Friday, April 29, 2005

Hierarchical Encyclopedia - Recursive 10 percentile knowledge

I was thinking today about how disorganized information is, not just from the standpoint of finding information but more specifically, from the point of organizing information around it's dependent information. At any rate, this got me wandering and eventually landed me on an interesting idea.

The idea, quite simply, is a website themed around 10 percentile knowledge, recursively... Let me explain; When you first hit the site, it would be much like wikipedia except all articles would have an organization based upon the community that submitted it. And that community would have self-organizing expertise that emerges from a process I call 10 percentile knowledge. In short:

Every article will have associated with it a set of questions and answers. Both the article and the questions and answers are modifiable (in wiki fashion) by anyone at 10 percentile expertise level (or higher) relative to the knowledge area that the article is contained within. In order to achieve the accreditation required to edit within a knowledge area, therefore, a person must be able to achieve at least a 90% average score on questions relevant to that knowledge area.

Taking this further, new articles that are submitted may be forced into a more general (common) knowledge area if more than 90% of their questions are answerable within their current context, or may move to a more specific (expert) knowledge pool if the questions are more difficult.

Similarly, as the system evolves, individuals may find their accreditations changing either higher or lower depending on how knowledge areas mature. And of course, knowledge categories may branch off or merge as the system evolves as well.

The primary focus of such a system is that all participants are both teachers and students and that all participants also actively engage in the shaping of the system itself (although this may be mostly invisible to the user).


Such a system would have remarkable characteristics. It would be self organizing and it would naturally develop checks-and-balances in it's own organization as users with more expertise would have more power of their subject areas than those with less expertise. This would prevent the raging knowledge battles found on sites such as Wikipedia where University professors battle over territory with High-school students. The University professors would naturally have more advanced knowledge and would therefore have knowledge areas/realms that were so high up in the recursive 10 percentile expertise metrics that they were the only ones that could edit the material. And for lesser material, their editorial rights could be more profound.

Such a system would allow users to very quickly seek knowledge areas that matched their own personal levels of expertise, providing them with a direct path to learn from the point that they are currently at.

Such a system would allow extremely advanced knowledge to be imparted in a manner that it could be directly peer-reviewed, studied and critiqued by other experts in their field who are at their own level of expertise.

More on this later... I am not sure I laid out the organizational dynamics that I have in my mind very eloquently in this write-up, but there are some very simple game-theoryish dynamic rules that would allow this system to self organize in the way I am describing. I'll try to find time to lay those out in some form soon.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful invention it is, this thing we call the Internet!

1:42 PM  
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