Following the Recipe -- with Disastrous Results #knowledge-capture


Bruce Karney <bkarney@...>
 
Edited

When I was a KMer, I often used the analogy of recipes to try to
explain how knowledge could be captured and shared.

Here's a vivid example of the dangers blindly following a recipe.
(The recipe called for 20 whole nutmegs instead of 2 pinches of
ground nutmeg.)

See http://www.slashfood.com/2008/09/02/swedish-magazine-typo-causes-
4-to-be-poisoned/?icid=200100397x1208985836x1200508445

The comments about the error are quite interesting.

If you use this example in a teaching context, here are two questions
you may want to ask.

1) How would you have reacted if your spouse gave you this recipe and
asked you to make it for them for their birthday? How would your
answer differ if she/he gave you the recipe and 20 fresh nutmegs at
the same time?

2) If your boss invited you to his/her home for dinner for the first
time and served this horribly overspiced cake, would you have eaten
your entire portion? How about if your mom served it?

These questions get at the topics of 1) what kind of idiot would make
this cake? and 2) what kind of idiot would eat it?

The answer is, naturally, "Idiots just like you and me!" but the
discussion should be fun.

Cheers,
Bruce Karney
SolarCity (formerly of HP's KM Organization)
bkarney@solarcity.com

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