Several days ago when I was preparing an introductory lecture about Knowledge Federation for my research group at the university, I realized that there was a central point which I wanted to convey, and I was looking for a suitable visual
metaphor. So I was very happy to find the picture below on the Web. My photoshoping was not perfect, but you might see what the picture represents: It’s a tricycle with a rocket engine! Obviously, it’s a work of art (by “Rocketman” Ky Michaelson); and as such it is quite nicely done. But I don’t think I’ll buy this sort of thing as a toy to my son.
My central point – what I wanted to say by putting a picture of this motorcycle into a point – was that the information technology has until now been developed in a similar way: By adding powerful technology to a systemic ‘machinery’ that was already there, which was not meant to support it. The result is a collection of paradoxes, of which the information overload is a familiar example.
My reason for talking about this paradoxical way of developing information technology was to say that Knowledge Federation is developing a natural alternative, where whole systems are re-designed (in public informing, journalism, education, governance...) as it suits the capabilities of the technology, and various functions that those systems need to fulfill.