Post #5 Web of Meaning

Songweb <—let me know if that doesn’t work.

When Weinberger states, “The meaning of a particular thing is enabled by the web of implicit meanings we call the world”(170), he is essentially talking about a “web of meaning.”

In other words, objects, songs, poems, etc all have underlying meanings that make it mean what it does to you. Weinberger’s example that he took from German philosopher Martin Heidegger, is the meaning of a hammer. You basically have to imagine as if you had no idea what a hammer was, or what is was used for. You break down all the things that give a hammer meaning.

1. It’s a tool….2. It’s used with nails…3. nails are metal things with a flat top and sharp bottom that hold wood together….4. wood is made from trees…5. Trees grow from the ground…..6. We have to cut down a tree to use its wood….and the list goes on.

Weinberger also explains, “that implicit web of relationships gives the things of our world their meaning” (170).  Which is true, all those “leaves of meaning” that came off of one “branch”, (we can use the hammer example) give it meaning, and give it a purpose. This is true in the digital world as well. In the third order of order, the content and metadata are all digital. Things online have webs of meaning too, just like the hammer does. However it is up to the users to make sure each web of meaning for each thing doesn’t get too out of whack making it hard for the next searcher to find what they are looking for. We build our own webs of meaning by tagging, linking, blogging, tweeting, etc.

“We are building this connected miscellany link by link and tag by tag. Its value is in the implicit relationships that turn it into an infrastructure of meaning” (171).


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6 Responses to Post #5 Web of Meaning

  1. Simmone says:

    I like how you connected your song. The “web” connection are easy to follow and clear. I also thought it was a good example within your blog to state the hammer example. As a visual learner it is easier for me to picture something and link it to a concept than not.

  2. Brian Richardson says:

    Your approach with the visual aspect of this assignment was more direct then what I did and I think it makes more sense. I went with a more artsy approach and I don’t know if I accomplished the task at hand. You linked your memories to the song in a very easy and direct way.

  3. Omar Sanchez says:

    i like how you use a hammer as a example. Hammer is also a MC from the late 80’s. i cant think of other keywords for it like “cant touch this”, “baggy pants”, “one hit wonder” etc. The reason why i thought of many words more in addition to the one you suggested only proves the points Weinberger states in chapter 8.

  4. Kristin Arola says:

    This is a strong post Lauren. Good use of quotes, great example, and nice overall summary. Well done.

  5. Jason Schmidtlein says:

    I think Omar brings up an excellent point in you comments even if it was not his intention. Our understanding of things is relational as Weinberger suggests. This has led to similar names for items that are not at all the same. Take the world “Plane” for instance. This can be an object that can fly with the use of wings and a power source. So I was going to give some meta data to a plane I would add a plane tag and a fly tag and a wings tag. If I wanted to find a picture of a plane on the internet I would not use all these terms, instead I would search for “Plane” and be quite confused when I got pictures of someone woodworking. Meta data is a good idea but double word use lends some real problems to the whole idea. It becomes even more complicated if you want to search for something that is not physical. If I want to find pictures that are “Sad” I am going to come up with a broad set of results as one persons sad might be another persons morose.

  6. I believe everything is personalized. Everything we see, touch, hear, smell, taste has their own meaning to ourselves. Our personalization of things can result in different definitions of the same things between ourselves. That is, one person might tag something x and another person will tag it y. That is why people have different ideas of a “thing’s” implicit and explicit meaning.

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