The problem, however, isn’t that we’ve grown complacent about the nature of knowledge, but that the nature of knowledge is changing in the context of networks. The vision of knowledge as paradigmatic, structured, ordered, like the hierarchy of the church and the deputations of sovereignty, was very much a product of encyclopedism’s golden age, the eighteenth century. Indeed, Diderot and his cohort sought for secular knowledge the kind of power and authority reserved for the monarchy and the magisterium of the Church. It’s a theory of knowledge in keeping with its time—although Diderot and his contemporaries already recognized the problematic nature of any single specified taxonomy of knowledge; the rule of the alphabet offered not only a handy organizing schema, but a leveling arbitrariness as well. But these means of ordering knowledge are thoroughly out of step in our own omnivalent age, which finds us suspicious of expertise, more comfortable with the iterative and approximate.