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. 2   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 Management (YouTube Channel)


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   See also   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

Knowledge (Encyclopædia Britannica)


Outline of Knowledge (Mary E. Hopper, Cosma)



Cosma has a number of 3D interfaces that enable truly spatial Knowledge Navigation and invite exploration of the Knowledge Resources inventory hosted on this site.

Cosma’s Knowledge Navigation & Exploration Center (Toy Worlds@Kuula)

This 360° image is the first in a series of Toy Worlds for exploring knowledge!

Click on objects to find out about them.
Use the menu or doors to visit other Toy Worlds.

You can also explore this Toy World on Kuula.

Learn more about Toy Worlds on this page.


Cosma’s Knowledge Navigation & Exploration Center (K-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

There is also a much older site that is an archive of the Knowledge Places (K-Places) project. The project began in 2006 and covered more than a million sq. meters of land in Second Life. The sites were made up of thematically organized spaces that used a variety of metaphors (Port, Park, Plaza, Pier, Palace and Paradise). You can find out much more about the overall project on the K-Places page.

The largest archival site is K-Park — it preserves the spaces and objects that were an interface to the Knowledge Realms on the Cosma Web site.

Knowledge Park@Maryport

There is also a “sky-space” situated above the ground-level sites — it preserves the spaces and objects that were an interface to the Knowledge Forms on the Cosma Web site.

Click on this image to explore it.

Knowledge Palace@Maryport

Here is a video of an extended walk-through of the K-Places archival sites.

This map shows where the archival sites are in Linden Village. If you have a Second Life account and the software is installed on your computer, then you can click the map to teleport there.

Knowledge Port & Knowledge Park Map



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

Talks about Knowledge (TED: Ideas Worth Spreading)
Articles about Knowledge (Big Think)

Knowledge Quotes (BrainyQuote)




Wireless Philosophy (YouTube Channel)
Wi-Phi (Official Website)




A Brief History of Knowledge (Piero Scaruffi)


Museum of Knowledge, Corbusier’s Dream Project that Failed (The Tribute of India)


Knowledge (ArchiveGrid, OCLC)


DDC: 001 Knowledge (Library Thing)
Subject: Knowledge (Library Thing)

Subject: Knowledge (Open Library)

LCC: AZ 20 Scholarship and Learning (UPenn Online Books)
Subject: Knowledge (UPenn Online Books)

LCC: AZ 20 Scholarship and Learning (Library of Congress)
Subject: Knowledge (Library of Congress)

Subject: Knowledge (WorldCat)




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


The Evolution of Knowledge Communities and Their Impact on Self-Service (Lawrence Eng, HGI)
Knowledge Community (Science Direct)
Knowledge community (Wikipedia)


International Society for Knowledge Organization
Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (ACM)


Knowledge Organization (International Society for Knowledge Organization)

Knowledge (JSTOR)
Knowledge (NPR Archives)


Knowledge (John Turri, Oxford Bibliographies)



Knowledge (



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



Final Exam Questions (Department of Computer Science, UC Davis)
Tough exam with answers (netjeff)
Final Exam (William Geoffrey Shotts)


Game of Knowledge (Board Game Geek)


Knowledge Can Take Many Forms – One of Them is Art (Clive Cazeaux, The Conversation)


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




These are links to pages about closely related subjects.

DIKW Content Hierarchy

Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom


Communication Systems

Cosma provides access to Knowledge Resources organized around the elements of communication systems.

Media, Knowledge, Human and Noise

See also System and Content Outline


Knowledge Navigation, Knowledge Objects and Knowledge Places


Knowledge Form

Introduction Discipline
Reference Dictionary, Thesaurus, Glossary, Encyclopedia, Outline, Guide


Adventure Exploration, Trail, Quest
Imagination Fiction, Whimsy, Wish, Dream, Folly, Hope
Wonder Curiosity, Mystery, Truth, Beauty


Philosophy Metaphysics, Logic, Epistemology, Ethics, Aesthetics
System, Cycle, Structure, Growth, Complexity, Control, Disturbance, Entropy, Chaos
Process, Manage, Design, Prototype, Implement, Assess, Revise, Maintain


Innovation   Creativity, Mathematics
Science Research, Discovery
Technology Invention, Intellectual Property
Commerce Entrepreneurship, Product


Preservation Stewardship
History Collection (Classification)
Museum Objects (CCO)
Archive Records (EAD)
Library Resources (DDC, LCC)


Education Course
Community Occupation, Organization, Event, Forum, Blog, News, Article, Book
Government Document


Entertainment Humor, Toy, Hobby, Competition (Game, Sport), Spectacle
Arts Performing, Visual (Architecture), Culinary, Language (Poem), Music, Dance
Belief Hypothesis, Forecast, Rumor, Superstition, Folklore, Faith



1.   This page is one of the most important pages on the Cosma Web site. Cosma is founded upon the premise that when Knowledge Resources are systematically identified, intuitively (re)organized, and then presented in a spatial format, everyone can master finding them quickly and easily. This premise has driven the development of Cosma. Of course, doing this involved thoroughly understanding a lot about “Knowledge” (e.g. Knowledge Management, Knowledge Theory, Knowledge Organization etc.) in fact, this led to treating “Knowledge” as the discipline that it can be, and that is represented on this page.

2.   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.

3.   One stop in the saga of Mary E. Hopper’s mission to understand “Knowledge” as a discipline took her to MIT where she developed and presented this short course during her Post Doc in Comparative Media Studies.
Hopper, M. E. (2000, January). Knowledge Systems 101: From Alexandria to Hitchhiker’s Guide [Short Course]. Independent Activity Period (IAP), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.