Information and knowledge
I just finished reading “The Social Life of Information“, by JSBrown and PDuguid. And, just by accident, I started reading “La democracia del conocimiento: Por una sociedad inteligente“, by DInnerarity. In both the same theme: what is information and what is knowledge.
We are, effectively, lost in a sea of information, struggling to find knowledge. Knowledge takes effort, time, reflection over information. Knowledge it is not a click away, in a Google search. Knowledge is not a product of information, it is a product of human action over it, mine or somebody else’s. That’s something that the immediacy of the Net goes against. No reflection is just another way of wasting knowledge, of wasting time that does not go into transforming, translating information into knowledge.
That’s why I’m finding books, the paper version, more and more attractive. That’s true that an e-book reader works the same, but there is an important difference: a book is just that one book; an e-book reader is a profusion of books, that allows you to jump from text to text in a too easy way. No reflection (or a lot of discipline that is not easy to come by). That does not mean that reading a paper book is a way of getting knowledge just by itself. But it may be, probably, better that something else. Part of it comes from finding the time and the place to read, not reading everywhere.
If I cannot take the time, I do not know. Brown and Duguid, in the book above, mention the notions of “learning about” and “learning to be”; or the parallel (analogic) notions of “know that” and “know how”. Something to keep in mind whenever I want to learn. Is it worth being exposed to a lot of “stuff” if there’s no time to explore and deepen?