Biographical Information

David Weinberger

 

David Weinberger (david@weinberger.org) is a senior researcher a Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and author of the forthcoming book, forthcoming book Everyday Chaos (May 2019).

Articles by David Weinberger

Perspective on Knowledge: Journalism’s new landscape

What's happening to news is a microcosm of what's happening to knowledge overall.

Perspective on knowledge: Bring back blogging

The case for internal blogging within a corporate environment is strong and the risk is far lower because the participants are vetted and known.

Perspective on knowledge: Behind the scenes of Everyday Chaos

Machine learning builds up a model that connects data points in complex, multi-dimensional ways, usu­ally without yielding the sort of general principles we're accustomed to reason­ing from.

Perspective on knowledge: Rewriting the world

Tra­ditional computing upholds the traditional method of applying general rules to particulars. With machine learning, you skip the generalized abstraction and feed in the particulars.

Perspective on knowledge: Without a doubt

Given that the future is deeply uncertain, from the tiniest of decisions to the largest, we should love carefully calculated probabilities, for they are the way we deal with a world that has no interest in conforming to our projections or desires. They let us rationally prepare for things not going our way. Any strategist or planner worth her salt is getting as good a read as she can on the nature and magnitude of what she cannot predict.

Perspective on knowledge: When knowledge isn’t enough

If knowledge is a tool intended to enable us to make decisions that are more likely to protect us and advance our shared interests, then it is clear that knowledge can fail us. Each domain has at least informal rules about what counts as evidence.

Perspective on knowledge: Computers, Internet, AI

If the early computers reinforced the existing world-view, the Internet upended worldview after worldview. We learned that control doesn't scale: If you want to build something really, really big, you have to get rid of the centralized management functions. We learned that customers joined in conversational networks know more about a business' products than the business does. We learned what a democracy is like when everyone truly has a voice, even when those voices are telling lies and tearing down democratic institutions.

Perspective on knowledge: Signs, causes and machine learning

Machine learning systems can look at data without instructions about how we think the pieces go together. The AI finds correlations and assembles them into webs of connection.

Perspective on knowledge: The good, the bad, the networked

Most would agree that their perception of the Net, along with the general public's, is far darker than it was even just a few years ago.

Perspective on knowledge: Knowledge is a tool

There's some knowledge you know you need, but there's far more knowledge you don't know you'll need.

Perspective on knowledge: The search for explanations

We got to here-wherever we are-because of innumerable things that happened and a larger number of things that did not.

Perspective on knowledge: Local values of a global net

Even in regressive regimes that block sites and ideas, Internet apps are implicitly showing people the value of the free—or at least relatively free—flow of information.

Perspective on knowledge: Representing the world

The rejection of representationalism is being hastened by the rise of new technology— machine learning—that is refuting some of our old common-sense ideas.

Perspective on knowledge: The future of predictability

We believe the future is determined by a set of scientific rules operating on a set of data too vast to be perfectly comprehended.

Perspective on knowledge: The news is no more

By now I assume we're all tired not only of hearing fake news, but also of hearing about fake news. We've seen how it arises and spreads due to flaws in the structure of the Internet. We've heard lots of proposals for how to fix the problem, most of them implausible.

Perspective on knowledge: The social life of info

The knowledge that lets a business succeed exists in the minds, hands and conversations of the people doing the job

Perspective on knowledge: Reclaiming our attention

The Internet is the perfection of the art—and now science—of attention capture and monetization.
The space is polluted, but it's also far vaster than any attentional space we've ever had.

Perspective on Knowledge: Humor and truth

I've spent all day counting and can report that there are approximately one million different explanations of what makes something funny, possibly because there are lots of different ways things can be funny.

Perspective on Knowledge: Data and sense

Data has become a property of the world like its sounds or smells. It is being gathered raw in many cases.

Perspective on knowledge: When we don’t want to know

For credit scores, FICO carefully assembles models that would make sense to a human and that exclude proxies for protected classes.

Perspective on knowledge: Pokémon GO is our future

We don't know what people will build because they haven't built it yet. But they will.

Perspective on knowledge: What works is how things work

What we build is based on what we've already understood about how the world works.

Perspective on knowledge: Is the Internet making us stupid?

You with the Internet is much smarter than you without the Internet.

Perspective on knowledge: Re-decentralize knowledge

It's a grand decentralized Web except for the commercial entities that exert tremendous power over what we see of it.

Perspective on knowledge: Extending the mind

We think out in the world with tools. This is distinctive of our species and helps to explain our evolutionary advantages ... Only humans (as far as we know) use tools to think.

Perspective on knowledge: The good old days of news

Now that we are deep into the backlash against the Internet, let's pile on by reminiscing about the Good Old Days of knowledge before the Net. Shall we? We shall, taking the news as our example!

Perspective on knowledge: Justifying knowledge

Note that the knowledge that Plato and Socrates are talking about ... is knowledge that leads to right action.

Perspective on Knowledge: The we of knowledge

This column marks a turning point: Hugh McKellar, who has edited this column from its beginning, is retiring. Hugh is a superb editor and a warm, supportive friend. I will miss my monthly interaction with him, and KMWorld will miss his clear eye and his constant focus on what matters. Thank you, Hugh. We will stay in touch.

Perspective on knowledge: What’s greater than knowledge?

I've long been irked by the Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom pyramid that is so often casually embraced as if its truth were obvious. I disagree with its implication that knowledge is a filtering down of information.

Perspective on knowledge:
Seeing past your glasses

A bubble is really just a coherent set of beliefs. Beliefs need coherence or they're not beliefs. They literally make no sense. I could not believe that flowers are beautiful because their DNA has evolved to attract insects unless I also believed in DNA, natural selection, insect-based pollination and the results obtained through scientific research and equipment.

Perspective on knowledge: Sympathetic Knowledge

All reading starts off sympathetic. If you're reading what someone wrote, it's because you want to understand what she means. That's an act of sympathy right there.

Dissolution of metadata

The idea of metadata used to be easy. It was a type of shadow object that trailed the "real" object of which it was the metadata. Getting right which information to put into that shadow object wasn't easy, but the concept itself was clean, clear and usually rectangular.

Technology affects us

The term "technodeterminism," like "utopian" or "wild-eyed socialist," is rarely used by the people to refer to themselves. But I'm willing to accept the characterization … so long as I then get to claim a moderate form of it.

Algorithmic prediction

If you want to know what a particular pattern will be after a hundred iterations, you'll have to do the hundred iterations. You can use a computer to do this and it will spit out the answer, but it too has to step through the algorithm a hundred times.

Interrupting thought

Sometimes these days when we talk about "going meta" about a topic, we mean what we used to call "being reflective" about it. Both ways of talking imply the value of interrupting the normal course of thought and taking a step back.

The end of headlines?

It can take a while to realize that Inside.com is a news aggregator without headlines. It turns out that headlines were yet another bad bad choice imposed on us by the limitations of paper.

Markets and networks

Airlines have strong incentives to make normal travel hell. That's the argument Tim Wu makes in a post on The New Yorker site Dec 26 ("Why Airlines Want to Make You Suffer," .) He's right not only about airlines but also about the Internet, and about knowledge.

Digital meta-literacy

"Meta" sounds like you're going up, but in fact it means going down: looking underneath beliefs and the evidence for those beliefs to see the assumed context, values and processes that make them seem credible. That's why it's good to go meta. In fact, the pursuit of truth—on or off the Net—almost always leads to the meta.

Minds need hands

The example I know best is the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. It's a university research center, so you'd assume it's very thinky. And it is. But from its inception, it's had a commitment not only to research but also to building software. For a university research center, that's just weird. But, it turns out, wonderful.

The MVP process then and now

The MVP process strikes us as attractive not only because bits make it feasible, but also because we've come to believe that a technology that isn't changing every six months is failing. Yet, in the almost 20 years it took Ford to introduce a new model, 15 million Model T's had been sold. And during that entire stretch, never once did Henry Ford put on a black turtleneck and tease an audience with what would be new next month.

Amazon vs. The Librarians! The Fight of the Century!

But many of us believe—I do—that we have a cultural and societal interest in expanding our horizons. A librarian is likely to help us to that end.

The right to be forgotten

I understand why the top European court has insisted that Google remove links upon request. We'd all like some things on the Web to be forgotten. There are a few things I myself wouldn't mind having removed....

Thingy words

If you use the word "content" to talk about stuff on the Web, my friend Doc Searls is likely to give you a stiff talking-to. People don't write content. They write articles, poems, songs, etc.

Just enough over my head

For being over your head to work, you have to be just enough over your head. Too far and you can't understand enough of what people are saying to make sense of it.

The future of books

Twice in the past two weeks I've felt compelled to say that I think books have no future....

Moving beyond credentials

Expertise now extends beyond the individual experts. It occurs within networks of conversation. Networked expertise enables us to extend knowledge far beyond the brains and books of individuals....

Hogwash or science—Tags are messy and useful

Tags work, but imperfectly, which is how anything that works works.

Unexpected expertise

We're now seeing social media in which thousands may participate, and millions may audit with the option of jumping in.

Bad comments are your fault

Let me put this more bluntly: If the comments on your site's content are broken, it's your fault...

The history of technology

The history of technology is not just the history of technology. It takes more than technology to explain technology.

What the Web hides from us

The Net hides our physical being. Online all we get are some words or images. Worse, frequently those words and images have no context beyond themselves. When you are with someone in physical space, you cannot avoid the fact that the person is a complete being who is literally coming from somewhere and will be going somewhere else.

A limit to business intelligence?

The extent to which businesses protect their data assets is the extent to which business is limiting its own intelligence.

Technodeterminism

"...a technodeterminist—someone who believes that the Internet has its effects independent of our action and behavior. "

The failure to attribute

"We quote phrases and the like because we value them, whereas the name of the author almost always has no value to us."

The efficiency of partisan news

If we take understanding as a tool used for a purpose, it becomes a wildly inefficient tool if we have to go back to first principles in order to understand anything.

Academic writing

"But knowledge isn't a big pile of facts..."

Progress and knowledge

"We're discovering the power of iteration at scale—many hands making many small tweaks can accomplish knowledge tasks that the old methodology would never even have attempted..."

The knowledge platform

Knowledge is itself a sort of platform. It has no value by itself. It has tremendous value when put to use. Knowledge is a platform for decisions, for innovation and for community.

Understanding big data vs. theory

The problem is that knowledge often outpaces understanding. In the Age of the Net, if we want our knowledge to get very very big, knowledge is going to blow far past our understanding, and we aren't going to be able to afford to wait around for understanding to catch up.

Your business needs scholars

"These experts within your business show all the signs of scholarship, except that scholarly papers are not their ultimate output..."

How meaning stuck ...

Attempts to permanently fix meanings to things, and attempts to identify knowledge as if it were valuable free of your context and projects, are misguided.

Interoperability as a worldview

Usually when you hear someone use the word "interoperability," you should prepare to be pulled into a discussion about highly technical issues about the protocols by which electronic systems communicate, or, if you're very lucky, about the way in which data can be formatted for use across multiple systems...

Why is the Web so funny?

Knowledge is serious business. People can spend their lives tweezing apart tiny micro-organisms or living in swamps swatting away mosquitoes and venom-dipped snakes in order to uncover a single fact. Few serious knowledge workers are in it for the money. Their sacrifices are real and are made in every aspect of human life: the social, economic, social, domestic. And not infrequently the consequences can save or fail to save lives.

Where facts become data

Some of the data in these clouds is going to turn out to be inaccurate, but with so much of it openly available, and with the ability to link up data sets, the inaccuracies turn into the equivalent of rounding errors...

The problems with facts

Not all things that claim to be facts are facts. Some statements about the world are false. What's true and false is not up to us. Facts matter.

Learning like a developer learns

If you want to see the future - and who doesn't? - the place to begin your search is now. If you want to see the future of education and knowledge, take a look at how software developers learn.

Who cares about knowledge?

I don't make predictions except when they're already true. So, here's one: The concept of knowledge is on its way out.

Curating abundance

The rise of the digital is changing just about everything about curation, mainly for the better but not entirely...

Letting data out of its box

Framing the Net, or being framed?

The Net does not get framed so much as frames everything else.

The wisdom of impractical knowledge

Open data commons for business

DPLA: a good idea that has a shot

At a high enough level of abstraction, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is a great idea. But, then, most things are. The question is whether it will be able to go from abstract to concrete...

The human drive of tech

The real question isn't whether the Internet taken by itself forces certain effects on us, but whether the Internet (plus we users) has determinative effects...

The Cloud way of life

I thought I loved the Cloud. I thought I was ready for the Cloud. I thought I could handle the Cloud. Then I got a Google notebook. And now I'm not so sure...Google sent out the notebooks so we could see an early version of its Chrome operating system in action...

Revolution and the Net

The Internet optimists—like me—early on thought that the open, easy connectivity the Net provided would affirm some beliefs about the basic social nature of humans...

Explaining the Net’s dominance

Is the Net really different from what came before? I'm going to say yes. The question is why...

Structure is coming back

The amateur ecology

The underutilized resource beyond lists

The long form of webby knowledge

We have a very clear idea of what knowledge looks like in this culture, especially at its high end. At its low end, the picture gets fuzzy...

Waiting for the fluid book format

Books are complex. Let's hope someday our standards live up to them...

A lot to hate ...
But PowerPoint brings order to unruly thoughts

People hate all sorts of software because it's hard to use, under-featured, or just plain irritating. But they hate PowerPoint for deeper reasons—for what it does to meetings, for what it does to social interaction, for what it does to how we think. Yet that blind fury can bring us to forget that PowerPoint took us a big step past where we were...

Authority as a market

The Internet and peace

Bringing on the info overload

The future is a gimmick

What attribute best describes the Internet age?

We have been in the Age of Information. What comes next? More exactly, what will we call what comes next?...

What’s wrong with Craigslist?

Transparency: the new objectivity

Your help with the new expertise

The beauty of mesh networking

Pros and cons of the Google book deal

The Google Book Search settlement is huge, complex and overall a big step forward. But it's also quite scary. The world of print is about to change, mainly for the better...

Knowledge and understanding

The dream of the Semantic Web

The Semantic Web's value will grow as it becomes as inconsistent, ambiguous and imperfect as our own collective knowledge is...

Resolutions: folders, wisdom and Tabasco

What crowds are wise at

"...now we slap the "wisdom of the crowd" or "crowd sourcing" label on everything, as if to say: "Nope. You got your assumptions wrong. Get 'em right, and we can build the world's greatest encyclopedia, replace network TV and find lost cufflinks...

The Leave It to Beaver media

We will look back and be amazed that we were ever content with having a handful of newspapers, just as we used to have only three networks...

The ambiguity of information

We are very confused about the meaning of the word "information." And that's for two good reasons...

Waiting for the e-book

My Kindle from Amazon is fun. It's usable. And when I use it in a public place, it makes me a geek magnet, the way a puppy attracts smiles and small talk. But the Kindle is a big, big step away from showing us what real e-books will do for us....

The great debates

Cerfing complexity

When double standards work

I'm sorry if you're the guy who says things like "I'm totally in favor of equality for women. That's why I don't see why we have to give them special breaks" when it comes to promotions or hires. Or maybe it's not women.

Online libraries are not libraries at all

What’s wrong with being right?

Education. Government. Media. Business. Science.That's the Jeopardy answer to the question, "What are five institutions whose value comes to a large degree from providing authoritative knowledge?"

The commoditization of knowledge

Digital natives, immigrants and others

My friends and colleagues John Palfrey and Urs Gasser are writing a book about the difference between "digital natives" and "digital immigrants." John and Urs are both at Harvard Law's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and both are excellent thinkers, writers and researchers. This is likely to be a book that starts a long and well-grounded discussion. It's also likely to be a big hit.

Good and bad ways to go wrong

We all go wrong, and have done so literally since Adam, unless I'm wrong in thinking there was an Adam, or in assuming there's anything true of all of us, or if I got the meaning of "wrong" wrong.

Everything is Miscellaneous

Longtime KMWorld columnist David Weinberger, a fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center, recently discussed his new book with Hugh McKellar, KMWorld editor in chief.

Privacy, norms and politics

There are at least 500,000 cameras in the city of London, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal, which also reports that you're recorded on average 300 times a day there. Every station has had cameras since the 1990s. Yet life hasn't changed much. Why not?

The adversity of knowledge

I'm years late getting to Jack Welch's Jack: Straight from the Gut. I had to read it for a project I was working on recently, and I'm glad I did, but not so much for what he says.

Unclear and indistinct ... and uncertain

Libraries in the age of social knowledge

Knowledge we value requires forgiveness

Ontologies and abstractions

The real difference between the two 2.0s

Open science—good fit for the digital age

Conversation and the cult of expertise

It’s a sign of my late-blooming maturity (my 56th birthday is coming around but I still dress as if I’m going to summer camp) that I agreed to participate in a conference with the CIA...

Metadata and understanding

The solution to information overload is more information ... so long as that more information is metadata. We didn't drown in information the way the info fear mongers predicted in the early 1990s because the information...

The philosophy of business knowledge

I've been crawling through a book my favorite college professor gave me a couple of years ago. It's very hard because no topic causes philosophers to tangle themselves up quite so much as does knowledge. You get a philosopher trying to know knowledge and you will soon be lost in a circle of meta-knowing that spawns its own language before cycling into unknowability.

The case for two semantic webs

...Web pages almost always tell us what the destination of the link is about, and often what we ought to think about it. So, when Tim Berners-Lee issued the call for the Semantic Web, it wasn’t because there weren’t enough meaningful phrases online.

Does information need architects?

The Landscape of Language

Truth vs. authority

Was there always information?

"There's always been information," said a member of an information architects mailing list I audit. I think that's probably not true, and it has implications for what we think our businesses are made out of.

Four former truths about knowledge

Creating informed consumers

Alphabetical order

The BBC’s low-tech KM

An equal and opposite reaction

The size of topics

Anonymously yours

Trusting Times

Blogs and the values of journalism

Blogs and the values of journalism

The virtue and vice of audio

The silence of the Web

All hail Foo

Free Dewey!

Reading Aristotle

Things I know

When a window isn't a window, just a pane

The slippery slope of learning

People smart

Tacit emergence

Model knowledge

The truth of weblogs

Knowledge Newspeak

Sorting truth from bluster

The Net as rhetoric

Knowledge and anonymity

Distributed fairness

The arrogance of knowledge

Knowledge transformation

The 99 cent KM solution

Knowledge abundance

Postmodern knowledge management

Bodily knowledge

M&M's and mixed nuts

M&M's and mixed nuts

Business science and business religion

Word avatars

Computers, conformity and KM

Putting the author back in authority

The importance of writing badly

The importance of writing badly

To err is you, man

Solid SOAP and its buddy UDDI

XHTML and the sixth day of creation

Friends on the Web

What is truth?

Small pieces loosely joined: An experiment in embarrassment

The problem with professionals

How to write a real good business plan

Personal criticism

The peer-to-peer future of document management

Secrets in a day-lit world

Lessons from the campaign

The new common sense

Inaccurate knowledge

Searching for trust

How to write a real good PowerPoint

KM's complex questions

Lessons from the debates

The metaphors of technology

Webs and brains and comparisons

The inverse rule

Random knowledge

The danger of knowing

Technology as metaphor

The great chain of knowledge

Random knowledge

The question of questions

Tribal knowledge

Truth is over-valued

The question of questions

Knowledge is a question, not an answer

If I were CKO

Number mysticism

Three days to a smart company

The new gravity

Q: What's the opposite of gravity? A: Levity.

Goodness management

Document architecture

Awesome tech

Trade shows? Gotta love/hate 'em

Three days to a smart company

Want to know what knowledge sounds like? Listen to people talk.

The physics of buzz words

Faith in technology

Trade shows? Gotta love/hate ’em

Geek Speak

Tragedy and sitcoms

The Seven Stages of Web Grief

Business’ hardest lesson

Strangers on the Web

Are there conversations?

To speak and, perchance, to listen

The visual display of knowledge

Tragedy and sitcoms

“As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods. They kill us for their sport.” — King Lear

Web Denial

Managing the unmanageable

The Joy of e-mail

The short answer for why we do it

Cluetrain a must read so says its author

David Weinberger responds to a book review

THE VISUAL DISPLAY OF KNOWLEDGE

ClearType is an intermediary step that will make your text-based knowledge literally clearer.

Libertarian Conversations

I have nothing against Libertarians except that many of them seem drawn to it because it gives them a point of view that lets them utter statements they think are controversial but which are merely wrong.

INVISIBLE PCs

The pod people are taking over.

The Politics Of Merely

Beware the word "merely" and its cousins "simply," "just" and "only." They are among the most political of words. And they're assassins.

Are there conversations?

Predictions, Lists And Violence

Millennial Forecast: Continued Ignorance

At this auspicious time, we are all required by local statute and industry injunction to pontificate about the future. So, permit me to make my year-end, century-end and millennium-end forecasts.

All Hail The Lurkers

Lurking is the art of staying silent while conversation happens all around you. Off the Web, lurking is sinister. On the Net, lurking is the best way to enter a conversation..

The Undernet

Tacit Knowledge

To heck with tacit knowledge. (Go for tacit documents instead.)

Internet White-Out

The Internet is full of misinformation, lies, statistics, and altered photographs. The famous are slandered, the gorgeous are compromised, the unknowns make up stuff just to be noticed. We all know that.

Branding and Knowledge

If people had brands, you'd think they were awfully shallow. "Hi, I'm Arnie, the Place for Puns," "Hello, I'm Alicia, the Melodious Voice Gal." So why is branding any better for companies?

The "right" solution

IQPORT.COM

At the recent KMWorld '99 conference in Dallas I was able to spend some quality time with two of the key people behind a fascinating site, www.iqport.com.

Communicating Information

On the Web, all information is communication.

The "Right" Solution

Please raise your hand if you're a software vendor and you've ever once said that your "solution" delivers the right information to the right people at the right time. Add ten points if you ever added, in a knowing tone, "...and in the right way." Now

Hermetic Dashboard, Hermetic Microsoft

I've griped about Microsoft's Digital Dashboard (DD) before, but, heck, the right to gripe endlessly about the rich, powerful and obnoxious is the very basis of democracy.

Pornographic intranets

David Weinberger speaks:

"The Web Isn't Transforming Business Documents ... It's Killing Them"

Convergence or Hole?

The following article appears in the most recent issue of the Journal of the Hyperlinked Organization (JOHO) newsletter, authored by David Weinberger. Go read the whole thing on the Web, it's worth your time.

Jetform and the Standards Game

Traffic and commerce

How to be smart

The spontaneity of voice

Pornographic intranets

The Forms of Marketing

The dark side of standards development, brought to you by Jetform and UWI.com.

The Knowledge Conversation

The breakthrough companies look for from KM won't come from "knowledge assets."

Messages in Bottles

Easter Eggs aren't just fun distractions -- they're a sign of humanity.

Flash! Press releases don't work

Here's a list of do's and don'ts for writing press releases.

Microsoft's Digital Dashboard Deception

Microsoft's Digital Dashboard is little more than a slick deception.

Floundering Morals

Almost all moral reasoning is based on analogies, not principles.

Zero-to-One MARKETING

Mass marketing is getting automated -- is that good or bad?

The desktop is a portal

Not everything is a portal, says David Weinberger. Life just isn't that simple.

Let me count the KM ways

Don't we know that KM is about more than just picking technologies?

Re: mission statement

Make your mission statement reflect your people.

KM: Why do we care?

The portal craze both helps and hurts KM, and that's good.

The portal craze both helps and hurts KM, and that's good.

Business' Big Secret

What's the biggest secret in Business? David Weinberger clues us in.

Ride the Cluetrain

Communities are forming on the Cluetrain, stopping at a corporation near you.

Webby Collaboration

People get work done when they collaborate freely, despite what you may think.

Filling out forms for XML

XML will cause us to write forms, not free-flowing documents, according to David Weinberger.

The lowerachy of business intelligence

Using widgets from Minneapolis, David Weinberger builds a relationship between data, information and knowledge.

The Importance of Being Wrong

To make your company smarter, make better mistakes, says David Weinberger.

Metadata is monarch

Content means nothing if you don't know how to find it or what to do with it. David Weinberger explains.

Idea Management

What we call knowledge often doesn't involve information or "know how" -- it's just ideas.

Narrative Knowledge

Knowledge sharing is an exercise in storytelling, says JOHO editor David Weinberger.

The Turing test for business

Sound it out: companies competing in the Web era had better learn to speak the language.

Tips for strategic IT planning

KM & the human element

DM: as foundational as the slab under your house

DM: as foundational as the slab under your house

1997 BAI Retail Delivery Conference: Serving banking's new consumer

Ready to start a technology project: A best practices review can help you get centered