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March 03, 2007

Comments

MikeTrap

Thanks for a deep and insightful analysis of how to break the "K Doctrine" (MIB: "A person is smart. People are dumb.")

One factor it doesn't seem to take into account, though, is the gap between the information we want to get and the information we want to send. As one example, I believe this is a primary reason corporate e-mail breaks down as an information management tool... It's simply that by empowering a larger and larger group of people within the system to "push" information to everyone else, the signal/noise ratio for any individual point in that system invariably declines.

It seems to me that systems which balance "push" and "pull"-based tools (e-mail and enterprise wikis, for example) are a step in the right direction. Even that case only works if the cultural norms around e-mail and toward the wiki are strong and pervasive... that there are "costs" within the system for pushing information which does not serve the interests *of the recipient.*

Keep in mind we're not just talking about spammers here. How many valueless e-mails do you get each day from well intentioned people who, for whatever quasi-rational or emotional reason, just want to be heard? And you can't turn this off, as some overzealous spam prevention systems are wont to do. In the end these systems invariably filter signal and not just noise.

Writ large, I see this as the missing piece of the above puzzle. Since the costs in economic terms of "pushing" unnecessary information at individual people in the above described future approach zero, how can such a system be altered to create other costs - in reputation, access, or capability - for the pushers in each of us?

In the end, we may need to replace the rigid hierarchy of organizations with a rigid hierarchy of communication - a continuum from face-to-face, to voice, to e-mail, wiki, and agent-findable content - that all participants in the system must understand and accept.

Patrice

Hello Nova,

Thanks for this post.

I think that what you described here is a "killer app" of Semantic Web that does not exist yet... Do you have an example of a "Hello World" implementation of Semantic Web that does exist today?

Many thanks in advance,

/Patrice

peter royal

if you aren't familiar with it, you might enjoy reading about dunbar's number. i'm in the middle of the tipping point where its one of the key concepts.

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