Getting the bugs out of the Knowledge Bank

There are two quite different notions of how a development agency such as the World Bank could operate as a Knowledge Bank.  Ironically they correspond to the two different ways in which organisms learn: phylogenetic or ontogenetic learning.  In the first case typified by insects, the genes transmit the behaviors so the offspring are “hard-wired” with well-adapted behaviors for their typical environment.  For the higher animals such as humans, the genes transmit more the learning mechanism (rather than specific “learnings”) so the offspring then learn by interacting with their environment.  This note argues that the World Bank should get the bugs out of its strategy for knowledge-based development assistance.

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