Wednesday, September 24, 2008

data, information, & Knowledge

Several years ago I read the book "Data Smog". The central premise of this book (as I remember it) was that we are being overloaded with data. I don't recall much about how one was supposed to deal with the issue. I suppose I should re-read that book since I expect it went beyond being a diatribe about data overload, but this blog and associated website are about the process of distilling Knowledge out of information which in turn comes from data. We are inundated with data and being a successful problem solver means that we must be able to obtain information from that data. Obtaining information alone is insufficient. I may have access to lots of information but if I don't act on it or use it, it is just information and not knowledge. I can be sitting in the middle of the Library of Congress and if I don't use that information, I have no knowledge. Knowledge is information in action.

I guess without a problem to solve, then knowledge is just information since you can't put it into action. Until I have a problem, I have no use for all that stuff in the library.

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