Information VS Knowledge, who’s winning?

I had the opportunity to spend time, really all day, with my first close, wise woman friend, this past weekend. We became pals in Brownies when we were seven.  Her name is Sharon, but I always called her Nella, Sharonella, Cindernella, Nella in the Wella, it goes on and on. My father was a great nicknamer and I suppose I inherited his love of changing names to provide a litany of love with each iteration.

Nella and I often bought TWIN OUTFITS, we had endless sleep overs,  and I ladeled out my secrets as she read Superman comics, because I knew when she read she became totally deaf. And so I learned the power of saying things out loud to another person, even if no one seems to be listening. Similar to writing this blog.

This past Sunday while we talked and ate bagels and drank stong coffee, we touched on many things, the loss of our parents and what it means to be orphans at 60, our siblings, the kinds of crazy we endured and grew through as children to become adults, parents, partners. In short we decoded things the way we have done for a half century.  I always thought Nella was wise,  although she sees herself as unwise and thus less valuable than what I see gleaming before me, but that is also the value of friendship. Our friends see us as we should view ourselves, they clean the mirror to shine back.

We talked about technology and kids and spouses and Nella blurted:  There is so much more information now than there is no room for knowledge. I have been grappling with this statement without knowing what was eating away at my time, my calm and my resolve. It is the accretion of information.

I know how to use endless devices, aps, sites, machines and I can manipulate logging on, signing in, SKYPING over and linking in, but I feel a paucity of knowledge. I feel diminished by all strings of information I am toting. They feel like a ball of twine I  haul everywhere and I attempt to tug on the correct string to extract simple, small things. And yes, let me be honest, I am exuberent when I figure out, this blog for example. When I get pictures to send, or link or I achieve   simple tasks, but I forget what it means to accomplish something requiring knowledge.

Knowledge is the whole ball of twine, but it is covered in wax so it can not unravel and thus you can use it to interpret and intuit. Knowledge is what happens when you are not looking at all the strings,  all the time. Knowledge happens when you have a synthesis of learning which leads to problem solving and wonder and forward action to help yourself and others.

How can I return to knowledge? How can we all?

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2 responses to “Information VS Knowledge, who’s winning?

  1. Honoring and adding to knowledge is as easy as saying no TV, less wine, fewer trinkets, etc. If you have the discipline and intent, knowledge abets your purpose.

  2. Felicia Onofrietti

    Information has its value – a currency required for thriving and navigating the world on the horizontal plane – we charge or pay a high price for it. But, as Malcolm Gladwell points out in his book “Blink,” knowledge is –“the power of thin slicing”–which says that as human beings we are capable of making sense of situations based on the thinnest slice of experience. So is the dialogue about “winning” or learning to balance meaningful “flashes” of cognition with information?

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