Union of Intelligible Associations (Complementary initiatives and historical context)
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Union of Intelligible Associations

Significance of Domain Name (URL)

of the Union of Intelligible Associations

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The web address of this site (the URL) is designed to challenge easy assumptions about approaches to knowledge management that initiatives such as the Union of Intelligible Associations have sought to face. Use of the prefix "un-" (www.un-intelligible.org) may therefore be variously understood as:

  • stressing the value of a contrarian approach by also implying the merit of a "negative capability", in contrast to uncritical contemporary emphasis on "positive" approaches -- thereby challenging simplistic assumptions regarding the comprehensibility of the complexity to which governance of the future is called upon to respond, possibly necessitating other "ways of knowing"
  • introducing a healthy degree of self-mockery as a corrective to unfruitful presumption
  • highlighting the fact that the complexity of the interwoven challenges and advocated responses is indeed "unintelligible" to many, and the probability that it may indeed be "unintelligible" even to those with apparently the most relevant expertise -- and recognizing this may be less dangerous than the simplistic assumption that this is not the case
  • emphasizing that conventional approaches that strive to handle complexity necessarily call upon complex skills and techniques -- thereby, paradoxically, effectively rendering themselves "unintelligible" to many
  • provocatively implying that the initiative was in some way related to those of the United Nations -- whether or not a United Nations of the future should indeed be specifically associated with some such approach to intelligibility in framing its approach to the complexity with which it claims to deal
  • implying a conventional static form of "union" -- when the intention is to favour understandings of union as characterized by continuing emergence from a dynamic process

An alternative URL (www.un-intelligible.org), associated with this site, makes the point that in a very important sense it is the individual who is a prime source of fruitful intelligence -- rather than any collectivity of the "intelligent" or any collective intelligence. Ultimately it is the individual who is obliged to "make sense" of the complexity of the emerging knowledge society.

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