Thursday, May 01, 2008

Live KM blogging: Does knowledge exist outside of living things?

Here's question for you: Does knowledge exist outside of living things?

Data can exist on paper or in a computer.

Some people have suggested there is a growing de-physicalization of knowledge; I'd suggest, however, that this isn't knowledge but merely data or, perhaps, information.

"Knowledge," says Larry Prusak, "is within people."

True knowledge is not outside the physical world.

I'm reminded of MIT's effort to put all their course materials, including lectures, online for everyone to see. The lectures, the stuff online, isn't knowledge, it is merely information. This is why we still pay to attend face-to-face colleges and universities. True learning, true gaining knowledge, isn't about watching a computer screen. Knowledge happens when you get a chance to integrate what you know and make it useful.

What think you, gentle reader?

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