Knowledge Half-life, Scaffolding & the Future 'with no information'

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Subject: Knowledge Half-life, Scaffolding & the Future 'with no information'
From: Dennis Nelson (
Date: Mon 13 Mar 2000 - 15:26:41 MET

Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 09:26:41 -0500
From: Dennis Nelson <>
Subject: Knowledge Half-life, Scaffolding & the Future 'with no information'

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Is there a knowledge half-life?: True knowledge has an eternal life,
whether mechanical such as the simple machines, or mental or spiritual.
Carelessness in our use of language and our natural urge to strike out on
our own have led us to too disinterestedly pass on knowledge to our
succeeding generations. What is labeled knowledge that has a half-life
is either theory or a short-term fix for the symptom of a real underlying
problem: e.g., laying people off to "save money" and generate
"short-term profits" ignoring the long-term throwing away of knowledge
with the people and the soon to be incurred costs of training others and
possibly recapturing the thrown away knowldedge.

Scaffolded knowledge, used and no longer needed?: If we simply could
start with the physical, mental and spiritual bases of our ancestors,
perhaps we would have a situation applicable to scaffolded knowledge.
Contrarily, we seem to all have to learn life's lessons on our own:
perhaps in less or more time than others, perhaps with lighter or greater
consequence, etc., but still must learn each lesson on our own. Neither
our knowledge nor our structures survive relatively long periods in the
face of eternity. There is limited basic knowledge and limited variations
of its application. We learn these basics, and geometric increases in our
application abilities occur. e.g., the more languages we learn, the easier
the learning of additional languages becomes. e.g., the competencies in
becoming a maestro once applied, make success at another endeavor
more possible.

The future with no information?: unless life and existence (not the
trappings of technology or wealth) e.g., our individual human makeup
and interpersonal relationships, change more than they have in
thousands of years, the information we have had and still have our
offspring will have also, and it will still be applicable to their real
circumstances versus their perceived or contrived circumstances.


>>> tom abeles <> 03/11/00 09:53am >>>

 I am also not sure how this model takes into account the half-life of
knowledge, either that which is stored or that which is needed to solve a
problem. Finally, I am not sure how this takes into account "scaffolding"
or knowledge which provides support for a higher frame and then is
discarded, such as when the keystone is placed in an arch.

Underlying this, I am lost as to how this model deals with the future
where humans have to respond to situations where there is no
information in a warehouse or procedure which can be practiced and
demonstrated. In other words will the process proposed work best if
the invisible entity in the box exposed to the process has passed or
failed the Turing Test?


tom abeles

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