[unrev-II] Knowledge; Keeler's Presentation at SRI

From: Rod Welch (rowelch@attglobal.net)
Date: Tue May 30 2000 - 23:30:04 PDT

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    440 Davis Court #1602
    San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
    415 781 5700

    May 30, 2000

    04 00067 61 00053002

    Mary Keeler
    University of Washington
    Seattle, Washington

    Subject:   Peirce's Philosophy and Cognitive Science

    Dear Mary,

    Thanks very much for your presentation at SRI to Doug's DKR team on May 18, explaining some of Charles Peirce's work. Preliminary review on May 15 of your paper shows support for the SDS program that implements POIMS technology developed over the past 18 years to provide Knowledge Management, what I call Communication Metrics.

    As we discussed briefly in an aside on May 18, there is a lot of common ground between Peirce's view of "knowledge" grounded in experience, and current thinking in cognitive science that began to formalize 40 years later. However, it has proven difficult to help technology people, management science thinkers and practitioners grasp the kind of tools needed to apply the secrets Peirce offered up. Knowledge Management and Enterprise Management for the work-a-day world of business and government have yet to articulate a settled vision of what to produce and how it will improve daily work. Jack Park sets out in his letter on April 26, the need to accomplish this threshold step, and Doug mentioned at the meeting you attended, the need for a glossary. The day before you spoke at SRI, Eric Armstrong, one of the lead engineers in Doug's group, met with me and a friend at Intel to develop working definitions of data, information and knowledge.

    What emerges from that meeting, and from your remarks at SRI, is the need for people to experience improved earnings, which, over time, flow from better understanding of cause and effect, i.e., knowledge, as evidenced by the long march of civilization. Doug's call for pilot testing gets us started; and, indeed, the DKR team is looking at powerful starter technologies to begin this testing phase. Still, the legend of Prometheus augurs for persistence in traversing a long road ahead, since the solution is counterintuitive (i.e., benefits are not entirely self-evident to everyone in the moment) and conflicts with 5,000 years of culture bound by a manual world.

    Thanks again for visiting with us at SRI, and for valuable analysis of Peirce's work formulating a useful understanding of "knowledge." If time permits, comments and guidance on "knowledge" would be helpful.



    Rod Welch

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