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December 10, 2006


David Locke

Economic utility functions favor the generalist, so your candle will be subject to a pail of water soon enough. Share if you like, but your value will diminish.

It is geek culture that asserts that knowledge must be shared. The wealthy know better.


'feeble flickering single candle which is eventually going to burn out anyway.' Good metaphor, lets hope it works out.

David Locke

Ontologies are all about difference. Ontologies are not about language. They are about meaning.

When two groups get together to negotiate a joint ontology, they might use the same language, but they will have to bend or clip their meaning and practice, so meaning is lost. Beyond that some meaning is not negotiable.

The construction of a shared ontology inadvertantly creates an in-crowd, a social and cultural partition. It could produce a multitude of social and cultural partitions depending on the number of base ontologies involved.

David Locke

There is no joint meaning. There is individual interpretation of the joint artifact, or there are upwardly bound generalities that erase the joint meaning.

When you use dialoge to think together, you have to say to yourself, that you are no longer a guy in shipping, you are a business owner. The expertise of shipping is almost irrelevant as you take on the more generalist position, so forget shipping. At some point, expertise is worthless, aka knowledge is worthless, in the face of generalist errasure. That's fine if you are a generalist, who knows nothing, has no knowledge, but not so fine if you an expert.

We are different so we do different things. I suppose by imposing the "correct" economic utility function, we could all be the same. But, in terms of knowledge, we lose, so this stance doesn't increase the value of knowledge. Instead, it increases the value of the generalist.

So don't go to school. Be a business person, aka the person that KM hawkers sell this stuff to.

David Locke

Joint concept maps work only when the participants are from the same domain culture and are at the same place in adopting any inbound paradigms. Otherwise, they are fiction, so many people live in these fictions, but only for so long.

Words, nodes, links, associations do not mean the same thing to different people, even if you put different people in a room and for the purpose of being in the room they agree that this is what that means. They become the boundary objects to their worlds.

I read something over the last week that asserted that we now live in a post-discipline world. If so, all the value of knowledge has been destroyed. This it doesn't matter thinking ignores how we got here. And, creates a dismal place to head.

David Locke

The funny thing about patterns is that their originator moved on to other things as pattern ubiquity was aesthetically unsatisfying. And, still, he is the citation. When he did it, it was a theory. His experiments didn't prove out under his utility function. Which means that for others, the theory of patterns can still prove out.

David Locke

Patterns are not theory? Then, what the heck is a theory? Patterns might start their life as a hypothesis, but they become a theory. They are shared within a discipline. They are not discipline free no matter how universal the model-view-controller pattern happens to be.

Patterns are more than an artifact. They are a product, like all theories. A pattern, if well written, contains enough information to sell itself. So once you adopt patterns as a general construct, then patterns become easier to adopt. Like all adoption, patterns are adopted socially and add terrain to a cultural topology. It is unlikely that someone from a distant culture will traverse that terrain.

In computing, you meet people everyday that still don't know anything about patterns at all.

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