Tag Archives: Wiki

What I Don’t Know

A Wiki is sometimes described by the ‘backronym’ “What I Know Is”.

Recently I’ve been using Quora. You can ask a question or, if you see someone else’s question and think you know the answer, you can reply. Over time, you become associated with areas of knowledge that interest you. The obvious equivalent to the Wiki translation would be “What I want to know is” but you always have to use social systems to understand their dynamics. I didn’t ‘get’ Twitter until I’d used it for some time because at first, nothing happens.

I discovered Quora is really about “What I Don’t Know Is”. It’s obvious that by asking a question, you declare a ‘known unknown’  but human ignorance goes deeper than that. As someone who tries to answer questions, you learn about the gaps in your own knowledge, that you are unable to explain a concept you thought you understood and that there are things many people don’t know or understand that you had assumed were obvious to everyone. We all struggle to provide good, clear, concise, unambiguous questions and answers, because we don’t know everything.

I discovered that other people’s thinking and motivations are often very different from mine. I wasn’t aware of how much more of a rush many young people are in to ‘be a star’ at something, often without much understanding of what that something is. I never hurried or set targets, so I wasn’t aware of how much I’d learned about life, until I read some of their questions.

A journey of a thousand thoughts can begin with a single question. The view from the far end of that trail may be different. We need to be curious about everything around us rather than too ambitious to arrive at a fixed destination by the fastest or shortest route. You can dream about the future but it may not arrive packaged as you expect it and pieces may be missing. Plan your early moves, travel at a sustainable rate and stay aware. I’m worried that many of the young hopefuls on Quora will burn-out before they get close to their targets and become disillusioned.

I’m still hungry to learn. There is so much I don’t know and it’s growing all the time.

Advertisements

Do you need a WiWi?

There have been HiFi, WiFi and Wiki. I demand WIWI (yes, wee wee.)

Ignoring the truth, that Wiki means “quick” in Hawaiian, and believing the later redefinition that it stands for the self-documenting “What I Know Is”, why can’t we have “What I Want Is”s?

There seems to be a huge disconnect between people who think of good product ideas and people who can build them. Imagine a system where noone had to take the credit for an idea and better things got built by software and hardware hackers, simply giving credit to the person who thought of it.

Money would be nice, obviously, but that demonstrates how silly any idea of “Intellectual Property” that doesn’t include ‘ideas’ is, in an information economy.

This idea has been: ‘a WiWi’ by Woo.

I’d like this to be a Free software reference implementation with a distributed system and open interfaces but if I’m stupid enough to give away ideas for the common good…