February 11, 2011 – As I sit here in the last day of the Data Harmony Users Group Meeting, I am completed fascinated as I listen to Margie Hlava, President of Access Innovations, speak about The Theory of Knowledge. Touching on philosophy from Plato to St. Augustine to Occam, Descartes and so on, this listener is hooked. With a quick observation of those in the room – leaning forward to hear more points, scribbling notes, nodding of heads and the occasional chuckle to referencing such great philosophers as Monty Python – I am not alone.

This talk could consume many articles and probably will since identifying knowledge is like shooting a moving target. Even Merriam-Webster is inconsistent in their definition as they use illiteracy as an antonym of knowledge, but not literacy as a synonym?

Linnaeus has now been introduced and of course we know he is the father of outlining and categorizing knowledge, specifically in botany. This is the root (no pun intended) or the beginnings of what we do now in taxonomy development. To borrow a phrase from a 1970s cigarette ad, we’ve come a long way, baby.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.