Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Incremental Ownership in Knowledge and the Active Student

Knowledge has the capacity to be incrementally "owned" (through compensated time use) whenever it is actively "put through the paces" in some capacity by more than one individual. In a services based economy, we don't own knowledge outright in an exclusive sense, nor do we need to because knowledge is both iterative and circumstance dependent. How unique or important is the particular transaction in time...versus the knowledge component of the transaction?

Often we have no way of knowing, and a lot of time may pass before any larger societal value (beyond the participating individuals) even becomes evident. Other times, the local focus provides gains at the level of the individuals involved, which might not otherwise be possible through replicated knowledge. In the larger sense, economic knowledge to wealth gain is a collective result of our time use focus. We own the time in which applied knowledge transforms thought and/or environment.

Time use is an important distinction for knowledge capture as "ownership", in that knowledge particularly comes to life when we engage with it at economic levels. Otherwise, knowledge can become a static wealth component, "sitting" on some conceptual version of a shelf or in reserve for a limited market.

Since 1) we can't replicate our time availability, and 2) we have time in the exact same quantity (individual and collective), time becomes the most reliable measure for monetary compensation and record keeping. This framing allows knowledge use to write the story of local time engagement, which becomes a record for local economies in (cumulative) economic or knowledge use histories. Even though an individual may not remain in one setting for a lifetime, personal records re his or her forms of knowledge use engagement could still exist.

Such record keeping is also an aspect of local student participation. Measurement of time/knowledge use (in equal measure) for GDP could easily take place on these terms. Eventually, these efforts could generate services stability in terms of fiat money representation. Until now, the true capacity of services formation - whether by public or private means - has remained murky at best with the partial representation of today's institutions. As a result, many services formations continue to revolve around the most successful cities and regions.

Sometimes one hears that knowledge now belongs to the digital realm and has "no business" being "owned". Why have ideas regarding knowledge freedom not made headway...already? Often, advocates of knowledge freedom have different conceptual frameworks which are not easy to reconcile. What's more, freeing knowledge without a wealth building context of time use, could endanger some aspects of knowledge which are considered vital. Do those vital aspects exist because of exclusivity...or something else? Often the answers would be quite different, and those differences would be reflected in the marketplace afterward.

As a building block for wealth formation, knowledge use would become the "unseen" component of incremental ownership. Whereas, "seen" components of incremental growth could be represented by flexible and changeable building components in local community. Local property and building component investment shares could also improve the chart which Evan Soltas was concerned about in this post. Too bad incremental ownership isn't on the agenda at this year's Jackson Hole gathering!

Education as a whole could especially benefit from an incremental or "stairstep" time use approach to wealth creation. Individuals could supplement what they learn through primary sources, by generating applied settings with peers for knowledge use. A wide variety of services settings -  alongside ongoing local business projects - could become central components of local economies.

Possibly the best option for reducing educational problems at multiple levels, is allowing students to become directly involved with ongoing community economic processes. Doing so would make a difference not just for the relief of excess staff and already stretched lower income parents, but for the students own self esteem. Not only would assigning (and compensating) student responsibility increase their ability to retain knowledge, it could further involve students in the services goals of their own communities. This in turn could lead them to local investment opportunities at a young age, under the community business "umbrella".

Participation in a compensated services economy would be just as much a possibility at the age of ten, as it might be at 30 or 90 years of age. If someone is learning different aspects of knowledge use all the time...are they a student? Are they a services entrepreneur? Why should it matter? In a sense the process is just an updated version of engaging with knowledge use. Certainly it would be a major improvement, over the disappearance of knowledge use behind the walls of the present.

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