Updated: 7/7/06; 4:14:35 PM.
Connectivity: Spike Hall's RU Weblog
News, clips, comments on knowledge, knowledge-making, education, weblogging, philosophy, systems and ecology.

 Sunday, December 29, 2002

Summary: Natural Naturally Constituted Groups (e.g. a family, a neighborhood, a city council, a class) will be made up of all sorts of people -- most of whom will have no learning/knowledge-making technology skills or inclinations. However, for reasons discussed briefly below, this can be dealt with by training knowledge-making technologists to work with nontechnologists (translating their findings into nontechnical terms... translating knowledge/wisdom concerns into klog-usable search phrases etc) and by training nontechnologists to communicate with and accept/decode the gifts brought by their member technologists .

In an earlier placeholder entry I opined to the effect that enhancement of the human experience was at the center of my ethical orientation. Part of that enhancement has to entail helping individuals and groups move beyond reflexive strivings and cravings to deep wisdom about individual and group place in the overall scheme of things. In a summary fashion my idea is that if we do that we will be less likely to harm or destroy each other (and the planet in the process). Given that I see the pursuit of wisdom building to be very important.

Another concern is that empowerment tools be distinguished from empowerment. Tools may provide leverage for empowerment but they are not empowerment itself (the tool is no wiser from the process, the person when so empowered is wiser --- even if the tool is removed or no longer works). That would be confusing means (tool) with ends(wisdom). Further, I believe that those of us who tend to find and use tools won't necessarily be those that gain the most from the use of the tool.

Edison, for example, added a tool, e.g., the electric light, to the human collection of tools. He thus enabled an increase in amount of time available to be spent (hours of the day) pursuing book-based wisdom. He wasn't necessarily the one, or a member of the particular demographic group, who acquired more wisdom through the use of the electric light.

The empowerment that I refer to above has to involve a net increase in the wisdom of the whole of humanity. Out of egalitarian impulse and something else,perhaps, I believe we should exclude the net increase strategy which has us simply "pumping up" the wisdom of those who show immediate receptiveness for the additional wisdom. (I can't picture a world that is "saved" by being dragged by its wisest 1/10th of a per cent).

There's clearly more to be argued here... but perhaps I've sufficiently communicated it's direction for the reader to be able to sense why I have concluded the following:

Assuming humanity's deep need for a greater amount of broadly disseminated human wisdom and

Given the truth of the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis a: that klogging provides significant acceleration to the learning of bounded groups (see bounded group hypotheses)

Hypothesis b. Not all members of the group must be kloggers for this acceleration to occur.

Hypothesis c Follow up guess:There is a lower threshold (of membership klog usage) before acceleration can occur. It will involve less than a third of group membership.

Then I believe that klogging can be a major help to the wisdom acquisition of natural groups. (Natural groups being those that are constituted without special consideration being given to competence with communications technology in ordinary or traditional social circumstances. Examples of such groups might be: a family, a neighborhood, a city council, a governmental task force, problem solving group, a squad, a platoon, a village, etc. )

Finally: Under these circumstances and with the set of assumptions given above.. I conclude that we must focus on :

a) educating all to recognize and generate knowledge and wisdom,

b) educating a subset of humanity to utilize technology in answering questions affecting growth in knowledge and/or wisdom,

c)educating all to pose questions to knowledge-making technology users and to recognize/translate answers or pieces of answers once provided by the technology user.

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Spike Hall is an Emeritus Professor of Education and Special Education at Drake University. He teaches most of his classes online. He writes in Des Moines, Iowa.


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