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Re: [ba-ohs-talk] 3-layer Architecture Purpose of DKR?

Rod Welch wrote (in response to Jack):    (01)

> Recently, evidence seems to be accumulating that not only is a
> connected record psychologically debilitating, so, too, is the process
> of creating links that provide context for converting information into
> knowledge.  Again, recall that Doug provided Purple Numbers in the OHS
> Launch Plan, and later Eugene began adding addressable anchors in
> OHS/DKR email, yet it is not clear that anyone has ever in two (2)
> years used one of those links, including Doug and Eugene, as shown in
> the record on 020812...
> http://www.welchco.com/sd/08/00101/02/02/08/12/091456.HTM#TV9K
> For a variety of reasons, we can discount Doug in this discussion. 
> But, as shown on 020812 even our most stalwart advocates and teachers
> of KM cannot muster the strength to invest 10 seconds it takes to add
> a link or two to original sources.  On 020530 Eric offered that he
> thought that if people had tools like NexistWiki to create a connected
> record, people would use it.  However, there is no evidence in the
> record to support that thesis, except for your letter today that shows
> a breakthrough in resistance to KM by adding a link.
> Being facetious, one might ask if this was a mistake, a moment of
> weakness perhaps, where someone let their guard down for a moment and
> let in the light of knowledge.
> More seriously, is this something you plan to build into NexistWiki
> 3-layer architecture?  How can we get KM advocates to invest just 10
> seconds to do KM?  There are objections to using a connected record
> and objections to using links in a connected record that save time and
> money.  What then is the objective of a DKR/
> Why create an OHS to create a DKR to solve world problems, if we are
> not going to use the DKR?  It's a dilemma?    (02)

In Eric Armstrong's recent message (2002-13-08 10:29pm) he writes:
: I learned that lesson the hard way, after developing a little expert
: system and demonstrating at the company's trade show as "cool
: technology". The show was oriented to the 99% of the world who
: want to be users, rather than hackers, and they could care less
: about the technology. They wanted to know what the program
: *did*. Since it didn't do much of anything useful, they quickly lost
: interest and walked away.
: At 40 or 50 people interactions a day, it was an extraordinarily
: valuable lesson in the importance of showing people something
: they *want*.    (03)

[aha! thank you, Eric!]    (04)

Rod, you write that even those in the 'know' "cannot muster the strength
to invest 10 seconds it takes to add a link or two to original sources,"
and seem puzzled by people's lack of interest in "doing KM." First of
all, adding links to a threaded, online-archived discussion is not
really "doing KM", it's merely adding a link to a previous message. You
may feel that this is part of doing KM, but I seriously doubt the mass
of people out there would agree, and I think the votes have already been
tallied (in that almost nobody does add links, even in communities that
understand what they're about).    (05)

Why is this?    (06)

Is it because of a lack of tools? Perhaps. But "10 seconds"? I in my
own experience couldn't possibly accomplish such feats of brilliance,
even with the most amazing tools, as it would take ten seconds just
to locate the window and type in a search string, much less receive
back and analyze the search results. I think this problem goes beyond
issues of convenience or performance (though I'm certain we'd all
benefit from better tools in this regard).    (07)

A short story may be in order to illustrate a point:    (08)

Back a few years I used to hang around sometimes with the guys who
are in the pop band Cake. Their leader, John McCrae, had all sorts
of childhood issues due to an overbearing, born-again Christian father,
and since John knew that I'd been researching the origins of Christian-
ity, he decided to put together a little videotaped 'debate' between
me and a born-again he knew, a particularly fervent Believer. John
was probably hoping I'd debunk some of the mythology in the Faith by
countering it with Facts, based on current Scholarship. A fool's
errand, I should have known.    (09)

The chosen night arrived and the camera was rolling. In retrospect I'm
not sure what either John or I might have expected, but it was a
complete flop. My debate opponent and I were both coming from such
fundamentally (literally) different worlds that our language collided.
On top of that, he rightfully so felt the whole affair was an attack on
his beliefs, so he was defensive. It was worse than the worst high
school debate, me bringing up "facts" and he requesting sources. And
for those sources I'd prepared, he wanted the sources of the sources.
Of the sources. In essense, he wasn't prepared to believe anything I
said, so any references I made to known Facts were of the order of
simply opinions (not Opinions). We couldn't make any headway whatsoever;
neither of us could make a point with the other.    (010)

My point here? Well, first of all, any attempt to ground a discussion
in Facts (or References-to-Statements) doesn't move the conversation
forward. Perhaps it's not meant to, but I would agree with the notion
that it might be "psychologically debilitating" to the health of a
conversation. Personally, when in face-to-face discussions I find
people who constantly ground everything a bit annoying. I wonder why
they are doing it (are they defensive? why can't they just relax?)    (011)

Secondly, since the discussions here are archived anyway it seems
somewhat unnecessary to *frequently* reference individual parts of
them. When one is making a book reference, one uses 'ibid' after
the first ref, with page numbers included. But when in a discussion,
I think we're all bound to habits of face-to-face discussion to a
great degree. What those purple numbers provide is *context*, and
our *heads* are remarkably good at maintaining context. We don't
need the purple numbers if we're *within* the conversation, ie., I
don't need to know you've just said something to me because I
simply remember it. We don't need to write down and point back
and forth within the discussion because we're "having it."    (012)

What the point of purple numbers seems to me to be (and I've thought
enough about them to have developed a purple number-generating tool),
is that they're there for the DKR, not for the people participating
in the discussion. As such, the more that they're behind the scenes,
the more the tools enable them to be put into the background the
better. Email headers already include a great deal of context-
maintaining information, and online archives provide even more. With
the ability to search across those archives, we have the foundation
of that DKR already. The problem is not *within* the online
discussions, it's all of that stuff external to the email. It's the
face-to-face conversations, the ideas in our heads, the content of
the email attachments, the paper memos passed around at meetings,
all that detritus of normal practice that doesn't somehow make its
way into the archive. And I don't see much to fix that, though some
of the Hyperscope stuff we're now seeing arrive is very promising.    (013)

You wrote:
 > Why create an OHS to create a DKR to solve world problems, if we are
 > not going to use the DKR?  It's a dilemma?    (014)

Now I don't want you to get the impression that this is any kind of
attack on you. I simply think what we're finding here is that in email
(which is of course very much like face-to-face discussions, only
without the benefit of inflection, body language et al) we as
people bring to that virtual room the same kinds of habits and
deficiencies that we all have as people, perhaps even amplified. I
don't think a purple number (or any technology, really) has the
ability to solve the world's problems. A DKR on its own won't do
that, even if we could all be retrained (which I seriously doubt).    (015)

This past weekend I saw Tom Stoppard's new trilogy in London, "The
Coast of Utopia", about the beginnings of socialism in Russia, mid-
19th century (really fantastic show!). One of the things that struck
me (no fooling) is that the world doesn't always beat a path to your
door because you have a better mousetrap; sometimes the world doesn't
want a better mousetrap at all; sometimes people are happy
independently wallowing in their problems rather than cooperatively
working toward a solution; sometimes the differences people have over
which solution keeps any from being attempted; and sometimes there
are forces actively working against any solutions (such as those
corporations creating proprietary technologies). Which is really our
problem here?    (016)

I don't believe in Utopias, only steady improvement, and I'm not so
sure about even that lately, what with the rhetoric of War on This,
War on That (sounds very Orwellian to me). At least the flux is a
good ride...    (017)

Murray    (018)

Murray Altheim                  <http://kmi.open.ac.uk/people/murray/>
Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK7 6AA, UK    (019)

      If it wants to be a global power and a player in the
      Atlantic alliance, Europe has to get back into the
      business of making war. -- Newsweek Magazine, June 3, 2002    (020)