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

Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2000 22:33:08 -0800

03 00050 61 00021301


Subject:   Knowledge Workstation Project

Dear Dave,

Dick Karpinski provided your letter on explaining the project you are advising on developing a knowledge workstation. This is a popular, and worthwhile goal, but there is an aspect of "knowledge" that is not well recognized in the KM community, including university and private research environments, which may warrant your attention.

Chronology is a basic cognitive capability that tracks the sequence of events, and guides human intelligence using a plan, perform, report process. Without this capability any KM effort will pretty much revert to another big IT promise that founders, like LANS, WANS, DBMS, MIS, business intelligence and so on.

There is a lot of hope and excitement about linking capabilities in web browsers, which provide custom capability to apply connectionist theory. However, the larger, or important aspect, of connectionist theory is building chronologies of cause and effect, since that is how the human mind reasons.

Unfortunately, most people these days are too busy to think carefully about the need to manage chronology in order to avoid mistakes caused by complexity which compounds rapidly through the course of a day filled with meetings, calls and documents. The result is a constant string of errors caused by a process called "meaning drift" in cognitive science.

Over the past 15 years, I have created a capability to manage chronology. You can check it out when time permits by examining a few paragraphs of my paper on POIMS.

There is also a web site that explains this capability...

I would like to hear about your project, and explore possible nexus on collaborating to develop a useful KM capability.

In any event, good luck with your project. These things are always a lot of fun getting started.



Rod Welch