The knowledge Zoom
In choosing to disclose something about one's personality and interests—even though it's kept literally in thebackground—people are acknowledging that personality and personhood matter to the discussion.
The end of books?
The structure of knowledge is dense, and our paths through it are carved not just by itscontours but by our interests and concerns.
The privilege of free speech
The best counter to a bad idea was not to suppress it but to put forth a better idea or so we believed. That belief and the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of free speech resulted from the Enlightenment commitment to reason.
The knowledge of bureaucrats comes from living at the nexus of strategy and implementation, the nexus of best practices and human values, the nexus of multiple departments with their independent goals, and at the nexus of wishes and reality. That makes their voices worth listening to.
Writing as empathy
Communication is about revealing something about the world that the other person hasn't noticed—and often hasn't been able to notice because their ideas get in the way.
A little eternal knowledge is a dangerous thing
Even if our business knowledge were as eternal and omnipresent as Newton's laws, we'd still have to apply that knowledge to a world that is unfathomably complex and ever-changing.
Data is never just data
As with all tools, data has uses because of complex contexts that include other objects, physics, social norms, social institutions, and human intentions.
Links then and now
Broken links used to be like potholes. Now there are entire neighborhoods that are gone.
Science will not give up on hypotheses. But it already is becoming more willing to accept results based on the sorts of statistical analyses performed by machine learning. And it may be thatwhen science does rely on theories and laws, we will recognize that no matter how ironclad they are as generalizations, their application to a world of confetti will always and necessarily render them approximate and probabilistic.
250 Columns later
Knowledge management has indeed become a multi-threaded discipline, embracing just about everything related to knowledge.
The challenge of emergence
Traditionally, we humans have succeeded at building complex structures by breaking plans down into a multitude of simple, predictable, knowable causes and effects.
Journalism’s new landscape
What's happening to news is a microcosm of what's happening to knowledge overall.
Bring back blogging
The case for internal blogging within a corporate environment is strong and the risk is far lower because the participants are vetted and known.
Behind the scenes of Everyday Chaos
Machine learning builds up a model that connects data points in complex, multi-dimensional ways, usually without yielding the sort of general principles we're accustomed to reasoning from.
Rewriting the world
Traditional computing upholds the traditional method of applying general rules to particulars. With machine learning, you skip the generalized abstraction and feed in the particulars.
Tools, senses, and machine learning
Machine learning sometimes extends our cognitive abilities in ways that are alien to our minds.
Without a doubt
Given that the future is deeply uncertain, from the tiniest of decisions to the largest, we should love carefully calculated probabilities, for they are the way we deal with a world that has no interest in conforming to our projections or desires. They let us rationally prepare for things not going our way. Any strategist or planner worth her salt is getting as good a read as she can on the nature and magnitude of what she cannot predict.
When knowledge isn’t enough
If knowledge is a tool intended to enable us to make decisions that are more likely to protect us and advance our shared interests, then it is clear that knowledge can fail us. Each domain has at least informal rules about what counts as evidence.
Computers, Internet, AI
If the early computers reinforced the existing world-view, the Internet upended worldview after worldview. We learned that control doesn't scale: If you want to build something really, really big, you have to get rid of the centralized management functions. We learned that customers joined in conversational networks know more about a business' products than the business does. We learned what a democracy is like when everyone truly has a voice, even when those voices are telling lies and tearing down democratic institutions.
Signs, causes and machine learning
Machine learning systems can look at data without instructions about how we think the pieces go together. The AI finds correlations and assembles them into webs of connection.