Measuring Learning LO19857

AM de Lange (
Mon, 16 Nov 1998 09:53:04 +0200

Replying to LO19822 --

Dear Organlearners,

Bruce Jones <> writes:

>>3. Could the Hubble constant be a reflection of the
>>expansion of knowledge as well as the universe?

>Hubble Constant: The constant of proportionality
>(designated H) between recession velocity and distance
>in the Hubble law. It is a constant of proportionality but
>not a constant in time, because it can change over the
>history of the universe.

Basically, Hubble found that the faster a galaxy moves away from the
centre of the universe because of the Big-Bang, the further it has moved
away. In other words, slow moving galaxies cannot be at the edge of the
universe. A graph of velocity versus distance for humdreds of different
galaxies gives a remarkable straight line. The gradient of this line
[velocity/distance] is the Hubble constant.

>On this point I disagree with At. I feel that knowledge is
>indeed a good representation of the Hubble Constant. A
>constant with an Einsteinian twist. Public knowledge
>expands with each generation. Base line personal
>knowledge is determined by the level at which that person
>enters into the public knowledge base. Personal knowledge
>(theoretically and motivationally) then expands in proportion
>to the knowledge available. The next generation then begins
>at a higher level than the last and expands at a faster rate.

Greetings Bruce,

I can see the point which you try to make.

But I think that we have an inverted scheme here.

What will be the "older galaxies" in "public knowledge" (as you put it, or
"public information" as I would put it)? Whatever they are, if the Hubble
Law holds, these "older galaxies" in "public knowledge" should be moving
"faster away" from us because they are in time (and hence space) "further
away" from us. But actually, it is just the other way around, as you have
indirectly indicated by "The next generation then begins at a higher level
than the last and expands at a faster rate."

In order to make sense out of the "youngest information", any newcomer
must learn at the "fastest rate" possible.

But I cannot resist to give a twitch to the line of reasoning. Think of
the Greeks and the role which their four elements (fire, air, water and
earth) played in their cosmology. Let us think about the element "fire"
and consider it as a "older galaxy" in "public knowledge". Let us now
assume that all which have been discovered about "fire" up to the present,
belongs by connection to that "older galaxy". I cannot give here a
historical account, but there is a line of connection which goes like
this: fire => alchemy => phlogiston => entropy => entropy production =>
self-organisation (complex adaptive systems)

In order to master the principles of self-organisation, any newcomer to
the scene has to learn at a fast rate (because of the complexity and thus
all the objectives involved). But according to our assumption (a
connecting pattern exists), the priciples of self-organisation is nothing
but increased awareness to the principles of "Grecian fire". Thus, to
master the "older galaxy" (principles of Grecian fire), any newcomer to
the scene has to learn at a "faster rate". Consequently, there seems to be
some Hubble "relationship" to be involved. Whether this relationship is a
proportionality (linearity) is anotyher question.

Bruce, you have also wrote the following which gave me much to think

>Knowledge is following the same route. Our Caveman
>ancestors started the trip outwards. Every so often a
>great bound forward is taken to the next level of knowledge.
>As the leading edge of that knowledge begins to exceed
>the leading edge of that movement we will fond ourselves
>in a universe of knowledge with NO boundaries. In this
>new state ALL current knowledge will be accessible to
>ALL persons and there will be an unlimited capacity to
>learn and experience.

You have described the IDEAL situation, one to which I fully subscribe.
However, the majority of humankind is not in a position to participate in
such an ideal situation. In my recent visit to other countries in Southern
Africa (Malawi, Mocambique, Tanzania and Zambia) I once again came deeply
under the impression how great the gap has become bteween these countries
and first world countries.

I think I am safe if I use the following figures to indicate the immensity
of the gap. Not 1% of the information available to learned people in for
example the USA and Europe is available to 99% of the people in these
countries. Furthermore, should this information be made fully available to
all these people (libraries, internet centres), they have not yet learned
to do anything with it. Last night I saw a TV documentary on some people
in Peru. It made me think of a tour which I once made to the outbacks of
Brazil and Paraguay. It is the same situation. What is the sense of
speaking about "Measuring Learning" in a society driven by learning when
there are societies in which learning

My heart aches for these people. I become aware of my own arrogance,
talking much of the light of knowledge while walking little on the path of
darkness of ignorance. Who are the really ignorant people, they who will
even leave their country for a better future, or me doing nothing to reach
out to them.

Why am I sitting here, writing to the LOlist while I should be in the
bush, helping those who want to imbetter their future. It is because I
believe that I can make a difference - that I can indirectly help them by
making fellow organlearners more sensitive to their plight.

If we do not reduce the gap in a SOUND MANNER, that very gap is going to
cause immense problems for us all.

>We have a long way to go!!!!!!!

Yes, indeed. Thank you for the dialogue.

Best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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