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 Knowledge and Intelligence

Very recommended  >>>  Intelligence - interesting items and links (also: the remarkable story of Chris Langan)


Some links related to Knowledge and Knowledge Management :

     The web site of Paul Strassmann
     SVEIBY Knowledge Management
 
 

Expressions containing the word "knowledge" are in fashion at the moment. Most of the word creations are from our point of view just "buzzwords" and don't make much sense in context:

"Knowledge Society", "Knowledge Economy", "Knowledge Worker"  ... to name just a few.

There is no "knowledge society" - however a society can have a high number of knowledgeable people (meaning highly educated and trained). There is also no "knowledge economy" (this is one of the worst buzzwords) because no economy is based solely on research, teaching etc. We may have an educated and trained workforce but not everyone works in education, science and development - so there are not many "knowledge workers" either (sitting in front of a PC -  often restricted to the functions of a dumb terminal - doesn't mean we are doing something requiring a big deal of knowledge).

The transfer of a society and its economy to something starting with "knowledge ..." would mean that there are fundamental changes involved (and not only in our education and training systems). It means to focus more on engineering, science, research, development, technology and computing to create (new) industries and workplaces (going away from the more traditional roots in agriculture and primary production). The distance factor would no longer play a role - but such a process stretches over generations involving everyone in a society. The present generation and the one after will only lay the foundations for the future. What we have at the moment - a little bit e-commerce over the Internet is not "knowledge economy". Let's be honest - the bubble has often already bursted because these are more or less speculative short term business adventures which don't contribute much to society / economy at all.

We think it doesn't need further scientific research to convince everyone that "pigs can't fly" !

[Our New Zealand visitors know what we mean with this. And as long as we have this stupid obsession doing everything with cost savings / cost cuts in mind we won't go anywhere either. The messed-up infrastructure in most areas is the best example! ]

We would also have to learn to apply improved (more "intelligent") methods to everything we do (based on the natural gifts of the individual and our skills / experience). Developing practical new methods "how to do" things (better) is a key factor to success. It also requires that our education system is up to scratch and that gifted people are recognized at an early stage. Modern technology is an important aspect - but putting more computers into the classroom, learning about packaged software and surfing the net can be a totally useless exercise.

The term "knowledge capital" can be accepted because knowledge as cumulated skills, experience and know-how - developed over time - is an asset to any organisation.

[ See also the web page of Paul Strassmann at:   www.strassmann.com    ]

Regrettably there is a world wide trend to decrease the overall number of workplaces - esp. by using computer technology as a substitute for the human factor of production - to reduce "costs". With every redundancy the often invisible factor "knowledge" is also reduced and it takes a multiple in efforts to replace this "knowledge capital" lost. If this is the kind of "knowledge economy" some people dream of - then we have a very serious problem in our society.

It is a problem and it will cost us dearly because we have an ever increasing world population - please have a look at some web sites dealing with these very real issues:

 PBS - Six Billion
 World Watch


People have been asked to tell about their opinion regarding the "knowledge economy" etc. - the answers received reflect the sheer helplessness with these modern buzzwords. There are a lot of  people who really believe that - all of sudden and during the last three to five years or so - everything has changed and that we are taking part in something very exciting in our society (instead it comes mostly down to cost cutting exercises).

A simple question has been put to many people:

"What is the difference between a country with a "knowledge economy" - or the intention to develop one - and countries who are not a "knowledge economy" ?

We heard about the number of PCs, the number of mobile phones per capita etc. - surely: all this has nothing to do with "knowledge"  ...  we have to have a clear understanding of what "knowledge" is (surfing the net has also not much to do with it).


Our understanding of "knowledge"  ...

Knowledge is  ...

- mostly considered characteristic to living beings - they develop it over time.  Naturally we find the gaining of skills,
  experience etc. also in the animal world and in the adaptation of plants to their environment.

- the combination of basic skills (taught at early stages in our lives), further education, practical experience throughout our lives,
  the ability to absorb information - all this has the purpose to perform practical and/or intuitive tasks.

[ "Intelligence" on the other hand is something we can be gifted with - it is probably very hard to define and to measure. ]


Knowledge is actually the most valuable asset a company can have. The foolishness to eliminate the workforce wherever we can - based on cost and competitive reasons - shows clearly that we have problems to understand what human society is all about.

It gets totally crazy when we start to design computer software to locate and unleash the knowledge in our enterprises! The achieving of results - based on existing knowledge of human beings - is only possible if we have a motivated workforce who are willing to contribute (by sharing their knowledge) - and are also willing to go the extra mile if necessary.

Broaden and improve education at all levels, teaching - esp. how to retrieve, gather and collate data and information from an early age on - is the basis to prosper for the future in any society.


Summary:

Let's not fool ourselves anymore: ordering a book over the Internet by e-commerce is not "knowledge economy" - it is just another way to shop. That's all !

The dot.com disasters locally and internationally should also tell us something.

A so-called "knowledge economy" would take decades to develop - if not generations - and has to embrace society as a whole. Changing from a country with agricultural roots to a "knowledge economy" would also mean that - over time and generations - most of what we produce or what we are involved in has to do with research, development, education and training (and that we are actually exporting these goods and services to the world).



 

Intelligence
 

In this space we want to bring over time some items and links related to the term "intelligence" (which at this stage has not yet become a buzzword like "knowledge" - probably because it has not been misused so much  for marketing purposes). On the other hand: the term "business intelligence" is already lurking around for a while !

There are several reasons why we want to deal with the subject "intelligence":

We always want to learn more and to experience new things in life. It is also useful to learn more about "intelligence" itself, what it means and how it is measured to understand ourselves better.

We are developing practical applications. It is easy to work with them by applying common sense - this is totally sufficient. There is also no great deal of knowledge required to make good use of them. By taking an "intelligent" approach when utilizing data and information we can achieve more in our personal (and business) life.

Intelligence cannot be learned - it is a gift !


Some of our visitors may have seen the remarkable story about  Chris Langan   on 20/20 this year.

 Christopher Michael Langans Web Site - the official Mega Society Home Page

We became aware that there is more, much more than we have ever imagined and that people like him can achieve breakthroughs and progress for all of us ...
 
 

 

“There’s no logical connection between being smart and having money,” he says. “Now, being smart helps if you want to have money, but if you aren’t necessarily focused on getting money in the first place, there’s no reason smarts should make the money roll in.”

[ We want to preserve this story. It was reported on the ABCNews web site - all rights are with ABCNews. ]

Chris Langan has an IQ that has measured as high as 195. Individuals with such a score are extremely rare, only one person out of every 100 million scores as high. (ABCNEWS.com)

July 13 — Chris Langan is one of the smartest people in America. His IQ is off the charts. He’s in his mid-40s, works as a part-time bouncer at a bar and lives in a tiny eastern Long Island house. He supports himself on about $6,000 a year.           Langan’s lifestyle is different from what you might expect of someone whose intelligence puts him in the same category as Newton, Mozart and Michelangelo.

He chalks up his lack of a professional career path to negative experiences in school. Also, money has not been something he has concerned himself with. “There’s no logical connection between being smart and having money,” he says. “Now, being smart helps if you want to have money, but if you aren’t necessarily focused on getting money in the first place, there’s no      reason smarts should make the money roll in.”

Langan believes his story illustrates the difficulties some exceptionally gifted individuals encounter in their lives. He says he dropped out of college because he was bored and felt no one took an interest in him. Without the proper attention and guidance, Langan says talented individuals can miss opportunities that will enable them to reach their potential. Armed with ideas, he has sought to develop a way in which he could help exceptional children avoid some of the problems he faced.

He recently helped establish a nonprofit corporation, the Mega Foundation, in order to achieve that purpose.

Rough Times at Home and at School

It was clear from a very young age that Langan was an especially gifted child. He started talking at 6 months. He was reading before he was 4, and he started to write his first book, Snakes, Lizards and Turtles, at 5. But life was not easy at home or at school. Langan’s family was poor and he says his first stepfather beat him from the time he was nearly 6 until he was 14.

Beginning in elementary school, Langan stood out from other children and was teased as a teacher’s pet. His sense of being an outsider never disappeared, and he ultimately gave up and dropped out of college. Langan believes he could have mastered any profession if he had been able to enjoy his studies. He says gifted people are often not treated kindly in school and, as a result, certain aspects of his experience are not at all unique.

An IQ Off the Charts

Langan does not claim to be the smartest person in the United States, but he concedes he is certainly one of  them. 20/20 asked neuropsychologist Bob Novelly to give Langan an IQ test. For two hours, Langan sat in a room solving problems and puzzles. Novelly was astounded by the results. In 25 years of testing, the doctor had never seen a score so high. The results were literally off the charts, Langan’s IQ could not even be measured by the test.

Some comparisons can help put Langan’s intelligence in perspective. Past measurements of his IQ have been as high as 195 — a score on that level occurs only once in every 100 million people. Most individuals have scores in the 90 to 109 range. College grads average 120, and Mensa, the club for geniuses, requires 132 or better.

If offered the chance to do anything he wished, Langan says he would like to make a living by trying to solve the mysteries of the universe. For some time, he’s worked on an ambitious book on the subject. He describes it as “a bridge between mathematics and science on the one hand, and theology and the humanities on the other. For the many seeking a                  millennial synthesis of human spiritual and intellectual progress, it will be just what the doctor ordered,” he adds.
He’s almost finished with the tome, titled Design for a Universe, and hopes to find a publisher for it soon.

Future Challenges

Langan has multiple projects in the works including the development of “synthetic” intelligence and software that enables computer users to make faster and better use of  information.

Although he is single, Langan is currently dating a clinical neuropsychologist, and says he would someday like to have kids. And even though life as a boy-genius was not easy, he says he would not mind if they turned out as smart as him.
 

 Christopher Michael Langans Web Site - the official Mega Society Home Page
 

The Mega Foundation

The foundation is a nonprofit corporation established to aid in the development of gifted individuals and their ideas.

For more information or to make a donation:

 Contact: Executive Director
 Gina L. LoSasso

 Address:

 5 Vollmer Ave.
 Norwalk, CT 06851
 Phone: (203) 852-2313
 e-mail: info@megafoundation.org
 Web site: megafoundation.org

 Mega Foundation for gifted individuals

Many of the subjects on this web site are probably beyond the scope for most of us - however we all should acknowledge that our future lies in the hands of these gifted people and their achievements.

( to be continued )
 



 
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Practical software, services and solutions for the small business
and the individual computer user - world wide !