the Web is transforming not only social institutions but also bedrock concepts of our world such as space, time, self, knowledge -- even reality itself.
The Web would be important enough if it hooked up our species on a global scale. But, Weinberger aruges, it is doing much more than that. Unlike previous technologies such as the phone or fax, the Web is a permanent public space that gathers value every time someone posts a Web page, responds on a discussion board, or replies to a mail list. More and more of our lives together are being lived in this new, second world that intersects the real world in ways we have only begun to understand.
Weinberger introduces us to the denizens of this second world, people like .Zannah, whose online diary turns self-revelation into play; Tim Bray, whose map of the Web reveals what's at the heart of the new Web space; and Danny Yee and Claudiu Popa, part of the new breed of Web experts we trust despite their lack of obvious qualifications. Through these stories of life on the Web, an insightful take on some familiar -- and some unfamiliar -- Web sites, and a pervasive sense of humor, Weinberger is the first to put the Web into the social and intellectual context we need to begin assessing its true impact on our lives.
The irony, according to Weinberger, is that this seemingly weird new technology is more in tune with our authentic selves than is the modern world. Because the Web foils our conventional assumptions about concepts like space and time and self, we are led back to a more authentic view of what it means to be a person sharing a world with others -- whether it's the world of the Web or the real world of atoms. Our experience on the Web enables us to recapture the truth of our experience of the real world. Funny, provocative, and ultimately hopeful, Small Pieces Loosely Joined makes us look at the Web as never before.
2 vote rajendran | Feb 25, 2007 |
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Weinberger's Web is not just a giant marketplace or an "information resource" -- it's a social commons on which the interests of a mass of individuals are splayed in universally accessible detail and trumpeted in an effectively infinite array of personal voices. That concept is almost unfathomable to media pros whose business is "aggregating eyeballs" to sell to advertisers.
 
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0738208507, Paperback)

David Weinberger's Small Pieces Loosely Joined does not merely celebrate the World Wide Web; it attempts to make a case that the institution has completely remodeled many of the world's self-perceptions. The book does so entertainingly, if not convincingly, and is a lively collection of epigrammatic phrases (the Web is "'place-ial' but not spatial"; "on the Web everyone will be famous to 15 people"), as well as illustrations of these changes. There are intriguing assertions: that the Web is "broken on purpose" and that its many pockets of erroneous information and its available forums for disputing, say, manufacturers' hyperbole, let people feel more comfortable with their own inherent imperfections. At other times the book seems stale: it declares that the Web has disrupted long-held axioms about time, space, and knowledge retrieval and that it has dramatically rearranged notions of community and individuality. Weinberger's analysis, though occasionally facile and too relentlessly optimistic and overstated, is surely destined to be the subject of furious debate in chat rooms the cyber-world over. --H. O'Billovich

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:46 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"In this book of social commentary, David Weinberger takes us beyond the hype, revealing what is truly revolutionary about this new medium. Just as Marshall McLuhan forever altered our view of broadcast media, Weinberger shows that the Web is transforming not only social institutions but also bedrock concepts of our world such as space, time, self, knowledge - even reality itself." "The Web would be important enough if it hooked up our species on a global scale. But, Weinberger argues, it is doing much more than that. Unlike previous technologies such as the phone or fax, the Web is a permanent public space that gathers value every time someone posts a Web page, responds on a discussion board, or replies to a mail list. More and more of our lives together are being lived in this new, second world that intersects the real world in ways we have only begun to understand."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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