All models are flawed but some are useful

Silvia Andreoli has added to my last post on PKM and created this graphic to show the individual as well as the social aspects of personal knowledge management. I like its simplicity and the way it shows the flows. My only minor issue is that I would replace “knowledge” with “personalized information”. Knowledge is an emergent property of the entire system, in my opinion.

Silvia’s graphic has some similarities with one of my earlier representations, which included four internal processes and three external ones:

I found over time that even this representation was too complicated to get the idea across quickly and people did not remember it, so I developed the more simplistic Seek-Sense-Share graphic. For people steeped in knowledge management or learning models, a more complicated representation is likely better, but as an introduction, I will keep to the simpler representations. Silvia’s graphic makes an excellent addition to these models.

6 Responses to “All models are flawed but some are useful”

  1. Gilbert (Formative Assessment Guy)

    Would be interesting if someone modeled the processes using DFD or UML.

    The first diagram is way too complicated. Sometimes it is better to use a few diagrams than trying to bundle everything in one.

    The second diagram is almost a DFD.

    Nodal processes are generally best modeled by nodal diagrams.


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