The Disposition of Information LO29353

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 10/18/02

Replying to LO29333 --

Dear Organlearners,

Philip Keogh <> writes:

>I have just finished reading your piece. WOW.

Greetings dear Philip,

I merely tried to organise my own thoughts on the topic. There are now
several of us here in Pretoria deeply aware of how much damage is done by
confusing information with knowledge. They will have to organise their
thoughts too.

>I cannot admit to understanding it all immediately (there
>is a lot their to digest and "internalize"), but much of it I
>do recognise.

Your "much of it I do recognise" gives me great pleasure. It means that i
have succeeded in articulating some of your tacit knowing and perhaps even
formal knowing. But recognising your tacit knowing in the articulations of
someone else and articulating such tacit knowing self are two far
different things.

>I would very much appreciate any references you can offer
>relating to Knowledge (other than Polanyi's and his related
>ideas). What is the "current" thinking on this?

Philip, I had a big surprise after I had completed that essay. At work
where I have access to internet I used Google's advance search engine to
see how many hits i will get with the three words
   information knowledge difference
in the top window. I got 1 910 000 hits . So, as usual, i had to use my
own pruning techniques. I added into the top window
   information knowledge difference wholeness
and into the third window
   fragmented segmented
and got merely 1670 hits -- a thousand fold pruning, but still too much.
Adding in the top window
   information knowledge difference wholeness living
gave still 1390 hits. So i added in the top window
   information knowledge difference wholeness living openness
and that brought it down to 312 hits. I have not had time since then to
study these files.

Google allows me up to ten keywords. So today i added to the top
   information knowledge difference wholeness living openness tacit
and got but 28 hits! The first one listed is
< >
Learning to Think as Nature Thinks
by Michael Jones
and i had a look at it. It is a very long document, excitingly original,
but does make enough distinction between knowledge and information
as well as the interaction between them. However, almost to the end
i found the following:-


Finding the Root Of Our Own Thought

A language of action and of getting things done does not engage
imaginative thinking, nor does a language of feeling and experience always
lead us to action. Both are necessary and vital sources of intelligence.
Yet when it comes to accessing other dimensions of intelligence, an action
- based language has too narrow and limited of a reach. The voice of the
imagination calls on us to be faithful instead to the expressions of
affect that are feeling and value based. This language carries resonance
because it expresses the authority of our own first-hand experience of the

Finding our voice, then, involves getting our feelings into words. It is
not simply reporting on second-hand knowledge based upon what we have read
or what some other authority has said. We have gathered to ourselves a
wealth of experience and it is this experience from which we receive the
authority to speak. Our work is to track our way through the bramble of
thoughts, opinions, beliefs and assumptions of others in order to arrive
at the originality and root of our own thought again.

~~~~end quote~~~

[Host's Note: Michael Jones is a great interpretive pianist and an active
member of the org learning community. ..Rick]

The second last hit
< >
also draw my attention since it was from Stanford University. What
would an academic have to say on the issue? Again it is a very long
document which covers a vast entropy landscape. I got intrigued by
it. Somewhere in the middle i read the following which made me smile.


The cowards who run our universities countenance and encourage this kind
of crime against the spirit --the demoting of Shakepeare is just the tip
of the iceberg--but welcome the high tech wave which is as noxious, when
it overreaches, to the human soul as the AIDS epidemic (which they also
foster by condoning dangerous sexual practices) is to the bodies.

High tech --- chiefly computers but also TV and digitalization of all
sorts (it began with the Morse code) plus manipulation of birth
processes--destroys spontaneous life, driving it out by mass- seductive
imagery which replaces vast areas of flesh and blood and emotional-psychic
existence, by the lure of easing work, and the overcoming of biological
handicaps. It is the latest form of the "snake" of pretentious linearity
through will, reason, fabrication, an insidious tentacular and rampant
version of the "horizontal Babel".

~~~~end quote~~~

I mention this last site for another reason. The author has studied many
books from many ages and cultures and is reflecting on all of them. It
made me think of Benjamin Franklin. If i have to recommend literature on
knowledge/information, i will say "do the same" -- read from the ancient
books to the post-modern books, from the west through the middle east to
the far east.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.