02.01.2012

Information Overload


Weitherum scheinen Menschen zu leiden unter der Unmenge an DatenZahlenFakten, welche das Internet liefert. Der in Karlsruhe lehrende Philosoph Byung-Chul Han schreibt in seinem Büchlein Müdigkeitsgesellschaft sogar von einem "Infarkt an Positivität", die zu "Erschöpfung, Ermüdung und Erstickung" führe. 
Jetzt nimmt sich auch der Philosoph David Weinberger diesem Phänomen an: In einem neuen Buch Too Big to Know kommt er zum Schluss: "... we have entered a new golden age, one in which technology has finally caught up with humans’ endless curiosity, and one that has the potential to revolutionize a wide swath of occupations and research fields." - Aus einem Gespräch mit dem Autor sei Folgendes zitiert:
Historically, we have thought of knowledge as something that experts have on a given topic. We call on experts to explain things to us, on TV or in the news. How is this changing? - In the West, knowledge begins as a winnowing process. It goes back to ancient Greece, where the rich, free menfolk were debating politics and steering the state. Many opinions were expressed, but only some of them were true, so knowledge became the winnowing of those opinions defined to be rare gems of truth. That idea — that knowledge is what makes it through a winnowing process — not by coincidence fits perfectly with the paper medium that we used for it. Paper is expensive, libraries are small, very few people can get published. So we’ve thought of knowledge as that which makes it through a very small aperture. - Some people have described this process as a pyramid. - In 1988, Russell Ackoff, an organizational theorist, proposed a pyramid that has become really standard in many business environments. You have data at the bottom, then information, and then knowledge — and then at the top, wisdom, as if wisdom is the reduced set of knowledge. The idea is in line with our traditional idea of knowledge, which is based on the idea that there’s too much to know, there’s more than can fit into any skull, so we need to come up with strategies to deal with it. And that pyramid is the information age’s elaboration of this. In every step you get quality and value by reducing what was at lower steps, but we’ve had a reductive sense of knowledge for about 2,500 years. (...) You talk about the rise of the networked fact. What is that? - Over the past couple hundred years, we’ve had this idea that knowledge is composed of facts about the world, and together we are engaged in this multigenerational enterprise of gathering facts and posting them, and ultimately we’ll have a complete picture of the world. That view of facts as the irreducible atoms of knowledge has some benefit, but we’re seeing a different type of fact emerge on the Net as well. Traditional facts are still there. Facts are facts. But we’re seeing organizations of all sorts releasing their data, their facts, onto the Web as huge clouds of triples [another word for linked data]. They’re a connection of two ideas through some relationship — that’s why they’re called triples — but not only can they be linked together by computers, they themselves consist of links. Each of the elements of a linked atom is a pointer to some resource that disambiguates it and explains what it is.
Der pyramidal organisierte Prozess des Wissenserwerbs (zuunterst die Daten, dann Informationen - Wissen - Weisheit) wird zu einem schwirrend-mäandernden Hin-und-her-Gehen zwischen den Knoten des ZahlenDatenFaktenNetzes in den Wolken des Erkenntnisuniversums. 
Wie reagieren wohl die nach wie vor traditionell organisierten Bildungssysteme darauf, die zumeist auf statisches Wissen (für den Test) setzen und wo schon nur das spontane Hin-und-her-Gehen  (im Schulzimmer, erst recht dasjenige von Zimmer zu Zimmer) höchstens in wohldefinierten didaktischen Arrangements erlaubt ist? 

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