Opening Thoughts

Welcome to my blog. I decided to start writing out of a desire to share various projects and ideas of mine, all of which have the goals of understanding and managing data, information and knowledge and facilitating general problem solving.

An overarching interest of mine is understanding how learning, knowledge and work are going to evolve in the coming years. With the advances in technology and the availability of information on the web it seems to me that we’re going to see a redefinition of what those things mean. We can envision scenarios where “knowing” something won’t necessarily mean having read it somewhere and retrieving it to perform a task, but rather being able to discover it “on the fly”. Another challenge we will have think about is how we will be managing our personal “knowledge bases” (which consist of both things in our minds and on electronic media) as the growth and availability of information makes what we know obsolete and incomplete faster and faster.

Some of the discussions will involve programming. I am not a professional programmer (my background includes an MBA and work experience as a biochemist and management consultant), but I do see programming as a tool. My experimentation with programming probably goes back to high school where I learned Pascal and Hypercard, but really started about 11 years ago with learning C and writing simple programs using the Windows API (anyone who’s tried that knows what I’m talking about). Through the years I picked up C++, VBA, C# and Java and familiarized myself with technologies such as relational databases, web services and the Semantic Web. This blog will thus hopefully be a forum to tie together ideas, tools and techniques from a variety of disciplines – information retrieval, data mining, statistics, information visualization and semantic technologies – all in practical, do-it-yourself type scenarios.

I hope that you will be able to connect to some of what I’m going to post here. In the meantime, check out some of the blogs on my blog roll and enjoy.