‘The Sum Total of All Human Knowledge’, Part VI

Implementing the schema

In this post, we look more closely at how to implement the combined and refined OoK+UDC schema using physical note-cards. These will include both the standard note-bearing cards (zettels), as well as ancillary ‘structure’ cards which are used to organise and ‘situate’ the note-bearing cards within the overall knowledge structure defined by the OoK+UDC schema.
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‘The Sum Total of All Human Knowledge’, Part IV

Refining the schema

In the previous post in this series, we had arrived at the possibility of utilising a rigorous alphanumerical schema for indexing human knowledge based upon the temporal sequencing of the time-line of Cosmic Evolution and the through-line of Big History. This sequence was originally considered (Part I) as the most natural way to index knowledge disciplines, as it is both intuitively powerful (Part II), and based on the quasi-objective observable parameter of rising complexity over the course of cosmic time. Here we shall start to flesh out and fill in that indexing with an actual numerical scheme, based upon the final choice (Part III) of a combination of the Outline of Knowledge (OoK) from Encyclopedia Britannica (Adler 1994), and the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) (UDC Consortium 2022).
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‘The Sum Total of All Human Knowledge’, Part III

Finding a schema

The quest to find a systematic knowledge organising schema—roughly aligned with the Cosmic Evolution timeline or Big History through-line—arose from the idea to go ‘full Zettelkasten’ on the many hundreds of notes I’ve accumulated over the years that are scattered about in various notebooks, electronic and physical, and scraps of paper filed in manilla folders languishing in various filing cabinet drawers. This is not only a useful and fun way to exercise one’s mind to try to keep it active, but is also a quite interesting exploratory research project to see just how far this wonderfully preposterous idea can be pushed. And it might even be of use to anyone else looking to use the Zettelkasten method for organising their research notes along the general lines being described in this series.
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Scanning Retrospective, No. 36

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 11

[Originally published] Issue 10, December 2002

    • [Intro to new format for prospect]
    • [Description of selection criteria for inclusion of items (‘hits’) in the  FPR strategic scanning database (SSD)]
    • [Sign-off from FPR, editorship of prospect and authorship of the Snippets]
    • [Ten scanning ‘hits’ from the SSD]
    • Foresight Snippets, No. 25

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 35

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 10

[Originally published] Issue 9, September 2002
Special Issue – Environmental Scanning

  • Environmental scanning
  • Environmental scanning in four worlds
  • Reframing environmental scanning
  • Foresight Snippets, No. 24

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 34

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 9

[Originally published] Issue 8, June 2002

  • Virtual schools
  • The radical restructuring of higher education
  • A choice of transformations for the 21st-Century university
  • Foresight Snippets, No. 23

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 33

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 8

[Originally published] Issue 7, March 2002

  • From The Herman Trend Alert:
    • Metamorphosis of University Education
    • Internationalisation of Education
    • Upheaval in Education?
  • The Futures of Universities
  • Higher Education in the 21st Century
  • Foresight Snippets, No. 22

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 32

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 7

[Originally published] Issue 6, December 2001
Special Issue – Preparing for the Swinburne Scenarios Project, 2002

  • A Primer on Futures Studies, Foresight and the Use of Scenarios
  • Envisioning (and Inventing) the Future
  • Making the Future Visible: Psychology, Scenarios and Strategy
  • From Scenario Thinking to Strategic Action
  • The Swinburne Scenarios Project 2002

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 31

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 6

[Originally published] Issue 5, September 2001

  • The Inevitability of a Business Model for Higher Education
  • Trends Transforming the Universities of This Century
  • Managerial Vision
  • The Notion of Entrepreneurship: Historical and Emerging Issues

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‘Timing’ of scanning systems

The final major piece of the scanning puzzle is the issue of timing: how often, or according to what sort of timetable, is the scanning in your organisation to be carried out? That question depends on how aware you want to be about what is going on in the external environment, and what your tolerance is for the risk of being blindsided out of existence by events or emerging issues in that environment. (TL;DR: serious preparation requires serious resourcing of the scanning system; no shortcuts or excuses will cut it. Reality cannot be fooled.)

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 30

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 5

[Originally published] Issue 4, June 2001

  • Linking Strategic Thinking with Strategic Planning
  • Changing Ideas of the University
  • Bridging the Divide
  • Trend Alert: Recruiters Will Reach Into High Schools

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 29

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 4

[Originally published] Issue 3, March 2001

  • Education: New Economy, New Challenges?
  • Reshaping Universities for the Future
  • Universal Tertiary Education
  • Academic Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 28

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 3

[Originally published] Issue 2, Dec 2000

  • Instititutional Entrepreneurship in Higher Education
  • The Changing Research Environment
  • Globalisation: a world without borders
  • TAFE and university graduates – what’s the difference?

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 27

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 2

[Originally published] Issue 2, Dec 2000

  • Vacation too wired? You’re not alone
  • Railway web
  • Federal Government removes tertiary ‘sectoral divide’

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 26

‘From the pages of prospect’ – No. 1

[Originally published] Issue 2, Dec 2000

From this post onwards, we now dip into the items that were published in the Foresight Bulletin, prospect, starting with issue 2, the first issue that I edited. Most will not be given in their entirety, since they were often full-length articles taken from journals, magazines or other long-form sources. Rather, it will be sufficient to just give the ‘flavour’ of the piece in order to see how well they have ‘aged’. Initially, there were a handful of Snippets-ish type items, but these soon gave way to longer-form articles.

  • Ain’t no network strong enough
  • Home is where the e-classroom is
  • Internet contributes to rise of identity theft, FTC says

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 25

Foresight Snippets – No. 25

[Originally published in] prospect no 10, December 2002

  • The chronic question: “What is Time?”
  • Macrohistory – the really big picture view
  • And finally, “who is it that ‘knows’?”

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Exponential Minds Podcast interview

Nikolas Badminton of the Exponential Minds Podcast and I had a chat a couple of months ago. That interview is now live.

We had a pretty fun conversation. It did meander just a teeny little bit, but it does manage to mention quite a few things as a result: something of the history of my use of the Futures Cone; the levels at which foresight can be implemented; Big History and how I’ve used it to frame the coming civilisational energy transition (i.e., away from fossil fuels); as well as mention of David Christian‘s new book which continues on from Origin Story (which I was reading in manuscript at the time). Of course, there are also some aliens mentioned in there, as is Hoag’s Object. There’s also a little bit on this blog’s current scanning retrospective and the concept of futures intelligence. So, all in all, regular readers won’t find too much that is unfamiliar in the interview, but it might be fun to hear it spoken of. Nikolas did a pretty good job of paring it all back from the very long chat we had! 😉

What I am smiting my forehead over, though, is that I forgot to mention Cal Newport’s 2019 book Digital Minimalism, during the segment where we were talking about using technology with careful intention. My bad! Also, Newport’s podcast, whose name I couldn’t quite remember, is Deep Questions, and it just keeps getting better and better as Cal hits his stride with it. It’s definitely re-ignited my interest in intentional approaches to productivity. Might end up doing a series of posts on that, one of these years…

Anyway, I do hope you enjoy listening to the interview as much I did recording it! Thanks Nikolas!

The Interview:
at Exponential Minds
on YouTube

Scanning ‘the’ environment

As noted in an earlier post, I tend to distinguish between environmental scanning and horizon scanning, the former being relatively more proximal to the organisation/entity (in my usage), the latter being relatively more distal, although the terms are frequently used interchangeably in the literature. Expanding upon this distinction is useful because it allows for the creation of a more tractable ‘segmentation’ of the broader organisational environment into parts for which certain information sources are more clearly relevant and thereby more easily selected for inclusion into the overall scanning frame. In this way, a wide variety of disparate information sources can be combined into a unified framework for systematically reducing the risk that organisations – corporate, civic, governmental and military – could get caught out and ‘blindsided’ by a future they should have been able to detect coming.

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 24

Foresight Snippets – No. 24

[Originally published in] prospect no 9, September 2002

  • Empirical Evidence of Global Consciousness?
  • Save the Earth! Mine the Moon
  • Getting Ready to Tackle Armageddon

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Scanning Retrospective, No. 23

Foresight Snippets – No. 23

[Originally published in] prospect no. 8, June 2002

  • “War driving” and the coming of Wi-Fi
  • Look out, Prime Minister, that napkin could be dangerous!
  • Forget bio-tech, what about neuro-tech?

Continue reading “Scanning Retrospective, No. 23”

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