Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Transformed Minds, Transformed Culture

Information management and manipulation are replacing knowledge acquisition and inference . . .

Experts are now defined by their ability to recognize underlying patterns so that new facts can be acquired and integrated. Experts learn how to match these underlying patterns or heuristics to new data sources in order to advance composite knowledge . . .

Hence, it is becoming ever more important to know what to ask for, and increasing status is being accorded to those who can efficiently frame a search strategy to a question while avoiding becoming overwhelmed by the possible answers.

Searching is a recursive project which involves trial and error.

"If you didn't find it, you didn't ask for it the right way,"

"If my search strategy returned an answer, it must be a correct one."

The perils of uncritical thinking are compounded by some innate characteristics of the Internet: it is voluminous, it is uncensored, and it can be counterfeit. With so much information available, efficiency has priority over reliability, hence the popularity of the search engines.

"Let the buyer beware!" will take on more significance in a data-intensive Information Age.

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