(Margaret Mead, Continuities in Cultural Evolution, 1964)
I am proposing a practical way to correct an error.
Problems—including the unsustainability of global trends and the discontinuities in cultural evolution—need to be seen and treated as its consequences.
In his 1969 MIT report and call to action—to institute transdisciplinarity by anchoring it academically, as the necessary first step toward enabling the post-industrial democracy to comprehend and resolve its problems—Erich Jantsch quoted Norbert Wiener, the iconic progenitor of cybernetics:
“There is only one quality more important than ‘know-how’…… This is ‘know-what’ by which we determine not only how to accomplish our purposes, but what our purposes are to be.”
Academic disciplines cannot provide us the know-what we necessitate; and the media informing, such as it is, won't do it either. A system that can empower us the people to act as our new situation demands must combine disciplinary and other evidence; it must transcend academic and cultural fragmentation; it must communicate to the public with the authority of science—in ways that are far beyond the modalities of outreach that the sciences have been able to produce.
I propose to institute a transdiscipline.
Knowledge federation is the fruit of devoted work of some excellent people.
The reason why I chose to plead its case like this, in first person, is to allow myself to be controversial; and be personally accountable for what I say; and because I want this to be an outcry.
Historical appeals to institute transdisciplinarity remained ignored.
And when we took over the torch—or as the case may be this large boulder and began rolling it uphill—the same dynamic repeated itself. The challenge we are now facing is to be resolute in breaking the spell of academic business as usual, as busy as it is; because we have no more time to lose.
This website is meant to complement my book called Liberation, which is about to appear in print; where I'll share sufficient details and evidence, rendered as brief and entertaining real-life people and situation stories called vignettes. Here I'll summarize knowledge federation's academic side by outlining only its structure; and letting you reconstruct its details by browsing through the book, and participating in the public dialog the Libetion book will ignite.
In the book I call myself a "scientific fundamentalist", with tongue in cheek. The fact of this matter is that I've been trained as a theoretical scientist, practically as a mathematician. You'll have comprehended my case for transdisciplinarity alias for knowledge federation when you see that it's structured like a mathematical theorem; that it all follows from the knowledge federation axiom; which is really just a convention of language and my definition of knowledge; which postulates that knowledge must be federated; which means, simply, that we cannot say that we know something unless due evidence has been accounted for; and that we cannot say that something is known unless it's reflected in everyday awareness and action.
In the remaining four main pages of this website I'll let knowledge federation speak for itself; and thereby also illustrate some of its techniques.
- Federation through Ideograms will explain the nature of the error I've been telling you about, and of this proposal
- Federation through Keywords will help you comprehend both precisely
- Federation through Prototypes will illustrate knowledge federation by a few examples of application
- Federation through Action will make it clear exactly how I propose to go about correcting the error; and invite you to take part.