KM is unpossible


We've been talking about this quite a bit in pod land here at the LC. Basically, the conversation goes something like this:

person 1: So, I'm thinking we should share our knowledge about topic X with group Y.

person 2: Share knowledge? How do you plan on doing that?

person 1: You know, by documenting, writing, presenting, etc...

person 2: But that's just informationdata. Not knowledge. You can't share knowledge.

person 1: Of course I can share knowledge...

person 2: But, knowledge is the internalized understanding of a concept, and is unique to an individual (and perhaps a specific context and point in time). How do you share that? Neuron transplant?

person 1: but... oh, right... OK... We need to share our informationdata about what we're doing on topic X with group Y...

The whole Knowledge Management field cracks me up. How can any expert claim they can manage my (or any person's) knowledge? They may help me manage informationdata, provide a context, but knowledge is mine and mine alone. They can't manage that any more than they can manage my learning (don't get me started on that!) It might seem like a minor semantic difference, but it really changes the whole nature of the endeavor.

UPDATE: Stephen Downes posted a comment that actually clarifies this further... I incorrectly suggested that information could be managed or shared. Really, the only thing that can be managed/shared/etc... is data - all else requires some level of cognitive process that can't be externally stored or managed. Note to self: invent something that can do this, then take over the world...

UPDATE 2: An anonymous Spanish visitor pointed out this article: "The Nonsense of Knowledge Management" by T.D. Wilson in the comments.


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