The Three Eras of Knowledge Objects

Future-proof technology innovation requires the innovator to have a future perspective. This article shows how to have it.

Mikko
aecmaster

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For soundtrack click: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT0iQRjHbW4

Introduction

In this article, we will introduce the concept of Knowledge Object, and show how Knowledge Objects differ in terms of which era they belong to. The eras themselves represent the evolution of Knowledge Objects.

The first section of the article will clearly explain the concept of Knowledge Object. The second section of the article takes that understanding and applies it throughout the three eras. The article is then briefly concluded.

1. Definition of a Knowledge Object

Here, Knowledge Object has two meanings:

  • The object has an explicit property of containing knowledge
  • The object was created by humans

For an object to qualify as a Knowledge Object, both meanings have to be true at the same time.

The second meaning has two categories:

  • Objects directly created by humans
  • Objects created by objects which were created by humans

To clearly indicate the first meaning, it is important to understand the way in which the term “explicit property” is used here. The explicit property of containing knowledge means that the object is created in such a manner, that there is an explicit consideration for the property of the object being able to contain knowledge.

2. The Three Eras

There are three eras throughout which Knowledge Objects appear:

  • The pen-and-paper-era
  • The digitalized pen-and-paper-era
  • The post-pen-and-paper-era

An example of a pen-and-paper-era Knowledge Object is a drawing of a building.

An example of a digitalized pen-and-paper era Knowledge Object is a 3D model of a building.

An example of a post-pen-and-paper-era Knowledge Object is a data model of a building.

In each of these examples, the building represented by the Knowledge Object can be exactly the same, yet it is described in an increasingly rich and valuable manner through the three eras.

Each of these eras will be covered in more detail below, through four aspects; main property, readability, native dimensionality, and timeframe.

The main property is the distinguishing feature of all objects of a given era.

The readability says if the objects of a given era are human-readable, machine-readable, or both.

The native dimensionality is the number of dimensions supported by the objects of a given era.

The timeframe is the period of time during which objects of a given era are appearing.

2.1. Pen-and-Paper Era

Next, the pen-and-paper era will be explained through four aspects.

The main property of a pen-and-paper era Knowledge Object is that it is material/physical.

The readability is limited to humans.

Its native dimensionality is two. Overcoming the dimensional limitations become easily laborious and challenging.

The timeframe for the pen-and-paper era is from roughly 6,000 years ago, up to today, and going forward to the future.

2.2. The Digitalized Pen-and-Paper Era

Next, the digitalized pen-and-paper era will be explained through the same four aspects.

The main property of a digitalized pen-and-paper era Knowledge Object is that it is immaterial.

The readability is limited to humans. Here it is important to appreciate the distinction between the ability of a machine to load a file (e.g. 3D model), and actual machine readability.

Its native dimensionality is three. This can be overcome readily, but complexity can grow rapidly together with more dimensionality.

The timeframe for digitalized pen-and-paper is from roughly 60 years ago, up to today, and going forward to the future.

When it is said that something is digitalized, it refers to activities of this particular era.

2.3. The Post-Pen-and-Paper Era

Next, the post-pen-and-paper era will be explained through the same four aspects.

The main property of a post-pen-and-paper era Knowledge Object is that it can contain knowledge of all of its previous states.

The readability is for both machines and humans.

The dimensionality is n. This is to say, post-pen-and-paper era Knowledge Objects can natively have any number of dimensions, even without it necessarily affecting complexity.

The timeframe for post-pen-and-paper era Knowledge Objects is from the past two decades to a very small degree, up to today, and dramatically increasing in the coming years and decades.

When it is said that something is made parametric, it refers to activities of this particular era. Computerized, programmatic, machine-readable, and several other terms, are interchangeable with the term “post-pen-and-paper”.

Conclusion

  • Post-pen-and-paper era Knowledge Objects are superior to all other Knowledge Objects
  • Post-pen-and-paper era Knowledge Objects are the only kind of machine-readable objects
  • Post-pen-and-paper era Knowledge Objects will become the most prominent class of Knowledge Objects
  • There are many synonyms for describing post-pen-and-paper Knowledge Objects, such as parametric and machine-readable

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Mikko
aecmaster

Worked with machine intelligence for 15 years, and built the interwebs for 25. Nothing here is my own.