What’s the difference between data, information and knowledge, my colleague asked in his sudden style while waiting for the bus to arrive earlier this week.
I’ve found out that answering trying to produce some sort of answer to those questions that seem to come out of nowhere is very helpful and kind of constructive. I’ve sometime in the past somewhat briefly thought about this and settled to an answer, and now I gathered what I could remember and my answer got decimated quite quickly.
We were able to establish together the hierarchy to data, information, knowledge and wisdom. Even though I have read about this, probably studied about it a bit, it’s never quite the same until it’s applied right? It seems that there have been way more smarter people already studying and writing about this, so if you are interested, check for example Wikipedia article about DIKW Pyramid, there is a particularly well done illustration that sums it all up for me:
When I first met my colleague who makes these quick question, of course it’s natural to be a bit stiff and not to play, but the benefits of playing and attempting those questions are huge. I would also like to learn to ask questions out of the blue and I probably do, but it’s indeed those that play in either case that I think are the people who we should focus our energies to.
What I want to focus now is that the attitude of everyday scientist. We should attempt to produce the answers to questions that are asked of us and on the other hand ask more questions of others. This can change our world view really quick!
Asking questions provides us new information, sometimes surprising information.
Answering sudden questions you attempt to draw information from all know and everything you can sense in order to test an idea immediately.
And then you can together try to construct something more out of both cases. You’ll both learn something and you’ll more likely to remember it.
Science should be a rag rug, really everyday habit! It involves of asking, testing, breaking, putting up together and constructing together something greater.