"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


A blog reader of mine, Dusko Galic, Information Systems Services Manager from the United States, recently shared with me about "exploring & putting one's thoughts on a post card", taking his inspiration from the Post Card Test of economics professor Tyler Cowen, who wrote the book, 'Discover Your Inner Economist'.

According to the professor, a good economics-based argument should be possible to be written down on a moderately-sized post card.

Curious & intrigued, I took the challenge of just putting my random thoughts about the most commonly misunderstood DATA->INFORMATION->KNOWLEDGE->WISDOM continuum among many consultants as manifested in their published writings, on to a 6x4 post card, as shown below.

Here is a brisk elaboration of my random thoughts as proffered to Dusko in an email:

I think there is a flaw or missing link.

As I see it, we must have "ideas" first in order to see "information" from the massive "data" around or available to us, even though it is the confabulation of preliminary insights which lead us to "ideas" from the "information" we have taken out of "data".


We then sculpt our "ideas" into "decisions" for implementation, after we have done with the usual anaylsis, evaluation & synthesis.

Next, we formulate a "plan of action" to put our chosen "decision" to work. When carried out, this is the "execution" or "application" part.

From the completion of each "application" or "execution", we will then know whether our "decision/plan of action" has worked or didn't work. This is called "experience".

That's to say, there are no failures if the execution didn't work; only learning experiences. As planet earth's friendly genius R Buckminister Fuller once said: "There are no failed experiments; only unexpected results."

Over time, we generate many "stored experiences".

"Cumulative (stored) experience" over time then leads us to "knowledge". That's why Einstein said, "Knowledge is experience; every thing else is just information."

So, with this flow projection of mine, "Knowledge is Power" now makes better sense, although I would be inclined to say that "Applied Knowledge is Power"!

As we build up our knowledge acquisition over time again, it becomes our "expertise".

It is the discerning use of our "expertise" that gives us "wisdom". That's to say, "knowledge" does not necessarily lead us to "wisdom".

It is pertinent for me to point out that the journey as I have described between "information" & "knowledge", will necessarily involve a gamut of recursive & iterative activities.

In other lingo, there will be a lot of feedback & feedforward loops.

Reflections & introspections would have to be exercised, too.

Deliberate practice (or better known as the 10,000 hours) may have a specific role here somewhere.

Readers, what do you think?

[Endnote: I plan to write a longer piece to elaborate - & maybe expand - on my own random thoughts as outlined above. I have been fascinated by the DIKW continuum for a very long time & this is the first time I am putting my thoughts on a post card.]

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