The Tangibility of Knowledge


Knowledge Tangibility should be the most important conversation in Social Media circles given the current financial situation in America.

I lived through financial devaluation in another country and the effects were crushing: after the run on the banks, there will be a run on Walmart.  People will buy TVs, small appliances, shoes, and useful stuff that will hold more value tomorrow that they cost today.  These items may become a de facto currency of trade.  Americans will be astonished by how fast a devaluation event plays out; hours and days, not months or years.  When things settle down, the government will retire the old dollar and introduce a new currency at an exchange of, say, 1 megabuck equals 1000 old dollars.  Then the chips are cleared, assets are transferred, and the same game can start all over again.

The difference is that for the first time in history, there is a window of opportunity for social media technology to break this cycle. Please let me explain:

Suppose that a BMW costs $50,000 dollars and a KIA costs $10,000 dollars.  These prices reflect the quantity and quality of the car in terms of availability and popular amenities such as, handling, road noise, comfort, status, etc. Suppose the government introduces a new currency called the “megabuck”.  Suppose the government pegs the megabuck to cars saying that all cars will have a value of 30,000 megabucks. Since these cars are not equal, people will begin trading; the BMW will be bid up to 50,000 megabucks and the Kia will be bid down to 10,000 megabucks based on supply and demand – right back where they started.

Admittedly an oversimplification, but the point is does not matter what you call the currency – the most important thing is the quantity and quality of the asset.  This brings us back to the idea of knowledge tangibility.

Suppose that, on average, 1 hour of human labor is worth 20 megabucks.  As above, hard labor will be bid up while soft labor would be bid down.  The same is not really true with knowledge because knowledge is invisible and it can’t be counted with bricks or bushels.  There is no knowledge inventory in America’s communities.  Therefore, there is no way to establish supply and demand for knowledge assets.  People in a community do not know what other people in the community know. This is where social networks will make a huge difference.

Human knowledge, if formatted correctly, would make an excellent asset upon which to peg a currency. Today, accountants say that human knowledge is “intangible” but social media demonstrates otherwise; human knowledge is simply invisible – hidden inside corporations under the thumb of Wall Street. Social media demonstrates that knowledge assets are itching to be release to the public domain in a highly tangible manner.  Believe it or not, we are now 95% of the way toward real knowledge tangibility today.   We should be very excited about this because everything changes.

Like the example with the cars, we need to have a comprehensive inventory of the knowledge assets in our communities so that they can be strategically combined into productive organizations.  This inventory must be formatted in terms of quantity and quality and include all knowledge living including social, creative, and intellectual capital.  If done correctly, it will not matter what happens to the dollar or what currency is used as a scorecard, the value of human knowledge assets will remain intact.

Again, the value is in the asset, not the currency – it is in you, me, and our diverse communities who will favor community priorities rather than Wall Street priorities. This is how where we will find equity, sustainability, and fairness in a capitalist system.

The Ingenesist Project has specified exactly how to create knowledge tangibility in a capitalist model using 3 simple web applications for Social Networks; a Knowledge Inventory, a Percentile Search Engine, and an Innovation Bank. Please read the intro and the articles on page IEc101.  If you agree, please pass it on.  If you do not agree, please help us make it better.  If you don’t understand, email me. This needs to happen fast and unfortunately nobody will do it for us – we must do it ourselves.

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