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The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman, Philip Fernbach |
"We all think we know more than we actually do.   Humans have built hugely complex societies and technologies, but most of us don’t even know how a pen or a toilet works. How have we achieved so much despite understanding so little? Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach argue that we survive and thrive despite our mental shortcomings because we live in a rich community of knowledge. The key to our intelligence lies in the people and things around us. We’re constantly drawing on information and expertise stored outside our heads: in our bodies, our environment, our possessions, and the community with which we interact—and usually we don’t even realize we’re doing it.   The human mind is both brilliant and pathetic. We have mastered fire, created democratic institutions, stood on the moon, and sequenced our genome. And yet each of us is error prone, sometimes irrational, and often ignorant. The fundamentally communal nature of intelligence and knowledge explains why we often assume we know more than we really do, why political opinions and false beliefs are so hard to change, and why individual-oriented approaches to education and management frequently fail. But our collaborative minds also enable us to do amazing things. This book contends that true genius can be found in the ways we create intelligence using the community around us. SEE LESS "
book  publisher  cognition  knowledge  bias  limits 
november 2017 by tsuomela
The Politically Motivated Reasoning Paradigm by Dan M. Kahan :: SSRN
"Recent research in decision science identifies politically motivated reasoning as the source of persistent public conflict over policy-relevant facts. This paper presents a basic conceptual model — the “Politically Motivated Reasoning Paradigm” (PMRP) — that summarizes the salient features of this form of information processing. The experimental design best suited for studying hypotheses relating to PMRP, it argues, measures the weight that subjects attach to one and the same piece of evidence conditional on the manipulation of its perceived significance for positions associated with competing cultural or political values. The paper also discusses various additional methodological and substantive issues, including alternative schemes for operationalizing “motivating” political predispositions; the characteristics of valid samples for examining politically motivated reasoning; the rationality of politically motivated reasoning; the “symmetry” of this mechanism of cognition across opposing political or cultural group; the impact of offering monetary incentives for unbiased political information processing; and the potential biasing impact of politically motivated reasoning on experts. The paper concludes by identifying the centrality of PMRP to the emerging science of science communication."
political-science  science  public-understanding  communication  curiosity  knowledge 
february 2017 by tsuomela
Global Risks 2013 - Reports - World Economic Forum
"The global risk of massive digital misinformation sits at the centre of a constellation of technological and geopolitical risks ranging from terrorism to cyber attacks and the failure of global governance. This risk case examines how hyperconnectivity could enable “digital wildfires” to wreak havoc in the real world. It considers the challenge presented by the misuse of an open and easily accessible system and the greater danger of misguided attempts to prevent such outcomes."
internet  online  risk  knowledge  bias  psychology  intelligence  misinformation  agnotology 
april 2016 by tsuomela
Group discussion improves lie detection
"Groups of individuals can sometimes make more accurate judgments than the average individual could make alone. We tested whether this group advantage extends to lie detection, an exceptionally challenging judgment with accuracy rates rarely exceeding chance. In four experiments, we find that groups are consistently more accurate than individuals in distinguishing truths from lies, an effect that comes primarily from an increased ability to correctly identify when a person is lying. These experiments demonstrate that the group advantage in lie detection comes through the process of group discussion, and is not a product of aggregating individual opinions (a “wisdom-of-crowds” effect) or of altering response biases (such as reducing the “truth bias”). Interventions to improve lie detection typically focus on improving individual judgment, a costly and generally ineffective endeavor. Our findings suggest a cheap and simple synergistic approach of enabling group discussion before rendering a judgment."
groups  lying  psychology  philosophy  epistemology  knowledge  collective-intelligence 
september 2015 by tsuomela
State of the American Mind | Templeton Press
"In 1987, Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind was published; a wildly popular book that drew attention to the shift in American culture away from the tenets that made America—and Americans—unique. Bloom focused on a breakdown in the American curriculum, but many sensed that the issue affected more than education. The very essence of what it meant to be an American was disappearing. That was over twenty years ago. Since then, the United States has experienced unprecedented wealth, more youth enrolling in higher education than ever before, and technology advancements far beyond what many in the 1980s dreamed possible. And yet, the state of the American mind seems to have deteriorated further. Benjamin Franklin’s “self-made man” has become a man dependent on the state. Independence has turned into self-absorption. Liberty has been curtailed in the defense of multiculturalism.  In order to fully grasp the underpinnings of this shift away from the self-reliant, well-informed American, editors Mark Bauerlein and Adam Bellow have brought together a group of cultural and educational experts to discuss the root causes of the decline of the American mind. The writers of these fifteen original essays include E. D. Hirsch, Nicholas Eberstadt, and Dennis Prager, as well as Daniel Dreisbach, Gerald Graff, Richard Arum, Robert Whitaker, David T. Z. Mindich, Maggie Jackson, Jean Twenge, Jonathan Kay, Ilya Somin, Steve Wasserman, Greg Lukianoff, and R. R. Reno. Their essays are compiled into three main categories:"
book  publisher  culture  culture-war  american-studies  america  knowledge  education 
september 2015 by tsuomela
Warning: Your reality is out of date - The Boston Globe
Coining the term mesofact, for slow-changing facts, like world population.
facts  scale  change  knowledge 
january 2015 by tsuomela
most people aren’t good at most things | Fredrik deBoer
"There are so many places where we’ve turned over functions once performed by experts to amateurs, and we’re consistently surprised that it doesn’t work out."
crowdsourcing  crowdfunding  crowds  wisdom  knowledge  failure  experts 
december 2014 by tsuomela
Web IQ | Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project
"American internet users’ knowledge of the modern technology landscape varies widely across a range of topics, according to a new knowledge quiz conducted by the Pew Research Center as part of its ongoing series commemorating the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web. To take the quiz for yourself before reading the full report, click here. The survey—which was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,066 internet users—includes 17 questions on a range of issues related to technology, including: the meaning and usage of common online terms; recognition of famous tech figures; the history of some major technological advances; and the underlying structure of the internet and other technologies."
online  knowledge  survey  population 
december 2014 by tsuomela
SPT v6n2 - Thing Knowledge - Function and Truth
"Elsewhere I have argued for a materialist epistemology that I call "thing knowledge." This is an epistemology where the things we make bear our knowledge of the world, on a par with the words we speak. It is an epistemology opposed to the notion that the things we make are only instrumental to the articulation and justification of knowledge expressed in words or equations. Our things do this, but they do more. They bear knowledge themselves, and frequently enough the words we speak serve instrumentally in the articulation and justification of knowledge borne by things."
epistemology  philosophy  objects  knowledge  embodied  cognition 
august 2014 by tsuomela
[1406.7563] When is a crowd wise?
"Numerous studies and anecdotes demonstrate the "wisdom of the crowd," the surprising accuracy of a group's aggregated judgments. Less is known, however, about the generality of crowd wisdom. For example, are crowds wise even if their members have systematic judgmental biases, or can influence each other before members render their judgments? If so, are there situations in which we can expect a crowd to be less accurate than skilled individuals? We provide a precise but general definition of crowd wisdom: A crowd is wise if a linear aggregate, for example a mean, of its members' judgments is closer to the target value than a randomly, but not necessarily uniformly, sampled member of the crowd. Building on this definition, we develop a theoretical framework for examining, a priori, when and to what degree a crowd will be wise. We systematically investigate the boundary conditions for crowd wisdom within this framework and determine conditions under which the accuracy advantage for crowds is maximized. Our results demonstrate that crowd wisdom is highly robust: Even if judgments are biased and correlated, one would need to nearly deterministically select only a highly skilled judge before an individual's judgment could be expected to be more accurate than a simple averaging of the crowd. Our results also provide an accuracy rationale behind the need for diversity of judgments among group members. Contrary to folk explanations of crowd wisdom which hold that judgments should ideally be independent so that errors cancel out, we find that crowd wisdom is maximized when judgments systematically differ as much as possible. We re-analyze data from two published studies that confirm our theoretical results."
crowds  wisdom  aggregation  knowledge  distributed  cognition 
july 2014 by tsuomela
Knowledge Infrastructures: Intellectual Frameworks and Research Challenges
"Welcome to Knowledge Infrastructures! This Website is intended to function as the official research and discussion companion to the Knowledge Infrastructures: Intellectual frameworks and research challenges report and workshop, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and The Sloan Foundation. "
infrastructure  knowledge  sts  research  report 
april 2014 by tsuomela
Die Hard and Fairy Tales |
"Contact with magic in an initiation myth may be terrifying and bloody, but it leads to power, grace, and a cool new sword. Level up! Contact with magic in fairy tales, on the other hand, does not necessarily ennoble. There are Cinderellas, sure, but just as often survivors escape with nothing but their own skin and the knowledge they almost lost it. To use a framework I’ve employed earlier—myths are badass. Fairy tales are hard core. Or to put it another way: in our modern understanding, Campbellian myths are about knowledge, while fairy tales are about metis."
fairy-tale  myths  mythology  power  knowledge  metis 
february 2014 by tsuomela
The Knowledge Pyramid: A Critique of the DIKW Hierarchy - The University of Arizona Campus Repository
"The paper evaluates the Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom (DIKW) Hierarchy. This hierarchy is part of the canon of information science and management. The paper considers whether the hierarchy, also known as the ‘Knowledge Hierarchy’, is a useful and intellectually desirable construct to introduce, whether the views expressed about DIKW are true and have evidence in favour of them, and whether there are good reasons offered or sound assumptions made about DIKW. Arguments are offered that the hierarchy is unsound and methodologically undesirable. The paper identifies a central logical error that DIKW makes. The paper identifies the dated and unsatisfactory philosophical positions of operationalism and inductivism as the philosophical backdrop to the hierarchy. The paper concludes with a sketch of some positive theories, of value to information science, on the nature of the components of the hierarchy: that data is anything recordable in a semantically and pragmatically sound way, that information is what is known in other literature as ‘weak knowledge’, that knowledge also is ‘weak knowledge’ and that wisdom is the possession and use."
data  information  knowledge  wisdom  hierarchy  theory  information-science 
september 2013 by tsuomela
The Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom Hierarchy and its Antithesis - The University of Arizona Campus Repository
"The now taken-for-granted notion that data lead to information, which leads to knowledge, which in turn leads to wisdom was first specified in detail by R. L. Ackoff in 1988. The Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom hierarchy is based on filtration, reduction, and transformation. Besides being causal and hierarchical, the scheme is pyramidal, in that data are plentiful while wisdom is almost nonexistent. Ackoffâ s formula linking these terms together this way permits us to ask what the opposite of knowledge is and whether analogous principles of hierarchy, process, and pyramiding apply to it. The inversion of the Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom hierarchy produces a series of opposing terms (including misinformation, error, ignorance, and stupidity) but not exactly a chain or a pyramid. Examining the connections between these phenomena contributes to our understanding of the contours and limits of knowledge."
data  information  knowledge  wisdom  hierarchy  theory  information-science 
september 2013 by tsuomela
Keeping Score: How To Understand Baseball : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR
"Keeping score, in baseball, or in life, is a knowledge-making activity. It is, we might say, a form of research. We can get by just fine reading-along on ESPN gamecast, or taking the evening newscast at face value. For most of us, most of the time, that's the best we can manage. But there is another option: we can keep score, that is, we can write the events that matter to us; we can make knowledge and history. How you keep score — using an app, or writing it out by hand — strikes me as entirely irrelevant. But that we keep score, or that, at the very least, we recognize that the score needs keeping — that we can't, however much we might like, abdicate our authority to make sense of what is going on — is crucial."
philosophy  games  play  knowledge  making  baseball  sports 
august 2013 by tsuomela
Public’s Knowledge of Science and Technology | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press
"The public’s knowledge of science and technology varies widely across a range of questions on current topics and basic scientific concepts, according to a new quiz by the Pew Research Center and Smithsonian magazine."
science  technology  public  poll  public-understanding  knowledge  education  national  pew-research  sts 
april 2013 by tsuomela
Joyce and the Internet: What Leopold Bloom Didn't Know - Alan Jacobs - The Atlantic
"James Joyce's narration leads us through the difficulty of finding knowledge in a pre-Internet era, reminding us how lucky we are to have this technology, despite all its flaws."
internet  benefits  technology-effects  knowledge  class  distribution  access  history 
april 2013 by tsuomela
On Our Politics of Fear | The Nation
"A less narcissistic time, perhaps. Not now. Now, we let trauma consume us. Now, our desperate longing to know—to find easy, immediate answers—confines us, makes us frantic, reduces us to our basest cognitive instincts. And ultimately that's all I really have to say today, and all I really have to write: to record a testament that people can reflect on fifty years from now, if they want to know it felt like to live in America the week of April 15, 2013."
fear  america  culture  certainty  knowledge  politics 
april 2013 by tsuomela
The Production of Nonknowledge « through the looking glass
"UCL’s Science and Society reading group discussed an interesting paper on the production of non-knowledge, what science decides not to look at, why and how. It’s interesting because the growing literature on the sociology of ignorance – e.g. agnotology – often sees it as a problem, but as this paper points out, it’s a routine part of science. I thought I’d share my notes. "
science  knowledge  bias  controversy  public-understanding  agnotology  ignorance  forbidden  risk 
february 2013 by tsuomela
Social Knowledge in the Making, Camic, Gross, Lamont
"Over the past quarter century, researchers have successfully explored the inner workings of the physical and biological sciences using a variety of social and historical lenses. Inspired by these advances, the contributors to Social Knowledge in the Making turn their attention to the social sciences, broadly construed. The result is the first comprehensive effort to study and understand the day-to-day activities involved in the creation of social-scientific and related forms of knowledge about the social world."
book  publisher  sociology  knowledge  sts  social-science 
october 2012 by tsuomela
Language Log » Ignorance about ignorance
"My conclusions: When you read or hear in the mass media that "Only X% of Americans know Y", don't believe it without checking the references — it's probably false even as a report of the survey statistics. When you read survey results claiming that "Only X% of Americans know Y", don't believe the claims unless the survey publishes (a) the exact questions asked; (b) the specific coding instructions used to score the answers; (c) a measure of inter-annotator agreement in blind tests; and (d) the raw response transcripts."
american  society  knowledge  surveys  ignorance  media  methods 
october 2012 by tsuomela
Flipping Bloom’s Taxonomy | Powerful Learning Practice
Here’s what I propose. In the 21st century, we flip Bloom’s taxonomy. Rather than starting with knowledge, we start with creating, and eventually discern the knowledge that we need from it.
learning  pedagogy  teaching  hierarchy  taxonomy  knowledge  creativity 
may 2012 by tsuomela
digital digs: constructing academic knowledge
"What constructing ought to denote, but perhaps never will (hence Levi and Latour's calls for a new term), is that the knowledge we produce is another object in the world, made from other objects in the world (including us). As one object among many, the knowledge we produce does not capture/represent in some pure way other objects in the world. It isn't "true" in that sense. As academics we already accept this across the campus. However it also isn't "untrue" or operating in a separate, noncommunicating realm from other objects. It isn't purely discursive or purely social. " Annotated link
constructivism  knowledge  objects  discourse  assessment  academia  humanities  academic 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Philosophy Is Not a Science -
"The intellectual culture of scientism clouds our understanding of science itself. What’s more, it eclipses alternative ways of knowing — chiefly the philosophical — that can actually yield greater certainty than the scientific. While science and philosophy do at times overlap, they are fundamentally different approaches to understanding. So philosophers should not add to the conceptual confusion that subsumes all knowledge into science. "
scientism  science  philosophy  discipline  knowledge 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Discerning the Division of Cognitive Labor: An Emerging Understanding of How Knowledge Is Clustered in Other Minds - Keil - 2010 - Cognitive Science - Wiley Online Library
The division of cognitive labor is fundamental to all cultures. Adults have a strong sense of how knowledge is clustered in the world around them and use that sense to access additional information, defer to relevant experts, and ground their own incomplete understandings. One prominent way of clustering knowledge is by disciplines similar to those that comprise the natural and social sciences. Seven studies explored an emerging sense of these discipline-based ways of clustering of knowledge. Even 5-year-olds could cluster knowledge in a manner roughly corresponding to the departments of natural and social sciences in a university, doing so without any explicit awareness of those academic disciplines. But this awareness is fragile early on and competes with other ways of clustering knowledge. Over the next few years, children come to see discipline-based clusters as having a privileged status, one that may be linked to increasingly sophisticated assumptions about essences for natural kinds. Possible mechanisms for this developmental shift are examined.
philosophy  psychology  explanation  folk-psychology  science  folk  theory  expertise  laypeople  understanding  knowledge  division  labor 
december 2011 by tsuomela
ScienceDirect - Cognition : Two dogmas of conceptual empiricism: implications for hybrid models of the structure of knowledge
Concepts seem to consist of both an associative component based on tabulations of feature typicality and similarity judgments and an explanatory component based on rules and causal principles. However, there is much controversy about how each component functions in concept acquisition and use. Here we consider two assumptions, or dogmas, that embody this controversy and underlie much of the current cognitive science research on concepts. Dogma 1: Novel information is first processed via similarity judgments and only later is influenced by explanatory components. Dogma 2: Children initially have only a similarity-based component for learning concepts
cognition  concepts  knowledge  philosophy  psychology  explanation 
december 2011 by tsuomela
Q&A with editors of new book on creation of social science | Inside Higher Ed
"Numerous studies in the last few decades have examined how physical and biological scientists make discoveries and face challenges in their labs. A new collection of essays and original research -- Social Knowledge in the Making (University of Chicago Press) -- applies this sort of analysis to the social sciences, exploring the process of creation in very different disciplines. Chapters in the volume cover such topics as peer review, academic conferences, interdisciplinary work and institutional review boards."
book  interview  sociology  knowledge  sts  social-science 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Neurology vs. Psychiatry: The Social Production of Knowledge » Sociological Images
"The divisions between neurology and psychiatry suggested in the image above stir up lots of interesting questions not only about what we consider to be “neurological” or “psychiatric”, but more generally about the social production of knowledge."
neurology  psychiatry  knowledge  social  sociology  psychology  discipline  boundaries 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Jones - No knowledge but through information
"This article argues for the following: 1. Information is a thing to be handled and controlled
information  knowledge  knowledge-management  pim  pkm  objects  substance  ontology  epistemology  philosophy 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Learning to automate work « Jon Udell
"But information networks matter more than the devices we use to access them, or the applications that run on those devices. The key to the automation of knowledge work that Schrage righly prescribes isn’t learning how to use smartphones or tablets. Rather, it’s learning and then applying core principles that govern information networks. "
knowledge-work  knowledge  automation  business  management  work  behavior  future  pkm  pim 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Technology and Knowledge - PhilSci-Archive
"My aim in this paper is to give a philosophical analysis of how, precisely, technology can be a condition for gaining scientific knowledge. My concern is with what scientists can know in practice, given their particular contingent conditions, including available technology, rather than what can be known “in principle” by a hypothetical entity like Laplace’s Demon. I begin with the observation that what we know depends on what we can do. For example, in science, gaining certain knowledge depends of having certain evidence. This makes the ability to gather that evidence a necessary condition for gaining the knowledge. "
philosophy  science  technology  evidence  pragmatism  knowledge 
september 2011 by tsuomela
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