Knowledge is meaning, information and awareness as it exists in the human mind. This can be contrasted with information and data that exist in non-human form such as documents and systems. The following are illustrative examples of knowledge.
Knowledge that allows an individual to complete a task or activity such as a carpenter who knows how to properly mount a heavy painting on a museum wall.Abilities that can only be learned with experience and continual refinement of skills such as how to pilot a large ship through a narrow and congested canal. Tacit knowledge includes any ability that can't be acquired by reading a book.
Experiential Knowledge Knowledge gained through experience such as a software architect who has discovered that flat data structures are less problematic that complex hierarchical structures.
Lessons LearnedLearning from the lessons of history in order to avoid repeating mistakes. For example, a nation that learns from an environmental disaster such that it institutes regulations and oversight that prevent a similar occurrence.
Innate KnowledgeKnowledge that we are born with such as a small child who is able to use logic without ever being taught a system of logic.
Empirical KnowledgeKnowledge that results from observation such as a scientist who has measured a glacier using the same methods several times a year for a decade who knows approximately how much the ice volume has decreased over this time period.
Knowledge can be deduced from first principles that are known or assumed to be valid. For example, an engineer who counters the idea that solar energy could never completely serve a nation's energy needs by calculating the total amount of solar energy that reaches the territory of that nation each year. If the available solar energy is far more than the energy the nation consumes, then by first principles solar energy is not an unrealistic option if details such as energy storage at scale can be worked out.
Known unknowns is an identification of what you do not know. This can be important as prevents you from naively believing you fully understand a domain. For example, a snowboarder who ventures off-piste for the first time who is fully aware that they are out of their element such that they can not fully identify risks or methods for staying safe.Information pertaining to the results of a strategy or effort such as a score on a Spanish test.
Information that is independent of results such as a Spanish instructor who tells you your listening comprehension is improving due to the time you have spent watching Spanish films.
Domain KnowledgeKnowledge that is specific to a domain such as an industry, profession or topic. For example, risk management concepts in project management may be very different from risk management concepts in other domains such as investment banking.
Situational KnowledgeKnowledge that is specific to a situation, location or instance. For example, a farmer who knows why a particular tractor is always breaking down and how to fix it.
Partial KnowledgeIt is very common for knowledge to be incomplete such that it is surrounded in ambiguity and unknowns. For example, an investor who has a firm understanding of a company's earnings and financial position but is unclear about several murky corporate structures the firm has used for project financing.
Dispersed KnowledgeKnowledge that is known but not by a single individual such that many different people hold a piece of the puzzle. For example, an organization that is so complex that no single person completely understands its operational processes.
PerceptionAt the lowest level, perception is a form of knowledge. For example, a child who perceives a parent has burned dinner due to the smell of smoke.
Situational AwarenessKnowledge of fast moving situations such as a driver who is aware of elements such as pedestrians, vehicles, noises, traffic signals and a toddler who has just spilled juice in the back seat.
IntuitionIntuition is a judgement that originates with the subconscious mind such that the conscious mind is unaware of how it was formed. For example, a sailor who perceives a ship on the horizon as a threat for some reason that they can't explain. It is difficult to differentiate between intuition that is the result of a potentially valid mental process and feelings that may be the result of your motivations and fears.Knowledge of social situations such as being able to see people's motivations, emotions and intent as opposed to taking everything they say literally.Emotional intelligence is perception of emotion and knowledge of how to use emotion. For example, an employee who can perceive when their boss is in a good or bad mood and use this information to approach them at an opportune time.
Self-KnowledgeKnowledge of the self. For example, an artist who recognizes the emotional states that produce their greatest work who is able to put themselves in this state of mind before they paint.
LanguageKnowledge of a language including elements such as vocabulary, grammar, semantics, phonology and nuance.
CultureKnowledge extends beyond cold hard facts to elements of culture such as literature, myth, art and music. For example, an individual who knows how to tell a traditional story and understands its purpose and meaning.
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