Comm Series #13: The Information Continuum

4 May

To fully comprehend communication, the management of information, it is necessary to understand the four way points on the information continuum: Data, information, knowledge and wisdom.  From this simple base we build the continuum.

Binary data is the most fundamental form of information and consists of 0 – 1, on – off, up – down etc.  It is the basis for our digital world.  Human beings, because of their anatomical structure, function comfortably in base 10.  Computers like base 2 (bit) and base 16 (byte).

Information is what the human mind can comprehend, learn, recall and act upon: The fundamental principle here is the chunk.  The chunk gives us the structure to organize data.

Knowledge allows us to organize data into information. Peter Drucker says “Information is data endowed with relevance and purpose.  Converting data into information thus requires knowledge.”

Knowledge comes in three flavors: Explicit, tacit and scientific.  Explicit is knowledge that can be codified and stored in media.  It can be readily transmitted to others.  Explicit knowledge is “book learning.”  It is useful to think of it as ”what” knowledge and is the basic operating material of formal educational systems.

Next week: Tacit and scientific knowledge.

BIG NEWS:  Beyond Luck is now an e-book on Amazon.  At $6.95 it’s a great deal and it look marvelous on an iPad.

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