Knowledge management

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[1][The present author]] once made [a brief comment at the Brint Portal on the idea of thinking in terms of knowledge unmanagement, or the art and science of liberating knowledge from management.

After some thought, it occurred to me that some people, encountering the nomenclature "knowledge unmanagement," might form a mental picture of "unmanageable knowledge," or perhaps the desk of the Professor character in that comic strip I forgot the name of. The characters are birds, live and work in trees, and the main characters comprise the editorial staff of some newspaper apparently oriented to the avian audience. The goal of pubwan is NOT to be disorganized, rather the opposite.

Eventually I considered introducing "knowledge labor" as a nomenclature, essentially with the hopes of juxtaposing the words "management" and "labor," implying that peons have as much legitimate interest in knowedge (and advanced techniques for its use) as do authority figures, which is to say management types. But this too has its drawbacks. The notion that knowledge management "is" an employment concept may be seen by some to imply that knowledge labor is also an employment concept, perhaps related (or not?) to "other" employment concepts such as "knowledge worker," "professional status," "wages," etc.

The present author wishes to suggest an alternative parsing. Instead of mapping both KM and KL to E, she suggests suspending common sense to picture a virtual (i.e. mental image of a) chalkboard on which is written:

KM -> E

KL -> ~E

Yep, try mapping the imagined concept of "knowledge labor" to the unfortunately(?) less imaginary concept of "unemployment!" I find this a more aesthetically satisfying mapping for a number of reasons....

  1. It is one-to-one.
  2. E Ç ~E = Ø
  3. E U ~E = Øc

My own experience with unemployment has been a real quagmire. Well, obviously this is an exaggeration as a mere economic problem does not a quagmire make. I would never do that, but I might occasionally resort to hyperbole in order to help elucidate a point. Those who approve of courtesy will not (we hope) confuse the notion of "elucidating a point" with the concept of "point of light." The very patient reader who has put up with me this far will probably be patient enough to have waited through the nearly half hour long and wildly hyperbolic buildup of an episode of The Simpsons on at least one or maybe two occasions. Surely such a reader can forgive me for one very brief episode of hyperbolic usage.

While the problem of unemployment obviously pales in comparison to the problem of a bona fide quagmire, many of us do manage to find it to be a pain in the *.

Apparently, not all of us are so unfortunate! The late Free's textbook Revolution for the * of it included (among its many other interesting illustrations) a photostat (or mimeograph or carbon or whatever it is they called sam izdat back then) of the Yippie! platform for the year 1968. Apparently Yippie! was some kind of "apolitical party." One of it's demands in 1968 was "full unemployment."

/me wonders out loud whether Yippie! is to "apolitical party" as yahoo geo cities is to "proprietary cyberculture," while contemplating the regular expression ^Y.*!$

/me mounts bully pulpit and opines that pubwan really should be staffed by volunteers rather than employees. This would make pubwan a non-employer. To make pubwan an unemployer, I imagine it would have to make all its volunteers sign a boilerplate agreement not to moonlight for the purpose of supplementing their (zero, of course) paycheck from pubwan volunteering. Moonlighting for other purposes would, of course, probably not be considered "employment," and therefore not a violation of some imaginary unemployment requirement.

This would make volunteering to help pub wan the equivalent to taking a vow of poverty. Don't panic. If I thought pubwan needed depth of commitment more than it needs critical mass, I wouldn't have volunteered to try to help out as pubwan's volunteer coordinator.

Besides, pubwan deprecates boilerplate type arrangements on principle.

See pubwan inclusion model.

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