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Recently I have taken on a rather daunting challenge, one of my own doing it seems, making Arizona's knowledge based economy understandable to the general public and most importantly, minorities. There is a problem with this. If you ask any two leaders to tell you what a "Knowledge Based Economy" is and you will get two different answers. In summary however, the responses fall into to two camps: 1. Many believe the Knowledge Based Economy is focused on new and ingenious ways of creating and using new technologies. 2. Others feel the Knowledge Based Economy represents a revolution in the way information/knowledge on many levels is used to reach societal goals or to achieve a competitive advantage.

Of the two definitions, I prefer the latter. It is more egalitarian and far reaching. If correct, it suggest that one need not be a rocket scientist to prosper in the Knowledge Economy. Instead, one must be courageous and ingenious which are talents Americans, particularly African Americans have in abundance. It rekindles the believe that every one can participate in the American dream, that every one can play in the knowledge game if they wish and not just sit on the sidelines. In my humble opinion however, if Americans are to play the knowledge game and win, we all must more or less become "Knowledge Masters."

Knowledge Masters are people trained to identify and apply new and innovative uses for all types of information to achieve defined and undefined goals. Short version, Knowledge Masters are trained to be ingenious in the use of information. By my reckoning there are five basic principles that must be applied to be a good Knowledge Master. They are:

"¢ Ingenuity: Independence and creativity in thought or action to achieve a goal.

"¢ Wisdom: The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.

"¢ Courage: The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.

"¢ Perspective: The ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance.

"¢ Cooperation: To work or act together toward a common end or purpose.

Just think of the possibilities, a nation of individuals who are trained to be ingenious, wise, courageous, clear thinking team players. A nation of people trained from childhood to solve problems in new and innovative ways and then actually DO SOMETHING with the information. Wow! Think of the social and commercial ramifications.

Unfortunately, this may not be possible. It seems we are living in the day where "teaching to the test" is considered a good thing. Conversely, creativity, independent and outside of the box thinking is far to often considered liberal and thus bad. With the rest of the world gearing up to compete and thrive on knowledge, we Americans are discarding the very thing, that made us the leaders of the world, e.g., good old fashioned American ingenuity and the courage to "just do it!" To quote Shakespeare's Puck, "Lord, what fools these mortals be."
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I am truly amazed. Most of the post was just nice sounding gobbledegook then you pull it out at the end with my favorite line from Shakespeare.

quote:
a nation of individuals who are trained to be ingenious, wise, courageous, clear thinking team players.


What is an ingenious, wise and courageous individual going to do if he/she decides the other people on the team are a bunch of dummies. Shouldn't all of the ingenious people get together and do their own thing?

quote:
A nation of people trained from childhood to solve problems in new and innovative ways and then actually DO SOMETHING with the information. Wow! Think of the social and commercial ramifications.


I think you have a contradiction here, "trained" and "new and innovative" don't got together. Training produces robots.

Not everything that is innovative has to be new. Accounting is very old. Could the Roman Empire have been run without accounting. Double entry bookkeeping is 700 years old. It should be mandatory in schools. Every 12 grader should know

ASSETS - LIABILITIES = NET WORTH

That is the basic accounting equation. But you can't keep track of assets without keeping track of depreciation. I have an accounting book that doesn't mention depreciation until page 624. And though it uses the term "cash flow" there isn't a good diagram of it in the entire book.

So this "ability to perceive things in their actual interrelations or comparative importance" and "to work or act together toward a common end or purpose" without everyone understanding accounting really means that some people are supposed to be dummies that can be used by the system. Like all those people who lost their pensions in the ENRON debacle.

umbrarchist

ps - Click ATTACHMENT! - Click ATTACHMENT! - Click ATTACHMENT!

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I love these comments. A little harsh at times but honest. It helps me refine the "gobbledegook" as you put it. Oh, and I am glad you like Shakespeare. Now on with the show:

Quote:

I am truly amazed. Most of the post was just nice sounding gobbledegook

Hmmn. Ok here is your challenge. New economies don't come around that often and usually we are the last ones to figure it out. Break it down for me. What in your opinion do we need to do to take a seat at the table in this one?

Quote:

What is an ingenious, wise and courageous individual going to do if he/she decides the other people on the team are a bunch of dummies. Shouldn't all of the ingenious people get together and do their own thing?


Actually I agree in a way. The interactions will be complex. However much like his blog, individuals of like mind or who at least can tolerate each other will come together to accomplish a task. No man is an island and history has demonstrated that associations of humans working together can often accomplish more than individuals even when working toward the same goal. The operative term is synergism.

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I think you have a contradiction here, "trained" and "new and innovative" don't got together. Training produces robots.

This one I disagree with. Though individual aptitude/talent does play an important role, training allows one to enhance that ability. Ask any jazz musician or for that matter professional writer. There are many types of training. Some is in a classroom, others as the apprentice and then there is of course mixing it up in the blog space and debating concepts as we are doing here. Perhaps our disagreement is simply in how we define the concept of "training".

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Not everything that is innovative has to be new.

I absolutely agree. That is what ingenuity is all about. Taking ideas, information, knowledge, old or new and applying it in often new ways to accomplish new goals. At Arizona State University for example, there is a new policy diagnostic tool called the Decision Theater. Here they use computer models translated to 3D images to dramatically enhance the ability of decision makers to see the results of their policies years down the road. There is nothing new here. All the computers are off the shelf as are the computer, as are most of the programs. The 3D has been used at Disneyland for years. What is new is how these resources are combined to accomplish a new task for a new audience. (http:www.asu.edu)

Paraphrase:

The whole net worth thing. (No point in repeating it all, you wrote it well the first time)

Actually you just demonstrated my training point. Basic accounting can be taught can it not? If such things are NOT taught, then we end up with the bad end you mention (Enron).

G
You have a point, obviously.

This has always been true.

The user of a technology only needs to know how to achieve a task, or goal.

Making the technology capable is someone else's job.

I don't think a new species is created however. No new 'tricks' are being learned.

The human intellect is being applied to the next level of social development.

It's the same old dog applying the same old talents.

We are already 'knowledge masters'.

What is your point here? Are you saying this 'knowledge master' is a solution for African America?

PEACE

Jim Chester
Dr. George Brooks

You are on point with your general comments.

In my line of business in wireless communications I see the front lines of innovation in which the name of the game is the optimization of the business process to make it more efficient and to provide move real-time information to the management and the customer.

"Knowledge Workers" have their value placed in how they can apply their technical skills toward a solution. In the past "Laborers" were valued by how much physical work they could do in a given period of time to produce a product or complete a certain project.

The challege of being a "Knowledge Worker" is that it requires more advance preparation than did the physical labor jobs in the past. Those elementary skills such as reading literacy, computational skills, typing skills and knowledge of how to use a computer are critical to this new orientation. Communications skills are also vital. In many cases one must be able to translate his ideas onto a PowerPoint or Visio diagram in order to exchange them with other people.

I am working with a few universities who are implementing electronic classrooms in which the teachers publish course work electronically and the students submit their assignments electronically. The next generation of students will be very comfortable in working with the tools that the Knowledge Worker user.

The challege for minority communities (those that have systematic problems - certainly all do not) is to successfully direct their students focus on to these forward advancements and to not be draw away by the forces that are present to draw their attention but also to suck out of them their maximum potential in life.
quote:
originally posted by Dr. George Brooks--Unfortunately, this may not be possible. It seems we are living in the day where "teaching to the test" is considered a good thing. Conversely, creativity, independent and outside of the box thinking is far to often considered liberal and thus bad. With the rest of the world gearing up to compete and thrive on knowledge, we Americans are discarding the very thing, that made us the leaders of the world, e.g., good old fashioned American ingenuity and the courage to "just do it!" To quote Shakespeare's Puck, "Lord, what fools these mortals be."


--I "believe" you tap the surface; however, the problem and the solutions go much, much deeper...
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Now this is interesting.

This message board works like no other I have used. If you look at the bottom of my previous message there is an attachment, cashflow.jpg. When I added it I expected the picture to appear at the pottom of my post, I did not know people would have to click on it. It gives a count when people click. It had a 1 after I checked it after posting it and now it has 2 when I just made sure it was working.

This means NO ONE looked at it.

Reading my post I can see I didn't make it clear I was presenting an alternate to what was in accounting books but I had assumed the picture would constantly display.

I like this method since it counts the views but I will know to make it more obvious in the future.

umbrarchist
quote:
I am truly amazed. Most of the post was just nice sounding gobbledegook then you pull it out at the end with my favorite line from Shakespeare.


I'm sorry but this isn't quite clear. It's the entire last paragraph. It is almost as if it was written by a different person than everything that preceeded it.

That "teaching to the test" is the "training" I'm talking about. I'm a college dropout though I won a National Merit Scholarship, so I am not much of a believer in school. It tends to be paying people to waste your time to get some credentials, but the corporations won't hire you without credentials.

umbra
Dr. Brooks:

Here is an article speaking to the global changes that are upon us.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10206251/site/newsweek/

The sad part is that some people will focus on the decrement of America to an "Also Ran" with other countries as a personal loss despite this is something that they have long called for.

As other countries around the world stand on their feet where they now are buried in the mud Americans who have long criticized America's international polices that have delivered raw material to our shores (Firestone and his Rubber plantations in Liberia) will NOW be critical of the new US policies because they are now personnally impacted. In other words their RHETORIC now has bearing on their life but they are not willing to come face to face with their long held beliefs and what it means to the checking account balance that they manage each month.
quote:
The sad part is that some people will focus on the decrement of America to an "Also Ran" with other countries as a personal loss despite this is something that they have long called for.

As other countries around the world stand on their feet...


In his Wealth of Nations Adam Smith said that each individual pursuing his own enlightened self interest would best serve the nation as an unintended consequence. The article you link to mentions accountants and other knowledge workers using computers at their jobs. It does not talk about all Americans learning how to do accounting on their home computers to best serve their own self interest. Accounting books teach the subject as if the students objective is to make a career of accounting. I have this accounting book:

http://books.mcgraw-hill.com/getbook.php?isbn=0078456703&template=

The word careers has 18 listings in the index. The term chart of accounts only has 5. You can't do accounting without a chart of accounts but you don't have to be a professional accountant to do accounting. It also doesn't start talking about depreciation until page 624 in an 800 page book but it has an example of a business woman spending $3000 on computer equipment on page 52. She would loose $2000 in depreciation in two years on that equipment. Used machines would cost a lot less and greatly reduce that depreciation. The book has lots of color glossy pictures though, Bill Gates is on page 573.

Do we want our children to become knowledge workers or do we want them to be competent human beings who use relevant knowledge to best serve their own interests?

I wonder what happened to Dr. Brooks.

umbrarchist
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Greetings.

Quote:

Do we want out children to be knowledge workers or do we wnt them to be competent human beings who use relevant knowledge to best serve their own interests?


Personally, I would agree with the latter statement. To me, this is or should be the whole point of the "knowledge based economy." more later. See below.

Quote;

I wonder what happened to Dr. Brooks.

Sorry. Been busy getting the December edition of the magazine and the podcast out. They are quite a bit of work. They should be on line by Sunday (I hope).

George

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