Information: Modern Implications

(our learning revolution)

Presentations about a multitude of topics in this vast world of information resources

Information Consists of a Variety of Focal Points for Greater Knowledge

Collectors of information are numerous, and so are their collections: dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, and all manner of other reference works.

Often, what is thought to be true; such as, the authorship of a famous quotation, the origin of a word, an episode in history, a scientific principle, a grammatical rule, who invented what, or such a widely accepted fact that a drowning person always rises three times, turns out to be false.

Some readers may be embarrassed to find out that they have been wrong, or ignorant, about something they were confident was right. Others will delight in catching even scholars and self-described intellectuals, or experts, in their errors. Even more people will enjoy the pursuit for the truth in both large matters and small. It's like playing a game, with nothing to lose except a part of one's ego.

We Are Living in a Learning Revolution, but Are We Keeping up with the Way We Can Change Our Lives?

During these modern times, we know how to store almost all of the world's most important information and make it available instantly, in almost any form, to almost anyone on earth; and to link everyone together in a global networked learning web.

In these modern times, we can store almost all of the world's information and make it quickly available.

These modern resources enable even developing countries to bypass the industrial revolution and to leap straight into this age of information and innovation.

The obvious face of the newly developing communications revolution consists of the millions of personal computers and the worldwide internet that links them together. The enormous scope of these changes forces us to completely rethink everything we've ever understood about learning, education (schooling), business, economics, and even government.

In fact, schools can successfully introduce information technology only if they rethink the role of teaching and learning. If every student can retrieve information when required, then the teacher's main role is no longer that of a provider of information.

Information Revolutionary Focal Points

  • Information frustration and therefore information anxiety results when we know what we want, but not how to obtain it.
  • It has never been necessary to prove one's level of knowledge by memorizing the contents of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It is not even important that we know everything, but it is essential that we know how and where to find information.
  • Computers have become a ubiquitous symbol of a new age; that is, being or seeming to be everywhere at the same time; omnipresent, or mascots of the information era and of a new way of thinking.
  • Communication is considered to be equivocal. The world is limited by a language where words may mean one thing to one person and quite something else to another; or, may not even be understood as new cyber terms come into existence with their acronyms or abbreviations. There is no specific right way to communicate. At least in the absolute sense, it is impossible to share our thoughts with someone else, because they will not always be understood in exactly the same way.
  • Since the beginning of the industrial age, industrial nations have used a special word: more. It apparently worked for almost everything. When roads became crowded, more roads were provided. When cities became unsafe, more police officers were hired, more police cars were ordered, and more prisons were constructed.
  • Learning can be seen as the acquisition of information, but before it can take place, there must be interest. Interest permeates all endeavors and precedes learning. In order to acquire and remember new knowledge, it must stimulate our curiosity in some way.
  • We only learn something relative to something we understand. Without a background of experience, new sensations or ideas are meaningless. When we see connections between things, our choices will be less threatening.
  • Great achievements have been built on foundations of inadequacy and error. Sometimes the most memorable of occasions in our lives are the misadventures; such as, when we look back on our lives, sometimes the things that we remember most fondly are the times when everything went wrong.
  • We are what we read. In both our professional and personal life, we are judged and molded by the information we get involved with. The information we ingest shapes our personalities, contributes to the ideas we formulate, and colors our view of the world.
  • The information explosion didn't occur solely because of an increase in information. Advances in the technology of transmitting and storing it may be an even greater factor. We are most likely affected more by the flow than by the production of information.
—Excerpts compiled from information found in
Information Anxiety by Richard Saul Wurman;
Bantam Books; New York; 1990; pages 102-109.