Cosma / Communication / Knowledge / Form

Form is supposed to cover the shape or structure of of the work; content its substance, meaning, ideas, or expressive effects. When the nineteenth-century music critic Eduard Hanslick declared, in an influential phrase, that music is ‘forms put into motion through sounds,’ he was suggesting that music’s real content lies in its form. — Richard Middleton, Form. Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture

Cosma uses a unique classification scheme for organizing links to knowledge resources into over a hundred categories. 1 It is a synthesis of a number of other schemes, including Dewey Decimal’s Generalities and the Library of Congress’s Genre/Form Headings among others. It is also structured around the Knowledge Cycle. One of the primary purposes of the scheme is to make hundreds of links per page seem reasonably accessible to typical users.


Preface to “Knowledge Form”

“Poesy therefore is an art of imitation, for so Aristotle termeth it in his word mimesis, that is to say, a representing, counterfeiting, or figuring forth — to speak metaphorically, a speaking picture; with this end, to teach and delight.” — Sir Philip Sidney The Defense of Poesy, English Essays: Sidney to Macaulay, The Harvard Classics (

Teach or delight? Art or science? These are obsolete questions based upon artificial dichotomies. There can be some aspects of each one of these things, along with more than a hundred others, within any subject, discipline or resource (including, reflexively, within each one of these things, so there is a science of teaching, teaching about science, art about science, science about art etc.).

The rest of this page shows an illustration of accessing web resources about “knowledge” using a “form” based on an evolving outline of a unique classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma. Most of the pages on this site include lists of web resources organized using this classification scheme.

This technique for organizing knowledge resources is designed to promote “knowledge integration,” and it is a unique, core methodology that you will find used throughout Cosma. The page below provides an example of how some of the “knowledge forms” can be used to organize resources about the subject of knowledge.

Click on the label to find out more about the resource type (e.g. encyclopedia) or the link below it to explore web resources about knowledge.

See the Contents page for the list of the “knowledge forms” currently used on Cosma’s pages. There will be more added in the future.




Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it. — Samuel Johnson


knowledge : the sum of what is known : the body of truth, information, and principles acquired by humankind — Webster

Free Dictionary, Wiktionary, OneLook


Roget’s II (, Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, Visuwords


Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something, that can include descriptions, facts, information, and/or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to both the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); and it can be more or less formal or systematic. In philosophy, the study of knowledge is called epistemology, and the philosopher Plato famously defined knowledge as “justified true belief.” There is however no single agreed upon definition of knowledge, and there are numerous theories to explain it. — Wikipedia

Encyclopædia Britannica


Outline of Knowledge (Mary E. Hopper, Cosma)



Cosma features 3D interfaces to the knowledge resources inventory hosted on this site.

Toy Worlds@RoundMe

There are many Toy Worlds distributed across this site. You can read more about them on the Toy Worlds page. Here is the “Welcome Area” were you can start your journey!

Click the 360° image below to explore this Toy World, click the menu in the upper right for controls and click “i” buttons on/off for links to Cosma and other Web sites. Use “portals” to visit other Toy Worlds.

You can also explore this on RoundMe.

Places@Second Life

There is also a Welcome Area in Second Life. If you have a SecondLife account and software, then you can click the image below to explore the Welcome Area and the four other rooms (Solar Extremes, Gaia’s Greenhouse, World Travel Lounge and Walk-in-Art).

Cosma Welcome Area SL

More Worlds …



The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand. — Frank Herbert

The importance of knowledge (Lara A., TEDxInstitutLeRosey)







History of Knowledge (Piero Scaruffi)
A Social History of Knowledge: From Gutenberg to Diderot (Burke, P., 2000)


Quotations Page


Knowledge and Learning (The British Museum)
Museum of Knowledge, Corbusier’s dream project that failed (The Tribute of India)


WorldCat, Library of Congress, UPenn Online Books, Open Library


Knowledge (John Turri, Oxford Bibliographies)




The Power of Knowledge (John Thomas O’Neill, TEDxYouth@GAA)

International Baccalaureate (IB)

MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
OER Commons: Open Educational Resources


MIT IAP 2000 Knowledge Systems 101: From Alexandria to Hitchhiker’s Guide (Hopper)3


Knowledge community (Gartner IT Glossary)
Knowledge community (Wikipedia)







It’s a sheet where you fill in the blanks
To please post office workers or banks.
Form can also mean “shape”
(As in ovoid for grape),
And means “custom,” like ways to say “Thanks.” — Sheila B. Blume, form


Useless facts and funny unnecessary knowledge (Try this!)


Game of Knowledge (Board Game Geek)



Song Lyrics

History of Everything Live At Red Rocks (Barenaked Ladies)


The DIKW pyramid, also known variously as the DIKW hierarchy, wisdom hierarchy, knowledge hierarchy, information hierarchy, information pyramid, and the data pyramid, refers loosely to a class of models for representing purported structural and/or functional relationships between the communication content types of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. — Wikipedia

Most writers about the hierarchy refer to this passage from T. S. Eliot’s The Rock.

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? — T. S. Eliot, The Rock

Russell Ackoff popularized the hierarchy to categorize the content of communication.
From data to wisdom (Russell L. Ackoff, Journal of Applies Systems Analysis)
On passing through 80 (Russell L. Ackoff, Systemic practice and action research)




These are links to pages about closely related subjects.


Knowledge Resources

Knowledge Navigation

Knowledge Form

Introduction, Inspiration, Foundation, Innovation, Preservation, Participation and Expression



1.   Some information on this page as well as the classification scheme used for the resources on all of the pages on Cosma was initially developed in the year 2000 while Mary E. Hopper was taking a course entitled LS407 Reference/Information Services at the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science. It was a legendary, very rigorous course taught by Dr. Allen Smith.