Knowledge is information that people value. Knowledge is often rife with opinion, sometimes making it Dangerous, because information is often not true. Knowledge is the practical information about reality, ie. information that collectively people value.
Knowledge is created when people communicate within their communities and networks, when people are educated, make observations, think about things and from other representations. It emerges through successful collaborative information sharing.
For example, a patient suffering from an illness requires a knowledge of the principles of physiology. When a knowledge base is created, it represents an expert system which can give advice on certain topics. Therefore knowledge distribution is a method that may accumulate or censor information.
Epistemology deals with the theoretical aspects of knowledge. The spread of memes is good evidence of knowledge sharing. Knowledge becomes useful when it is expressed, through forms of language, in some sort of physical manifestation. Knowledge is language neutral, ie. when you learn a new language the knowledge is the same.
Basic research is conducted specifically to expand the boundaries of human knowledge. Economic benefits are not always forthcoming from scientific endeavours. Research produces knowledge for the sake of knowledge. It is wrong to think that basic research continously creates greater productivity and more profit.
Knowledge, Internet and Technology
This transition to decentralized online communications in the Information Age, will most likely bring great change to personal, business and government information sharing. Innovation may alter knowledge management practises and traditions. These advances may potentially benefit or hinder both the consumers and producers of new information technology.
Peer-to-peer software is one contributing aspect to the distributed model of instant knowledge. Personal Agents, Cybernetics, Ubiquitous Computing and the Semantic Web are nearly upon us and may soon aid users with their information retrieval and other knowledge gathering tasks.
- S�bastien Paquet's Open Research blog is a good starting point.
- Integrative Knowledge and Transdisciplinarity Project from the Union of International Associations.