The value of knowledge - 19/12/2011


Knowledge is everywhere.
Advantage: there is much knowledge.
Disadvantage: what is true and who knows what?

Knowledge is not useful if it is locked up in small rooms, literally or figuratively. Knowledge is only useful when retraceable, unlocked and reliable. Compare it with a water mill: streaming water is useful; holding it up is useless.

As a little boy I had to figure out things for school. What is an atom? What makes a rabbit tick? First of all I always asked my parents, hoping to get a good answer that I could write down immediately. But most of the time I was referred directly to the encyclopaedia. Bummer! There was no PC, let alone Google. But the encyclopaedia did help: clear info, good summaries, reliable (although sometimes dated…).

SHFT doesn’t just want to renewal things, but wants to really innovate. In our constant search for connections between different fields of work, we also have to figure out things outside our own specialism. In that case, gaining some basic knowledge first is essential. Thus it happens that a mechanical engineer figures out how photosynthesis works, a forester wants to know how biofuels are broken down and a communications specialist looks for the definition of circular economy. And all those things for one and the same project.

Retraceable, unlocked and reliable knowledge is therefore essential, for innovations, for SHFT and for everyone. And therefore SHFT supports Wikipedia. (in Dutch) (in Dutch)

Joris Voeten