From an academic, university, viewpoint the questions we address here are pretty much without a home. The reason is simple. The academic community is focused on discovering and creating new knowledge. We focus on using knowledge.
Establishing the new, and fostering
use of the established, are the two different aspects of knowledge
you see in the graphic of the "Organize
Your Knowledge" page. This is one way of providing the interdisciplinary
structure some academic efforts today feel is needed, but lacking, in the
academic world. Using human interaction with the environment as an
organizing principle for academic disciplinary knowledge is a natural way
to approach interdisciplinary efforts.
We still need something to take the place of peer review. And it must go beyond the familiar functions of peer review. Not only do we need correctness and accuracy, we need usefulness and usability. We need accessibility, and we need ways to direct toward creative connections of seemingly unrelated knowledge. (Much within these Web pages has such connectivity in mind.)
We seek input from outside these pages. Some of our assumptions and assertions might ruffle a feather or two. Some of our approaches are issues thought to have been disposed of decades ago; and not in our directions. We are not so much trying to dredge up old conflicts, but rather are suggesting reconsideration from what might be unsuspected dimensions (unsuspected even by some working professionals in the field). Are we going astray? Please direct us.
Let's see if we can find where "buzz-saw certainty" really applies, and where wish overwhelms reason. Let's inject as many different "dimensions" from which to establish viewpoints as we can find.
Sometimes we express our points very badly, or in ways that confuse, or in ways that bore, or in ways that seem trite, trivial, or too wordy, or ... what? Tell us, please.
We have tried to demonstrate, not declare, where we know controversy remains unresolved within the many disciplines we dip into. We think that thinking in one discipline often has contribution to controversy in other disciplines. We see many such cases; you no doubt see many we don't see. Please point them out.
Try out that weave we call "The Cold Critical Eye," where strands of identification of suspect beliefs are woven with strands of identification of common logical errors. Drop in on our busy workshop where we are digging into a variety of suspect beliefs. Contribute.
Almost all of the points you see in these pages can be found in the literature, but you often have to look in unfamiliar areas. (Example: proponents of the current "cold-fusion" craze seem not to be aware of the thermodynamics archives-of-measured-parameters literature which shows that the highest heats of compound formation are in the platinum group intermetallic compounds. Researchers have been killed by explosions when gathering those data; "cold fusion" experimenters are making platinum group intermetallics and might find interesting facts in the U.S. Bureau of Mines data which lie in Berkeley archives.) Exponentially growing knowledge accrues potential interconnections at an even greater rate. The potentials of use of knowledge increase even faster because of the fact that different people often know ("see," "understand," "conceptualize," or whatever) the same thing is vastly different ways...by very different mechanisms.
Demonstrating, and then exploring, such differences is a major effort of Knowledge for Use. This Web page is just now (spring, 1999) being put on the Web for a first effort to see if the Web can further these efforts.
We think it would be hard to find
some way to spend our time that has more potential, is more exciting and
interesting ... and is more just plain fun!
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to Index Page
to the simple but difficult puzzles
to the Misconceptions workshop
to Wason's gate into the Edge
to the fine print
|to the original (obsolete) opening page
to the zoo and the perceptions exemplar
to The Platinum Plover Egg
to Accurate Maps
to Glen Canyon Memories
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