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

Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 15:06:57 -0700

03 00050 61 01062701

Unfinished Revolution
OHS DKR Project
SRI International
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025
650 326 6200

Subject:   SDS Education Advantages
Telelearning a Culture of Knowledge


Some of the points in the article you quote on "learning online," relate in varying degrees to SDS, which is a learning environment that, also, augments intelligence, i.e., the ability to learn, as related in the record on June 14, 2001, submitted to you in connection with forwarding an inquiry about your plans for a Collaboratory. As discussed in the record today, SDS provides flexible structure that includes organic subjects, summaries and connections to related history, which provides context for taking action. This solves problems cited in the article you submitted.

Applying these capabilities effectively takes experience, like using the alphabet and driving a car. On November 26, 2000 there was hope that SDS capability could be accomplished by using IT with greater diligence. As seen since that date, this has not happened, because "diligence" does not convert information into knowledge. The quality of workmanship using email has not improved, and problems mount using IT, despite continued fall in interest rates and energy prices. Those steps do not relieve information gridlock caused by IT. Moving beyond IT so that more information can improve productivity requires a culture of knowledge.

This is why education is an important component of KM, mentioned in a letter to Doug Engelbart on March 1, 2000, and continuing over the past 18 months, most recently in a letter to you on June 14, 2001. which reflects the need for professional research to deploy SDS on a large scale, proposed to DCMA on June 19, 2001.

During the past year, the OHS/DKR team has observed that using SDS entails direct interaction through communication, e.g., classroom lecture, meetings, calls, email, reading, and taking action, as in doing an experiment in class, mowing the lawn, designing a software program, writing an article. SDS strengthens learning from listening and from doing things, as explained in POIMS.

Like the alphabet, a pencil, a typewriter, wordprocessing, a spreadsheet, there can be a wide range of ways people use SDS, based on personality and context. Benefits can, therefore, be increased considerably by formal education and training that fosters skills using SDS that has proven effective for managing complexity.

For example, your letter on June 22, 2001 asked for an explanation of "organic structure." POIMS has a short explanation that may align with some of your ideas about "ontology." The organic structure of knowledge is explained in NWO....

Thanks for input on education and learning.



Rod Welch

Copy to:

  1. Lincoln, Patrick,
  2. Jones, Morris E.,