|June 5, 2000|
04 00067 61 00060501
Mr. Jack Park
Palo Alto, CA Zip
|Subject:||SDS Core of Knowledge Management|
Following our discussion on June 2, 2000, I reviewed the Ontologos web site at the address you provided, and sent a letter to Robert Kent asking for examples, scenarios and explanations of how Ontologos handles daily working information, described by Doug Engelbart in his 1972 paper, which he submitted to the DKR team on March 27, 2000.
Today, Robert replied to my request by explaining that he is working on a new paper, The Information Flow Foundation for Conceptual Knowledge Organization, planned for submission to a pending professional conference.
Robert did not answer any of the questions about progress implementing Ontologos ideas.
Accordingly, it seems safe to say that Ontologos is developing goals for Knowledge Management that may lead to improving productivity, as you anticipated in our discussion on June 2. When tools are developed to implement these capabilities, they will enhance the DKR, reflecting Doug's bootstrap concept of continual improvement. The time period for implementation is unclear, based on Robert's letter that cites no examples, scenarios nor explanations of implementation and cost savings.
You, also, asked if SDS accomplishes KM objectives explained on the Ontologos web site.
SDS organizes information into chronologies of cause and effect, and assembles relevant parts of an experiential record in alternate ways, based on subject context, commonly called knowledge, discussed recently at SRI and Intel. Since people reason by experience, SDS augments human "intelligence" by increasing the accuracy of our memory. This is accomplished by combining the structure of spreadsheets with the flexibility of wordprocessing. Adding numerical structure to alphabet technology integrates traditionally separate tasks of time management and information management to produce a new, more powerful technology of Knowledge Management.
Since the alphabet has been the engine of civilization for the past 2,000 years, evidenced by Gutenberg having been cited as contributing the most to human progress in the past millennium, SDS offers another significant opportunity to lift civilization by empowering people to more easily and quickly manage knowledge in the new millinnium, rather than mere information that lifted past generations.
The power of Knowledge Management comes from gaining control over lower levels of organic structure, explained by George Gilder in his book Microcosm, citing examples of atomic energy, molecular biology and microprocessors. SDS provides a path for cognitive science that likewise gives people greater control over their memory, history and experience by expanding span of attention to solve information overload. This breakthrough enables people to keep up with a faster paced world.
Knowledge Management more closely conforms to human thinking in ways that neither wordprocessing nor spreadsheets can accomplish, and thereby opens a new, more expansive window for future development. The need for a whole new way of thinking, called out by Doug Engelbart in his Bootstrap program, was noticed by Larry Ellison, chairman and founder of Oracle, in a presentation on February 2, 1997, when he complained about the lack of ideas for applying computer power. However, Larry, and other mainstream technologists have not articulated a vision to guide such an advance, because there has been no underlying engine of knowledge to sustain the vision. Eric Armstrong recently expressed industry frustration when he complained that "knowledge" is merely a marketing buz word. Without an engine of knowledge, Larry and Eric are correct. However, professor Mary Keeler made clear at the SRI meeting on May 18, 2000, that knowledge has a deep and profound meaning that gives life to a new generation of development and progress.
SDS provides a core engine of knowledge that focuses technology on creating an operating system for people and organizations to implement Knowledge Management. Evidence of such capability is seen in SDS records that apply knowledge dynamically over decades of history. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported this saves a lot of time and money relative to traditional information technology.
The market potential for Knowledge Management can be estimated from the number of people who use the alphabet through wordprocessing, email and spreadsheets, which will be replaced by Knowledge Management. The only real issue is how easily the transition can be made based on engineering.
One derivative of Knowledge Management is the science of Communication Metrics, which adds "alignment" for cost and schedule management, to the dominate factor of human endeavors: communication, also called collaboration. Since communication is a predicate to action, adding alignment that reduces meaning drift is the most direct way to improve productivity and solve problems, large and small.
A new management science is needed because not everyone can endure the emotional burdens of working with organic subject structure that discloses a constant stream of problems everyday, which are mostly overlooked due to information overload, but are revealed by the microscope of SDS. Since most people have not done this work, progress has been slow growing awarness of the potential for Knowledge Management. There is suspicion, even resentment, that a solution is possible. These social and cultural logistics, commonly called "attitudes, require education and training to develop skills and focus of assigned duties for performing Knowledge Management, in addition to creating and pilot testing tools.
As set out in the New World Order... paper, tools alone will not accomplish Knowledge Management, will not solve a single problem, nor move us forward one step. We need a triad of tools, management science and leadership. As things stand, we have tools and science, but no leadership. Who will fill the void? Can those wedded to past solutions, who fear the future, who hope for the quick fix, lead the way? Who??
Another inherent derivative of Knowledge Management is a Dynamic Knowledge Repository (DKR). This domain can bootstrap development of an endless range of applications for specific objectives, using open source and other modalities, leading to the realization of the virtual office, paperless office, and to Enterprise Management that provides a powerful operating system for people and organizations. This is a direct path to leverage collective IQ toward solving world problems, including those of our own making caused by accelerating the pace of life beyond the capacity of innate human mental biology to cope. A faster paced world needs a faster paced mind. Doug and the DKR can make this possible through the power and magic of Knowledge Management.
THE WELCH COMPANY