I’ve been holding off writing about what’s up with the book I’m writing because it’s been oscillating and I didn’t want to choose a state yet. But I think I’m getting close.
This book feels like it’s been struggling to become something that I’ve been trying to keep it from being. Sorry for the anthropomorphicizing, but that’s how it feels. I’ve been trying to keep the topic small enough to be manageable, but it’s hard to write about the subset of topics I’ve been working on without going large. But, going large â€” at its largest: What is the Net doing to knowledge? â€” is not a writable book. At least, not by me.
But, after the past couple of weeks, after finishing a draft of the troublesome Chapter 4 (which argues that we need much less diversity of opinion in a conversation than we generally think, and that a radical diversity of opinions not only is not ideal, it makes conversation impossible … and then I spend the next two-thirds of the chapter trying to find a way through the “echo chamber” arguments), a thematic way of finding a path through the huge question of knowledge occurred to me. It means a significant reorg, and possibly some serious rewriting of those first four chapters, but I think it might be workable. It would enable me to cover some particular topics without feeling like I had to say everything there is to be said about knowledge on the Net.
So, that’s encouraging. On the other hand, by last December, I had written four chapters, and then started over. It’s taken me until June to write these four chapters, and here I am again. Except this time I think I can mainly just reframe the chapters I’ve written. I hope.
Ok, back to rewriting the preface from the ground up. At least the old preface (which I actually sort of liked) may find a home as the opening of Chapter 2 (which used to be Chapter 3).