Archive for July, 2009

In business, and other fields such as information systems, “Knowledge Management”, (to quote Wiki,) has been “an established discipline since 1991”. If you click on the link above, you will see that essentially it is a field of study in how knowledge is learned, passed around, and the process optimized.

I’ve always found it to be a pretty interesting subject, especially in regard to the twin topics of “Explicit Knowledge” and “Tacit Knowledge“.

Perhaps explicit knowledge best relates to the left side of our linear brain, where thing can be discussed, measured, stored and written about.  Knowledge like this might include databases, manuals, or drawings.

Tacit knowledge is different in that is not directly communicated. Closed communities and groups develop shared pools of information, not directly articulated. An example might be when a junior person observes a senior employee’s efforts with a difficult client. The junior will certainly learn more quickly what works and what doesn’t. This form of mentoring is highly useful and an efficient way of increasing the knowledge pool of the company. Aside from the explicit knowledge being transmitted, the hand gestures, facial expressions, attitudes, and subliminal word meanings are part of what is being learned. Funny examples might include the day someone tells you that your dog and you look and act alike, or you hear your child whining, complaining or yelling and are horrified they sound like you.

The pools of information that are formed by growing explicit and tacit knowledge are part of what is called the intellectual capital of a business, information system, or group.

Why am I talking about this subject? Here is an example of the point I am about to make:

If you haven’t yet been over to the Confluence today, be sure and check out Dakinikat’s comments on monetary policy, HERE.

Dakinikat has extensive explicit knowledge in the subject of banking, monetary policy, and economics.

Her blogs are dense and sparkly. As her waves of logic pull you along, the patterns in the economic sands are revealed to us all. Even though she is sharing explicit knowledge, her sharing, or “story telling” provides other information.  I have a sense of her truth and fairness, of altruism in the desire to communicate, and her outrage over our current economy. So, from that vantage point, as one of the less informed,  it is pretty easy to trust and work to understand what she says. I would feel that way even if I didn’t usually agree with her.

One of the ideas in knowledge management is that there is so much information in the world; that it is becoming difficult to evaluate what to read, where to get data, and whom to trust. How is good information to be gained?

One idea is to “fly” over the river of information and “dip” in, like a seagull might do for the right fish. This assumes the seagull, us, has a method of judging the fish or data, before she dips and bites, and after, if it turns up rotten. I can see how this method might work in an information technology system, where only tiny bits of data are identifiers. I don’t think dipping is proving so far, for me, at least, to efficiently make a judgment on quality, and absorb the information. I need much more time in the day.

For me, tacit knowledge often is what determines what I choose to read, and whether I read or not. As we flatten more and more of our information in order to compress it into the media river, it seems to me the fairness, research and depth I want in an article, a report, are getting harder to find. So this brings up another point.

As newspapers continue to retrench and media in general is taken over by the oligarchy, how are we going to find the real journalists? How are going to find our truth tellers? ? How we are going to support those who are?

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Footprints and trails.

What Quaker Dave SAID:

We won’t come close to what this felt like again until we touch Mars, or the next planet, or the next system. Even then, with the wonder of those events yet to arrive, they will be points on a continuum.

In the mean time, while humans are floating through the atmosphere of the Gods, we have the wonder of the first African American man to lead the NASA agency:  Charles Bolden, and a woman, Lori Garver, as Deputy Administrator.

SacBee is reporting here this evening that California’s solons have, amazingly, reached a budget agreement, HERE.

Lest you get your hopes up, it still has to be ratified by legislature.  I haven’t seen it yet; I have no idea what they came up with.  They are hoping the plan’s ratification will give them the credit they need to acquire short term loans and avoid the IOU’s they have been reduced to.

We lost another pioneer this week, Walter Cronkite.

In addition, we lost a wonderful writer, Frank McCourt.

We are thinking of this MAN. We hope he returns soon.

In the fifth year of a growing tradition, North Carolina Cherokee hosted tribes from far-flung places including origins in Hawaii, Mexico, Peru, New Mexico, British Columbia, Oklahoma, and Arizona.


[CHEROKEE, N.C. – Traditions, history and cultures collided as indigenous tribes gathered for the fifth annual Festival of Native Peoples, with a special Indian Art Market Preview on July 16, at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds….]


We witnessed the return of the Blob, last seen in 1958, HERE. Since it was last dropped off in the Artic, it probably wasn’t too much of a swim to Alaska after all that global warming.

Do we sci-fi people know our stuff or what?

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Geez Shtuey!

–       Oh yeah, I remember, playfulness is the sign of a superior mind and all that…

“It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes”

~ St. Thomas Aquinas quotes

Well, you’ve got both, and how sneaky can you get!


1) I moved so much as a kid I tend to remember places by the foods I ate, and the landscape before I remember the people. Every time I moved back to S.F., Dave Brubeck”s “Take Five” would play on the radio coming over one of the bridges. It was a mystical experience always accompanied by appropriate angst and melancholy.

2) I like people, but they are exhausting to be around- I should have been a farmer or a tree hugger hermit. When you are with people you have to talk, and use words and explain yourself. Grunting, pointing and an eye roll or two are so much more satisfactory. Plus, there tends to be a big disconnect in my blogging life interests and those with whom I generally congregate. This leads to a lot of extra work just to get to the starting point of a discussion for those subjects. I always have admiration for those who have oodles of words, can be the life of the party and feed off of it.

3) I’ve been told I think like a “man”, whatever that means. (Venus? Mars? Free sex? Since I wound up in a “man’s” trade, I guess it’s a good thing I like them generally and like being around them. Don’t pass that info around however; it’s not the kind of discussion to have standing on a swing stage on the side of a building, or a roof. (Too much information, not enough explanation! What does she mean? Is she coming onto me? My God, my wife was right! I’m 40 stories up the wall with a crazy person!)

4) I love music, but it’s an intense experience. So, I can’t have music on if I am doing anything else, except maybe vacuuming, and sometimes driving. Since I am usually doing something, I don’t listen to much music.I love plays, symphonies, musicals, and maybe a little opera, and underground movies, but I never go anymore. I like the Dead, Santana, Celtic, John Cage, Heavy Metal, Pink, Blondie, Doors, Chilean, Sousa, Mexican polka, Jazz, some blue grass, the Animals, Prince, Acid Rain, B- 52’s, 40’s bebop, African, Reggae, Marley, – really it’s easier to say what I don’t like – rap, hip-hop, and western. Especially western! Especially modern western!!! I can live with some old country and backwoods folksong.

5) I do travel in my RV a lot and like ferreting around the back roads at my own pace. I just found out I might have something in common with Elisabeth Hasselback (Horrors!)– Celiac Disease. The RV, with its kitchen, might turn out to be my main source of travel. I guess it’s a good thing I like to cook from scratch as well. The RV also carries books, which is another good thing, since I like to read, read, read, and tend to collect them wherever I go.

6) Until recently I spent my workday absorbing a lot of minutiae and then dutifully regurgitating it. (Did you tie off? Did you check the scaffold ties? I cannot tell you to stop work, but I will not pass this area because you have failed to nail it off 3 inches on center, staggered. Where is the bill of lading that indicates this is lead free solder? You must return that mop bucket bitumen to the kettle, it is below 300 degrees. That’s interesting, why did you do that? Show me in the specifications where it says you can do that. What do you mean you don’t have the specs? You are scarring the aluminum, change your razor blade. I don’t give a rat’s ass if you have been doing that way for 15 years or not, it’s wrong and take it out! I told you, I’m not getting on the rig with you until we check the tie offs!) I’m trying to decide if I want return to this lovely and fulfilling line of work.  Unfortunately, I’m pretty good at it, and there is a need. Perhaps, if I get the aforementioned Celiac thingy under control I may. It seems to have been sucking my energy for some time. The improvement since I went off wheat has been pretty stunning.

Allegres Corner

Blue Lyon

Peacocks and Lillies

The Reclusive Leftist

Quaker Agitator


Donna Darko

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Note-Violet over at the Reclusive Leftist had a great blog today and her redesigned site looks great!

Take a look and be sure and check out her link on Jimmy Carter’s comments about women and and religion there or HERE. It turns out to be a riff off  the “Sentiments” Below.

Of course, you know that today is the 161st anniversary of the First Woman’s Rights Convention, don’t you?

Out of this convention was produced the “Declaration of Sentiments”, and a myriad other events which propelled women’s rights forward. Even though we sometimes might think we will break from the load of injustice we see and experience, some goals have been achieved.

Click the link above and review. How many sentiments do you think have been met so far?

The National Woman’s Hall of Fame In Seneca Falls Is putting on a celebration of the event. Can you make it?

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So, last month, around three o’clock dark thirty, jolting me out of sleep was the sound of breaking wood and sparklers in the air.

No power. Jumping out of bed, I ran to the back of the house and learned that the power pole in our neighbor’s yard was broken like a farmer snapping a rabbit neck. The old attached transformer was flung and buried in to the soil. (PCBs?) Power, phone and cable lines were bestrewn all along the shrubbery and everyone’s back fence as far as I could see. I called emergency on my cell phone, and ran outside with a flashlight to tell the Hispanic family standing in their yard, to stay out of their back yard.

I walked all around the block. Turns out, all five poles on our block were snapped off by a huge falling limb in another neighbor’s yard. It pulled off the line crossing the street to the west, hung lines neck high over another street and shorted out three blocks out to the east. All in all, around 2500 homes were without power.

Pretty darn quickly we had police and fire and a whole heck of a lot of PG & E trucks swarming the neighborhood. I think at one point there were 30 trucks hanging around. You never saw such a bunch of people ready to do a little overtime, in our little blue-collar neighborhood. I will say the whole group was pretty amazing, They said they would have everything up and running by midnight the next night and they had it by 9:30 PM. – 19 hours from the time of the call. That included removing broken poles and setting new ones.

So, by 9:30 the next night everyone pretty much had their power back except for yours truly and a couple of others. When the poles went, the lines pulled our boxes off the walls at the back of our homes. That meant we had to get our own electricians to reinstall them.

Rather then view this as a calamity we decided to do something Hubby and I had discussed earlier- change the box to a sub panel, install it on the inside of the building and wire it to a new bigger box for more power on the side of our home. You can put this kind of thing off for years. However, we had just received a tax refund, our neighbor had happened to introduce us to his electrician, and we were going to have to put something back up anyway. So there you have it – serendipity on a wire.

Our electrician is great!! And having fixed our box, she is on to the additional wiring in the house. In the mean time, thanks to the efforts of our neighbor, we have added a plumber, and carpenter. Our electrician found us an HVAC person.

However, we were without landline phone service. Our phone box was just reconnected today. If you wondered where I was, there is your answer.

Low and behold, in my email basket along with 2000 other items is this one from Barbara Boxer. She is starting her 2010 campaign now.

However, what she really needs from us is support on an amendment just passed last night, entitled “The Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act” and numbered S909.

It’s tacked onto the Defense bill, S1390.

Go HERE to sign the petition.

The act is identified as:

[Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act – Adopts the definition of “hate crime” as set forth in the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (i.e., a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim or, in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person)]

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The de rigueur, White House barbeque is scheduled on the South Lawn today, with fireworks later.

Bad press always seems to come when Obama is on a trip. Obama et al, will be in route to Moscow Sunday night; anyone want to guess what un-pleasantries will unfold while he’s gone?

I’m in Phoenix, recuperating from the effects of 3500 screaming teenage girls, (and their supporters) in a weeklong volleyball tournament that was held here, last week . I had thought we would check out some of the local scenery, like the Tonto National Park. However, since it appears we need to purchase passes, maybe we will do that tomorrow.

If the last week is any judge, the club sport of volleyball is still on the rise among women. The logistics, support, organization and plain money that it takes to transport teenagers, coaches, parents, and grandparents to this yearly event, from all over the United States; and places like Canada, Puerto Rico and Italy is pretty astonishing.

As one of the screaming supporters, therefore, I personally am disturbed by the recent UC Davis settlement, which will allow a Title IX deviation to 1.5% from the previous 5% proportion of female athletes to female students. UC Davis has a women’s volleyball team. The settlement has the potential to undermine future Title IX rulings.

It’s not good enough, folks.

In the meantime, as Dennis Kucinich says, troop movement is not the same as troop withdrawal.

The Inspector General is still not releasing the report of the CIA’s interrogation tactics.

And, as been blogged elsewhere today, Michael Jackson is still dead.

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