Knowledge Machine

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Knowledge Machine

  1. 1. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 111 Knowledge Machine Cooperative Knowledge working, Anti-Knowledge, and Radical Knowledge Creation By Bruce LaDuke knowledgemachine@hotmail.com Creative Non-Fiction - 55,318 words This work is being published under a Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (See next page for additional details)
  2. 2. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 112 License This work is being published under a Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported You are free: • To Share, copy, distribute and transmit the work Under the following conditions: • Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). • Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. • No Derivative Works. You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work. In addition: • For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page and give individuals authoring attribution by providing a link to our list of FSW Authors. • Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder. • Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the author's moral rights. Disclaimer I wrote a precursor to this book in 1991 entitled “Perpetual Renaissance, The Creativity Question Answered” and wrote this more comprehensive version in 2003. Some of the material is obviously dated and some of the content is difficult to follow, but I publish this for posterity and because the content is still very useful and fairly accurate. The next generation of this work can be found in the Future Society Wiki at www.integralfuturing.com.
  3. 3. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 113 Table of Contents License....................................................................................................................................... .........112 Disclaimer.......................................................................................................................... ................112 Part II – Radical Knowledge Creation................................................................................. .....................116 Chapter 6 – The Question/Definition Cycle............................................................................. .....116 The Definition of the Question............................................................................................. ...........117 Definitions....................................................................................................................................... .117 (3+3)-4=2................................................................................................................................ .................119 Example......................................................................................................................................... ...120 Advanced Definition................................................................................................ ......................121 Advanced Definitions.................................................................................................................. ...123 Key Question.................................................................................................................. .................126 The Definition of Definition............................................................................................................ .128 Advanced Definition................................................................................................ ......................132 Anti-Knowledge Key ........................................................................................................... ..........133 Key Question.................................................................................................................. .................133 Anti-Knowledge Key ........................................................................................................... ..........134 Anti-Knowledge Key ........................................................................................................... ..........136 Example......................................................................................................................................... ...137 Key Question.................................................................................................................. .................138 Anti-Knowledge Key ........................................................................................................... ..........139 Chapter 7 – Creativity Fallacies.................................................................................................... ...142 Fallacy 1 -- Human creativity is divine................................................................. .........................143 Fallacy 2 -- Creativity is seen from the perspective of the person, process or product............144 Fallacy 3 -- Various disciplines utilize creativity and innovation in different ways................144 Fallacy 4 -- Creativity, creative problem solving, innovation and creative methods are separate entities.......................................................................................................................... .......146 Fallacy 5-- An idea is an accident............................................................................................ ........146 Fallacy 6 -- Knowledge is stagnant............................................................................ .....................147 Fallacy 7 -- Mankind cannot control the rate of knowledge advance.................................... .....148 References:....................................................................................................................... ..................148 Chapter 8 - The Sum of Creative Method.................................................................. ....................149 1.Association, connection, structure, stratification and problem definition..........................149 2.Question-related, problem solving...................................................................... ....................149 3.Directional or morphological................................................................................................... .149 4.Subconscious .................................................................................................. ...........................149 5.Visual representation............................................................................................................ .....149 6.Holistic.............................................................................................................. ..........................149 References:....................................................................................................................... ..................155 Chapter 9 – Intelligence, Genius, Creativity, and Knowledge Creation....................................156 Key Question -- What is Genius?.............................................................................. ....................156 Definition..................................................................................................................... ....................156 Key Question -- What exactly is intelligence?..................................................... ........................157 Definition..................................................................................................................... ....................157 Advanced Definition................................................................................................ ......................158 Definitions........................................................................................................................................ .159
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Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 114 Anti-Knowledge Key.............................................................................................................. .........161 The Creative Science View......................................................................................................... ......161 Anti-Knowledge Key.............................................................................................................. .........163 Advanced Definitions.................................................................................................................. ...164 References.................................................................................................................. ....................166 Chapter 10 – The Knowledge Creation Engine............................................................ .................167 Advanced Definition................................................................................................ ......................168 Originated Concept............................................................................................. ...........................169 Originated Concept............................................................................................. ...........................170 Anti-Knowledge Key ........................................................................................................... ..........171 Anti-Knowledge Key ........................................................................................................... ..........172 Visualizing the Cutting Edge................................................................................. .........................174 Originated Concept............................................................................................. ...........................174 Advanced Definition................................................................................................ ......................175 Future.............................................................................................................................. ...................176 Originated Concept............................................................................................. ...........................178 Advanced Definition................................................................................................ ......................178 Originated Concept............................................................................................. ...........................179 Use familiar creative methods like brainstorming to help you exhaust all mental connections on the topic. The active agent in the brainstorming method is “exhaustion of mental elements. Brainstorming is effective because it helps to list/exhaust available options........180 You should force structure on everything you know about the problem or existing definition using categorization/taxonomy. In addition, one must break the problem down into the smallest mental elements within categories to begin to realize its structure.......................... ...180 Anti-knowledge Key ..................................................................................................................... .180 Exhaustively Question........................................................................................... ..........................180 Originated Concept............................................................................................. ...........................181 Anti-Knowledge Key ........................................................................................................... ..........181 Keep in mind that, as questions emerge, they need to be differentiated from known mental elements so that you will be able to visualize the cutting edge. This can be as simple as a matrix; or, for example, placing known information or definition in a square and questions or the unknown in a circle..................................................................................................... ...............182 Chapter 11 – The Knowledge Creation Enterprise................................................. ......................187 Advanced Definition................................................................................................ ......................187 .................................................................................................................................................... .........188 Advanced Definition................................................................................................ ......................189 Key Question.................................................................................................................. .................189 Advanced Definitions.................................................................................................................. ...189 Key Question.................................................................................................................. .................190 Where can an enterprise realize newly created knowledge?..................................................... ..190 The Model Knowledge Creation Enterprise..................................................................... .............193 What exactly is management?............................................................................................ .............194 Definitions....................................................................................................................................... .194 Enterprise Culture................................................................................................. ...........................196 Definition..................................................................................................................... ....................197 Advanced Definition................................................................................................ ......................197
  5. 5. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 115 Knowledge Creation Embedded in Enterprise Culture................................................ ...............199 The Knowledge Creation Process............................................................................... ....................202 Historical Idea Collection and Processing............................................................... ......................203 1. Weak Sponsorship, Communication and/or Change Management.....................................204 2. No Link or an Unclear Link to Science and Technology............................................... ..........205 3. Insufficient Knowledge Context..................................................................... ...........................205 To understand this typical problem we need to better understand knowledge context.........205 Definition..................................................................................................................... ....................206 Advanced Definitions.................................................................................................................. ...206 4. Complaint Overload/Complaint Confusion................................................................. ...........208 5. Inability to Cope with Constructive Criticism............................................. ............................208 6. The Voice Unheard Syndrome.............................................................................. .....................209 7. No clear processes for idea submission, collection and processing............................... ........210 8. No real or perceived benefit for knowledge creation................................................ ..............211 9. Concept Confusion............................................................................................... .......................212 10. A Breakdown in Supporting Management Areas (e.g., Metrics)....................... ..................212 11. External/Legal Barriers..................................................................................................... ........213 The Knowledge Creation Cultural Framework Summary................................. .........................213 Anti-Knowledge Key ........................................................................................................... ..........214 Chapter 12 - Knowledge Machine...................................................................... ............................215 Anti-Knowledge Key ........................................................................................................... ..........215 Anti-Knowledge Key............................................................................................................ ..........217 Key Question.................................................................................................................. .................218 Anti-Knowledge Key............................................................................................................ ..........219 Definitions....................................................................................................................................... .222 Definitions....................................................................................................................................... .225 Definitions....................................................................................................................................... .226 The Question Machine........................................................................................... ..........................226 The Big Loop...................................................................................................................................... 227 Originated Concept............................................................................................. ...........................228 Anti-Knowledge Key ........................................................................................................... ..........229
  6. 6. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 116 Part II – Radical Knowledge Creation Chapter 6 – The Question/Definition Cycle The Question of the Question quot;Why are we so much better at answering questions than at answering the right questions? Is it because we are trained at school and university to answer questions that others have asked? If so, should we be trained to ask questions?quot; [Or trained to ask the complete set of right questions in the right way?] -- Trevor Kletz (Analog Science Fiction, January 1994, p195) The question has vast untapped intellectual power. Consider the fact that nothing was ever conceived or ever invented as it relates to science and technology without first passing through the awesome power of the question. How can I...? When should we...? Where will it…? Questions are pioneers. Good questions tend to make us terribly uncomfortable, but questions are little signposts to new knowledge. Many questions flow from inquisitive young minds. It has been scientifically proven that the majority of all that we will learn as human beings will be learned in the first few years of our life. It is no coincidence that this is also the time that we ask the most questions. Child: quot;What's a raccoon, Daddy?quot;... Father: quot;It's an animal.quot; Child: quot;What's an animal?quot; Father: quot;It's a creature that lot's of times have four legsquot; Child: quot;What's a creature, Daddy?quot;... But alas, we grow older, wiser, and too ‘intellectual’ to ask questions. In a society that is founded upon memorization and intellect, a question really gains no clear advantage. In fact, it brings with it more risk of failure than advantage. What will my peers think if I ask that question? Will I look like I don’t know what I’m talking about? In a memorization driven, intellectual society, individuals must be seen as knowing because it is perceived as weakness to ask questions.
  7. 7. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 117 In our present culture, questions are used more like a weapon in guerrilla intellectual warfare. Individuals ask questions to test peers or to try to gain political advantage over them. Using questions in this way further deepens the stigma and negativity that surrounds this powerful tool. The question is the most powerful mental entity on the face of this earth. Questions are vastly under- utilized in academia. Everything we know, even the most apparently stable concepts; the simple concepts, the detailed concepts the scientific, or technological concepts are all subject to the awesome power of the question. Even staunch physical laws must surrender to strong questions. Questions are difficult. Questions demand change. Questions demand explanation. Questions demand new meaning/knowledge. The Definition of the Question Forming a question is essential to any human advance, whether it be on an individual level or a social level. As you will soon see, questions are intrinsic to problems and we will now analyze existing definitions and formulate an advanced definition. Please note that some definitions have been shortened to only contain relevant definitions. Definitions Prob·lem, n. A question to be considered, solved, or answered: math problems; the problem of how to arrange transportation. A situation, matter, or person that presents perplexity or difficulty: was having problems breathing; considered the main problem to be his boss. [1] Prob·lem, n. [F. probl[`e]me, L. problema, fr. Gr. ? anything thrown forward, a question proposed for solution, fr. ? to throw or lay before; ? before, forward + ? to throw. Cf. Parable. ]
  8. 8. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 118 1. A question proposed for solution; a matter stated for examination or proof; hence, a matter difficult of solution or settlement; a doubtful case; a question involving doubt. --Bacon. 2. (Math.) Anything which is required to be done; as, in geometry, to bisect a line, to draw a perpendicular; or, in algebra, to find an unknown quantity. Note: Problem differs from theorem in this, that a problem is something to be done, as to bisect a triangle, to describe a circle, etc.; a theorem is something to be proved, as that all the angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles. [2] Question, n 1. an instance of questioning; quot;there was a question about my trainingquot;; quot;we made inquiries of all those who were presentquot; [syn: inquiry, enquiry, query] [ant: answer] 2. the subject matter at issue; quot;the question of disease merits serious discussionquot;; quot;under the head of minor Roman poetsquot; [syn: head] 3. a sentence of inquiry that asks for a reply; quot;he asked a direct questionquot;; quot;he had trouble phrasing his interrogationsquot; [syn: interrogation, interrogative, interrogative sentence] 4. uncertainty about the truth or factuality of existence of something; quot;the dubiousness of his claimquot;; quot;there is no question about the validity of the enterprisequot; [syn: doubt, dubiousness, doubtfulness] 5. a formal proposal for action made to a deliberative assembly for discussion and vote; quot;he made a motion to adjournquot;; quot;she called for the questionquot; [syn: motion] [3] Question, v. 1. call into question; challenge the accuracy, probity, or propriety of; quot;We must question your judgment in this matterquot; [syn: oppugn] 2. pose a series of questions to; quot;The suspect was questioned by the policequot;; quot;We questioned the survivor about the details of the explosionquot; [syn: interrogate] 3. pose a question [syn: query] 4. place in doubt or express doubtful speculation; quot;I wonder whether this was the right thing to doquot;; quot;she wondered whether it would snow tonightquot; [syn: wonder] [3]
  9. 9. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 119 Summary Problem A problem is synonymous with a question and is difficult/requires effort. The word problem comes from the Greek word that means, “to throw or lay before.” In mathematics, a problem is something to be done while a theorem is something to be proved. Question (Noun) A question is an inquiry or query that demands a reply. A question is an uncertainty about the truth or factuality of existence of something. Question (Verb) To question is to challenge the accuracy, probity, or propriety of something, placing it in doubt. It seems odd that with all of the exacting terms in the dictionary, this term would be so nebulous. The current understanding is that a question is synonymous with a problem and questions are questions. When the definition for a question starts with “a question” one must wonder if it has truly been defined within society. We can establish from these definitions that a problem is simply a question or more typically a collection of questions formed to seek a definition/solution/answer. Problems are something to “throw or lay before.” They are synonymous with questions and stand as a bridge to future knowledge. When many think of a problem, they think of a mathematical language problem like: (3+3)-4. Using this as an example, we must perform a logical operation on this problem to bring it to solution. We have established, in our mathematical language, a value for 3, 4 and 2. Understanding these values we must use a logical operator of addition to quantify the sum of 3 and 3. This gives us six. We then proceed to apply the logical operator of subtraction. We subtract the 4 from 6 and arrive at a solution, 2. The solution to the problem equals 2. The final value after the logical operations are performed is 2. (3+3)-4=2 Assuming the values of the symbols are established, a problem can be reduced to questions:
  10. 10. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 120 • What logical operation do I perform first (indicated by parenthesis)? • What is 3 + 3? • What is 6 – 4? Some mathematical problems are so simple that they only contain a single question, for example, 1+1? (=2). This concept is often masked by the fact that we learn concepts and can innately answer problems based on knowledge recollection. Yet, to the individual who first encounters this “problem” it is a series of component questions seeking to answer a collective “problem.” Problems are questions and questions are problems, even within natural language, as in the following example. Example A wife asks her husband, “Honey, there is a problem with this faucet, would you fix it?” The husband embarks on the problem, which is really a collection of questions: • He turns the faucet on. Is there water running? There is no water running out (data collection). • Is the faucet opening obstructed? Husband looks into the faucet nozzle to see if it is obstructed (data collection). • Why is there no water? Husband observes that the faucet is not running (data collection). • Is there water in the pipes? Husband opens the cabinet door and feels the pipes to see if they are hot or cold. They are not hot or cold (data collection).
  11. 11. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 121 • Is the water pump working? Husband checks the pump in the basement to verify that it is in working order. The pump is operating properly (data collection). • Is there water coming into the house? While the pump is running the pressure gauge shows no pressure (data collection). Husband notices that the water main coming into the house does not have condensation on it, which is typical when it is moving water (data collection). • Why is there no water in the water main? Husband calls the local Water Company and asks this question (data collection). • Solution/Answer/New Knowledge: The response is “Sir, there is a construction project in your neighborhood and they severed a water main with a backhoe. Water will be available in about six hours.” The husband begins investigation of the problem and using both inductive and deductive logic as well as personal effort, arrives at a solution. Whether it be a centrifugal pump on a nuclear generator, a mathematical equation, or the kitchen sink; all problems can be reduced to questions. Just take a moment and think of any problem in your mind and reduce it to a set of questions on a blank sheet of paper. All problems can be broken down into individual questions. So then, what is a question? Problems and questions arise when there is an absence of logical knowledge structure. Advanced Definition Question/problem The question/problem is the mental realization of the absence of knowledge/knowledge structure or the perception of the existence of an unknown, which does not yet have structure/meaning/definition/solution.
  12. 12. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 122 If the mind does not discern or realize this lack of structure, the question does not emerge. Two Questions Types There are two sides to every question. -- Protagoras, From DIOGENES LAERTIUS, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, Protagoras, bk. IX, sec. 51 For centuries, the concept of the question has received little scholarly attention, and has been shrouded in both wonder and mediocrity, yet questions continue to be a pervasive aspect of our existence. 1. Who invented the cotton gin? 2. What type of steel can withstand the highest tension? 3. When is the best time to plant corn in Indiana? 4. Where is the highest population density on earth? 5. Why does the earth rotate on its polar axis? 6. How can light be accelerated? Study these six questions above, which one is distinct from the others and why? The question, “How can light be accelerated?” is different than the rest of the set. This question is distinct from the other questions because it asks a question for which there is no known answer. The other five questions ask about knowledge that exists, but this question is directed toward knowledge that does not yet exist. Related to this, society perceives the concept of the problem as operating in two distinct ways, preconceived and investigative. Preconceived problems are learning problems. They have been set up in a pre-conceived manner in order to produce a learning result. For example, when an instructor gives students a mathematical problem with a known answer, someone has already found a solution. But to the student, the logical process is hidden and must be found. The student questions the problem along the same line of reasoning as the original problem solver. As another example, if a scientist constructs a maze and then a rat is placed in that maze to find its way out, then the knowledge concerning the solution to this rat’s quot;problemquot; existed prior to the tested subject's
  13. 13. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 123 exposure to that problem. While the knowledge existed, the subject tested did not have access to the knowledge of the solution. Investigative problems, on the other hand, are problems that arise at the “cutting edge” of human knowledge. The answers/solutions to this type of problem create new knowledge. Advanced Definitions Learning Questions Questions about knowledge that already exists. Knowledge Creation Questions Questions about knowledge that does not yet exist. Problem A collection of questions. Learning Problems Problems created from knowledge that exists. Knowledge Creation Problems Problems that seek out knowledge that does not yet exist. The question is the bridge between that which is known and that which is not yet known. But there are two types of unknown: 1) That which is known by society but not known by the learner. 2) That which is not known by society or the learner. As the bridge to both the learning and knowledge creation worlds, the question is a powerful intellectual entity. Let’s look in more detail at each question type. Learning questions
  14. 14. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 124 Learning questions are at the cutting edge of the individual learning process. For the two year-old this might be as simple as “what is hot?” while for the physics student it may be a question like “what is quantum mechanics?” In either case, the question thrusts the learner into knowledge that exists. Learning questions serve as little explorers of existing knowledge. Study is closely tied to questioning. When a person studies existing knowledge, they are transferring existing knowledge structures from society. In order to do this the learner must create logic from any questions that arise. As long as the learner has questions, the knowledge has not been completely incorporated. Learning questions direct individuals and social groups to existing knowledge. For example, a young child asks his or her parents why the moon shines at night. The knowledge freely exists in the social knowledgebase and many individuals have already learned this knowledge. The child, by asking this question, has initiated the learning process. The question itself was not learning, but did bring the child to an awareness of existing knowledge. It is important here to quickly look at the search engine, but in the context of these two question types. The closest machine equivalent to asking a question is a query. A query is a computer term for a request to recall specific information that matches noted requirements or stipulations. In the typical query, the system is asked to recall data or knowledge from its database or knowledgebase. The system returns a group of positive results for the stipulations of the query or provides a “no results” answer. An Internet query, or search engine search, will return knowledge that exists. Search engines cannot yet return knowledge that does not exist. Anti-Knowledge Key A systems query as we know it today, is directed at existing knowledge and asks learning questions. A knowledge creation query does not exist. Knowledge Creation Questions Knowledge creation questions are pioneers of new knowledge. In the knowledge creation question is wrapped up all of the intellectual power of the universe. Knowledge creation questions arise when a person realizes a lack of structure that relates to existing knowledge.
  15. 15. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 125 Knowledge creation questions are not the entire process of creating new knowledge, but these questions indicate areas of potential intellectual advance and as such are situated beyond the cutting edge. Consider the fact that absolutely nothing would be known without first passing through this question type. Indeed, understanding the mechanics of this question opens the door to accelerated and even mechanized knowledge advance. It is natural to focus on the known, since our senses naturally take us there. The unknown requires creativity and innovation to even reach, and neither of these is sensory. As more and more knowledge is amassed, it becomes even more difficult to focus on the unknown. The complexity of the known can easily go beyond the individual’s capacity to retain the same in his or her intellect. As such, exploration of the known can take a lifetime in and of itself. All questions beyond the cutting edge are knowledge creation questions, but only those on the cutting edge can be immediately converted to new knowledge. Figure 6:1 Knowledge is created from a structural context. The end of this structural context is the cutting edge. No one ever solved a “cutting edge” problem (creating new knowledge) without first understanding the context of the problem. The context is all related knowledge required for advance. Sometimes called the learning curve, an individual must be oriented to knowledge context before he or she is able to understand how to make significant problem solving contributions.
  16. 16. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 126 Knowledge creation questions that extend far beyond the cutting edge are known as theory. Theoretical questions are typically foreign to individuals oriented to an existing knowledge context. Theoretical questions can, however, serve as a type of a knowledge goal or roadmap that points to new knowledge. The knowledge creation question points to new knowledge like a road sign. Understanding how to find them and what to do with them once they are found, is paramount to the rapid advance of society. The concept of anti-knowledge, which will be introduced in detail later, points to the existence of these questions and facilitates their translation into new knowledge. Key Question The concept of two question types seems so simple, why hasn’t it been realized? Identifying the question types is elusive because people hold different subjects and levels of knowledge in the individual intellect. To illustrate, consider an individual looking at the set of six questions we introduced earlier in this chapter: 1. Who invented the cotton gin? 2. What type of steel can withstand the highest tension? 3. When is the best time to plant corn in Indiana? 4. Where is the highest population density on earth? 5. Why does the earth rotate on its polar axis? 6. How can light be accelerated? Imagine that this individual comes to the conclusion that the answers to only four of these questions exist. In reality the answers to five exist, but this individual is only personally aware of answers to four of the questions and assumes that the other items are unknown by anyone. On the converse, it is possible for an individual to have personal knowledge that society is not aware of. Some individual may indeed have discovered how to accelerate light and I, in writing this book, am unaware of that this knowledge exists because for whatever reason, it has not yet been delivered to society.
  17. 17. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 127 Complexity is added to question identification by four primary factors: 1. Knowledge may be in a social knowledgebase that individuals have not learned or are not aware of. 2. Individuals and/or social groups can choose not to deliver this knowledge or fail to deliver this knowledge. 3. The knowledge that exists is not accessible. 4. The knowledge that exists, but is discounted because it cannot be understood. If you now consider that every question and every knowledge concept is subject to these same factors with a different mix for each individual and social group, it becomes much easier to understand why this concept of two question types has been shrouded in mystery for centuries. To further illustrate this concept, imagine that all the knowledge in world society was contained on 4x6 index cards and stored in a massive building. The contents of that building would represent the knowledge of that society. Individuals could interact with the knowledge filing system of the building to strengthen their individual intellect, but as a rule the cards must stay in the building. At times an individual may come up with a concept that is not housed in the building. In this case the individual has a choice. He or she may hold the knowledge in the personal intellect, or deliver the same to the filing system to be recorded and stored in the building. Once it is stored there it becomes a “social known” though still many people are not aware of its existence, particularly if its existence is not broadly communicated by, for example, a new knowledge memo from the building. Regarding questions, if an individual asks a question of the keepers of the knowledge contained in the building, he or she would need to locate, or be instructed on how to locate, the piece of paper that holds the answer. As long as the card is in the building, even if it cannot be located, it is a learning question. If the same individual asks a question of a topic that was not contained on a card in the building, such a question would be directed toward knowledge that does not yet exist, at least publicly (in the building). This is a knowledge creation question. Consider in this same scenario, how difficult it would be to discover that the knowledge is not yet known. There are literally billions of cards in this building and searching for a possibly “new”
  18. 18. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 128 concept is a daunting task. Of course, computers make instantaneous searching possible, but would not guarantee the logic and integration of the knowledge filing system. Great confusion has evolved from a simple misunderstanding of these two question types. Learning and knowledge creation are often confused and knowledge creation is often ignored as a result. While questions are powerful, they are not independent. Questions have a partner in the definition. These two cooperate to create new knowledge in a cyclical and definable process. To understand this process, we first need to understand the definition. The Definition of Definition The dictionary is not strictly a modern concept, but its modern foundation date back to 1721: quot;Dictionaries were produced in China, Greece, Islam, and other complex early cultures. The first modern examples of lexicography are thought to be Nathan Bailey's Universal Etymological English Dictionary (1721) and his larger Dictionarium Britannicum (1730)” [4] Later and most notable, Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, was a compilation of 70,000 definitions for words in the English language. Little did Noah Webster realize at that time that his work would develop into an irrefutable bulwark of world society. The popularity of the work was immense as it recorded the meaning of most of the significant terms in use by society at that time. But as technology arose and knowledge began to multiply, the multi-volume encyclopedia developed (1891) as a new resource. The encyclopedia grew larger in size as knowledge diversified into multiple disciplines. Many of these developed their own independent body of knowledge and relevant dictionary of terms (e.g. the medical dictionary). With the development of the computer, knowledge expanded exponentially till it reached the height of vast multidisciplinary and interactive knowledge bases we have today, with hundreds of fields of study advancing existing terms and generating new terms daily. How does one go about defining the definition? Let’s look at current definitions.
  19. 19. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 129 Definitions Def·i·ni·tion, n. 1. a. A statement conveying fundamental character. b. A statement of the meaning of a word, phrase, or term, as in a dictionary entry. 2. The act or process of stating a precise meaning or significance; formulation of a meaning. 3. a. The act of making clear and distinct: a definition of one's intentions. 4. a. The clarity of detail in an optically produced image, such as a photograph, effected by a combination of resolution and contrast. [1] Definition 1. The act of defining; determination of the limits; as, a telescope accurate in definition. 2. Act of ascertaining and explaining the signification; a description of a thing by its properties; an explanation of the meaning of a word or term; as, the definition of “circle;” the definition of “wit;” an exact definition; a loose definition. Definition being nothing but making another understand by words what the term defined stands for. -- Locke. 3. Description; sort. [R.] ``A new creature of another definition.'' --Jer. Taylor. 4. (Logic) An exact enunciation of the constituents which make up the logical essence. 5. (Opt.) Distinctness or clearness, as of an image formed by an optical instrument; precision in detail. Syn: Definition, Explanation, Description. Usage: A definition is designed to settle a thing in its compass and extent; an explanation is intended to remove some obscurity or misunderstanding, and is therefore more extended and minute; a description enters into striking particulars with a view to interest or impress by graphic effect. It is not therefore true, though often said, that description is only an extended definition. “Logicians distinguish definitions into essential and accidental. An essential definition states what are regarded as the constituent parts of the essence of that which is to be defined; and an accidental definition lays down what are regarded as circumstances belonging to it, viz., properties or accidents, such as causes, effects, etc.”--Whately. [2] Definition n 1: a concise explanation of the meaning of a word or phrase or symbol 2: clarity of outline; “exercise had give his muscles superior definition” [3]
  20. 20. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 130 Solution 2. The act of solving, or the state of being solved; the disentanglement of any intricate problem or difficult question; explanation; clearing up; -- used especially in mathematics, either of the process of solving an equation or problem, or the result of the process. [2] Solution, n. 2: a statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem; quot;they were trying to find a peaceful solutionquot;; quot;the answers were in the back of the bookquot;; quot;he computed the result to four decimal placesquot; [syn: answer, result, resolution] 3: a method for solving a problem; quot;the easy solution is to look it up in the handbookquot; 4: the set of values that give a true statement when substituted into an equation [syn: root] [3] Summary Definition A statement of fundamental character or meaning The act of stating precise meaning or significance The act of making clear and distinct A concise explanation or description of the fundamental character, significance or meaning of a word, phrase or symbol, by its properties, to make it clear and distinct An exact enunciation of the constituents, which make up the logical essence To determine limits or boundaries, scope Solution The disentanglement of any intricate problem or difficult question (answers a question) that results in an answer, explanation, result, clearing up or resolution A statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve a problem In mathematics, the process of solving an equation, problem or the result of the process. The set of values that give a true statement when substituted into an equation
  21. 21. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 131 Summary • A definition provides meaning • By implication, a definition brings clarity and therefore it also answers questions • A solution solves a problem • A solution answers a question • A definition enunciates the logical essence As we summarize these existing definitions, it is easy to see the circular logic contained in them. Behind all of this confusion is hidden a single, unified process that drives all social advance. Both solution and definition answer questions, clear up a process or a problem and advance knowledge. Both the solution and the question provide meaning, though often from the standpoint of different types of languages (mathematical vs. natural language). In reality, a solution is a definition and a definition is a solution. Recall now our earlier anti-knowledge: Anti-Knowledge Key Everything intelligible has meaning. Once a group of unintelligible, unstructured mental elements (data) is structured, the result is knowledge/meaning/structure/definition/association/pattern recognition, etc. Knowledge = meaning. All knowledge has meaning and anything with meaning is knowledge. In defining or solving something for the first time we create structure/meaning and definition/solution is the result.
  22. 22. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 132 Advanced Definition Meaning/Structure/Definition/Solution/ Comprehension – The result Meaning is synonymous with structure and with definition and is the foundation of knowledge, meaning is a logical conclusion, a pattern recognition, a connection, or an association that can result in an expression of knowledge. All knowledge has meaning/structure/definition and the sum of meaning/structure/definition comprises knowledge. Anti-Knowledge Key Through the process of logic/reason/inference we create Meaning/Structure/Definition/Solution/ Comprehension (the result) While there are nuances in these terms that are slightly distinct, all of these terms represent a knowledge result. Advanced Definition Definition The concise verbal or visual description/synopsis of any level of knowledge that e.g. makes clear an object, a process, a topic, a domain, a discipline, a body of knowledge, or any other scope of the sum of knowledge. A definition is: • Synonymous with meaning, structure, comprehension, solution (while there are nuances in these terms as it relates to the language they support, they all represent a knowledge result) • Constantly advancing • Involved in a dynamic interaction with the question
  23. 23. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 133 The Progression of Meaning Now let’s expand on our advanced definition and incorporate the progressive nature of knowledge as I begin to reveal the cycle of definition/question/definition. New terms, like cyborg, cybernetics, hypertext, Internet, are born every year, and with increasing frequency. The process appears slow and cumbersome from the vantage point of daily, or even yearly activity, but terms are being invented and definitions created every year. In fact, this progression of terms and term meaning is the progression of science and technology. The term’s science and technology represent the cumulative result of micro level advances in meaning (advances in terms and definitions). Anti-Knowledge Key The speed at which terms are created is the speed of social advance. When we create/originate a new scientific or technological concept and accompanying term, we create knowledge. We are either advancing our understanding of terms, definitions and meaning, or we are dwelling in the history of past creation and discovery. Key Question Are definitions stagnant or do they evolve? Cybernetics is a relatively new term. Is it fully defined? If you ask a cyberneticist, they would say no, because it is a fairly young discipline. But will it ever be fully defined? The term was originated several years ago and has continued to evolve since then. The term will continue to evolve until it migrates into another level of understanding and a new term is originated to take its place.
  24. 24. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 134 Consider the term ‘computer.’ Have we fully defined the term? Are computers continuing to grow and evolve? At some point in our future will the concept of the computer transform into a new or related term? At this point we don’t know for certain how the concepts and knowledge will develop, but we can be absolutely certain that it absolutely will change. The meaning will progress, the object will progress and at some point the term will be revised or replaced. Even a simple term like rabbit; has it changed over time? The answer is yes. Its habitat has changed with the infusion of suburbs. Its diet might then have changed. Our understanding of the genetic makeup might have changed. We now have more knowledge of various species. We probably now can clone rabbits, so is a cloned rabbit still a rabbit? The rabbit may also be slowly evolving to a different type of creature because of impacts on its environment. Our understanding of the rabbit is reacting and changing itself to respond to these various changes. Even if the rabbit were never going to change, our mental understanding of that rabbit will change. The main point of this particular example is that literally noting is standing still. Not in our physical or our intellectual world. Therefore definitions absolutely will evolve. Everything is in a state of change, absolutely everything. At some point in the future, we will change our perception around our entire reality, as we know it. The old will still exist, but only as the history of creation and discovery. Most individuals see the concept of the question as fluid, but would have more difficulty seeing the concept of the definition as fluid. The definition is a bulwark of mental stability, how can it be fluid? Of course the etymology of words reveals a slowly evolving meaning and representation within each and every term. Anti-Knowledge Key Definitions are in a constant state of flux. Movement is very slow and sometimes is counterproductive to knowledge, but these continually change into a different (higher or lower) order with the passing of time. But movement of a term is not always progressive. Sometimes terms move across disciplinary boundaries, cultural boundaries, or other boundaries and change in meaning, but do not advance the term in so doing. Other times a term may actually go into error or falsehood and not progress.
  25. 25. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 135 More often than not, movement equals a loss of meaning or the addition of confusion. Disciplinary boundaries make it very difficult to realize progression. Terms may be originated in one disciplinary silo and then migrate over to another discipline with either new words to describe the concept or a change in meaning (see Figure 6:2). The entire scenario can be very, very complex. Figure 6:2 The Question/Definition Cycle There is a mental cycle that is so pervasive that it impacts the entire fabric of human existence. But in spite of its pervasive nature, the evidence of this cycle often takes decades to manifest. Because it moves painfully slow, the cycle has remained hidden for ages. This cycle is the cycle of the definition and question.
  26. 26. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 136 Anti-Knowledge Key Knowledge and intellect in our world culture is valued far above the question, but in reality, knowledge and the question are partners in the cycle of knowledge creation. We ask questions around defined concepts; we answer these questions and thereby advance to advanced definitions/solutions. It is interesting to note here that across disciplines the many activities are precluded by a definition stage. For example: • Systems developers call it requirements gathering. • Instructional designers call it a performance assessment. • Reengineering experts call it as-is process mapping. • Scientists call it problem formulation • Project Managers call it work-breakdown structure. • Teachers call it lesson-planning. • Architects call it drafting. • Lawyers call it case-building. • Clinicians call it patient screening. • Mechanics calls it troubleshooting. The first step of every mental endeavor in business, research, invention, or anything intellectual is to define or confirm an existing definition. The second step is to find and ask questions. And the final step is to advance the definition with solutions to questions, thereby arriving at an advanced level of knowledge. The basic realization that one must arrive at is that everything solved or defined, can be further advanced. In effect, there is nothing that we know (no matter how new or unique) that cannot eventually be transformed into something more advanced. The door to new knowledge is in asking questions about existing definitions/solutions.
  27. 27. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 137 Example The Telephone Look at the concept of the telephone. A pretty solid and simple concept, one would think. The telephone is a means to communicate with a person in a different location without physically traveling to his or her location. Asking a few questions begins to unveil the dynamic, expansive nature of the telephone concept: • Are you communicating through a wire, fiber optics or via a wireless frequency? • Is the communication vehicle, sound waves, microwaves or light? • How many people can communicate together via one system? Can you conference call? • Do you dial a number, punch a code, speak to a terminal or simply think about an individual and thereby instigate a transmission? • Will you type the words or speak them or speak them and have the computer type them? • Is there any type of security involved in your communication? • Is your communication private? • Can you store your communication? • Can you report on your communications? • Does the person you want to contact have to receive your transmission immediately or can it be stored until a convenient time (voice mail, e-mail, etc.)? • Can you forward a message from another individual? • Can you broadcast a message to thousands? • Can you use the item for home and business? • Are you mobile while you communicate? • What mechanism notifies the receiver of your communication, a light, a noise, an icon or some other signal? • Can you see the person you are talking with? • Can you change frequency? • Can you project a holographic image to the person you want to communicate with? • Can you communicate without the use of sound waves or words?
  28. 28. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 138 • Can you communicate with a form of language that does not rely on sound waves or technology, i.e. telepathy? Of course these are but a few of the vast number of questions that have driven and will drive the expansion of the concept of a telephone. Internet e-mail, chat rooms, web conferencing, streamcasts, video conferencing, cell phones, and a host of other options are now developing as a new wave of communication tools is currently being created. In short, a telephone today is not the same rotary dial telephone of 30 years ago. The definition has expanded and grown more complex. A telephone is still a concept, but is quickly becoming knowledge history. Lingual representation shifts when the manner in which a particular meaning is represented by language changes. This might be through a literal shift in language that describes the term and it might be through a gradual shift of the description in the same language. For example, the British use of quot;squot; versus the American English use of quot;zquot; in the term organization (or organization). Over time, the American brand of English developed to use a different descriptor (essentially the same language) for the same meaning. Not only is language evolving, but even more importantly, meaning is also simultaneously evolving. It is in this often gradual evolution of meaning that the question/definition cycle is constantly circulating. Word meanings change as the concept these describe change. Terms found in the original Webster's dictionary are at times quite different than the accepted meaning today. In addition, new terms have continually developed to help represent the additional complexity in concepts. Concepts evolve and language also evolves to keep pace with this evolution of meaning. Key Question How then does meaning evolve? Meaning evolves through the cycle of the definition and question. As an existing concept is scrutinized, questions become evident. As questions around a particular concept are answered, meaning evolves and eventually this evolution of meaning impacts the definition of the term describing the concept.
  29. 29. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 139 Definitions and questions continually cycle in this manner. Because most people are fully unaware of this cycle the rate and consistency of the advance of meaning is irregular. This seemingly random nature of thought has acted for centuries as a cloak for the cycle of the question and definition and kept it hidden from scholarship. Intellectual advance is not random, but is instead unwittingly purposed and methodical. This cycle is a cause and effect process. As questions are uncovered and answered, potential knowledge is formed. The question both identifies the lack of logic and prompts for advance of logic. All questions test the logic of a particular definition and drive its expansion. Anti-Knowledge Key The question is the vehicle whereby we harness and stabilize data collected which is structured through logic into knowledge. Between the stability of defined knowledge and the vastness of sensory data lies an arbitrator with great power. The question is more than a creativity method, but rather it is the mediator between the social knowledge base and the random universe. Definitions are not stagnant, but ever changing and evolving into higher and more complex forms. And at the leading edge of this advance we find an array of questions aimed at the existing standard. Questions identify immediate and pressing opportunities for knowledge advance, opportunities for “concept origination,” but these questions are intrinsically tied to the existing definition. While it is important to define a problem and ask questions for knowledge advance, it is equally important to realize that the questions are irrevocably linked to a foundation of existing standards, for without the definition there would be no question to ask. In 1999 I published an article in the American Creativity Association (ACA) newsletter on the concept of the spoon. At that time, at least to my knowledge at that time, there was no such thing as the portable pudding or yogurt packages and the many other types of self-dispensing containers that are available today. Below is an excerpt from this article, see the text in bold.
  30. 30. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 140 “Think of the word quot;spoon,quot; an eating utensil...quite stable, or so you might think. Over the years spoons have taken on many forms; soup spoons, salad spoons, ladles, teaspoon, tablespoon, baby spoon, measuring spoon, strainer spoon, wooden spoon, silver spoon, plated spoons, etc. Consider of all the knowledge that exists to support (or define) even such a simple concept; knowledge of metals, plastics, wood and knowledge for combining materials; knowledge of manufacturing equipment (e.g. mold, stamp, etc.) and processes (e.g., quality control, resource planning, packaging, etc.). Knowledge of marketing (e.g. how many to whom and of what material). But with all this knowledge of the spoon and its manufacture, we cannot assume that society has arrived at an immovable standard. For where there is a standard, there is potential to advance that standard; which leads us then to the awesome power of the question. What is a spoon? A simple definition might be a utensil used to transfer food in somewhat liquid or unstable form to the body. Are there other ways we might transfer this type of material to the body? Can we change the design of the spoon to make this process more effective or comfortable? How else could we make the spoon? Is the handle effective? What are the drawbacks of the current handle? What are the drawbacks of the spoon itself? Can we substitute a large diameter straw for soup? Can we change the food itself to be capable of ingestion without utensils (e.g. in tablet form)? From what other materials could we make the spoon to make it more cost effective, comfortable or efficient? What material would allow the best ease of clean up (e.g. Teflon coated)? What material would best resist heat? Indestructible spoons? Could we make spoons of inexpensive, disposable and biodegradable material? Microwavable spoons? Freezable spoons? Spoons that hold content in the handle? Containers designed to transfer material to the body without a separate spoon (spoon essentially built in)?” After reading this excerpt, you can plainly see that the term, which at the time was very much a bulwark of immovable definition, when challenged by the power of someone’s question, emerged with new meaning. Today, spoons for some products are not necessary, perhaps in the future, there will be indestructible spoons? We might want to subject the spoon to further scrutiny via questions and open up a world of possibilities. Dissolving spoons? Self-washing spoons? Dual purpose spoons? Environmentally friendly spoons? The possibilities are vast. Consider of all the knowledge/definition/structure that exists to fully define even such a simple concept: • Knowledge of materials (metals, plastics or wood/tolerances, pliability, heat resistance, etc.) • Knowledge of toxicity • Knowledge for combining materials
  31. 31. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 141 • Knowledge of manufacturing equipment (e.g., CNC mill, mold, stamp) • Knowledge of manufacturing processes (quality control, resource planning, packaging, etc.) • Knowledge of marketing (e.g. how many to whom and of what material) But with all this knowledge and more, we cannot assume that society has arrived at an immovable standard with regard to the spoon. For where there is a standard, there is potential to advance that standard. There are an equal number of questions to match this knowledge. This is the cycle of question and definition that is central to all knowledge advances. This same cycle is repeated in countless scenarios every day. We must pass through the question to advance definitions; over and over and over again. References [1] The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. [2] Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc. [3] WordNet ® 1.6, © 1997 Princeton University [4] The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, quot;Dictionaryquot;, pp. 232, Copyright 1983 by Columbia University Press, ISBN: 0-380-63396-5 [5] “Definition, Question and the Creativity Engine,” American Creativity Association Focus Newsletter, Volume 10, No 1, Jan-Feb, 1999
  32. 32. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 142 Chapter 7 – Creativity Fallacies Let’s first review the goal of this book, so you don’t become weary in this somewhat difficult investigation of terms. It may seem like we are jumping around quite a bit, but very soon all of these disparate investigations will come together in a single, simple solution. As you’ve likely notice by now, this book is methodically breaking down the uniqueness of words that were long seen as distinct. Many words are actually synonyms, even though we define them differently. Revealing these synonyms often greatly simplifies what were seemingly complex and disparate concepts. This book has targeted many of these terms with the ultimate goal of arriving at the painfully simple process of knowledge creation—and to provide you with tools that will radically advance science and technology in any discipline. It is impossible to be an expert in, or to reference all of the experts in semiotics, semantics, artificial intelligence, cybernetics, taxonomy, ontology, cognitive science, computer science, library and information science, epistemology, etc. In so doing, this work would quickly become a puddle of references and semantic barriers. Instead, my primary goal has been to break down this intellectual complexity, discover synergies and fallacies, and develop a concise vision of the knowledge adventure we have embarked upon. The term creativity is truly a key in this effort. It has literally hundreds of definitions across disciplines. It also has many hidden synonyms. Thousands and thousands of books have been written to try to define it. But in this book I will contend that the vast majority of these efforts are confused because they have not understood the term across all disciplines and in a truly holistic sense. Creativity Fallacies A fallacy is a misconception or error that results from incorrect reasoning or poorly structured logic. Many commonly accepted precepts around creativity are actually fallacies and are hindering our progress in understanding the term. This section deals with several of these fallacies in detail and provides a brief explanation for why each is false. These will be further validated in subsequent chapters and will serve as a foundation for the new look at human creativity, which I intend to present.
  33. 33. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 143 Fallacy 1 -- Human creativity is divine Divine creation is the creation of something from nothing. Divine creation does not imply reconstruction from, or reorganization of, existing materials. A work of art, for example is a creation through the reorganization of materials that exist. So how does human creativity work, is it the creation of something from nothing or the rearranging of existing elements. For centuries creativity held with it both a privilege and a stigma. Those blessed with this creativity were exercising a “gift” in the divine. Creativity was absolutely not a learned behavior or a skill, but was rather a lofty state reserved for gifted individuals. With this gift often came a stigma that if you were a “creative type” you could not possibly be intellectual. The two were typically mutually exclusive. And even when individuals possessed this gift, they were still not necessarily accepted for their creative ideas. In fact, many were rejected, even burned at the stake, for their new concepts. Today, in many organizations, new ideas are rewarded and encouraged. However, even today, new ideas have a mystical air and not always well received. Corporate culture can even foster the perception that ideas are threatening or counter-productive. The mysticism that has surrounded human creativity for centuries has actually shielded society from advancing this term. Why try to understand mysticism? It is obviously beyond human understanding and pure knowledge of it is unattainable. While there is a temptation to let human creativity remain mystical, unfortunately we humans are really “manipulators” of existing reality. As individuals with creative ideas changed the face of society in a seemingly random fashion, society saw the revolutionary process and marveled at the progression. Yet they did not explore enough to realize that these grand new ideas were actually intrinsically tied to existing knowledge. With regard to intellectual endeavors, humans quot;createquot; something from something. They utilize, manipulate, combine and connect mental and physical elements that exist to “create” new physical and intellectual products.
  34. 34. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 144 As trees exist in nature and are manipulated into various forms to produce building material to create the product of a house, such are the multitude of physical and intellectual products. We are manipulating our reality to produce a new product that exists also within that same reality. It is easy to see that we manipulate physical elements into products because we can see the raw material, the construction or manufacturing process and the resulting product. But intellectual raw materials, process and product are not visible, making the intellectual state much more difficult to observe and creating this shroud of mysticism around creativity. Fallacy 2 -- Creativity is seen from the perspective of the person, process or product The prevailing efforts of scholarship in recent history have concentrated on creativity from one of the three perspectives; the creative person, the creative process or the creative product. Creativity is a process utilized by persons to create either a physical or an intellectual product. Creativity is not a person or a product. One might look at a painting and describe it as a creative work, but it was the creative process, executed by a human person, that made that work possible. Related to this, one could study creative persons throughout the next decade, as many have in past decades, and never realize the mechanics of this process and how it works. This fallacy probably leans a little toward the realm of a simple distraction, but it is certain that if one does not see human creativity as a distinct process that specific process can never be ascertained. Fallacy 3 -- Various disciplines utilize creativity and innovation in different ways Creativity is universal. The artist, musician and inventor use the same creative process as the engineer, computer programmer, chemist or technician. Creativity and innovation describe a single process that is inherent to every discipline and every business enterprise. Indeed it is a process that is inherent to every human advance. Think for a moment of what would have been accomplished in human society, if individuals had not been creative and innovative. Accomplishments like sending a man to the moon or the invention of the automobile surely come to mind. However, absolutely no human accomplishments or successes could have been achieved without this universal engine of change.
  35. 35. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 145 We would not, for example, have the fork, the ink pen, crop irrigation, quantum physics, ocean liners, a concept of time, philosophy, telescopes, etc. Without creativity and innovation there would be literally no advancement within a society. Creativity is the universal engine of intellectual advance and advance in science and technology. Without creativity we could not discover new drugs or invent new machines; we could not place satellites in space or create a new cuisine; we could not write a computer program or paint a picture; we could not walk on the moon or write a song. Someone in human history was the initiator of each of these concepts. Everything intellectual, scientific and technical had a beginning and its beginning was creative. Artists, musicians and inventors are easily labeled as creative or innovative because, again, one can plainly observe, via the senses, the physical outcome and uniqueness of their particular product. But keen investigation reveals that creativity and innovation are literally everywhere, intricately laced into the entire human experience and every human endeavor; science, art, social issues, environmental issues, education, etc. Creativity has been described as quot;the highest peak of mental functionsquot; and quot;the peak of human achievementquot; yet this high honor is typically coupled with a very nebulous definition for the term. This is indicative of our perception of creativity as a society. We know it is incredibly pivotal and we know it has very broad impact, but our educational and business enterprise systems are organized into disciplinary silos that mask its commonalties and cripple its power. In a public letter dated February 5, 1993 from the National Science Foundation to the prospective grantees, the following quote was made: A leading recommendation of the 1992 report of the Commission on the Future of the National Science Foundation was that NSF should take a more active role in fostering multi- and interdisciplinary work and partnerships among sectors of the research community since quot;Nature knows nothing about disciplinary boundaries.quot; Scholars in astronomy, chemistry, materials research, mathematical sciences, and physics have identified opportunities for discovery in such areas as advanced materials, environmental sciences and global change, high performance computing, complexity and non-linear phenomena, biotechnology, and science for civil infrastructure and manufacturing. Research in many of these subjects and in others on the frontiers of knowledge often requires integration of ideas across fields of science, close coupling of research and education, partnerships between universities, industry, and government, and bridging fundamental research to practical application. [1]
  36. 36. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 146 The statement, “Nature knows nothing about disciplinary boundaries” struck me as a profound. This person realized that to look at a single aspect of nature was not providing an entirely accurate or even natural portrait of the problem. The old adage, quot;we cannot see the forest for the trees,quot; applies here. To see human creativity, a universal process, one must investigate many disciplines with an open mind to begin to understand clear ties to a single process applicable to every facet of human knowledge. A process utilized by individuals in every discipline in exactly the same manner. In reality, creativity is one, but descriptions of the term vary by field of endeavor. Some are more descript than others, but all use different terms and vantage points to describe this single process. When all of these experiences and terms are combined, it is a bit like the blind men touching different parts of an elephant and reporting back all kinds of things they encountered, none realizing it was an elephant. If one can step back and look at creativity from a multidisciplinary perspective, the common process that exists becomes evident. A process that is really quite simple. Fallacy 4 -- Creativity, creative problem solving, innovation and creative methods are separate entities Once again, creativity is one. There is actually only one process for creativity, innovation and creative problem solving. There are slight differences between creativity and innovation with regard to the logic employed, but the process behind both is still easily comprehended as a singular process. Problem solving and creative problem solving use this same process and the literally hundreds of creative methods in existence tap into this simple, single process. In order to move forward in understanding this term one must realize that each of these methods holds a component of a much higher level and all- inclusive methodology. Once a person cuts through the confusion of terms, the sum total of these various methods reveals the full equation of creativity and innovation. Fallacy 5-- An idea is an accident Another common misconception about creativity is that an idea is an accident, a ‘lucky guess’ or something stumbled into. When people are not really sure where ideas come from, they seem to appear out of nowhere or just ‘happen’ in a seemingly random and unpredictable fashion. Of course, people just keep coming up with new ideas. It would be truly amazing to have so many accidents in such a short timeframe.
  37. 37. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 147 To give some credit to the idea accident theory, most are accidental in the sense that the person arrives at a new conclusion but is not quite sure about the process he or she used to get there. In actuality, behind all of these “accidents” is a process that was accidentally followed. Related to this, management and implementation of the ideas is often rewarded and not the origination of the idea itself. After all, why would we reward someone for something that is accidental? Even though an idea initiates an effort that results in multi-million dollar savings or earnings, the concept originator is quite often forgotten or minimized in a mass of bureaucratic detail. The journey resulting from the concept origination is rewarded and the originator of the concept either switches to implementer or fades into obscurity. In addition, accidents are not managed. Why measure or judge the worth of ‘accidents.’ Benchmarking, background, qualifications, experience and even bluff determine direction far more frequently than the objective judgment and measure of ideas. Disciplines and enterprises manage projects, process and overall change. Yet these fail to manage ideas upon which all change and progress is founded. Bad ideas comprise a bad change, no matter how well the change is managed or implemented. But no matter how flawless the implementation, implementation has not, and never will, create new concepts. The process of creativity creates new concepts. Ideas are a priceless, but severely neglected commodity. Fallacy 6 -- Knowledge is stagnant Knowledge is moving. Think of something you know and ask yourself if you know everything around the concept. Of course, there is always room to grow in knowledge and we have never ‘arrived.’ Knowledge around all disciplines and enterprises is increasing in volume and complexity and this progression of knowledge is fueled and/or limited by the rate of creativity and innovation. Someday we will migrate from everything we know as having a stable meaning into a new realm of understanding and our current understanding will become historical. But this change is not just movement from new to old, but is rather a gradual transformation from prior knowledge to new knowledge.
  38. 38. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 148 In any common dictionary, the very foundation of human knowledge, one might see the same words are there in the same place with the same meaning year after year. But a look over centuries in the etymological dictionary (A dictionary giving the historical origins of each word) would reveal the migration of word meanings over time. Language is the vehicle for transmission of knowledge and changes in language reflect changes in knowledge itself. Knowledge is progressing and is fully dependent upon preceding knowledge. Fallacy 7 -- Mankind cannot control the rate of knowledge advance Most people acknowledge that knowledge within our world is growing exponentially, but few would admit that this rate of advance could be controlled with mechanical precision. Of course, if one is not privy to the process that creates this growth and advance, one surely cannot methodically employ this process in such a way as to control the rate and amount of knowledge advance. Human creativity is the primary rate-limiting factor of science, technology and knowledge itself. As such, human creativity is the primary barrier that stands in the way of truly massive intellectual advance. Corporate enterprises literally spend billions of dollars each year on research and development to fuel this progression, because they are constrained by their lack of awareness of the creative process. It is quite expensive to engineer “accidents” as one must rely on the laws of probability to realize advance. Sooner or later, you’ll discover something…if you try enough times. But imagine a company (and a world) that fully understood this rate limiter of human creativity and thereby removed all barriers for the progression of science and/or technology. The impact would be staggering and a true space age would quickly develop. References: [1] National Science Foundation, Letter: NSF 93-13 MPS Multi- and Interdisciplinary Research, Mathematics and Physical Sciences Division, 2/15/93, File nsf9313, signed by William C. Harris, Assistant Director, URL: http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?nsf9313
  39. 39. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 149 Chapter 8 - The Sum of Creative Method Parallel with the exponential increase in psychological research around creativity that began around 1960, a virtual flood of quot;creative methodsquot; emerged in the 80’s and 90’s. Many of these methods are now centric to quality and process improvement, reengineering and other business endeavors. This flood of working method must work by some logical means, since they all seem to make some contribution and thereby stay in existence. This chapter will show you the basic mechanics behind all creative method. While there is some overlap and not all methods are represented here as examples, current creative methods can be divided into the following categories: 1. Association, connection, structure, stratification and problem definition 2. Question-related, problem solving 3. Directional or morphological 4. Subconscious 5. Visual representation 6. Holistic Association, Connection, Structure, Stratification and Problem Definition Association and analogy are the connection of disparate thoughts. Structuring and stratification connect related thought. Problem definition is also a type of structuring. By thoroughly defining a problem the problem is given mental structure. Disparate points are structured into a problem definition. Here are some examples of methods that connect thoughts: Forced analogy -- Forcing an analogous relationship between seemingly unrelated items. For example, ink pens and computer programming. Imitation -- Imitate other already successful solutions. Lotus blossom technique -- Start with a central theme and work outward, using ever-widening circles or petals. [1]
  40. 40. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 150 Mind maps -- Start in the center of the page with the main concept, and works outward in all directions, producing a growing and organized structure composed of key words and key images. [2] Morphological forced connections -- A variant of attribute listing, where attributes are listed and alternatives are listed below each, then various combinations of each are assembled. [3] Stratification -- The process of separating data into groups or categories according to the values of one or more variables. Synectics -- Synectic thinking is the process of discovering the links that unite seemingly disconnected elements. [4] Attribute listing -- Breaking a problem and alternatives down into smaller and smaller bits to ensure that the entire problem has been examined. [5] Question-Related, Problem Solving Asking/answering questions is a miniature form of problem solving. These two are often disassociated, when in fact; both bring mental chaos into structure. Here are some examples: Ask questions -- Ask the six universal questions who, what, when, where, why and how. Ask why five times concurrently around the same problem. [6] Applied imagination -- outlines about 75 idea-generating questions like: Adapt, modify, substitute, magnify/maximize, minimize/eliminate, rearrange, reversal, combine? [7] Assumption smashing -- List the assumptions of the problem, and then explore what happens as you drop each of these assumptions individually or in combination. For example, quot;What if we don't close at 5:00pm? Information question -- The determination of the precise question that needs to be answered by quality efforts
  41. 41. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 151 Function analysis -- Defines current product or process such that one asks quot;How could I do it differently?quot; The answers to this question lead to the necessary new strategies, new product, and new ways. Oracles -- Create an oracle (in some cultures, an object of divine inquiry) by asking a question, generating a random piece of information and interpreting the resulting random piece of information as the answer to your question. [8] Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) -- Experts are carefully studied and modeled as a way to make conscious and unpack the mental strategies they used to get expert results. Once the strategies are decoded, they are the available for others to enhance their own expertise. [11] Directional or Morphological At the heart of every creative method is change; new directions, new avenues and new thought patterns. Creative method often forces individuals quot;out of the boxquot; of current thinking and into a new perspective or paradigm. Brainstorming is the classic and most popular creative method and is strictly associated with forcing change. While some methods focus on the change itself (morphological), others are directional and focus more on the direction of the change. Brainstorming -- Random generation of ideas, individually or in a group. Participants think up imaginative solutions and suspend judgment until a list is generated. Lateral thinking -- Thinking quot;aroundquot; a problem by moving down a path and suddenly taking a jump to the side. That jump, like the punch line of a joke, places one on a parallel but unseen and very different path, which in retrospect, is extremely logical. [9] Pareto analysis -- A ranked comparison of factors that contribute to a quality issue that separates the quot;vital fewquot; from the quot;useful manyquot; Problem reversal -- Look at things backwards, inside out, and upside down; state your problem in reverse, change from positive to negative, define what something is not and benchmark what others are not doing. [6] Scenario planning -- Using what if statements to anticipate the most likely direction of change
  42. 42. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 152 Process mapping -- The mapping of business process using swim lane flow diagrams; comparing the as is and should be states of the business process. Random input -- The associations of a new word applied to the quot;out of contextquot; situation generates new connections in our mind, often producing an instant quot;Eurekaquot; effect, insight or intuition. [9] SCAMPER -- Mnemonic for Substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to other uses, eliminate, and reverse. [1] Sensation -- quot;Think Out of the Boxquot; is geared toward simultaneously thinking in the five senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. Sensation gives us a wider range for thinking, and must be cued or triggered by some mental device to engage the creative process. [10] LARC -- Left and right creativity -- The LARC method is step by step process that brings the right (creative) side of your brain into play with the left (logical) side. The right brain can be stimulated using drawing and visual images. [12] Subconscious As I touched on in Part I, I believe that the subconscious mind is a visual problem solver and that dreams can be a tool in this process. Suffice it to say for now that several creative methods utilize the subconscious mind, typically by tapping into it in a relaxed state. Visual Methods and Visual Representation Knowledge is a three-dimensional entity, as is vision. It is no coincidence that there is strength in representing a problem visually. Here are a few examples of visual methods: Affinity diagrams -- Developed by the Japanese for creating the new language necessary to think in and about new ways. Bar graphs, line graphs, pie charts, scatter diagrams, histograms -- A graphic representation of the variation in a set of data. Flow diagram -- A graphic representation of process flow
  43. 43. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 153 Box plot -- A five-number summary of a set of data. A box encloses the space between the first and third quartiles and a line dividing the box indicates the median. The highest and lowest values are shown as the ends of lines extending from the box. Cause-effect diagram -- A graphical representation of the suggested causal relationships to a quality problem with the effects of each cause Drawing and visual thinking -- While much of thinking is based on left brain activity, but the visual right brain can be used to visualize and solve problems if a visual language is created. [13] Storyboarding -- Ideas are placed into storyboards and placed side to side such that relationships and connections become evident. Holistic Approaches These “second generation” creative methods are typically some combination of the other categories of methods listed above; thereby attempting a more holistic approach. It is often a bit of a stretch to refer to some of these as creative methods, since they tend to bring in other business or cognitive elements. It is very important to differentiate between what is creative method and what is not. Here are some examples of holistic methods. DO IT -- Mnemonic for define, open, identify, and transform. [14] Six Thinking Hats -- Six hats which are used to metaphorically signify the type of thinking used by the wearer: 1 White hat thinking; facts, figures, information needs and gaps. 2 Red hat thinking; intuition, feelings and emotions. 3 Black hat thinking; judgment and caution 4 Yellow hat thinking; logical positive. 5 Green hat thinking; creativity, alternatives, proposals, what is interesting, provocations and changes. 6 Blue hat thinking; overview or process control. [9] TRIZ -- The Russian-language acronym for the theory of inventive problem solving; a systematic process applying an exhaustive family of inventive solutions to unresolved tasks [15]
  44. 44. Knowledge Machine/Bruce LaDuke Page 154 Simplex -- Three stage process: Finding problems; developing creative solutions; and implementing your solutions. These stages have eight total steps: Step 1 - Problem Finding Step 2 - Fact Finding Step 3 - Problem Defining Step 5 - Evaluating and selecting (converting selected ideas into practical solutions) Step 7 - Gaining acceptance Step 8 - Taking action [16] Anti-Knowledge Key: Creative methods, which aim to find solutions and solve problems, generally fall into six categories: • Association, connection, structure, stratification and problem definition • Question-related, problem solving • Directional or morphological • Subconscious • Visual representation • Holistic This is a very important aspect of understanding creativity, genius and knowledge creation. The fact is that many, many methods replicate the same, singular process in a variety of combinations, none of which are fully accurate or universal.

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