Too Big To Know

Too Big To Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t Facts, Experts are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room by David Weinberger was the first book I had to read in the spring semester for one of my library science classes. In its brief, just over 100 pages, Weinberger makes the argument that we live in a society in where there is so much knowledge available that it is difficult to distinguish what is relevant and what isn’t.

When you have the internet readily available to anyone who has access to it, this allows for both the sharing of information that otherwise wouldn’t occur but also the availability of mis-information to make its way into the world. What, then, is a consumer of knowledge supposed to do to weed out what is relevant and what isn’t? How do you tell what is fact and what is falsehood? The truth is that you can’t always separate the two, which makes it difficult to be relevant in today’s world. While the availability of information lends itself to more profitable collaboration in fields such as science, it also becomes problematic when too much information is made available to individuals who might not be knowledgeable in a particular field.

To be perfectly frank, I found Weinberger’s text to be dry and extremely repetitive. He voices the same ideas over and over but in various ways – which are essentially the two paragraphs before this one. We had a lengthy discussion in class on what Weinberger’s text means when it comes to librarianship. And while I found the text insightful, it was just too long for me; I easily think the book could be half as long and still get the point across.

Overall, Too Big To Know isn’t a book I would recommend to most people. It most definitely isn’t casual reading. All in all, I’d only recommend readers to give this book a try if you must read it for a class or assignment. Otherwise, you can leave it on the shelf.

My rating: 3/5

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