The Nature Of Knowledge

This is a great post by David Weinberger on the Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom pyramid and why it completely misses the point about the true nature of knowledge. Towards the end, he says :

But knowledge is not a result merely of filtering or algorithms. It results from a far more complex process that is social, goal-driven, contextual, and culturally-bound. We get to knowledge — especially “actionable” knowledge — by having desires and curiosity, through plotting and play, by being wrong more often than right, by talking with others and forming social bonds, by applying methods and then backing away from them, by calculation and serendipity, by rationality and intuition, by institutional processes and social roles. Most important in this regard, where the decisions are tough and knowledge is hard to come by, knowledge is not determined by information, for it is the knowing process that first decides which information is relevant, and how it is to be used.

This is one of the best descriptions of the nature of knowledge I have come across. This dovetails well into what Ross Mayfield had to say a few years back about leaving complexity where it belongs – in social networks.


2 thoughts on “The Nature Of Knowledge

  1. Yes, in general I do agree.

    In my view, knowledge is evolved as emergent behavior within human body as complex system, having consciousness and free will (mind and value) as well as behaving dynamically as Subject – ( – WE ARE THE KNOWLEDGE : HYBRID DEFINITION OF KNOWLEDGE )

    We definitely separated DIKW (stand for Data Information Knowledge Wisdom) model into separated DI – KW model to underline that DI (exist outside human being) is non living and KW (exist inside human being) is living Human Enlightenment Agent (HEA) respectively. This will encourage us to re-define KM ( – Mobee Knowledge CoP in Knowledge Management’s kmdefinition Bookmarks ) as well as to develop Knowledge system towards next gen KM driven by HUMAN SYSTEM BIOLOGY (HSB)-BASED KM 2.0 MAP TEMPLATE ( – THE ORIGIN OF KNOWLEDGE AND KM : DI-KW SEPARATED ENTITIES MODEL )

  2. I read that and it screams to me of saying that David believes there are no such things as best practices in knowledge management.

    I completely respect the academicians who continue to philosophize about the nature and definition of knowledge, but I prefer to spend my own time seeking out patters of good use and ways to help those good uses work in various situations.

    Hope to see you on the weekly chats Tuesdays at 12pm ET.


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