A few years ago, the New York Times ran an article about a games company that wanted to find out the coolest kids to test out their stuff. So the company went around asking all these kids, “who’s the coolest kid you know?” And they’d tell them, “it’s Johnny over there.” Eventually the company came to the person who most kids pointed to, who would readily admit to the role-and that would be their tester. Finding these alpha pups, these alpha geeks, is a lot of what we do at O’Reilly.
david weinberger on [knowledge]. always worth a read.
But why believe what anything on the Web says? Yes, why believe even Doc Searls? Because are now capable of multi-subjectivity: many voices in conversation. Knowledge is becoming conversation.
Two further effects: 1. On the Web, we don’t have to settle every dispute. Thus, knowledge can stay local and ambiguous. 2. We don’t insist on a perfect beer before we drink one, and we shouldn’t insist on perfect knowledge; since knowledge is social, it’s as flawed as we are. (Of course, the criteria of belief vary by domain. I want more certainty from my doctor than I do from Jon Stewart or Michael Moore.)