Liu, Run Bei

May 26, 2021

Prompt 29 “Who owns knowledge?”

Object 1, News Article: Huawei published patent fee for 5G1


This object is a news article on internet about Huawei publishing their patent pay rate on 5G, the company can charge from anyone who want to have access to their own 5G technologies. As 5G will play an important part of our life just like how 4G is now, thus the firms in electronics industries compete each other on gaining the earliest access to 5G, a faster broadband cellular network. Huawei is one of the first firms to successfully applied to the 5G patent.

This object contributes to this exhibition because it shows how the patent owner have monopoly on the knowledge. The patent provides a proof for Huawei being the developer of this knowledge. The patent allows them to remain a legal right from the contribution of investigating this knowledge, they can exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention relevant to 5G knowledge within a period. During this period, the invention 5G is rivalrous and excludable to others but Huawei. In general, if an object is legally excludable to others but one, this person is legal owner of the object. However, this will only apply to within certain period. After the patent become invalid, the knowledge will become non- excludable to people. However, Huawei in this period is confirmed to be the legal owner of 5G, as knowledge type property.

Another way this object enriched to the exhibition is by showing Huawei’s right to charge on others from making, using, or selling an invention using the technology of 5G. In this case Huawei is renting their knowledge to people, they can make the trade because they own the knowledge, like landlord can rent land to others because they own the land and have the right to trade with it. The owner of an object has legal right to sell and rent it, like how the patent had allowed Huawei to charge from 5G users, which supports the point that Huawei is the owner of 5G knowledge.

Object 2: Lab-use timer


This is a lab-use timer, during experiments it provides accurate timing for scientists who’s conducting the
experiment. They then will be able to take value from the timer, put into calculations and obtain a certain result to support their exploration of knowledge. For example, to measure average speed for a moving mass, start timing when the mass starts moving and stop timing at a known distance, the known distance divided by time measured by the timer will give the value for mass’ average speed. Timer is used to gain knowledge of time.

This object enriches this exhibition because timer doesn’t always provide a constant value for knowledge of time. The theory of relativity explained the time dilation phenomenon, time will pass slower in light speed in comparison for someone standing still, because time and space will ‘bend’ for light to travel at constant speed.Therefore, if the timer is used by the person who travel at light speed, the time measured will be different with someone who stood still holding the same timer. At this point, since the knowledge of time are both valid for each, this knowledge of time only belongs to the observers due to their own situations.

On the other hand, the object contributes to this exhibition by the random errors produced during its application. When an experiment is conducted by human, for instance of measuring the average speed, due to possible parallax and various sight ability for different people, when the experiment is conducted by two scientists, it is likely for them to obtain different value of time using the same timer. Therefore, they calculate and obtain different knowledge about average speed for the moving mass. Since different people have different ability to sense time and react, the time knowledge obtained by the timer is only true to themselves, observer own their personal knowledge of time.

Object 3: A Quora Thread: Does God exist?3


This object is a Quora thread about ‘Whether God exist’, where Quora is a knowledge sharing platform for the internet users. Quora is a forum where questions are raised and answered by users, in this case a question of ‘Does God exist?’ is asked, and other Quora users are sharing their opinion-based knowledge about this question. In here, knowledge is produced through discussion between users who holds different perspectives and viewpoints. In other words, Quora provides the optimal version of knowledge based on individual conception.

This object enriched the exhibition because it provides opinion type of knowledge. In this thread, there’re more than 100 answers to the questions of ‘Does God exist?’. This single thread involves a lot of communication and sharing of knowledges, people with difference perspective will give different answer to the question. Some say ‘Yes God exists’ and give possible evidence, some say ‘No God do not exists’, discussion happens between these Quora users, trying to convince each other. In this process, they discover and investigate knowledge, each being the founder of the knowledge, thus they are the owner of knowledge. However, most of the knowledge produced under this situation is opinion-based is not necessarily being the black-and-white answer for the questions, it can differ for different people with different perspective.

Another perspective that made this object meaningful for this exhibition was all the discussion around God’s existence happened in Quora, therefore it is where knowledge is “produced” during the discussions. If a researcher has used this piece of information from this thread in his or her writing, it’s necessary to cite the knowledge as ‘according to Quora’. This is to say information is produced in Quora. Therefore, Quora will always own this knowledge as its “birthplace”.

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