Posted on 

 by 

 in ,

“Holding Knowledge Is Not As Valuable As Evaluating Knowledge”

"We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems that remember less by knowing information than by knowing where the information can be found". 

Jonathan Mugan's new book The Curiosity Cycle looks rather intriguing. It talks about the importance of very human attributes such as creativity and curiosity in equipping our children for a world increasingly dominated by computation and (to quote from this interview piece with the author) of "learning the lessons that search engines and social networks have taught the world – mainly that holding knowledge is not as valuable as evaluating knowledge". In other words, when most human knowledge is accessible via your computer keyboard, it is the application of curiosity and creativity to develop adaptable and evolving models for understanding the world that matters more than what you can hold in your head.

Reading about it reminded me of this recent study (from which the quote at the top is taken) that suggested that when people have an expectation of future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it. In this way, the internet has become "a primary form of external or transactive memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves".

If true, it's a pretty big shift. Not necessarily in a bad way, but a shift nonetheless.

 

8 responses to ““Holding Knowledge Is Not As Valuable As Evaluating Knowledge””

  1. matt dailey Avatar
    matt dailey

    One to add to my reading list!! Its a really interesting topic and it raises a challenge in trying to get children interested in learning, rather than just acquiring the location of knowledge when needed. Its going to be more important to foster that enjoyment of discovery and ensure that the ease of discovery does not diminish the value of the information discovered (although the study you reference would suggest it already has). An element of knowledge retention is still important, i believe, as you can’t check google for an interesting fact whilst having a conversation and there is still value in being an interesting person.

  2. matt dailey Avatar
    matt dailey

    One to add to my reading list!! Its a really interesting topic and it raises a challenge in trying to get children interested in learning, rather than just acquiring the location of knowledge when needed. Its going to be more important to foster that enjoyment of discovery and ensure that the ease of discovery does not diminish the value of the information discovered (although the study you reference would suggest it already has). An element of knowledge retention is still important, i believe, as you can’t check google for an interesting fact whilst having a conversation and there is still value in being an interesting person.

  3. Valeria Maltoni Avatar
    Valeria Maltoni

    Fascinating – and glad the concepts are making inroads. Are you familiar with the Gentle Revolution series of book started by Glenn Doman with How to Teach Your Baby to Read more than 50 years ago? [info here http://www.gentlerevolution.com/mm5/merchant.mvc ]
    Their lecture series for parents has no equal to this day (discl: I worked there for 6 years as simultaneous interpreter and translator and more).

  4. Valeria Maltoni Avatar
    Valeria Maltoni

    Fascinating – and glad the concepts are making inroads. Are you familiar with the Gentle Revolution series of book started by Glenn Doman with How to Teach Your Baby to Read more than 50 years ago? [info here http://www.gentlerevolution.com/mm5/merchant.mvc ]
    Their lecture series for parents has no equal to this day (discl: I worked there for 6 years as simultaneous interpreter and translator and more).

  5. neilperkin Avatar
    neilperkin

    Hi Valeria. No, I hadn’t seen that so thanks for sharing the link. I’ll check it out

  6. neilperkin Avatar
    neilperkin

    Hi Valeria. No, I hadn’t seen that so thanks for sharing the link. I’ll check it out

  7. florine foulon Avatar
    florine foulon

    Indeed, I can’t wait to learn more about it!

  8. florine foulon Avatar
    florine foulon

    Indeed, I can’t wait to learn more about it!

Leave a Reply