Wikis & Blogs in CIA

24 Sep 2005 (Sat)

Elliot Masie’s newsletter today highlighted a fascinating article written by an analyst in the CIA about the experimental use of Wikis, Blogs and other “community knowledge” tools in the Intelligence arena. The article is (“The Wiki and the Blog: Toward a Complex Adaptive Intelligence Community” by Dr D. Calvin Andrus – Central Intelligence Agency). Of particular interest to me is the comparison Andrus made between blogs and wikis and the need for three wrapper technologies (repository, search and feedback). Here’s an extract:

“US policy-makers, war-fighters, and law-enforcers now operate in a real-time worldwide decision and implementation environment. The rapidly changing circumstances in which they operate take on lives of their own, which are difficult or impossible to anticipate or predict. The only way to meet the continuously unpredictable challenges ahead of us is to match them with continuously unpredictable changes of our own. We must transform the Intelligence Community into a community that dynamically reinvents itself by continuously learning and adapting as the national security environment changes.

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Posted by J.K. in Collaborative, Constructive, Discursive, Facilitation, Learning, Technology | View Comments |

“We are Conversations… Iterating on Differences”

21 Sep 2005 (Wed)

Extracts from an interesting article on “Relativism and the Net” by David Weinberger:

Y’all know the relativist argument: Other people have views they hold as strongly as you hold yours. Those views are incompatible with yours. Thus, a sense of certainty is insufficient to guarantee truth. Therefore, we can’t trust certainty. Therefore, we have no way to decide whose views are right.

Good things come from this relativism, including a willingness to listen to others and maybe even a little humility. (That was, at least, until the Bush Doctrine declared humility to be unpatriotic.) But relativism contradicts a tenet of knowledge: To believe something is to believe that it’s true. Relativism wants to keep sneaking in a qualifier — “Of course, I might be dead wrong” — that seems to destroy the possibility of knowledge.

Worse, relativism can sap action: Since all sincerely held beliefs are equally valid, why go to any pains to defend yours?

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Posted by J.K. in Cognitive, Discursive, Emotive, Psychology, Technology | View Comments |

Age of Content Abundance

12 Sep 2005 (Mon)

An extract from Elliott Masie’s Learning Trends newsletter this week:

“Things change dramatically when a learner feels Content Abundance vs. Content Scarcity. A few years ago, we were often teaching learners who felt a sense of scarcity. They often viewed our classes or e-Learning modules as the primary or only solution to their information and knowledge needs. As the power of the internet is extended, I have noticed a major shift from Scarcity to Abundance.

“Many learners now feel information rich, or even overloaded. They know they can go to their search engine, type a few words and get an up to date list of links to knowledge resources. This is often viewed as better than the list of links that the classroom instructor hands out at the end of the class.

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