Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Using the Information

Here's an interesting quote sent to me by one of my former co-workers:

"We have thousands of times more available information than Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln. Yet which of us would think ourselves a thousand times more educated or more serviceable to our fellowmen than they? The sublime quality of what these two men gave to us - including the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address - was not attributable to their great resources of information, for their libraries were comparatively small by our standards. Theirs was the wise and inspired use of a limited amount of information. Available information wisely used is far more valuable than multiplied information allowed to lie fallow."*

The key sentence in that quote is, I think, the last one ... "Available information wisely used is far more valuable than multiplied information allowed to lie fallow." This is one of the big problems we have nowadays - we're awash in information, but little of it seems to be used properly. People cherry-pick the bits of information that agree with their preconceived ideas and let the rest lie fallow. We have lost the realization that information properly applied can act like fertilizer on a field, causing other information to grow and lead to new, better insights.

Sadly, though, much of the information in which we're swimming is nothing more than fertilizer**, unless wisely applied ... which it usually isn't.

Just a thought for a snowy Hump Day.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* The speaker was Mr Dallin H. Oaks, an American attorney, jurist, author, professor, public speaker, and religious leader.

** I could have said "bullshit," but decided not to.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

You made a good point today that information, no matter how much quantity there is, is of no avail unless it is used wisely. But wisdom requires taking the long view and keeping things rational.

Duckbutt said...

An interesting paradox. Our present emphasis on partisanship precludes a lot of wise selection of information.

Brandi said...

All that information and nowhere to go. Kind of like having a prom dress and no date.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

and in my humble opinion the word fertilizer works better in this text anyway.

Mike said...

Quality/quantity; the fight that has been going on forever.

KathyA said...

"Water, water everywhere nor any drop to drink."