Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Athena's Camp

As Paul de Armond observed in his paper The Road to Athena's Camp, "Information is data that changes behavior." Noting that the overwhelming abundance of data available on the Internet and elsewhere is mostly just noise--as opposed to facts that are proved by evidence--Paul goes on to say that, "Information is the facts that matter."

Determining which facts matter, of course, requires painstaking analysis. Making these facts useful, in turn consists of putting them into a coherent whole by composing a unifying narrative that makes sense of it all.

Applied research--where information is gathered for a purpose, analyzed with that purpose in mind, and presented in a way that is understandable to those who will use it--is what Paul calls research as an organizing tool. Or, as he describes the relationship, "Knowledge is information in a framework; wisdom is where knowledge meets the world."


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