Cutting the Trees of Knowledge

Last month I did a presentation on the production of knowledge as a social process. I thought I’d post it here, in the event you found it useful (and I ever needed to access it in a hurry), but I simply don’t have the technological capability available at present to proceed as per my original intent.

So that in itself got me thinking… Access.

Access to ICT is assumed by priviliedged westerners such as myself. At home, at the office, at university. Access to information is ubiquitous. Even in Australia, where broadband capability is slow and charged by the ruling telecommunications network providers per downloadable byte. It is still relatively cheap enough for the majority to afford.

But what happens when you step outside of the ICT, global networked society? Even in Australia. How do you access information when it’s not readily available to you anymore at the click of a button or the press of ‘enter’ on your iPhone 4?

You jump in your Delorian and head back to 1994.

In producing a visualisation of the article: Cutting the trees of knowledge:  Social Software, Information Architecture and their epistemic consequences by Michael Schlitz, Frederick Truyen and Hans Coppens (2007), that is exactly what I did. I took a trip back to my undergraduate days at the University of Sydney and walked through the process of information gathering in the pre-internet days.

Most of my audience had only just been born when I was at university, so the idea of Sydney University having a card catalogue for its extensive collections was beyond mind-boggling for the majority.

Thinking back, it really is quite amazing how quickly we as a global human race adopt technology into our communities and yet, as communities persist with towers like babel where convenient, to maintain divides based on the tried and tested: language, colour and creed.

Required know-how now acquired… enjoy.
Week Nine – T Junee Presentation-2


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