Does what we know really matter?

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In my role, I live and breathe IT infrastructure. I spend my day thinking and talking about all of the hardware, systems and services that are best placed to deliver cost savings, business agility and workplace efficiencies. So in my world of big data and BYOD, it is essential to occasionally take a step back […]

In my role, I live and breathe IT infrastructure. I spend my day thinking and talking about all of the hardware, systems and services that are best placed to deliver cost savings, business agility and workplace efficiencies. So in my world of big data and BYOD, it is essential to occasionally take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

To that end, I recently read a very interesting blog posting by my colleague Steve Jones entitled ‘Thinking is dead’. Paradoxically, the piece got me thinking. I recalled a recent conversation I had with a school teacher friend, who’s view was that knowledge is no longer a commodity of any value; she opined that as we now have the answer to pretty much any question at our fingertips, society’s requirement for ‘knowledge imparters’ is diminishing.  On the face of it, her views would appear to be reflected in a recent organisational change by Google, reported by TechCrunch. The change blurs the lines between ‘search’ and ‘knowledge’ and, let’s be honest, Google’s organisation chart has a potential bearing on how you and I conduct our daily lives.

At the time of my conversation with my teacher friend, I suggested that actually her role hasn’t changed that much and that now, more than ever, she can focus on encouraging the hunger for knowledge and providing guidance on the use of that knowledge. It is true that we can find out the population of Samoa or the Beatle’s Sergeant Pepper costume designer at the touch of screen – and while complex networks of IT infrastructure enable that, what matters is that we will always have a hunger for acquiring and using knowledge.

Incidentally, it’s 184,000 and M. Berman Ltd respectively. Save you looking it up.

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