In the beginning knowledge was local. With the development of more complex forms of economic organization knowledge began to travel. The
We begin by asking three questions about the Web and its future. In the remainder of the chapter, we explore the possibility of an
None of the Web’s distinctive potentials have yet been systematically realized. The present Web remains a prototype of what the Web might become, and of what its founders envisioned Gillies and Cailliau 2000. The democratizing impact potential is hindered by a
More generally, however, there is a “central” problem, namely, how to represent human knowledge adequately on the Web. Any solutions that fail to address this problem must fail radically. It is not enough to look to
The idea of the
Futurists envision a
We need a deeper understanding of the relationship between knowledge and representation and how that relation has evolved over human history. Such an understanding will allow us to formulate the challenges for the future and to make a proposal for the development of a new Web that is a plausible continuation of the previous evolution of
The remainder of this chapter consists of two parts, each of which begins with a theoretical discussion and concludes with a practical analysis. In the first part we articulate the approach to knowledge taken by
People strive to maintain an equilibrium between their own cognitive structures and the environment Piaget 1985. Knowledge from the environment must be assimilated in the context of what an individual already knows, and internal
Just as certain factors facilitate or hinder cognitive maturation, certain factors facilitate or hinder knowledge growth in a social context. The growth of
What follows is a summary of the development of important
Writing arose around the end of the fourth millennium BCE (ca. 3300) in southern Babylon (modern Iraq).4 The earliest written documents are clay tablets impressed with numerical notations and sealings that likely indicated institutional contexts. Although these documents led eventually to the development of
Although movable type had been used for four centuries in China, the
During the administration of Lord Minto this dread of the free diffusion of knowledge became a chronic disease, which was continually afflicting the members of Government with all sorts of hypochondriacal day-fears and night-mares, in which visions of the
Printing Press and the Bible were ever making their flesh to creep, and their hair to stand erect with horror. Kaye 1854, 247–248
The first digital computers greatly augmented human capabilities in managing knowledge in political and economic
One aspect apparent in this history is a frequent conservatism, in which features of previous
Traditional media such as print, TV and radio are shaped by and reinforce a
The large-scale production of knowledge over history is not simply the accumulation of the expertise of a few outstanding individuals. Rather knowledge is produced under complex and dynamic social conditions, in which
This makes it all the more necessary for knowledge producers to retain possession of their data and to ensure
The quest for
The evolution of large bodies of
The Web will become a universe of knowledge that parallels human knowledge. After a lifetime of laborious memorization, study and intellectual activity, some individuals manage to obtain a set of rich internal
Private reading (and browsing) will be replaced by the public creation of information. The present
All data will be metadata, and all documents will be perspectives into the universe of knowledge. Librarians ordinarily conceive of metadata as a
To increase interactivity and reflexivity a new paradigm is needed to replace the browser/server paradigm. The knowledge consumer and knowledge producer will merge in the knowledge
A key way of extending knowledge on the
The Epistemic Web depends, of course, on content. Digitization of current knowledge stores is essential but is not enough: knowledge must be accessible, findable, and available for the recursive production of new knowledge. Here there are technical challenges as well as the legal and social challenges of evolving property rights and data protection measures to fit the new
The development of knowledge in new areas will necessitate new epistemic models for federating documents. Current models such as the encyclopedia model (exemplified by Wikipedia) and the geospatial model (exemplified by Google Earth) are powerful structures for organizing a large amount of knowledge. But they ultimately are only incremental improvements on content models that have been in use for more than a millennium. As we begin systematically to explore new large-scale topics, such as the comparative study of globalization processes in history and social sciences, we will need new knowledge representation forms to accommodate such phenomena as layered time developments within a geospatial context. One research area of considerable importance is visualization methods, that is “systematic graphic formats, that can be used to create, share, or codify knowledge” Lengler and Eppler 2007.
The accumulation of knowledge is only possible when mechanisms exist to ensure reliability. Knowledge must be grounded at a low level. In established genres of writing, baseless statements can be couched in the language of authority, allowing them to masquerade as reliable knowledge. Ultimately, higher-level knowledge must be grounded in low-level, concrete, foundational knowledge. A
Current discourse about the Web centers around information, a word that suggests an undifferentiated, interchangeable commodity, and which is often used in an imprecise way that reflects a
We have presented a scenario for the
This work originated in the context of a workshop Infrastructure for Cyberscholarship held in Phoenix, Arizona, 17–19 April 2007, and sponsored by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the UK. We gratefully acknowledge the role that our long-standing collaborators Peter Damerow and Mark Schiefsky have played in shaping our ideas.
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Table of Contents
1 The Globalization of Knowledge in History: An Introduction
Jürgen Renn, Malcolm D. Hyman
2 Knowledge and Science in Current Discussions of Globalization
Helge Wendt, Jürgen Renn
3 Survey: From Technology Transfer to the Origins of Science
Malcolm D. Hyman, Jürgen Renn
4 Technological Transfer and Innovation in Ancient Eurasia
Daniel T. Potts
6 The Origins of Writing and Arithmetic
9 Survey: Knowledge as a Fellow Traveler
10 The Spread of Buddhism as Globalization of Knowledge
12 Normative Islam and Global Scientific Knowledge
13 From Khwarazm to Cordoba: The Propagation of Non-Religious Knowledge in the Islamic Empire
14 The Sciences in Europe: Transmitting Centers and the Appropriating Peripheries
Manolis Patiniotis, Kostas Gavroglu
16 Survey: The Place of Local Knowledge in the Global Community
18 The Introduction of the European University System in Brazil
Oscar Abdounur, Adriana Cesar de Mattos
19 Celestial Navigation and Technological Change on Moce Island
Jarita C. Holbrook
21 On Juridico-Political Foundations of Meta-Codes
23 The Transformations of Knowledge Through Cultural Interactions in Brazil: The Case of the Tupinikim and the Guarani
Circe Mary Silva da Silva, Ligia Arantes Sad
24 Survey: The Globalization of Modern Science
Jürgen Renn, Malcolm D. Hyman
25 The University of the 21st Century: An Aspect of Globalization
26 The Soviet Psychologists and the Path to International Psychology
27 The Global Diffusion of Nuclear Technology
28 The Role of Open and Global Communication in Particle Physics
Hans Falk Hoffmann
29 Internationalism and the History of Molecular Biology
30 The Role of Chemistry in the Global Energy Challenge
31 Climate Change as a Global Challenge – and its Implications for Knowledge Generation and Dissemination
Daniel Klingenfeld, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber
32 Toward an Epistemic Web
Malcolm D. Hyman, Jürgen Renn
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