Friday, 20 May 2011

Power and perspective.

Aside from the 'long depression' of 2008 and the devaluation of money in general, the early 21st century has seen another inflation: the inflation of the value of information. Information used to be power, but with the advent of the internet, information became less and less valuable as it became available to everyone.
Many pre-internet adults have not realized this shift, or find it too difficult to adjust to it. Teachers are still convinced they are somehow better than their students because they know many things their students don't, but aside from those in advanced fields, they don't. I can conjure up the same knowledge as a 4th grade geography teacher. Sure,not off.the top of my head,but the internet has become an extension if my knowlege.
I believe that, as of now, power no longer lies in what you know, but in the application of it. After all, it is almost impossible to posses knowledge noone else is privy to. So your uniqueness lies in your perspective. Lateral. Out of the box. As a little thought experiment: make, in as few words as possible, a connection between nihilism and plastic wrap. Or make a drawing, pictionary-style, of "self-deprecating". Or make up your own exercises.
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  1. Nihilism
    Plastic Wrap

    I believe power has always lain in how knowledge is applied. The difference between now and then is that now because it used to be impossible to teach everyone everything they wanted to know, but not needed to know, it didn't happen, whereas now, self-education is an option for everyone.
    I also don't think that 'knowledge is power' means 'he who has access to the biggest pile of trivia rules the universe', but rather 'if you know the right thing at the right time, you can get far'. People who need to know the right things at the right time also don't go collecting every bit of info they can find. They have a team of specialists backing them who can give them the knowledge they need when they need it.

    The reason the above might sound grasp-at-strawy is because I tried to force myself to write more than that list. :P

  2. 1. Knowledge is power used to apply to battlefields and business: who has what resources. Wrong information meant losing.

    2. "The reason the above might sound grasp-at-strawy is because I tried to force myself to write more than that list. :P" You're going to have to formulate this differently, cause it makes no sense to me right now.

  3. 1. Yes, but only info that matters matters. It matters to a general to know how many soldiers the enemy has. It matters less how many of them have bad dental records.

    2. I wanted to write a comment that's more interesting than a list of five words, so I forced myself to write about something, other than 'I agree'. It's an interesting exercise.

    Also: there's an XKCD on the subject:

  4. 1. Yes, but these days, not in combat, perhaps, but in most other situations, ALL information is readily available. Power these days lies in your ability to see the world in a way others don't, to see a wall in such a way that it is a door.

    2. I still don't get what you mean. Serendipity - plastic wrap, for one. And "I want to write about something other than 'i agree'" is hardly an exercise, it's just formulating a response. I dun get! halp!

  5. Plastic wrap was discovered by accident. They were trying to make hard plastic cover for cars. :P