A Call for a Multidisciplinary Connection Effort

Standard

diagram-abstraction-lens.png

Abstract concepts can also be understood as emergent concepts. These emergent concepts may the results of the interplays from our own personal lenses we use to interpret the world.

Lenses like our own physical bodies and conceptual lenses such as belief systems help to shape the way we interpret things.

This diagram may also help to illustrate that our interpretation of the world is always limited to the number of lenses we use. As a result we are are still mostly “blind” to the way our world is and to how it works .

The Blind Ages
Imagine if you will that each lens we use for interpreting the world only provides one color. Our ability to understand the world as it is then, would require us to use all the lenses. If we could do this we would be moving towards a more holistic way of understanding the world.

Currently our educational systems are not geared to do that. Our media channels are not doing much of this either. So…

What to do next?

  • Academia already knows they have to shift towards multidisciplinary correlation. While sporadic change may be taking place most of these institutions are not only sluggish but they tend to get trapped behind internal politics. Their contribution to change is too slow compared to what organized people can do if they have the tools to do it.
  • I would like to request that publishers consider publishing books and magazines that attempt to correlate knowledge across fields.
  • I would also like to encourage educational tools and websites to take advantage of the web as a tool to connect concepts not only across disciplines but also outside of formal academic disciplines altogether — an outreach towards bottom-up knowledge.
  • Businesses may want to consider this an opportunity for a new market that will require textbooks, software, web-applications, websites, training institutions etc.
  • Non-profit organizations may also want to consider this a new type of societal requirement for the development of people in the 21st century.
  • Organizations like Wikimedia are in a great position to connect multidisciplinary knowledge. Their current Wikipedia project is multidisciplinary but it’s not correlated on a multidisciplinary way. Currently its editing rules limit connections of topics to those closely related, (read, same disciplinary branch) connections. If Wikimedia were to formally announce an effort towards connecting multi-disciplinary knowledge, then I think contributors will take care of the rest.

So, what does Jimmy Wales say about this?

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2 thoughts on “A Call for a Multidisciplinary Connection Effort

  1. Carolina

    I know this is older (found it on Stumble), but I’m also interested in cross-platform information discovery. As a librarian I think in terms of access, and am concerned about mining not just the web, but grey literature and information in disparate bibliographic databases, and so on. It’s a great idea for publishers to encourage cross-disciplinary research, but until those discovery tools are more sophisticated (beyond GScholar, perhaps GScholar+), discovery and integration are highly problematic.

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