Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Information vs Knowledge

We undoubtedly live in an information era. All activities revolve around gathering and using information. This is an era of rapid communication, and connectivity driven by information. People around the world are becoming more and more informed. Getting information and understanding it seems to be very natural and at ease. This has been the culmination of a long evolution of intelligence, and ability to use logic to build information structures, one on top of the other.

We have reached a stage where we have an enormous amount of information as well as it being very complex in nature. Advances in science as well as any field of endeavor is presented for laymen and comprehended relatively easily. Analogies and pedagogical tools help us understand complex topics such as relativity and light year.

While our ability to gather and understand information has increased to a great extent, converting information to Knowledge is a different matter altogether. Knowledge is internalized information, where one begins to live life in sync with what one has understood.

For example, the information that 'Everything is made up of atoms' is reasonably understandable. Through logic , and primitive axioms, one can arrive at this information. But this stays as mere information. It stays at a intellectual level, and available for discussions and contemplations. Converting such a fundamental piece of information into Knowledge will liberate one from the miseries of life.

If everything is made of atoms,(here by atom we can mean the most fundamental particle, such as a Higgs-Boson) then whatever we see is made of atoms. A blade of grass, a cloud, a waterfall, a sun, dirt, food, our body, each and every organ in our body, and so on.. are all made of the exact same atom.

Atoms are clean, they are pristine. There are no ugly atoms, no dirty atoms, no good atoms, or bad ones. Even the cancer cell contains the very same atoms as  that of life giving oxygen. The irritating neighbor is made of the exact same atom as myself. If one searches the body all one finds is the atom. The individual self is never to be found. The identify claiming to be the self is not to be seen. only billions and billions of the very same atom. Everywhere. All over the Universe, the very same thing.

A deep and sustained contemplation on this fundamental idea becomes profound Knowledge. A world made entirely of atoms, without any idea of good or bad, likes and dislikes cannot be the cause of any kind of trouble. All emotions, thoughts, ideas and stories happen in an illusory layer over and above the atomic realm.That extra step to Knowing something from it being mere information transforms life, and in this case results in Joy.
If everything is made up of atoms and nothing but atoms, then it is indeed easy to 'Imagine'.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Thanks John Lennon for such a profound song.

No comments:

Post a Comment