The Universal Authority on Authorities, from Second-hand Knowledge (Patrick Wilson)

From a book by Patrick Wilson, as referenced by Soo Young Rieh in a conversation we had last week. Consider that this was written before the appearance of both Wikipedia and Google, and ask yourself how each one appears to be both universal and authoritative in its recommendations.

"An authority on authorities is one who can be trusted to to tell us who can be trusted…. A universal authority on authoritie would be one who could be trusted to tell us who else can be trusted, in all possible spheres; such a person would be potentially an authority on everything, for if he could identify the authorities in any sphere, he could in principle find out what they claim to know and so inform himself on any subject whatever, and subsequently inform us. He could find out literally anything."

See Amazon, Second-Hand Knowledge: An Inquiry into Cognitive Authority (Contributions in Librarianship and Information Science); I got my reading copy through MeLCat.


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