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Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 20:14:53 -0800

03 00050 61 01021101

James L. Morrison
Professor of Education
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Subject:   Technology and Education

Dear Professor Morrison,


Just encountered your article in Vision, May 1998, while preparing for a possible meeting with Jim Spohrer, whom you interviewed for the article......

The Educational Object Economy Project:
An Interview with James Spohrer

First, thanks for a well written and lucid account of efforts to use technology for education.

The big issue is how to lift learning ability by an order of magnitude for a wide mass of people, which is essential for moving civilization ahead. This requires improving alphabet technology, which is the foundation of civilization, see, for example, the alphabetic mind reviewed on November 8, 1999.

Engineers have not yet unlocked the secret of converting information into useful "knowledge" that uses an "intelligence" process to track and organize cause and effect for making successful decisions, under the rule that past is prologue.

Lately, there has been re-newed interest in Charles Peirce's work, who posited that "knowledge" is grounded in experience......

Unfortunately, technologists overlook this basic fact, and rush ahead to build topical maps and conceptual graphs, because we now have tools that make it fast and easy to draw pictures and graphs. Andy Grove at Intel points out that people like to work on familiar things in familiar ways, so everyone is missing the key idea of automated integration of time and information. Grove also points out that to avoid ambiguity of mental maps we must analyze our experience, i.e., take copious notes. So far, that is the only tool we have to emulate, in an objective form that can be improved, the mind's power to assemble small meanings into larger understandings, and apply them consistently over time. That is why Gutenberg was honored for having contributed the most to advance civilization over the past millennium, i.e., he found a way to improve alphabet technology. see the record on October 10, 1999.

To take another step like the alphabet, developed in 700 BC, and advanced by Gutenberg in 1455, we need a new kind of technology and architecture that integrates "information" produced by the alphabet, with the sequencing of time, and the structure of DNA that organizes life. Work over the past 15 years indicates SDS may be a strong first step. My guess is this that education can be substantially strengthened by adding this capability to current curriculum, along with learning the alphabet and math, as a basic learning tool set.

SDS based on POIMS technology.

Sorry, for a late response. This is an important subject.



Rod Welch

Copy to:

  1. Carlson, Curtis R.,
  2. Jones, Morris E.,
  3. Joslyn, Cliff,
  4. Spohrer, Jim,
  5. Armstrong-IBM, Ross,
  7. Lincoln, Patrick,