Reflections on Too Big To Know by David Weinberger





An interesting man but a not so interesting book. I ordered four books and decided that the one that arrived first would be the one I read for my scholarly book review. By the time it arrived we had to commit on the Google doc. If I had not duly committed, I doubt I would have finished the book.

Reviews found by Googling include:


and I found one review in Primo (CSU Library): “Weinberger, David: TOO BIG TO KNOW.” Kirkus Reviews 1 Jan. 2012. Expanded Academic ASAP. Web. 9 Apr. 2014

and it was brief!

One Review by Cory Doctorow:

“David Weinberger is one of the Internet’s clearest and cleverest thinkers, an understated and deceptively calm philosopher who builds his arguments like a bricklayer builds a wall, one fact at a time.

Weinberger wants to reframe questions like “Is the Internet making us dumber?” or “Is the net making us smarter?” as less like “Is water heavier than air?” and more like “Will my favored political party win the election?” That is, the kind of question whose answer depends on what you, personally, do to make the answer come true.

Ultimately, Weinberger treats the net as a fact, not a problem. It exists. It has remade our knowledge processes. It has bound together communication, information and sociability so that you can’t learn things without communicating, and so that every communication brings the chance of a human encounter. In a closing chapter of recommendations, he talks about how we treat the fact of the net as a given, and work from there to try and use it to make us smarter. The concluding chapter is a set of eminently reasonable recommendations on policy, technology, administrations and mindset, expressed with admirable brevity”.

From <>

Who is this reviewer?

Cory Efram Doctorow (/ˈkɒri ˈdɒktəroʊ/; born July 17, 1971) is a Canadian-British[1] blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licenses for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics

I also found out that: is David’s blog. David is involved with this, this, and this. But I don’t know if he is linked to this.

I held such high hopes for this title but sadly they were not realised. If I was to have my time to invest in a book over again I would choose another.


And yes, this post is not official or scholarly. Sorry!

2 thoughts on “Reflections on Too Big To Know by David Weinberger

  1. Judy O'Connell

    What a cross Vegemite you are at the man..and what an interesting lesson you have learned 🙂 Mind you, if you wanted to change your book I would have let you..don’t hesitate to ask. But I’m sure you’ve done lots of work, so go for it. Critical review IS what it is all about 🙂


  2. msimkin

    I’m hoping being critical might make me write a better review! I have really appreciated having to complete something for a purpose beyond my own interest. These days I do so much scanning and superficial reading. Having to concentrate on a task for a period of time and write to a task and a word limit has been difficult but refreshing at the same time.
    If I had changed my book I might have had other issues. As it is co-checking Zuckerman’s Rewired has potentially led me to a topic for further investigation. No gain without pain is quite true sometimes.


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