One errant thought about the Google knol announcement: they are suggesting that the work ‘knol’ represents a unit of knowledge.
[from Official Google Blog: Encouraging people to contribute knowledge by Udi Manber]
[…] a new, free tool that we are calling “knol”, which stands for a unit of knowledge.
And by associating this ‘unit’ with authoritative articles, they implication is that the natural container for a pinch of knowledge is an article, or a post, as we bloggers might say.
I am not arguing too strenuously, but I think that knowledge is embedded in rich conversations, not in tiny little pills. The cross linkages that exist in the blogosphere is where the muses live, that’s where the ghost in the machine is lurking: not in the nodes, but in the connections between them.
I recall that after Shirley MacLaine wrote about ESP and other parapsychological mumbo-jumbo, someone quipped that the unit of aura strength should be called ‘MacLaines’. Couldn’t the Google guys come up with a figure of great knowledge, like Plato or Einstein, to name the unit of knowledge after, like we did for physical units like watts or teslas?