Information vs. Knowledge

In a current conversation regarding the anti-vax movement and measles, a very well-educated person in the field of medicine I know made a comment I found profound. “People often confuse information with knowledge.” The more I thought of the daily exchanges and conversations in my life, the more I was reminded of this statement.

With all the information available on the internet, we tend to find an answer that works for us and rarely consider the source. How many times have you been out with friends where a question occurs to the group without a clear answer and someone says, “I’m Googling it now.” The answer comes and unless it’s really odd, we accept it. We have become groomed to assume the information is correct. Many individuals falsely consider themselves knowledgeable or even educated because of this.

Countless people I know locally (SF Bay Area) identify themselves quite proudly as educated. Some proudly share how they don’t watch television or pay attention to online information. These same people stand firm on their source as providing them superior information.

I don’t shun any source of information as I’m curious to witness what everyone pays attention to most. As for my own knowledge,  that is formed from years of experience and digesting numerous types of information from many sources. Then when required to make an educated decision I can pull from many resources and add my experience to my choice.

I challenge anyone who reads this to think about statements made around them and those you pose to consider the source. Are they educated or just parroting a single source they consider superior information? You may be surprised how many authoritarians in your life are merely informed, not educated.

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