Building the Knowledge Network
Tony Smith, Meme Media, PICA Pty Ltd
In discussing how we are, and how we should be, Building the Knowledge Network,
I will avoid consideration of the pervasive role of the Net-Web as a general
informational and communications network, especially its uses for promotion
and transaction which are amongst the subjects of my workshop and one being
given by David Fox.
We firstly need to appreciate just how novel and how pervasive this
new medium is. We will next be concerned mainly with knowledge, in
particular issues of representing knowledge in various media, of the
academic production and the educational distribution of knowledge.
In conclusion we will discuss new ways of understanding which can be
profitably applied to this new medium and the kind of visionary thinking
which drives it onwards.
While the Net has a long history and the Web a long heritage, their current
visibility dates form the closing weeks of 1993 when NCSC released Mosaic
for the Macintosh and other PCs and Al Gore made his first Information Superhighway
speech. The early weeks of 1996 promise a shift of similar magnitude with
releases of Netscape 2.0, Java, VRML, Shockwave, etc. This adds to the uncertainty
of my task here.
The context of this presentation
The limits of knowledge
In talking of a knowledge network, I am unapologetically confining myself
to shared, generalised knowledge. I am not going to be concerned with mere
facts in isolation nor with the simple personal knowledge that we each accumulate
during a lifetime. It is only when knowledge is taken up by others that
it can become part of this knowledge network.