Thursday, July 12, 2012

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Factual knowledge is worthless

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Factual knowledge is worthless:

Factual knowledge is worthless

I read an article by Esther Dyson in a 1992 edition of WIRED magazine about where to find value in the information economy. The article was so good that I still have it. It turns out that in an information economy, information itself is essentially worthless. The rules of supply and demand remain the same, and, thanks to the internet, there is a grotesque surplus of information. So where is the value and how can we educate our children to prosper in the 21st century?

I have a friend who likes to participate in a weekly trivia contest at a pub. I've gone with her a couple of times. I've enjoyed it and I've been a valuable addition to the team because I have, over the past 50 years, accumulated a lot of information. I'm interested in a lot of different things and so I have learned about a lot of different things, and I read a lot and talk to people, and information tends to stick to me. As a result I kinda have encyclopedic knowledge. Or, at least, I once did. Friends and family used to call me and ask questions with confidence that I