By Azuka Nzegwu
This is an abstract for a dissertation that was recently and successfully defended in Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture at Binghamton University on November 23, 2010. The title of the dissertation is The Conduit and Whirlpooling: A New Theory of Knowledge Constitution and Dispersion
There is a new epistemological approach for exploring knowledge constitution and dispersal in a dynamic Web ecosystem. The approach has three pivots. The first presents virtual whirlpools as knowledge systems. The second introduces the creator of the system as the Conduit. The third formulates a theory of knowledge that involves the collective pooling of data within the system. In the virtual ecosystem, knowledge relies on a balance of acquired technical and creative acuity to influence processes and engagements. Such an approach is entirely different from the old conceptualization of the Web that construes knowledge as a stable collection of facts and ideas that are based on the ideologies of related disciplines and canons. Moving away from this mode of knowledge is the Theory of Whirlpooling, a model that I coin and develop to explain the dynamic constituting and whirling of ideas and data in an interactional, integrated knowledge system. The theory also introduces a useful and innovative set of parameters for analyzing and measuring the impact of a whirlpool.
Open-source technologies are the methodological tool of analysis and knowledge constitution in the Web. The just completed live Africa Resource Center Whirlpool presents this dynamic pooling of knowledge and the shifting paradigm of knowledge constitution inside the dynamic ecosystem. Instead of knowledge on the Web being located in standalone websites or repositories, they are seamlessly integrated with related types of data, goods, and activities to create an interlocking scheme. The seamless, interlocking processes of the Africa Resource Center Whirlpool bucks the old conceptions of the Web composed of either static pages or fixed dynamic databases serving information. The standard conception of knowledge that animates our assumptions of the Web are re-conceptualized, re-imagined, and re-constructed to drive creation and development.
The ability to create, alter, and distribute source codes facilitates the rapid expansion of the Web, by injecting fluidity and synergy to the Web. Being a Conduit, the conceptualizer of a whirlpool, is a vital task in the Web ecosystem as it requires the acquisition of specialized skills and training. Relevant skills-sets are needed in conceptualization and creation of an operational paradigm and the technical infrastructure of virtual whirlpools. The Conduit’s process for inquiring, assessing, and engaging open-source tools, for integrating application and software into harmonious synergy, and for pooling myriad entities into seamless unity is essential to re-envisioning the principles and rules of interaction in the Web. The theoretical concept that I conceive as a virtual whirlpool, and that will continue to grow, facilitates a surge of pioneering research, theorizations, and interpretations that will eventually diffuse throughout the ecosystem.
Dr. Azuka Nzegwu is available for speaking engagement on Whirlpooling, knowledge, Africa, open-source and new media technologies, and social media. To contact her, email AfricaResource.com.
Dr. Azuka Nzegwu, Web Expert, has a PhD in Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture (PIC) at Binghamton University. Her area of specialization is virtual whirlpools, knowledge systems, electronic publishing and standards, content management systems, and open-source technologies. She is versed and fluid in the languages and the movement of technologies of the Web from blogosphere, social networking, community portals, and digital repositories. She has web development and game design experience with the following organizations, Soros Foundation, National Public Radio, Binghamton University, Verizon Foundation, and Indiana University. She created two new media courses at Binghamton University— Knowledge and New Media and Googled and Yahooed. Knowledge and New Media explores the role of the Internet on academic institutions, and on knowledge creation and distribution. The course focuses on copyright, fair-use, peer-networks, user-generated content, and industry trends. Googled and Yahooed focuses on search technology and methodology and its impact on learning and academic institutions. This is the first course in the United States on Google and Yahoo. The course also focuses on global positioning, visibility, and brand culture among others. Her article publications include “Redefining “Africa” with New Media Technologies: The Making of AfricaResource.com” in The New African Diaspora (Indiana University Press, 2009), “Between Coral Reefs” with Dr. Jeffner Allen (forthcoming in Ijele 2011), “From Asia to America’s Heartland” (JENdA, 2010), “These Women Are Brave” (West Africa Review, 2001), AfricaResource.com (2000) and A Prism of Thoughts (1998).