Saturday, 20 February 2010

Evolution of knowledge as e = mc2


I'm really excited because I just realised I can explain evolution using Einsteins theory of relativity applied to knowledge. I can then apply it to Googles drive for speed and show how they will drive our own knowledge far beyond known limits.

Einsteins theory of special relativity expressed in the equation e=mc2 simply means that the energy in matter relates to both its mass and the speed of light. Kind of strange but true. To understand more checkout emc2 explained.

Translating this into the evolution of knowledge I have a few hypotheses:

Gathering Knowledge

The first is about accumulation of knowledge and thus the concentration of knowledge (energy) into one individual

We could look first at the amount of energy accumulated by the human species. We could then suggest that the evolution of knowledge is equal to the mass of knowledge produced, multiplied by the speed of knowledge generation squared.
I don't yet know why it needs to be squared. The speed of light is squared in the theory of relativity so I've squared the speed of insight (insight and learning are often considered light as they bring light to that which was once dark) .

In terms of an individual the same equation would be the knowledge or energy locked up in an individual can be calculated by considering the mass of information they have been exposed to multiplied by the speed at which they can learn or gain light and insight. Given that a humans ability to gain insight varies you could try to calculate the finite theoretical amount a human could learn and also the amount a particular individual can actually learn at a given time.

The point here is simply about understanding the basic concept of knowledge accumulation or simply learning. Understanding how to help people learn better should come from understanding basic principles behind

Expressing Knowledge

The second theory of e=mc2 is really about calculating the amount of energy contained in something. So if you consider a human being as the something and the energy to be knowledge and the ability to make something happen then you could argue that the amount of knowledge that could be expressed by an individual is what we should consider. 

This could come down to the amount of knowledge stored in someone. How much they have accumulated. Multiplied by their ability to express that knowledge. The speed of light may actually be the perfect analogy. Light in the west generally means enlightenment or gaining knowledge and seeing things where once you couldn't see and things were dark.

The speed at which you can share your knowledge with others can thus be the speed of light. This is affected both by your physical limitations, speed of your nerves, how fast you talk or write and also how well you use the tools around you and the speed of the processes that share you knowledge. Depending on where you draw the line at saying the knowledge and energy in a human have been fully expressed is where you take your measurement. To simplify things I would say that the instant the knowledge has left your body whether it is through writing, speaking or any other gesture then a human has expressed their knowledge.

The tools and workflow used to take this knowledge further is outside of this equation.

Why do I care?

Like all equations this can give me a simple insight into a very complex field. My belief is that humans and their ability to learn and use that learning isn't really changing because humans aren't really changing. The tools and processes we use change but humans don't. This implies that human learning isn't really changing. We gain knowledge from our senses by using our minds. We expresses this knowledge by using our minds and through our bodies. 

This may seem obvious but given the eternal debate about the best forms of learning I feel we like to ignore lessons from our distant past. I believe the same good practices that worked centuries ago work today because humans haven't changed. The only question is how to get the current tools and processes to support these processes and ultimately do a better job. I feel it's is natural to assume that with the advances we have made a human should simply be able to feed their mind better today than centuries ago yet the principles behind this knowledge accumulation stay the same. 

I think it's why Google is so focused on speed and why it has so many products. It evolving it's self and it's ability to prosper faster than anything else.

I've got so much i'd like to say about this to back it up and explain it further. However I can't do that today. So I'm recording the inspiration first with an aim to developing it latethe general discussion being around the idea that the number of problems we solve. Cancer and heart disease being two close to my heart. Is directly related to the number of solutions we develop and the speed at which we develop them.

That is why we most push the evolution of our knowledge as fast as we can and why it's so important for ne to understand evolution as well as i can. if I know how to tame evolution then ibunderstand how to solve problems at the fastest rate known.

If the typing is worse than usual. It's because this is the first article I've written on my new HTC hero phone.

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