I finished a first pass through the science chapter of Too Big to Know. It’s supposed to be a practical application of what the book has argued so far — how does networked knowledge work in a discipline that is devoted to truth and reality?

In this book, a chapter should be about 7,500 words. This one is 15,000 words. But it’s that long for a good reason: I don’t know what it’s about. So, I’ve been reading through it, trying to figure out what to cut and how to organize it. For example, I have a 5,000 word subsection that has its own three subsections about science moving from a publishing paradigm to a network model. This afternoon I thought that maybe I could remove the publishing framing, treat the subsections as being part of the stream of subsections, and surprise the reader at the end by pointing out that what we’re actually seeing is science moving from being a type of publishing to becoming a network. That might work — I’m not sure yet — but it still leaves the chapter twice as long as the reader is expecting.

Or wants. The chapter doesn’t frame itself with a question that will catch the reader’s interest. Ulp.

Once I’ve read through the beast and outlined it, I’ll post about its content. Right now, I can’t even remember what’s in it. Which is not a good sign.