We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else. And root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!"
“What are the facts? Again and again and again – what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” – what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!”
Facts are no more than data rigorously collected. Data is insufficient for an untrained mind to apply for matters of any significant importance. Our computers will spit data at us all day.
Information is data with context. It is better to have information than mere data, but even information is insufficient to make important decisions. We may understand the relationships, associations and patterns among the data, but so what. That is of little long term usefulness.
Knowledge is information blended with experience and values. Now we have a basis for making decisions that matter to our world. To usefully apply information we must have knowledge.
But even knowledge is insufficient. We'd much prefer wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge tempered with discernment, discrimination, and sound judgment.
A collection of data is not information.
A collection of information is not knowledge.
A collection of knowledge is not wisdom.
A collection of wisdom is not truth.
A summary might be stated as:
- Information relates to description, definition, or perspective (what, who, when, where).
- Knowledge comprises strategy, practice, method, or approach (how).
- Wisdom embodies principle, insight, ethic, or moral (why).
It has been said that a wise man will climb Mt. Fuji but only a fool will climb it twice. And if one climbs it three times?
But, if the facts are erroneous, the rest is crap. That's why old-time science depended so heavily on multiple replications and deep peer review.
From what I read, I gather modern science is not so rigorous, perhaps because of the pressures of grant renewals etc. (When I was a boy microbiologist (early 50's), there was no such thing as grants. If you were lucky, the U., or company, might give you a small line item for supplies. You and your assistants donated your time.)