Monday, 2 March 2009

A fictional take on Knowledge Sharing

Ian M Banks is a Science Fiction author. In his most recent book - "Matter" - he has the following, somewhat cynical, reference to Knowledge Sharing. I like the comment "does it hurt?"

"The 512th Degree FifthStrand, or 512/5, is a Humanoid Transfer and Processing Facility," the machine told them as Hippinse finally fell silent.
Holse frowned. "What sort of processing?"
"Identity establishment, in-world alien behaviour legal agreement-making, knowledge -sharing — "

"What does that mean? Knowledge-sharing?" Holse had once helped a town constable with his enquiries regarding the theft of some- tableware from the local County House; it had been a considerably rougher and more painful experience than the phrase Helping With Enquiries implied. He was worried that "knowledge-sharing" might be a similar lie dressed up pretty.

"Any data held is requested to be shared with the knowledge reservoirs of the Nestworld," Nuthe 3887b said, "on a philanthropic or charitable basis, as a rule."
Holse still wasn't happy. "Does this process hurt?" he asked.
"Of course not!" the machine said, sounding shocked.

Holse nodded. "Carry on".

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