Locked in knowledge

Jailed by Gìpics, see below

We save all our knowledge in text. We already have millions of books and trillions of webpages full of letters. We are a text based society and transfer everything we know by language in the form of voice or text.

Knowledge appears in books, wiki’s, blogs, mails and in many other outings in the form of linear stories. Such a story takes you from a to z through a path chosen by the author.

The story is written for a certain generic reader with building blocks which such reader should understand. If you don’t have the right advance knowledge such a story will be difficult to read. In this way the knowledge is produced for a certain target group and is thus generalized. More is explained than needed to make the contents easy to grasp for as many people as possible.

As a good reader we learn to skip through texts and only read the essential parts to grow our knowledge. We only pick up the building blocks we need. In these times of information overloads it is necessary to filter. Any text containing information and not a linear experience can be scavenged for the blocks for new knowledge.

Problems with linear forms

In bringing all our knowledge in linear locked in forms it is not easy to search this information. It is not easy for computers to interpret and process the knowledge inside the text. We can now only filter on the combinations of words. But what if a synonym is used for a word you are searching…

Another problem is with language. We learn to interpret text in our early ages, we learn to understand it’s grammar and logical rules and we learn it in our mother language. There are differences in how text is written all over the world but there are also many commonalities in those texts. But it is so difficult to compare them. It is strange to see the English wikipedia full of knowledge and the Dutch wikipedia is only a fraction of that. These things made English my main information scavenge language… But what if we could combine all those locked knowledge…

Context matters

Text is always written from a certain context of the writer and towards a context of a reader. But what if the knowledge could adapt to the reader. What if the knowledge transfered was not locked into a linear form but in the dynamic way it is saved in our heads. What if the knowledge could adapt to our own context when received? It would save us so much time if we don’t have to filter knowledge out of text.

Image by Gìpics, creative commons image