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Liquid Knowledge?

I had a nice chat with Jay Cross yesterday. Jay, along with Stephen and Maish, formed the core of my earliest foray into blogging and online learning. They have continued to remain core nodes in my own personal learning network.

Jay and I have a shared interest in the changing dynamics of learning. He is approaching things from his work in informal learning (he has a book coming out later this year), while I have approached things from connectivism. Periodically, one of us will write a post or article, and send a note to the other expressing the similarity of thought. Often, after watching a Breeze presentation Jay has done, I’ll be struck with the sense of “I’ve thought those things and come to those same conclusions!” (I have similar experiences with Stephen Downes’ work). It’s a neat feeling to connect with other thinkers who are walking a similar path.

On that note, I just read Jay’s post on Knowledge flow. Great insights…”Knowledge used to be solid stuff. The ancient Greeks studied the same logic I confronted in high-school geometry. Newton’s Laws of Motion had a three-hundred year run. Mickey Mouse is 77 years old. Knowledge is melting. It is becoming liquid. It flows.”


  1. Ida Jones wrote:

    Knowledge flow is an interesting article about knowledge. I agree that knolwedge is not static, but don’t we still have to know something about a concept in order to see its fluidity? I think we have to view information at some point in time and know it at that particular juncture before we can recognize when it changes.

    My brain works, I think, by holding onto something to try to understand it first. Once I grasp that information, then I can look at other information about that information and view/recognize changes. If I see information as it changes, before I acquired static knowledge about it, it makes no sense.

    Does that make sense?

    Saturday, May 20, 2006 at 3:14 pm | Permalink
  2. Jay Cross wrote:

    That makes sense to me, Ida. If everything’s liquid, you end up like the baby described by William James as entering this “booming, buzzing world” with naught but confusion. Without solid structure, you have no point of reference. I sometimes write (and think) in hyperbole to reinforce my message. The Knowledge Cube has not fully melted, but it’s more water than there used to be.

    Saturday, May 20, 2006 at 9:29 pm | Permalink
  3. Mark White wrote:

    Mark Nissen of US Navy Postgraduate School has done some interesting work in the area of the dynamics of knowledge flow. He also has a new book out that looks pretty interesting called Harnessing Knowledge Dynamics: Principled Organizational Knowing & Learning

    His homepage is

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at 7:27 pm | Permalink