competing for knowledge

Google debuts knowledge project: potentially a threat to Wikipedia (check out their Commons), and also to the Earth Edition (h2g2) of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Dropping Knowledge. Who knows who else out there is giving knowledge compilation a go. There is a whole genre of knowledge ecology that is quite fascinating.
As I myself become more convinced in the construction of knowledge as the only way any kind of knowledge is achieved, the importance of staying on top of how these mega-projects unfold increases. The first two promote the kind of so-called “objectivism” that has driven western science while hiding the nature of social construction. The second two may not draw attention to the fact of social construction but simply move ahead on the premise that knowledge can be built with outcome in mind.
I am relieved that some of my students this past semester are able to articulate this fact. I hope most of them “got it” at some level, even if they lack (as of yet) the language to explain what they now intuit. Who knows, maybe they all did, and some are just more reluctant than others to give me a clue! 😮

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