instructional capital

(this is a refer link to define an important policy term )

The term instructional capital is used in human development theory and university accounting to contrast with the non-instructional capital (mostly infrastructural capital that supports instruction but is not itself instruction.

not social, not individual

No sane person would confuse an instruction with their own body. The term individual capital describes the body as a capital asset and avoids the confusion and ideology inherent in the term human capital - see below for detail on this issue.

Likewise, no sane person would confuse themselves or those instructions they executed or refined in common with others with the emotive or social bond between those people. While social capital may make instructional capital easier to trust or create, the social trust and deference relationships that it implies are certainly not the same thing as the instructions.

not always "intellectual"

It is a category of capital asset, unlike the terms intellectual capital and intellectual property which define debates but do not make clear operationa distinctions. See human capital for a more general discussion of this issue and Why the term 'intellectual property' is a seductive mirage for some reasons to avoid the adjective "intellectual".

While instructional capital is often a product of the intellect it is also often a result of stupider processes such as trial and error or a strict copying of tradition, e.g. Ten Commandments. In general the intellectual, irrational or accidental origins of an instruction are not important. What matters is how well it works in practice, and how well it helps people reduce regret.

like DNA

A simple analogy to understand instructional capital is DNA, the basic code that tells a cell how to create the proteins needed to maintain itself. The DNA is obviously not the nurturing parent that we need to come to maturity, nor is it the actual body that the DNA merely defines.

embodied by patents

A patent is a good human-scale example of pure instructional capital - one which instructs people of a particular level of skilll how to create some predictable result by following detailed instruction. In fact a patent is invalid if it does not allow any person "skilled in the art" to actually produce the described invention.

embodied by other code

All software, licenses and legal codes are also instructional capital - they command legal systems and hardware what to do leaving as little room for error and misinterpretation as possible. Lawrence Lessig's book 'Code' carefully describes the differences and smiilarities between various kinds of instructional capital and how software architects are increasingly making decisions with the force of law.

can be documentation

Other non-creative documentation, e.g. the open content Wikipedia and its activist equivalents Wikinfo and Disinfopedia, may be protected by copyright but over time the monopolies on information have tended to expand to cover a scope more like that of patent law in these cases.

not creative

Creative works are not generally instructional in the sense of such artifacts (encyclopedias, software, laws). That is, they do not have predictable results but evoke individual responses.

Creative works are almost always protected by copyright not patent - more properly described as individual capital - a term which better distinguishes instructional and social capital factors from each other than the term human capital - which is sometimes improperly used as synonoym (human capital is defined in neoclassical economics with a meaning that implies it is functionally equivalent to financial capital ).

operational definition

hubley.org has a one-page operational definition which defines inputs, cofactors and outputs of individual capital in relation to the other five styles of capital.

if you care

_See, and edit to include the above, the GFDL article oninstructional capital_ - check older versions as well to find useful material - notably this one which also has a detailed contrast to the term knowledge capital.