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Ideograms are metaphorical images that can render important or basic insights in a nutshell.

Not all images are worth one thousand words. But these ideograms are! They play a similar role in knowledge federation as mathematical formulas do in traditional science. They condense a wealth of insight, some of the best ideas of our best minds, and very many pages of text, into an image recognizable at a glance. Think about Einstein's E=mc² – that's already an ideogram. But the possibilities behind this approach to knowledge are endless – especially when we include the creative use of new media!

The Modernity ideogram points to a natural way to become sustainable, and continue to evolve and progress.

The bus represents our technologically advanced and fast-moving civilisation. The candle headlights represent the way information is created and used, which we have indiscriminately inherited from the past.

As a practical message, this image suggests that the ways of creating and sharing information we have inherited will not fulfil some of the purposes we now urgently need to take care of, notably the purpose of orienting our choices, or of 'illuminating the way'. By designing instead of inheriting what we do with information, suggests this image, we can now make the difference between a hazardous ride into the future, and using our technology to take us to places or conditions where we may justifiably wish to be.

The Modernity ideogram depicts our civilization as a bus, and our knowledge work as its candle headlights.

In an academic or fundamental sense, the bus metaphor is pointing to an epistemological stance where information is no longer considered an objective image of reality, but as a part of this reality, or a system within a system, whose purpose is to fulfil certain specific roles. Under this epistemology, the creative acts to reconfigure what we do with information become basic research – as “the discovery of natural laws” has been in traditional science. The bus metaphor further points to the necessity of what we are calling systemic innovation, where we apply our creative capabilities, and our technology, to fulfil the purposes that must be served, rather than to reproduce the habitual practices and ways of working. The bus points to the need to turn our basic institutions or socio-technical “candles” into “lightbulbs”, and to the opportunity to invent and create on this larger, systemic scale. By doing that, suggests the bus metaphor, we may make a similar difference in the ream of our institution as the conventional innovation made by designing technical objects, since the age of the candle.

The task of Knowledge Federation is to prototype and evolve a socio-technical 'light bulb'.

The “i” in the above metaphorical image, composed of a circle on top of a square, renders the information that Knowledge Federation undertakes to create in a nutshell. The purpose of this information is to provide direction-setting high-level insights (represented by the circle), based on a multiplicity of lower-level insights (represented by the square), which illuminate an issue or phenomenon from multiple sides.

The Information ideogram depicts the information that can help us 'see the way'

What is being shared here – and you may watch it evolve and emerge through time – is the third book of the Knowledge Federation Trilogy titled "Knowledge Federation" and subtitled "Science for the Third Millennium". The idea is to render an academically sound and convincing argument – in an entertaining and engaging cartoon-like format – that "science" (what we collectively rely on to provide us truth and meaning) must become something entirely different than what it presently is.

  • T.B.A.