Knowledge has its cycles, its economy. Initially it is part of the human cycle: knowledge only exists in virtue of the people who construct it and bear; it starts with perceived data, which becomes information, then knowledge. Knowledge is renewed so that intelligence can develop and adapt.

The cycle of learning runs through four distinct stages.

The first stage is ignorance of the challenge to come. I do not know what I do not know. This is the stage of refusal. Reality is being modified, but this information has not yet reached me. I have not yet perceived or felt anything. To get past this first stage we need signs, meetings, questions which will sow doubt in our minds and make us perceive new opportunities, new roads to travel. This is the time of dialogue , or rather the beginnings of it. When it is at the stage of skilful discussion , the company is only playing with its stock of knowledge without calling it into question, and without integrating anything new. When it is moving out of this stage, some scattered signs of renewal appear. The cycle of the knowledge is beginning.

The second stage is the perception of change, initially indistinct, then more and more specific; questions abound, but the fear of the unknown sometimes slows down the process of learning. I finally know that I do not know... I want to learn, and am afraid to learn. In order to move on to the following stage, we have to acknowledge and name the obstacles which arise so as better to overcome them; we have to transform the formless matter of knowledge into codified and identifiable knowledge. We have already referred to this stage of encoding when describing the languages of change.  This is the painstaking work of decanting the images perceived by the right brain.  Starting as images and formless ideas, they are gradually shaped into concepts through a process of abstraction. This stage of encoding is essential to make knowledge communicable. At this point, knowledge is in a state which we could call ‘ready to wear’.

In the third stage, I know that I know. I have just acquired some knowledge and I am proud of it. I use it and think of it when I am using it. But to move on to the fourth stage, and in order that this knowledge may become collective knowledge, it has to be disseminated. The more such knowledge is found in an accessible and visible form, the more easy it will be to transmit. After the innovate stage of concept construction, this is when the production process of the hypertext company begins. The dissemination of knowledge is at the heart of its trade. Knowledge will be the source of its productivity and inventiveness. This is the daily challenge facing the company, and it is a difficult one.