The Art of Knowledge
All this stuff you're talking about is way over my head. Well, not reall, I mean, I understand it, I just don't see why it is important, or what, if anything, does it have to do with teaching people, and with getting people to a point where they can teach themselves, and then teach others.
I think you need to sit down and figure out just what you are after. Right now, I think you are doing something valuable, and that is "learning how the enemy thinks" so that you may find their weak points, walk in, and lay their country flat. News flash! All of it is weak points. There are NO strong points to the things these people are talking about. Not that I have seen. Maybe I just havent read in depth enough, or maybe its because the way that I evaluate ideas is whether or not I find them (1) exciting, (2) expansive and (3) they push me to have to reorganize what I know around new information brought into the core of what I know, and how I think.
What do you want out of all this? Do you want a job at a company studying statistics of cost and success? That's all most business care about anyway, and it will be hard to convince people in any other kind of language about how things can and should work. For that reason, I think the angle you're taking will be useful to you, but I do not think it is "organic" as you keep touting.
That word keeps tugging at you, I can tell and I think thats what you should be looking at. You should be looking not just at what huge listless corporations are doing and failing at doing, but you should be looking at what real live people are doing with technology to enhance their lives. The trends are all there, you just need to open up to them, and start figuring out how to turn them into a business model, because that will be, I think, ultimately the most successful approach you could take. Don't start at the top. Start at the bottom.
Systems I would look at and think about their implications are all of the obvious ones: instant messaging, file sharing, message boards, blogs, commenting systems, shared network spaces (like friendster) where people are actually creating and interacting in an environment. Maybe it seems useless and futile, and like pointless internet socialization, but its not. Its people realizing that something important is happening, and casting about for ways to make it useful and meaningful in their lives.
I think the clearest example I can give to support any of this though is blogs, and the vast communities that are supported by them. I'm not saying that blogs are the answer, but I am saying that they contain an element of the answer, and that part of the reason they are useful is that they give people a playground space to throw down ideas and links, for themselves and for others. They promote interaction and advancement.
I think the biggest problem of all the CBT systems that I have seen (besides that they just fucking blow goats) is that they dont seek true interaction. they just spew out facts, and have a series of links and menus. That sort of resource, has a place, but its not the central piece. You should look back at those ideas we implemented back at Catalyst about the order of resources that people should use, and how the internet and books were the first line of defence, and the absolute last resort for them was to come to us with a complete explanation of all the resources they had found already, but which didnt help them. Basically, after a certain point, all I would have to do with them was ask them questions about what they already knew, what they needed to know, and then help them outline steps of how to get there.
Knowledge mapping. You strike on that at some point in one of these posts. Basically finding out what people know, and then helping figure out what they need to know to proceed, and helping them access that knowledge, and then move on. I think thats really the heart of all this. Or, one of the two pieces at the heart of it. One is obviously the learning system itself (blogs, instant messaging, friendster, file-sharing) and the other is teaching this skill of knowledge mapping to teachers (guides) who then teach it to students. So that people arent frustrated by what they dont know - which is how school works now, i think - but they are able to identify the holes in their understanding, and then seek out some way to fill it.
Anyway! Keep up the good work. You're onto stuff, but you need to make it more human, or else you will never be able to convince anybody of this. It needs to feel practical, comfortable and dare I say pleasant. Right now, it sounds boring, distant, cold, terrifying. Hehe. I hope this helps. Ill shoot you some more sometime.
Link posted by tim boucher : 6:08 PM