Knowledge Networks and Intelligent Communities: Ontological Considerations

Prof. Carel Stephanus De Beer
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In this presentation the point of departure will be that knowledge is of the utmost importance for the well-being of society. The prosperity of a nation, geographical region, business, or individual depends on their ability to navigate the knowledge space, or to move around within knowledge networks. The optimal management, organization and usage of knowledge, whether it involves technology, science, communication, or our ethical relationship with the other are becoming powerful key issues in contemporary societies. The more we are able to form intelligent communities, or communities of thought related to these networks, as open-minded, cognitive subjects capable of initiative, imagination and rapid response, the more we will be able to ensure our success in highly competitive environments. It is clear that our relationship to the world is maintained through a formidable epistemological and logical infrastructure: educational and training institutions, communication networks, digitally supported intellectual technologies, the continuous improvement and distribution of skills and insights. In the long term everything is based on the flexibility and vitality of our knowledge networks: its production, transaction, transmission, exchange, and invention as well as our ability to move within these networks.

The hypothesis here is that it is possible, desirable and necessary to construct technical, social, and semiotic means that will effectively incarnate and materialize intelligent communities which are open to other members, other collectives, new understandings and insights and which is continuously in the process of composing and decomposing themselves as it wanders through the knowledge space as a virtual space. This virtual space that refers to vast digital networks, computer memories, interactive multimodal interfaces, quick and nomadic, which individuals can easily appropriate will be explored. The implied radically new relationship to knowledge, the inauguration of an unmediated communications space, the profound renewal of human relations, both within the context of work and within political life, a reinvention of democracy as a kind of demo-dynamics — all possibilities that are embodied in the ideal of the collective intellect or intelligent community will be spelled out.

The assumption is that the intelligent community is a kind of corporation in which each shareholder supplies as capital his knowledge, experience, and his ability to learn, to teach and to invent. In this milieu individual intelligences are not forced into submission, neither are they limited in their scope, but they are exalted, fructified, and reinvigorated. The members of this community search, consult, explore, connect, inscribe. Their collective knowledge is materialized in an immense multidimensional electronic image, perpetually metamorphosing, bustling with the rhythm of inspired inventions and discoveries. It will be shown that by coordinating their intelligences, their imaginations, and their inventive initiatives members of intelligent, thinking communities will promote the growth of the best, and advance toward a future that is always better. They will create a best that is always new and always different and always more hopeful.

Keywords: Knowledge Networks, Ontology
Stream: Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Prof. Carel Stephanus De Beer

Researcher, Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria
South Africa

Emeritus professor (University of South Africa), Researcher/lecturer in the Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Published numerous articles on different subjects, amongst others interpretation theory, theory on reading, communication, current French philosophy and postmodern thinking, knowledge utilization, philosophy of technology.

Ref: T05P0082