Rural System's

Information Offerings of the Country Store

Like you, we love knowing stuff ... and telling people what we know. Much of what we know we just want to share freely. However, like the lawyer, his knowledge is his stock in trade. So is much of our knowledge and we spend large sums collecting, storing, retrieving, and synthesizing things known for your use.

We encourage use of the Internet and its search services. Go there for answers to many questions. For example, you won't believe it, but use the composite search procedures called DogPile or HotBot or or use separate search engines such as :

First, be aware of our orientation. We never use the word "fact" because this suggests a level of knowledge that has 100% certainty. That means that there is no question at all about it. While we suspect the sun will come up, we are not absolutely sure, so even though the odds are very great, "the sun will come up" is not a fact. We use the words observations, estimates, appearances, and other words to suggest different levels of surety about things which we know. The approach keeps the doors open, allows us to test what we know, to discover new things, to be creative and not bound. The approach is liberating of the mind and eventually of practices.

Next, we make measurements, ask questions, get responses ... and we call these "data." We move data... often hundreds of numbers ... into summary statistics (like an average, "the highest," standard deviation, or range) and these summaries (each statistic) or brief statements are called "information. " We move information into "models" or "paradigms," that are whole standard procedures for handling issues and problems.

The Rural System Glossary
We have for you a free, invaluable resource, a glossary of words
often used in wildland, natural resource, and rural contexts.

We have a special unit on epistemology, the study of how we know what we know. We have to gain leadership in laying aside the baggage of things infrequent or mis-perceived. We have to realize the the normal senses can be deceiving, and we need to move on to decisions that reduce our risks and deal with things known with increasing probability of being correct. We need to follow the clear pathway of logic, of inductive and deductive science, but also simultaneously all of the other ways of knowing anything.

Rural folks, especially young folks, are always discovering. The word for that is heuristic. It may appear on our banners someday.

We have specialized files for you. You may link to any of the topics in our list. Use FIND under the Edit tab at the top of the page to search for a key word.

We offer the services of the Rural Knowledge Base, a sophisticated research and report preparation service.

Knowledge Chunks

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September 14, 2004