Epistemology has evolved via Web 2.0 (Wikipedia!) to entertain the departure from the classical perception of what is accepted as knowledge, to a collective perception of a shifting range of possibilities of knowing.
Inching back from my anxieties about social networking, I'm wondering about the positive possibilities it flags up for the whole issue of diversity.
If Diversity is a concept currently shaped by classical ways of knowing, by the human capacity of mind to encompass variations and label categories - to create order and the storage of retrievable information; and this is a task we are increasingly delegating to software programmes (which we currently attempt to construct in our own image), what will happen to our concept of diversity as we build the consensus-based creation that gives equal weight to facts, opinions and values?
What would happen:
If formal education embraced the epistemological changes that new technologies open windows on?
If we could be comfortable without the groups and categories, safe in the knowledge that nothing would get lost, nothing would slip through our fingers?
Would we still feel the same need to create the same hierarchies, impose the same value judgements?
If epistemological developments are allowed to shape our educational resources, increased storage and harvesting capacity could herald changes in the way we perceive and accept one another; in the way we understand or have a need for, the concept of diversity.
And would that concept flourish and evolve or become redundant?
Picking up dropped stitches
we gather the concepts
from our pasts and knit them,
the coat of many colours,
into the garment
that will clothe our future.