Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Information ≠ knowledge

Oliver Sacks:

A few years ago, I was invited to join a panel discussion about information and communication in the twenty-first century. One of the panelists, an Internet pioneer, said proudly that his young daughter surfed the Web twelve hours a day and had access to a breadth and range of information that no one from a previous generation could have imagined. I asked whether she had read any of Jane Austen’s novels, or any classic novel. When he said that she hadn’t, I wondered aloud whether she would then have a solid understanding of human nature or of society, and suggested that while she might be stocked with wide-ranging information, that was different from knowledge. Half the audience cheered; the other half booed.
Related reading
All OCA Oliver Sacks posts (Pinboard)

[Sacks died in 2015. I wonder how that father and audience would respond in 2019.]

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