Re: [unrev-II] I'm having a problem

From: Tanya Jones (
Date: Mon Jan 24 2000 - 16:03:58 PST

From: "Tanya Jones" <>

>From: Mike Taylor <>
Date: Friday, January 21, 2000 3:55 PM
>I guess I must be the one who doesn't get it. After the sessions so far,
>I'm confused about the goals here. I think there is a big difference
>between improving the collective intelligence of an organization - a team
>or a business unit or whatever - and trying to solve what are perceived as
>big social problems. Yet these are treated as the same problem.

Doug is presenting a complicated hierarchy of issues and ways to maybe
resolve those issues draped in unfamiliar terminology. It is a lot to

>An organization, in general, has quite a few important attributes that are
>already agreed on - a goal or goals, some processes such as
>decision-making, a culture and so forth. So I have no problem thinking of
>an organization as a "social organism" and using the ideas of CoDIAK to
>make it work better as an organism.
>But then the leap to solving perceived social problems is too huge for me.
>If there is an organization whose goal it is to solve those problems, then
>fine, I can see that CoDIAK can potentially help that organization be more
>effective in achieving its goal.

Bootstrap Institute’s mission (as I read it) includes examining and
our ability solve all problems. In the Colloquium, I see Doug applying his
models to problems large and small: from the simple interfacing with data
to the larger social issues.

A lot of it is still speculation, but CoDIAK is an appealing idea. Questions
about where we can apply this is practice. We must develop tools and learn
how to use them, determine how well they work, and learn from that.

While I disagree that big social problems and collective intelligence issues
are being treated the *same*, I do think that some of the social questions
energy) could have waited until the model was a little more completely

>But at some point the concept of a unitary organization disappears and a
>market takes over. For example, there is no organization that manages the
>world energy supply. Therefore there is no obvious target for improvement.
>There is simply a market of buyers and sellers whose collective actions in
>setting prices control demand and the allocation of resources to supply
>development. The market in this case uses the "collective IQ" of all the
>buyers and sellers in setting those prices.
>In this respect it is hard for me to imagine that any knowledge management
>process is going to be successful for this kind of global social issue….

The market has proved to be very effective at providing information about
supply and demand and price. I agree that Collective IQ is not likely to
impact at this level, but I suspect that it will impact things indirectly.
As our
individuals get better and locating the information, products, and services
they need to solve their problems, businesses will changes as the ripples
propagate. The market will benefit by becoming better at what it already
does so well.

>long as you have a market where economic advantage can be gained by trading
>on the use of private and proprietary information, participants will not
>reveal or share that information in a repository. We do not know what
>information is being used by the market participants whose decisions set
>prices. But we can be quite confident that they are all using the best
>information they have.

People currently have the option of maintaining private control of their
knowledge and releasing it (under varying conditions) to the public. The
Dynamic Knowledge Repository will probably see more of the latter if
security concerns cannot be addressed. Still, this is a lot of information.

Managing even a small fraction of the total knowledge base in the world
is a tremendous challenge. Data storage is becoming increasingly
inexpensive. We have reason to believe this trend is not likely to stop
(or even slow), indeed, it is accelerating.

It would be better if our tools advanced as well.

>So in economic terms, the problem comes down to a "tragedy of the commons"
>problem. This is the economic problem where a shared resource that nobody
>owns, such as the common grazing land in a village or the fish on the Grand
>Banks, is abused because no-one has the economic incentive to manage and
>care for it. The DKR would have such a problem - it appears to depend on
>altruism for its content rather than economic advantage.

I disagree that this a “tragedy of the commons” problem. The DKR could
several valuable services: as a publication system, it can provide the means
protect intellectual property; as a searchable database, it will enable a
means of
getting answers to questions. How well it does these things depends on the
quality of the system development.

I would like to see the DKR allow for a company or individual to store both
*public and private* information with the appropriate degrees of security.
is much easier to learn a single (if evolving) tool system.

>This is fundamentally different than the situation within an organization,
>where the interests, economic or otherwise, are served by the DKR and the
>management of the organization will provide the incentives to support and
>utilize the DKR.

The interests of an organization are served by the application of the
and knowledge of the people and the quality of information at their
If developed correctly, an organization may use a DKR to supplement the
quality of information; the speed of access to the appropriate information;
the range of information available. I see these as providing economic
assuming that the organization has chosen its goals carefully.

It certainly may not benefit all companies to contribute to the development
of the
DKR in the earliest of stages; but of course, many different forms of
are welcome. To test the theories behind the DKR, OHS, and CoDIAK
processes, we have to first build them and see if they work.

--Tanya Jones

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