Knowledge repository/"Intranet" LO7654

Michael McMaster (
Wed, 29 May 1996 08:00:10 +0000

Replying to LO7650 --

I'm not an expert in the brain and hope that somebody will correct me
where useful, but, as I understand it, memory is not "learning is placed
in memory for later use" and similar ideas of "bits of stuff stored as

What is stored is far below concept, idea, learning, information as
we can understand it. That is, the actual storage is distributed and
what is stored (registered, recorded) as a "bit" is far smaller than
anything meaningful to a human intelligence. What is stored is the
connections of these bits which, when called forth, become patterns
which form meaning.

What I'm after here is to see the reductionist and materialist way
that we think of brains, knowledge, information, intelligence,
memory, etc and the limits we then place on ourselves when we
approach such ideas as corporate or social knowledge and

The idea of storing learning as though it were a thing, misses most
of the dynamic possibilities and leads to cumbersome, large databases
which turn out not to be very useful compared to the intentions and
imagined possibilities.

To go a bit further. Memory is accessed by a combination of intent
(consciously directed or not) and circumstances which trigger "bits"
which connect to others. To speak loosely and somewhat
metaphorically, one access does not trigger one memory but many and,
from the combinations involved, generates a memory which is
applicable to the circumstances and intention. What comes forward
from memory has been at best triggered rather than accessed whole in
any way.

This implies something for design of corporate of memory which is far
different than a database of useful information "stored whole".

Michael McMaster :
book cafe site :
Intelligence is the underlying organisational principle
of the universe. Heraclitus


Michael McMaster <>

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