In the past knowledge resided in persons. Socrates wrote nothing – as far as we know. Plato criticised writing – but wrote a lot, anyhow.
Consistency be damned …
From Aristotle (384-322 BC) to Tim Berners-Lee (1955-) knowledge mostly resided in books. Our picture or image of knowledge is a monograph – or a bookshelf – or a library.
The Library of Congress is supposed to have about thirty million different books – while British Library comes second at twenty-five million. Wow!
Knowledge on the web
Today, we increasingly associate knowledge with the web rather than with books. This means that we become much more aware of
- the dispersed or distributed nature of knowledge
- the tentative or transient nature of knowledge
- the personal and interpersonal nature of knowledge.
Knowledge is not a possession, but a relationship, a practice and a performance.
Links are the currency of the web – and people are entry points.
Plato’s inconsistency – criticising writing in writing – is a central topic in Derrida‘s main book – Of Grammatology.