Re: Emergent learning LO2162
Wed, 19 Jul 1995 18:55:07 +0000

Replying to LO2141 --

Kent's reply is a more detailed account of what I am after in saying
that the pursuit of a "knowledgebase" will likely lead to waste and
little result. (I said "likely", not "must".) The reason is that
the approach is using the term so loosely - without operational
definition - that mischieve is most likely to creep in if its only
casual looseness. More likely, mischief will be built in for lack of
understanding (of creating appropriate distinctions).

I just spent a day with John Warfield and the rigour of his
distinctions in approaching complex problems and in speaking about
what he is (and is not) doing were profound. And the source of the
power of his work can be seen in that. He wasn't using his
definitions as dogma but as operational tools - that work.

The key distinction in Kent's comments is "knowledge is embodied, not
stored". This distinction will point us in the direction of
embodiment and will include some storage but not be confined to
storage. The pursuit of how to embody knowledge so that it is
accessed or available as needed is key.

I take exception, however, to his assertion that knowledge (and its
embodiment) is an indivdiual phenomenon. It is a human phenomenon
that, I assert, also belongs to human insitutions. The complex
organisations that we generate from our intelligence are also
intelligent and extend the possibility of our individual
intelligences. Knowledge need not be confined to individuals in any
definitions or their extensions that I've seen so far - including

The challenge is to discover how it currently exists organisationally
and to invent ways to increase, enhance or develop newly an expansion
of knowledge that is possible only toa human instution.

I suggest that there are challenges that can only be solved by the
organisation of individual intelligent beings. These are the ones
that are so complex that no individual intelligence can hold the
relevent information.

Michael McMaster