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October 31, 2003


David Locke

About a week ago, I commented on someone elses blog about how a brain wasn't necessary for the accumulation of tacit knowledge. I was referring back to Brand's "How Buildings Learn," and Howard Baetjer Jr.'s "Software as Capital."

Yesterday, I read an article about how legs are better than wheels. The surprising thing is that movement by legs happens without the intervention of the brain or the spinal column. The movement happens faster than our neverous systems can process it. This is another example of what Brand was talking about. Our shape acquired via evolutionary experimentation a fitness for using legs to move.

This fitness is knowledge. It is being explicated today. The only brain is that of the researcher. That researcher had to set aside the assertion that we know what our bodies are doing.

Now that I write this, I wonder, if the inner ear can process faster than our neural system. Was this channel overlooked?

Still, the researcher built a robot based on his findings and his robot succeeded. That was pretty much the threashold for intelligence in AI and cognative psychology.


I came to KM via the training/learning route.

If performance improvement is a business issue, then learning is an imperative for personal and organizational success. And more people learn through knowledge sharing with 'experts', informal networks and peers than traditional "training & Development" initiatives...and I am still on this journey :-)

David Locke

It probably started back on the Fast Company Forum. I wasn't thinking about KM. We got some new posters, KMers, that demanded their own thread and didn't pay attention to the etiquette of our space.

That is where Denham found me. He's moved me on to other KM focused spaces, but even there forums are a part of my social life. KM isn't central to me, although I have evolved some powerful models of how knowledge flows withing software startups and end up in application ecologies. There doesn't seem to be a way for me to leverage that into a living. Being a laid off software vendor person, I definately need to figure out a way forward. I am at present lost.

I'm a member of a lot of forums. Debbie Weil recently asked what it took to get people to comment, or in other terms, what does it take to have a viable forum. The etiquette of the space is a critical element of the social affordance of the social spaces being created today to enable the social construction of knowledge.

I see way too much discussion that sits on the surface of what KM is or isn't. Too often it isn't KM at all, but IT and even libarary science. These disciplines interact with knowledge in a handling way, but don't constitute knowledge, except in the explicit sense.

I'm not going to tie up knowledge in the prerequisite of human intelligence. Knowledge is invisible and only marginally actionable by systems. And, even where we set up social spaces, the knowledge isn't necessarily in the nodes. Links are knowledge as well, something that weak hypertextual implementations have tended to ignore and preach ignorance of. But, just on the physical end, knowledge is about accretion and accumulation of change.

Jack Vinson

I answered a form of this question earlier in the year. It sounds like we have a lot in common. http://jackvinson.com/archives/000030.html.

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