background preloader

Personal and shared knowledge

Facebook Twitter

Searching the Internet Creates an Illusion of Personal Knowledge. After doing a cursory internet search on a topic, do you feel like an expert?

Searching the Internet Creates an Illusion of Personal Knowledge

As it turns out, most people do, according to Matthew Fisher who led the study "Searching for Explanations: How the Internet Inflates Estimates of Internal Knowledge" published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. He explained how our self-proclaimed intelligence can become inflated in a press release: “It becomes easier to confuse your own knowledge with this external source. When people are truly on their own, they may be wildly inaccurate about how much they know and how dependent they are on the internet. " In this internet society many of us don't require expertise in much of anything nowadays, just the ability to filter and search for the right information. Fisher and his team of researchers tested this idea in nine separate experiments that included anywhere from 152 to 302 participants in an online survey.

It's this active “search mode” that turns us on. Fisher said: Read more at Science Daily. 100 Diagrams That Changed the World. Since the dawn of recorded history, we’ve been using visual depictions to map the Earth, order the heavens, make sense of time, dissect the human body, organize the natural world, perform music, and even concretize abstract concepts like consciousness and love. 100 Diagrams That Changed the World (public library) by investigative journalist and documentarian Scott Christianson chronicles the history of our evolving understanding of the world through humanity’s most groundbreaking sketches, illustrations, and drawings, ranging from cave paintings to The Rosetta Stone to Moses Harris’s color wheel to Tim Berners-Lee’s flowchart for a “mesh” information management system, the original blueprint for the world wide web.

100 Diagrams That Changed the World

It appears that no great diagram is solely authored by its creator. Most of those described here were the culmination of centuries of accumulated knowledge. Most arose from collaboration (and oftentimes in competition) with others. Christianson offers a definition: 2013 Rubik's Cube World Championship: Winner solves in 7.36 seconds. Evelyn Glennie: How to listen to music with your whole body. Neil Sloane: the man who loved only integer sequences. I’ve written before about favourite numbers.

Neil Sloane: the man who loved only integer sequences

Today I want to write about favourite sequences. Before we get to some, here’s what a sequence is. It is just an ordered list of numbers whose terms can be described. For example, the prime numbers – the numbers that can only be divided by themselves and 1 – form a sequence: And there is the Fibonacci sequence, for which each term is the sum of the previous two terms: Ok, so far, so predictable. But have you ever heard of the Kolakoski sequence? Mathematicians drool over this sequence, because of the pleasingly self-referential way it is defined.

The sequence only contains 1s and 2s. IB TOK: What is personal knowledge and shared knowledge? The distinction between personal knowledge and shared knowledge invites you to think about the difference between what ‘I know’ and what ‘we know’.

IB TOK: What is personal knowledge and shared knowledge?

If you begin to think of examples to complete the sentence ‘I know….’ there’s a mass of things you could think of. Your list is unique to you. If you make a new list of things that ‘we know…’ there’s more common knowledge that people agree on. In each of your six IB subjects, there’s a body of shared knowledge. A little knowledge. For the last two decades of the twentieth century, a cold war rumbled on between the laboratories of physicists in Moscow and in the West over the quality of sapphire.

A little knowledge

The Russian scientists claimed to have measured the rate of decay of the material’s resonance — a signal of its quality — with what researchers elsewhere considered impossible precision. The stakes were high: sapphire mirrors were being considered for use in a new generation of laser interfero­meter gravitational-wave detectors. But were they up to the task? Labs in the United States and United Kingdom could not reproduce the Moscow findings.

The discrepancy fuelled mistrust and antagonism. At the turn of the millennium, the mystery was solved. The thread greasing is an example of tacit knowledge: know-how that can be passed on only through direct contact, and not by written or verbal instruction. “Knowledge has never been more fluid — a good thing, science traditionally argues.”