free html hit counter Aristotle and the Knowledge Web - John Battelle's Search Blog

Aristotle and the Knowledge Web

By - May 08, 2004

hillisJohn Brockman republishes a four-year old essay from Danny Hillis positing “Aristotle,” a tutor program built around a “knowledge web” (not unlike the semantic web, but more specialized) which might revolutionize how we learn. Many luminaries weigh in on the concept. Not light reading, but interesting, and very search-driven. Neal Stephenson fans will hear an echo of “The Primer” from The Diamond Age.

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4 thoughts on “Aristotle and the Knowledge Web

  1. Aristotle’s big challenge is to understand the student sufficiently to know what to present next. I was going to expand on that here, but my critiqe grew to a page or so, so I thought it more appropriate to put it in the Chalkface blog, for anyone who’s interested. Permalink under my name; you seem to block inline links.

  2. My Microsoft-approved biz plan for a provider of lifelong learning and career services (CLLCS) operationalizes the buildout of Hillis’ vision.

    Details at


    Neuroscientists have determined that the nucleus accumbens, the part of the brain that gives rise to psychological addiction, is fired by increased prospects of professional success, romance and laughs (PSRL).

    The more a company does to increase PSRL, then, the more satisfied, loyal and eager-to-spend its customers will be.

    Today, a state-of-the-art provider of PSRL-increasing services — in OSG [i.e. The Opportunity Services Group] parlance, a provider of customized lifelong learning and career services (CLLCS) — can achieve runaway market leadership in three stages:

    1. Supply fee-based virtual internships (i.e. the intern pays) that will prepare interns to work for private equity firms that specialize in corporate turnarounds. This internship program will be the first of its kind, and will appeal to the most desirable CLLCS consumers: people who aspire to be CxOs (CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CIOs, etc.) of next-generation companies (i.e. Digital Organizations (.pdf)).

    2. Synergize the internship program (and subsequent professional success-increasers) with romance- and laughs-increasing services. Also synergize the romance- and laughs-increasers. Each class of offering, then, will increase demand for the others. These positive feedbacks will lock in 1.0 clients.

    3. Lock in 2.0 clients by providing unique opportunities to network — professionally and socially — with 1.0 clients (who will happily cooperate, as doing so will enhance their CLLCS pedigree). Lock in 3.0ers via access to 1.0ers and 2.0ers, and so on.

    OSG will be the CLLCS provider that runs away with the market.

    OSG’s internships for 1.0ers will be set at our online social networking service, code-named Go_Ogle.

    The earliest internships will focus on Go_Ogle’s leading-edge technology for searching social networks, which is also a ‘must-use’ in corporate turnarounds.

    We will market our interns, suppliers, intern employers, Go_Ogle and OSG through profitable comedy programming, online and on television. The initial television program — The Secret Life of Windows of Opportunity — will center on the comic plight of OSG’s CEO: like many men, he wants to succeed in my professional life and also be the best boyfriend, and later husband and father, he can. In his case, achieving this balance:

    * is complicated by the magnitude of the stakes in the early CLLCS market.

    * will be further complicated by OSG-affiliated actresses and models, who will routinely employ their beauty, their charms more generally, and the latest innovations from the burgeoning sciences of enhancing desirability, to make a favorable impression on him.

    The online complement to the sitcom — Windows of Opportunity — will chronicle, among other storylines, the variations on the CEO’s experience that will characterize interactions between OSG-affiliated actors/actresses/models and OSG employees at all levels of the company.

  3. neddy says:

    Stephenson’s first name is spelled Neal, fyi