keskiviikko 31. maaliskuuta 2010

Modern knowledge creation

The picture within this document is my understanding of how we perceive, study,
document, create, and nourish information. We use our perception through tools,
such as microscopes, direct observation, or other means. Then the raw information
forms thoughts and hypotheses, which are tested against using laboratory

simulations, statistics, or logical deduction. We talk about the phenomena using
common symbology (a language), and fine-tune the thoughts around the perception.

Many thousands of scientists around the world can contribute to a common cause
throughout decades. The Internet has enabled us to network in means that were
unheard of a couple of decades ago. The only backside to the evolution of
a networked world seems to be that scientific journals and articles have
somewhat been locked up in www-sites that require payment and registration.
In an era of unlimited possibilities for information sharing, there are
clusters of information hoarders that keep some of the most valuable
assets in their hands.

Publications share the knowledge in a form that is accessible to general public, often through
the eyes of a journalist specialized in a certain field. It's all through the chain that we
have to be careful though not to merge commericla interests and the objective truth.

The world around us has become more enmeshed with the idea that anything can and should
be a product. Products are meant to maximize profit and thus sell well. They rival
against each other. Product advertising does not, even though strictly speaking
should, bring out the objective picture of all the attributes related to
a product. Every advertiser is a little bit dishonest, and we know that.

To separate in a sensible way the basic research, from products, from pseudoscience
will be one of our most significant challenges in the coming decades.
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