We have DVDs. We have Internet. We have radio. We have books. Knowledge is everywhere around us. And we feel good about that. After all, this is the correct way to go right? Knowledge should be everywhere and free! All people should have access to the Internet, to online encyclopedias (call me Wikipedia), to reading blogs (you are here aren’t you?), to read e-books…
However all of the above statements are based on a simple but deadly misunderstanding: “Data” is NOT “Knowledge” !!! We indeed live in an ocean of data. Data is everywhere in digital form, readily accessible by anyone who has a modem, a mobile phone or an ADSL line. However this is not knowledge. Having all the statistics of baseball at the right-click of your mouse is not “knowledge”. Being one second away from data concerning all the countries of the world in Wikipedia is not “knowledge”.
He (or she) who seeks true knowledge has to suffer, to get tired, to think hard, to spend time, in order to reach to the point where “data” is transformed to “knowledge”. Take for example the chemical elements. Anyone has unlimited access to thousand GBs of data concerning all the elements, their attributes, their properties, the chemical reactions in which they participate and so on and so forth. Could that mean that we are all “chemists”? No. One has to take time from his life studying the data, performing experiments, putting in his own thoughts in the existing information available, make assumptions, create theories, formulate new paths for others to follow. Only after he has devoted himself to these tasks can he truly claim he has KNOWLEDGE on the matter in hand. Someone who is just sitting on the shoulders of giants, is not a giant. Today’s science is a great example of how inherited knowledge can lead to catastrophy: people getting ready-made knowledge off the shelf, do not care about anything but how to publish more and how to earn more from it, without showing any respect to the old scientists who warn them against limitless or immature use of such knowledge. And if all these are important for science, it is actually needless to say that all of the above matter even more when it comes to truly important knowledge (e.g. knowledge on a difficult philosophical issue and not just dry scientific knowledge)…
Copy and Paste and you will be nothing more than a computer (or worse).
Get involved, sacrifice things you like for the sake of seeking the truth and you will have reached a step closer to knowledge.
Knowledge IS BY DEFINITION inaccessible and not free!
And all of us must try hard to find it and sacrifice a lot to be worthy of it!