Knowledge vs Wisdom

In the modern world of IT, there is a reasonably old (by the IT standards) framing of the workers with the honourable title of the Knowledgeable as in “Knowledge Workers”. We have a huge drive to say that Data is the biggest, the phrases such as “Data is the new Oil” will get you huge applauses at the conferences, Facebooks & LinkedIn posts, where Hype is still the good old new kid on the block.

I will voice here a not-so-popular opinion – the knowledge is overrated.
People do know that they do a lot of harmful things to the planet.
People do know very well how they mistreat the animals.
People do know that they do a lot of harmful & unfair things to the other human beings.
Well, people do very well know the amount of wrongful and hurtful things to inflict to themselves.

Does their Knowledge change anything in them or in their behaviour?
Does it changes their narrative?
Not really.

I do not have any fancy graphics to add here besides this simple math formula:
Data < Information < Knowledge < Insight < Wisdom

We live in the desperate world of the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), where more is more and less is much less (the credit for the the second part of the phrase goes to the ever brilliant Pet Shop Boys and their wonderful song Flamboyant).

My favorite phrase has been for ages the one from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – “l semble que la perfection soit atteinte non quand il n’y a plus rien à ajouter, mais quand il n’y a plus rien à retrancher.”, which translates to “It seems that perfection is attained not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove.”, which has gotten an upgrade with something that I learned in school but have successfully ignored until lately:
To attain knowledge, add things everyday.
To attain wisdom, remove things every day.
” – Laozi.

I feel like a student in the beginning of his journey. Again.

2 thoughts on “Knowledge vs Wisdom

  1. antonio

    What an interesting post Niko!
    there would be a lot to speak about..

    “To attain knowledge, add things everyday.
    To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”
    i agree but in my opinion they are 2 distinct set: the one you fill with knowledge, and the one where you remove things to attain wisdom.
    if you study , if you have passion you get Data < Information < Knowledge
    if you enrich yourself by traveling, knowing different cultures, if you understand the responsibilities of humanity you get < Insight < Wisdom. and yes wisdom is made of few simple values/concepts. (one key that opens all doors)
    thank you for your post!

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