Thursday, August 04, 2005


"Knowledge already exists, we need to discover it"

True or false?

One of my collegues has put this line on her whiteboard as her thought for the day!
Had a long argument with her about it. I don't at all agree to it.

My take is " Information exists everywhere, once someone takes the information and interprets it, it becomes knowledge."

So we don't discover knowledge, we discover the information, and this discovery leads us to knowledge. It's a subtle difference, but an important one.

Inquisitiveness leads to discovery of knowledge, and knowledge leads to invention.

Am I right?
What's your take?


Srinivas said...

Hmm... what abt someone teaching you something? That must qualify as transfer of knowledge right? I guess both you and your colleague are right in some way. Its how you see it. As I see it, raw information is not of much use - so it HAS to be turned into some knowledge.

Keshav said...

Srinivas my take is still the same:
"Information exists everywhere, once someone takes the information and interprets it, it becomes knowledge."

So the information you are transfering is knowledge to you, but since I don't know it yet, it is information to me. Once I interpret it as I wish, it becomes knowledge to me.

Isn't it?

Murali said...

Oh o

Lemme put down WordWeb's definition of knowledge :

" The psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning "

I guess i see it this way :

Information : u discover it - > u get knowledge - > THEN u understand/ interpret it!!!

So ur colleague's statement should be transformed into :

"Knowledge already exists(as information), we need to discover it" !!

Minute difference in u and ur colleague's arguments!

One small point i wud like to make is that once u DISCOVER information its knowledge!!! THATS IT! U KNOW! u cant deny/ disclaim it..... u KNOW!

Then u go about interpreting it, twisting it in ur mind disagreeing/agreenig blah blah....

How rude of me to buttt in without an introduction!

Meself Murali.....Srinivas's Friend :D !

Keshav said...

Murali, let me start from your own argument and the deinition of Knowledge:
"The psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning "

Now tell me, if knowledge involves reasoning, then how come we say we know things unless analysed and interpreted? What I mean is, we get lots and lots of information everyday, knowingly or unknowingly, but we intrepet only a few of those, analyse them and then only it becomes knowledge.

I might be coming across a lot many faces during the day, passer bys, fellow travellers, anyone. I don't know most of them, yet I got the information. But since I have not chosen to analyse and parse the info, I don't remember any of them, and that's why I have no knowledge.

Am I clear now?

And no problems in posting a comment.. you are welcome for more!

Child Woman said...

I think ur take on knowledge vs information is absolutely fine by me

....but may be ur dear friend was talking about self-knowledge...

think bout it

Keshav said...

What do you mean by self knowledge?
Do you mean self awakening?

If so, then even that involves analysis. We don't suddenly get the divine light telling us to believe in something we haven't yet analysed.

Any so called self-knowledge is not so self obtained. We all accumulate information from our surroundings, analyse, judge, argue it, and then only accept it.

Don't we?

Child Woman said...

i meant discovering ones true self..we r covered with lots of tumult and fail to see ourselves. in fact that quote was made by either vivekananda or not u can guess what they meant

Keshav said...

Child Woman, I was talking about the same thing.

Whether you deny it or accept it, one has all the information about oneself. It is we who keep neglecting it all the while. Once we are ready to sit and analyse, we see the beauty of it - and that's what some mass figures have named as self awakening.

I don't think self awakening is as great a thing as it is hyped to be.
Just because we coin a new term for knowledge of one's own self, it doesn't become great.

Does it?