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18. Information and knowledge

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INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE JAKUB KUCHAŘ In the beginning In the year 1969 three major events happened. The Woodstock music festival, first men went to the Moon and the last and the most important of them all – beginning of the internet. From this year on, we can fully call our time the Information age. New discoveries always bring new things, new words, new sciences. Back in 19th century scientists started to catalogue and classify exciting new areas of human knowledge. In 20th century a new science called information science started to examine the nature of information and defined the difference amongst terms data, information and knowledge. I think, that scientist could use it’s full potential only when they could use computers to process data to information and gain knowledge from them. Definitions DATAare, to put it simply, facts of this world that are could be proven and that could be easily verified. They might be described as a group of symbols or signs and we need to transform them into simpler form, so we can understand them better, this form is called information. Information is a piece of data that has been processed and transformed into the meaningful context we can understand. Another definition of information is considering information as a message exchanged between two different subjects. Or, we can find reliable information in answers to our questions, which begin with words like who, where, what, when or why? knowledge could be viewed something like an output of data and information. We have some data, we process them into information and from that information we improve, for example our point of view or something, we gain some knowledge. In another words – things that we know, our knowledge, consists of information and data that we receive from the world. Some scientists describe knowledge as so called “know-how” to do something the better way, to improve ourselves by applying our new gained knowledge to information we had before. Relations among date, information and knowledge The main difference among term data and the other terms meant above is that data do not carry any meaning on it’s own. Things we can find for example in encyclopedia are considered as data. Date of birth of a famous piano player is generally considered as data, piano sheet with notes written in it is information and list of best piano teachers in my town is considered as knowledge. The difference between the data and information is based on interpretation because it can has different meaning for the different people. For people educated in music the piano sheet contains information how to play specific song, but for people that can’t play piano has no information value.

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