Knowledge is Never Passed On, just Recombined and Repurposed in Intentional Contexts

From the blog of Valdis Krebs – TNT The Network Thinkers

A Network

A Network

Information does not want to be free.

It wants to be re-combined!

Above is the best recombination “machine” we have — the network.

I have thought about the value of network derived knowledge because of its’ proximity to the action it inspires and I have thought of the fact that it’s not just replicated and transferred, but that in someway it is relearned anew on each occasion – the reason the transfer metaphor is so problematic.  But, Valdis point out that network derived knowledge is usually  in someway also a recombination and that means it is truly “something new under the sun”.  Networks are so good at helping people learn because they are creating new knowledge for very specific purposes.  Just like our DNA is almost exactly alike, but we are each unique in so many ways – So too our knowledge, especially when it is created jointly, is also unique.  It reminds me of M.M. Bakhtin’s conception of language

Due to stratifying forces resulting from the dialogical contextual use of language; . . . language has been completely taken over, shot through with intentions and accents.  . . . Each word tastes of the context and contexts in which it has lived its socially charged life . . .

Similarly knowledge too is “shot through with intentions” and Contexts and it too has a socially charged and recombined dialogical life.