Knowing Knowledge

Nov 08, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

George Siemens has now officially launched his book, Knowing Knowledge. The link above is to the website, which contains links to colour versions of the images, the print-on-demand version, the community, and the rest of the clutter that accompanies a publication release these days. But you can go straight to the book (PDF) from here. Kudos to George for release his book as free and open content (more than a few in our field recently have gfone the traditional closed-door approach to publication, violating the very principles they advocate in their texts).

There's a lot to like in the book, and Siemens's understanding of knowledge and learning shares a lot in common with my own. It is, of course, the differences that perplex me. Like, why he would write a book for business leaders. Or, why he insists on objectivity within a relativist epistemology. Or why, whenever he is challenged by orthodoxy, he gives up - there's always "a place" for things like hierarchy, formal learning, centralization, according to Siemens. Still, I like much much more in this book than I don't like, and the payoff for fuzziness and flexibility is likely to be broader acceptance, making my discomfit moot.

Also, see Siemens's presentation at the University of Manitoba yesterday (MP3 audio and PowerPoint slides) on social technologies.
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