Wisdom

 · shakiestnerd
Table of contents

One way to look at information is that there is a progression from data to wisdom. Because we use many of these terms interchangeably, it didn't occur to me that this can be viewed as a hierarchy like rungs on a ladder.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. - James 1:5

Data

Especially with the rise of computer technology, we are surrounded by data. By definition, data is simply factual information.

The word "data" shows up in various phrases like data science, data analytics, data mining, big data, and data warehouse.

Information

Information is processed, organized and structured data. It puts data in context. For example, if the thermometer reads 104 degrees fahrenheit, that is data. Knowing what that data applies to is information. If it applies to a person, it means one thing. If it is the ambient temperature it means another. And if it is the temperature on my grill, it means still another thing. When data is surrounded with context, we have information.

Information phrases include information technology, information overload, and FYI (for your information)

Knowledge

Knowledge is the point where you brain gets engaged in the process. It puts information together to build a body of knowledge. Experience with information also contributes to gaining familiarity and building connections. This is where you gain a level of comfort with the information surrounding a particular topic or field.

To the best of my knowledge, common knowledge isn't common.

Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience. You need experience to gain wisdom.” ~ Albert Einstein

Truth

Knowing the truth can be difficult. Even with the best of motivations statistics can be misleading. With bad motivations, they can be manipulated to promote an agenda. We face incomplete information, omissions, half-truths, and outright lies. None of us are so smart we can't be deceived.

Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. - Proverbs 23:23

Understanding

Understanding is the point of comprehension. Competence emergence as you acquire understanding. New knowledge can be derived from your existing body of knowledge.

Wisdom

Up until this point, information, knowledge, and understanding have been flowing in. Wisdom is the point where you become a source of knowledge and understanding. Wisdom is the judicious application of knowledge.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. - Proverbs 11:2

Learning

This all sounds rather sterile as if there is a smooth progression from gathering data to being wise. The truth is the path is tangled. Many of life's lessons are painful and negative. They often amount to learning what not to do.

Be a lifetime learner. Be intentional about what you want to learn and set learning goals to help you progress. Consider carefully.