Monday, January 12, 2009

Knowledge Economy and Search Economy:dynamic processes and processing

I was just reading blog entry from Robert Gringely (March, 2008), which adds an interesting twist to Judy Breck’s thoughts on findability and knowledge. Gringely explains that we have moved past the knowledge economy to the search economy. I think of the knowledge economy as more static something that you can hold onto or possess while search is more dynamic and in process. In my work on collaborative learning-work, I have talked about the process of creating new knowledge; perhaps in the work place we are moving to a dynamic world of meta-knowledge creation as the work and the worker enables dynamic finability for the ever changing purposes of the user.

Gringely in War of Worlds: The Human Side of Moore’s Law explained:

Andy Hertzfeld said Google is the best tool for an aging programmer because it remembers when we cannot. Dave Winer, back in 1996, came to the conclusion that it was better to bookmark information than to cut and paste it. I'm sure today Dave wouldn't bother with the bookmark and would simply search from scratch to get the most relevant result. Both men point to the idea that we're moving from a knowledge economy to a search economy, from a kingdom of static values to those that are dynamic. Education still seems to define knowing as more important than being able to find, yet which do you do more of in your work? And what's wrong with crimping a paragraph here or there from Cringely if it shows you understand the topic?
This is, of course, a huge threat to the education establishment, which tends to have a very deterministic view of how knowledge and accomplishment are obtained - a view that doesn't work well in the search economy. At the same time K-12 educators are being pulled back by No Child Left Behind, they are being pulled forward (they probably see it as pulled askew) by kids abetted by their high-tech Generation Y (yes, we're getting well into Y) parents who are using their Ward Cleaver power not to maintain the status quo but to challenge it.

With this philosophical view in mind, I think about knowledge as the snapshot which freezes the dynamic process of searching.