All this senseless wisdom

While skylarking the other day my thoughts fell on the caduceus. You may remember the myth of the Greek God Hermes who found two snakes fighting and drove his staff between them separating them after which they twined themselves around his staff. The image has become a metaphor for the intersection of wisdom and knowledge and the need for both to be in balance. This made me think of Google books and its desire to scan and make available all the worlds printed information on the web, a sort of electronic Library of Alexandria. It makes me wonder if this is the perfect example of knowledge with no wisdom. So much information or content but how can we separate the valuable from the dross? Imagine a child having the knowledge of how to pull the trigger of a gun but not the wisdom to know when and when not to shoot? Are we heading that way as an in information society? Have we put such a value on the access to information that we end up degrading the information itself. Indeed all content is not created equal, does the avalanche of content blind us to its value in a whitewash of white papers obscuring the difference between valuable information and chaff?



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