RE: converting data to information

Subject: RE: converting data to information
From: "Sella Rush" <srush -at- MusicNet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 12:28:26 -0800

> >Data needs to be turned into knowledge to be of any use.

In a former life I worked for a company developing "knowledge discovery" software. Not exactly a database, not really data mining. This rhetoric is quite familiar to me. We were always talking about data versus information versus knowledge, and context is very much the issue. Individuals need context in order to apply the prior knowledge and experiences. There are many layers of context.

> > Data in context is information and information in context
> is knowledge.

In fact this is close to poetry. I've seen a lot of writing in the knowledge discovery field that explicitly derives from a T.S. Eliot poem (see excerpt below). Actually most take the two ** lines out of context for their own purposes, drawing a logical line from data to information to knowledge to wisdom.

excerpt from *Choruses from the Rock*
The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to GOD.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
**Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
**Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from GOD and nearer to the Dust."

Sella Rush
technical writer
srush -at- musicnet -dot- com

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