Knowledge has become social (surprise !)

Snip from Macro Principles

Even if it may seem obvious, this is a pretty deep MP. I was reminded of by this presentation of David Weinberger. What made me notice and reflect was two pieces.

First, his mailing-list. You subscribe to lots of mailing-lists. On each, there’s at least one true expert, even the leading one, who contributes. And yet, even though he or she is the best, each contribution is followed by a bunch of “Yes, but did you notice that…” or “Yes, I agree, and what do you think of the interaction with…”. So, plain and simple, the mailing-list is smarter than the best expert, no matter what. The second piece was his mention of the disconnect between the reality that knowledge has become social (kids do their homeworks socially, etc.) and the no less real reality that our education systems evaluate individuals in a non social context. And that’s what make this an important MP. Because we might indeed wonder whether evaluating students on their individual merits is the best public policy to pursue. Since most of the skills they will have to rely on in their work environment are social, why evaluate them individually ? Who’s the best employee, the one that is the best in his field or the one that motivate the ten best in the field to work together to achieve one common goal ?

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