The Intranets of Babel

7 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2014 Last revised: 9 Jun 2014

Date Written: January 15, 2006


Corporations and companies today generate a juggernaut of information, much more than they can process or put to use. The accepted response to running out of shelf space is to invest in more capacious IT and storage systems, with intranets serving as interfaces to ensure this stockpile of information remains accessible and usable. This whitepaper posits a less technical but more evolved response, one that has worked for centuries and enabled the very survival of our species. It recommends overlaying on our intranets the principles of oral-based information systems where a premium is placed on the processing, validation and sculpting of information before its eventual storage for future reference. The paper explores in detail how to put these principles to work within the challenging context of a modern corporate environment. It also implements its own recommendations, preferring to lead by example.

Keywords: intranets, Information Technology, open source, knowledge database, institutional memory, information systems, wisdom, proverbs, oral literature, social computing, social memory, knowledge management, transmission of knowledge, modification of knowledge, social remembering, memory institutions

Suggested Citation

Mohammed, Iqbal, The Intranets of Babel (January 15, 2006). Available at SSRN: or

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