RE: [unrev-II] Collaborative Discussion Tools

From: Jack Park (
Date: Sun Apr 15 2001 - 08:58:40 PDT

  • Next message: Garold L. Johnson: "[unrev-II] Extracting words and phrases"

    At 06:23 AM 4/15/2001 -0700, you wrote:

    >Bernard Vatant wrote
    >An effective Knowledge construction is bound to be chaordic -
    ><> - maintaining its activity in
    >the dynamic zone between chaos and order - the life zone.
    >What should I do with a new object to ensure that? In a Topic Map or
    >Semantic Graph spirit, consider it as a new node in my knowledge graph.
    >And make sure to link it immediately to existing nodes through existing
    >semantic link types. That is always possible: if a new object has really
    >not a single implicit link to objects already existing in my knowledge
    >universe, I'm just not aware of it. All I have to do is explicit this
    >link. So I anchor this object, not in a single folder, but in an array of
    >links to other objects. What will be in the long run the status of this
    >object will depend in fact on the further evolution of this link array.
    >Maybe this object will remain a weakly linked node, in some peripheric
    >region of my knowledge field, or maybe it will become a central node for a
    >new continent, maybe needing some new type of links to be structured.
    >In that perspective, a Topic Map or Semantic Graph organization is much
    >more effective than a hierarchical folders representation, because you
    >don't need the fuzzy "uncategorized" category. In fact you barely need
    >categories, or you see them not like folders (with the knowledge trapped
    >inside them) but like binding points or attractors (with the knowledge
    >living around them). If I had a real system to manage my e-mail this way,
    >Gads I would be a lot happier than with my MS Outlook folders!
    >[Garold L. Johnson] Anchoring a new object in an array of links to other
    >objects is indeed the goal. The issue is time and timeliness. When I come
    >across a 50-70 page paper on a topic that was never designed to integrate
    >into my system, I can tell that it is worthwhile, and that I want to deal
    >with it, but not now. That paper is not yet knowledge, it is information
    >or possibly only data. In my personal efforts it probably has a very
    >general connection to my knowledge universe, maybe only an approximation
    >to a place in my mental topic map, so I mark it for later. If I am
    >collaborating with others, I share the paper as soon as I find it rather
    >than waiting to process it completely.
    >When I get to the paper (if I had the tools) I would likely link pieces of
    >it to all sorts of places in my knowledge structure. However, I can t do
    >that without studying the paper, understanding what it says and
    >(progressively) linking it to the rest of what my system knows about the
    >topic(s) of the paper. I may well be adding linkages after several times
    >through the paper as my understanding increases and as I gain greater context.
    >I certainly agree that nearly any graph-based system would be better than
    >strictly hierarchical folders, but that still doesn t eliminate the need
    >for *some* mechanism for classifying an object as interesting, but later
    >and processing it later or even over time. Clearly it is better to get as
    >much linkage into the knowledge base as possible, but that simply doesn t
    >happen in my world.
    >Any system that requires too much load on new introductions will fail this
    >is very much the problem that people were seeing with IBIS people were
    >unwilling to classify their input into a single category or to structure
    >it carefully.
    >Conjecture: I think that part of this comes from the lousy tools usually
    >provided to generate and manipulate information at the time of creation,
    >but that even elegant tools won t solve the problem completely.
    >My preferred mechanism for generating documents involves work with a good
    >outliner (which is DOS text based and requires processing afterwards). I
    >don t do that for emails, so I am stuck with the tools that my email
    >client has. This editor has an outline mode, which I could use, but it
    >doesn t do well at all mixing my input in with the message to which I am
    >replying. In addition, doing a good outline is generally more than I set
    >out to do in the beginning (it is part of my refactoring process) and it
    >doesn t help in collaboration as much as it might. If this email were
    >going into a system where it had purple or plink run on it (possibly even
    >as I submitted it if the client were bright enough), then doing a better
    >job of structuring would be of real benefit to myself and the group.
    >Unfortunately, we don t yet have this.
    >Until we get better tools, and possibly even then, I think we need a
    >mechanism to fold large nodes into the system on a gradual basis.
    >Garold (Gary) L. Johnson

    <Jack Park>
    My plan for the Nexist prototype is this: everything that comes into the
    system is first scanned by an engine that breaks out all the words and word
    phrases. Most of those may already exist, but the system keeps track of
    their "occurrences" and those are later grist for a clustering mill that
    makes contributions to the knowledge base itself -- theoretically speaking,
    automatically. Users have an opportunity to "subscribe" to favored concepts
    and thus find a notification of changes or additions waiting for them at
    their PIM (personal info manager) page. With that, theoretically speaking
    once again, there is no absolute need to read everything at once.

    Rod Welch is fond of pointing out here (and, imho, rightly so) that
    knowledge management requires a massive effort on the part of those who
    participate. My take on that: you get back what you put in. In a
    collaborative environment, you get back a bit more than you put in.
    </Jack Park>

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 15 2001 - 09:10:42 PDT