Jack Park
Street address
Palo Alto, CA Zip

Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2000 12:12:39 -0400

Mr. Rod Welch
The Welch Company
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111 2496

Subject:   KM Ideas


[Responding to your letter on October 13, 2000...]

Before you go much further with *knowledge space*, visit


Rod Welch wrote...

An anomaly seems to occur from the full availability of POIMS and Com Metrics. Indeed the formula for Knowledge Space, and a daily record is available for all showing strategy and actions to advance the work each day, while, also, retaining rights to rewards for any benefit such capabilities might justify, if others are helped. Open source advocates aver ownership rights, yet seem much more secretive about their efforts and work product. It is another KM dilemma?

Open source advocates remain secretive until they get the glory they seek by revealing the *next insanely great idea*. The KM dilemma to which you often refer is, itself, a cloud of concepts. That cloud is composed of several social, psycological, and pragmatic factors, perhaps the largest pair being greed and laziness. It would be fun to wax phylosophical and state that there will likely never be a solution to the problems associated with that pair, but, what the heck, that pair represents yet another set of opportunities staring us in the face. Like the bumper sticker "He who dies with the most toys wins", there may be a gold nugget in the bet of thorns associated with self interest and laziness. That gold nugget may be realized in newer tools for KM, as, I believe you are suggesting.

I don't intend to visit any candidate solutions, but it does seem to me that your POIMS offers one slice of a much larger pie that may represent the newer KM tools.

Rod Welch wrote...

Jan Borchers wrote a letter responding to an inquiry about using pattern language to support semiotics, which you submitted to the team last week. Jan said he is unfamiliar with semiotics but is investigating. Looks like Doug is making progress with Mary Keeler's lens idea for KM, reported by Sheldon on 001010, and indicating that lens methods will accomplish efficiencies Doug developed for Augment.

In the long run, the lens metaphor works just fine. I rather see it as a device capable of floating about at the 50,000 foot level, while zooming down to the nano level as needed, and helicoptering all over the knowledge space at will. With that lens, the user constructs a personal (situated, embodied) view of what's there.

Rod Welch wrote...

My sense is that people are not aware of the necessity to invest time for performing KM in order to understand what is entailed. Manual KM is very tedious, and so limited time invites shortcuts which inhibit understanding. Even lawyers, accountants and engineers, whose work accomplishes different aspects of KM, do not grasp the implications of what they are doing day-to-day. There isn't enough time to integrate the elements into a composite practice that, over time, reveals the scope of the process. As a result, the secret of KM lies dormant, because the rewards of knowledge come days, weeks and years later, while people only have 20 minutes to an hour for pilot testing to discover the secret.

So, time is a KM dilemma, and it is running out.

Any ideas?

You have stated a couple of key points here. I personally tend to focus on two separate aspects of key points: automation, and community practice. I believe, believe it or not, that Cliff's Principa web site talks about and actually presents part of all of this; Cliff and Francis appear to me to have a good start in the right direction.

I am copying this to Cliff, given that I used his name. I also wish to point out that discussion about my project should not reach your web site anytime soon. Your comments at my web site will be greatly appreciated.



Jack Park

  1. Cliff Joslyn