David Weinberger's Everything is Miscellaneous is one of those books that I should read about once a year, just to refresh my understanding of "The Power Of The New Digital Disorder", as the book is subtitled. It's one of the books that illuminates what I kind of already know, and expresses it much more clearly. What do I mean? Consider what Weinberger says about order and space.
When you clean up your kitchen, you put each thing in a place. It will be in this place, in this place only, and not in any other place.
If you have a lot of things, you might group them according to what kind they are, and assign them particular places so you can find them easily. If one thing fits several possible places, you might make a list of what is where, like the card catalog in a library. You can look for a book by its name, by topic, or by its author's name. The actual book will still be in just one place though, and if you want to find it again, you must make sure that you put it back in that same physical place. Once you move the book, you're not going to find it again.
Online, you can put the same one thing in all the places you want to - since it's digital, not a physical item, you don't have to pick just one place. You can put David Weinberger's book Everything is Miscellaneous on a page at amazon.com that lists books by David Weinberger, another page of books with the word "miscellaneous" in the title, yet another page of books about the internet, and a reader's list of favorites. I can put it in my blog. You can put it in a list of future reading for yourself. You can put a link to it on a photo of the cover.
Online, you don't even need to care where a thing is. All you care about is that you can find it. You just need to know some part of the information associated with it, and you can search for it. That film had Bruce Campbell in it. This book was written by David Weinberger. That recipe had lemongrass for an ingredient. (Even better, if you want a recipe that has lemongrass as an ingredient, you don't need to know that there is one - you can find out serendipitously if there is one, and be led to other, related things that you were never aware of.)
If you spend any time on a computer and/or the internet (and you probably do if you're reading my blog entry), read this. You won't be sorry.