The information age dawned some thirty years ago with the prospect of the World Wide Web. Prior to this, Newspaper Syndicates, Academic Institutions, and the Entertainment Industry have inundated the world with the comings-and-goings of facts, pop culture, and true-story occurrences. While everything known of our existence and present society has been preserved in written form or oral tradition, not everything has been absorbed by everyone in society, and even if such were the case, isn’t always applied to our lives. Knowledge is a precious thing, and should not be left to define the future of our economy, or new technological advancement. What we know should elevate our actions, and define our culture with greater moral articulation.
The composition of facts, experiences, and preferences; this is merely the surface-level shared communication society has utilized in order to better process a multiculturally complex world. Included is the concentrically-largest group of information of the three levels. From Newspaper articles, academic journals, and the B.A. Thesis to the social media blogs, Sci-fi novels, and Youtube video tutorials – the sources of informing is exceedingly vast. The validity of the wide span of sources is another matter entirely. Our generation is now very accustomed to the Google search engine, Wikipedia source portal, and Facebook News feed. Even so, the intuitive nature of people inclines the pursuit of comical informing and insightful inspiration as much as intellectual consumption. The grand privilege our generation presently enjoys is the extensively unrestrained access to it.
While the expression of knowledge, from formal to informal orientations, is certainly great, often it is accepted at the cost of qualitative consumption. Newspapers are expected to deliver not only new cover page stories sandwiched into congested Sunday edition content, but daily editorial commentaries, sports updates, and opinion articles as well. Not often would, were a newspaper subscriber asked, give confirmation of reading the entirety of his subscribed content. Often, information is rather seen as a convenience. Knowledge, on the other hand, is consumed and considered, crewed and digested into practical operational awareness. Following a college career, an IT student will attempt to apply for a career in the field he has been so well-informed of, and will utilize information encountered in a more practical way. Information contemplated is another way of considering knowledge. Universities anticipate graduated alumni to be able to refer back to informational textbooks and professor guidance, and employers expect on-the-job training to advise employees in the event of indecision. Knowledge is stored in the mind, where as information may remain simply on the accessible sources.
The combined collection of knowledge retained throughout the years of discovery and experience in our lives has led to the subconscious development of worldview, paradigm, and moral conscious. Without mulled-over knowledge that has been allowed to be bounced off of through thousands over major and minor life situations, worldview development would not follow for substantial life conclusions, and nuanced individual perspectives. It is only through consumed information that has been allowed to ferment and augment our perspectives that character is allowed to develop. Character then is perhaps the most complex higher-level cognition that may be proposed from a neurological standpoint. But character is best amidst the relaxed conversations, and level-headed interactions among people interrelationally. It permits the visionary potential of entrepreneurs, small-business owners, novel writers, and film directions to catch the non-linear dynamic of life that generally permits much of the vitality and wonder in life. Understanding is the progressive development of knowledge over years of consideration and reflection.
As life progresses, individuals collect information, be it experiential social updates on friends/family, or empirical encounters in a zoological-tenured career. Since information is undeniably vast, every person alive presents, receives, and expresses information in a way that is unique to him or her. Not only is understanding the culmination of information in our culture, it also offers the greatest level of integrative and influential capacity. Since information at this level is not new, but rather very familiar and stored somewhat actively in our minds, understanding is at the forefront of influence on higher-level decision-making. While information may be at the greatest height it has ever been, it remains imperative that the qualitative intentionality of learning, and subsequent formation of worldview remain within our culture, and our race. Without the development of strong moral character, and individually contemplated worldviews, our technology will begin to take over our way of life.