Understanding 'The New Knowledge Management' LO30367

From: Mark W. McElroy (mmcelroy@vermontel.net)
Date: 07/13/03

Replying to LO30357 --

Hello Denham:
Thanks for writing. See comments below.
Replying to LO30342 --
>In his article Mark writes (pdf - p17)
>> "Thanks to advances made in semantic network analysis, neural
>> networking
>> tools and intelligent agents, metaclaim data can be captured and
>> codified automatically online with minimum human intervention....."
>This sounds like a fairly strong claim. Would like to ask Mark to take
>some of his own medicine and justify this.
Ah, but my own medicine tells me that it cannot be 'justified.' I happily
admit that I may be wrong. That's the essence of fallibilism.
That said, I can be justifed in my CHOICE of one claim over another by
virtue of how well it stands up to my tests and evaluations relative to
other choices available to me as competing claims. In this case (and here
I do not mean to duck the question), I refer you to Joe Firestone's book
"Enterprise Information Portals and Knowledge Management"
(Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003), in which Joe lays out the technical
architecture required for an "Enterprise Knowledge Portal" (EKP) to
autonomously produce and manage metaclaims. It is the unique combination
of intelligent agents and the other capabilities I spoke of that (would)
make the EKP functionality I described possible.
But as I also said, no such integrated (EKP) system yet exists, thereby
explaining in my mind the doubt that you expressed. The EKP is a future
capability, not a current one. So I strongly recommend if this interests
you, that you acquire a copy of Joe's book and subject his claims to your
own tests and evaluations, especially the part about autonomous metaclaim
>In my experience, automatic text processing in particular, hybrid neural
>networks)and statistical text mining, would have great difficulty parsing
>natural language text and extracting data (justifications) for the
>metaclaims. Perhaps Mark has tried more promising alternatives?
See above.
>Reading this article, I kept thinking about the role of tacit knowledge,
>sense-making and using what works vs. always seeking the 'truth'. I
>wonder what Mark has to say in these areas? My experience is we do a lot
>of processing in the deep reaches of our social minds - mostly this is
>way under the radar and never is subjected to an explicit fallibilistic
>analysis, yet we advance, learn, create new knowledge and somehow
My response, Denham, is simply to say that the same logic applies at all
levels of scale. That our beliefs as individuals may not always be
expressed in the form of linguistic, explicit, and objective claims is not
to say that we do not, as individuals, still engage and rely on trial and
error as a basis for determining, as you say, "what works." We build tacit
knowledge in such ways (even unconsciously), just as at a group or
organizational level we build shared implicit, or explicit knowledge in
the open.
Also, regarding your point about the "explicit" nature of fallibilism, it
is important to understand that Popper and most other fallibilists took
their cue from the logic of learning in organisms with minds as the basis
for their theories of social or organizational learning, not the reverse.
So it is precisely the logic of what goes on in the minds of individuals
that serves as the inspiration for the logic of learning in collectives.
The latter is a literal reflection of the former. Here we can see that
our theories of collective learning cannot (or should not) be made without
reference to individual learning. I support that view and have tried to
abide by it.


"Mark W. McElroy" <mmcelroy@vermontel.net>

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