Knowledge Work Is A Myth LO30884

From: Jan Lelie (
Date: 01/12/04

Replying to LO30871 --

Dear Fred, hello lo-listeners,

Thanks to I
could refind this quote:

"Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or
near the earth's surface relative to other matter; second, telling
other people to do so."

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand goes on to explain that the first kind is limited and the
second kind can be expanded ad infinitum: there are people who tell
(advice, inform, search for .. ) other people how to tell other people
to do the first kind. The second type might be called "knowledge

I don't know if work should be "productive", the amount of work done
is just force times road ( W= Fs). Work produces work. If I remember
correctly there is a link between work and entropy production, but do
not have the time to look into it now.

I agree with you that knowledge work is - or might be - a myth. People
live in their own myths. So what does this myth mean, what does it
tell, what is the story, the lessons to be learned?



Fred Nickols wrote:

>Over the holidays I finished up several new articles for my web site.
>One seems like it might be relevant to the LO list: "Knowledge Work is
>A Myth."
>For more than 30 years I've said that I've been in hot pursuit of the
>knowledge worker and ways and means of making knowledge work more
>productive. I've concluded that knowledge work is a myth and, in this
>paper, I say why. Here's the link:
>As always, feel free to pass along comments and let me know if you
>come across any typos or other "glitches."
>I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year and please know that
>I'm looking forward to one myself.
>Fred Nickols


Drs J.C. Lelie (Jan, MSc MBA) facilitator mind@work

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