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The Dewey Decimal System and the Library of Congress system (LOC) for cataloging books works reasonably well for most clearly delineated facts and standardized knowledge. Google and Bing search engines work well for narrowing searches for particular information if the user submits several unusual cross-grained search words into the query box. Unfortunately, all of these methods of gaining facts, knowledge and wisdom require background knowledge of what is being sought for and some reasonable terms, preferably in English, which apply to that subject, before progress can be made. Perhaps Wolfram Alpha after decades of development will offer wisdom instead of facts; time may tell or it may not.

A new alternative to those systems was discussed as – Dewey decimal system, Library of Congress LOC index and JulianA. The JulianA system has the potential to catalog every physical thing on Earth based on the exact location of the item at any exact time. Universal coordinates and Universal standard time are already cross indexed to the widely used astronomical Julian day calendar. Using these already existing systems everything is precisely located and disambiguated from everything else and all that is required is an electronic database linking every item of interest to its locations. The initial identification tag is based on its time and place of creation. Later tags can be linked to this initial tag identifying the items’ later locations and specified times. Because JulianA is decimal based it can be made into an infinitely fine-grained index system. Forty numbers will give a good time and location, and sixty numbers will give a precise location.

All of these information indexing systems are data based, and what is needed now and is potentially available for humans is a new system which is wisdom based. This system would permit individuals to find and apply to real world situations the best wisdom, based on the refined experience of knowledgeable people. This system would permit continuous refinement, like Wikipedia, and thus all activities performed by humans could be improved as experience accumulates over time.

This knowledge system wouldn’t be just for locating data, or knowledge or wisdom but rather for locating experimentally tested applications of various approaches to solving previous problems. As a simple physical application of this concept, postulate the baking of a cake. Usually there is a recipe, with specific amounts of the various ingredients and the procedures for putting these together and other specific things that need to be done and the temporal order in which to do them. That is what could be thought of as a knowledge base, but it isn’t a wisdom base. Wisdom has more input as to what to do with various aspects of ingredients when factors are varied. For example, what is different in the result when baking at a slightly higher temperature for a shorter period of time (with a given recipe) compared to a lower temperature for a longer period? And how does that compare to baking it at the stated temperature, but having the container relatively flat compared to compact? What is the difference when the top is sealed, or semi-sealed as in many fruit pies? How does the different container, glass or metal or porcelain, affect the results? And what is the difference in texture between the smooth-sided containers and the ribbed ones?

The little details could go on at great length and every one of them has an effect. But what is the effect, and how do you know which way your baked cake deviated from the ideal if you don’t know how each of the variations affect the final outcome? These are questions of wisdom based on experience and there needs to be a codified index which can guide you through the process and help you avoid the worst of problems and help you adjust to missing your ideal mark for later renditions of the recipe. Wisdom is in knowing how to vary the numerous inputs in order to achieve an intended result. That is far more sophisticated and subtle than simply following a recipe.

I have some materials but I need a source of wisdom to use them properly.