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The Next Economic Paradigm; Part 3: Knowledge Inventory

by Dan Robles on April 6, 2009

Welcome back to the New Economic Paradigm Series.  The objective is to develop an innovation system that emulates the financial system.  In order to do this, we look for the social component that could best duplicate the function of the closest corresponding financial system component.

Part 2 discussed the currency of trade.  Part 3 will discuss the inventory of knowledge assets.

Most companies have an inventory of every nut, bolt, rivet, or panel that they need to build something tangible.  In innovation economy, we will need to have an inventory to assemble knowledge assets so that we can build something tangible and support the currency.

Your resume is like a book about you.  Conversely, every book that you have read has become part of your knowledge inventory.

Every experience you have had, every conversation you have participated in, every new idea that tried, successful of failed, is part of your knowledge inventory.  The things that you like to do, things that you do not like to do, and things that you do not know are part of this inventory and the way it is organized in your consciousness.

The Dewey Decimal System is a way to catalog information in books. Keep in mind that The Dewey System is archaic; however, it does provide us with some key insights:

From our earlier definition; to organize information is to organize a proxy for knowledge and innovation.

The decimal classification structure has a great advantage for the computer and mathematical analysis.  Additionally, tens of thousands of librarians are fluent and most people in the US have at least a minimal familiarity with it.

For a quick review, the body of written information is divided into 10 main categories.  Each main category is divided into 10 more categories and each of those are divided into 10 categories – and this can go on forever.

It is useful to note that the Dewey Decimal classification has a bias toward the three factors of production for the innovation economy; Social capital, creative capital, and intellectual capital:

Most resume reading programs just pick up key words, so why have any other words?

Your resume can be a series of Dewey numbers instead of words and computers can tag the numbers as they do key words today. For example:

302, 307, 330, 607, 17, 500, 519

If your mind were a library and you attempted to map it all out, one would see that everything is related in some way – intuitively, this is what defines you. If we looked into your world, we would discover a huge network of experiences, books read, lessons learned, and people encountered.

We would find a system of knowledge rather than random facts that you have organized.  Your likes and dislikes would be reflected in what you do and do not want to do. Everyone is different – nobody is the same.  Everyone innovates, everyone has knowledge, and everyone shares information.

If we add some mathematical symbols and Boolean logic, perhaps we could capture the system of knowledge a little better. Your resume may now look like this:

{20,12};[302 AND 307], (330):[607 AND 17] OR [500/519]

Now need to make this look like money.  Before our knowledge can behave like a financial instrument we need to add one additional factor – the quality of the knowledge.

In American society there is a persistent ideology of winners and losers; there can only be one winner and the rest are losers.  We rank things in a very linear way; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.  Our culture is to protect one’s position at all cost, shield away all attackers and decimate our competition.  This way of thinking was effective in the industrial economy, but today it keeps us from understanding how knowledge actually exists in a community.

We need to switch to a bell curve distribution for knowledge assets because it better reflects reality and eliminates unproductive competition; there are no winners or losers, just different markets.

There is a perfectly legitimate market for a Porsche as there is for a Toyota.

Statistical distributions are used extensively in finance to value financial instruments; we need to do the same now for our knowledge assets. To make financial sense out of our random world, we must classify knowledge assets on a bell curve.  Consider the following resume:

{20:95%,12:80%};[302 AND 330]70%:(607 AND 17)80% OR [500/519]90%

This person is a specialist in Social Interaction and economics at the 70th percentile related to educational research at the 80th percentile. She (or he) has a Background in applied mathematics and physics at the 90th percentile. She (or he) is a trained ethicist at the 75th percentile, philosopher, and artist specializing in musical theory and orchestration at the 50th percentile. Fluent English and Spanish

Now, we have a system of numbers and symbols represent the knowledge of the person in a tangible manner.

Keep in mind that this is only a demonstration, however, we see some key advantages:

1.    The Inventory is Infinite and expandable to any field of knowledge
2.    Paints a picture of knowledge and not simply a list of information about a person.
3.    Machine enabled, programmable, and readable.

Now, all of the tools, methods, and equations in the world of banking, finance, and insurance can be used to combine, amalgamate, and diversify knowledge assets in an innovation market.

Your resume can now be combined with other resumes to represent the collective knowledge of a community.  This expression carries all of the information that an entrepreneur needs in order to estimate the probability that the community can execute a business plan.  We will discuss predictive characteristics extensively in future modules.

In the next section, we will talk about the institutions that exist in our communities through computer enabled society which will keep this game free, fair – and most importantly, equitable.

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