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Worth thinking about


Anthony G. Oettinger, who founded Harvard University's Program on Information Resources Policy, makes these interesting comments about the often futile attempts of people to distinguish between terms such as 'data' , 'information' and  'knowledge' etc:

"The term 'information' appears to cover too much that seems distinctive: knowledge, data, information in a narrow sense that some treat as synonymous with data, news, intelligence, and numerous other colloquial and specialized denotations and connotations. However, the distinctions implied by oppositions such as observations/theories, data/knowledge, raw intelligence/finished intelligence, accounting details/management are secondary, not fundamental, in characterizing information resources. They reflect only relative judgments.

For instance, one person's knowledge is often another's raw data. What a vice president for marketing, production, or finance thinks he knows is just data to the chief executive officer's staff. What a scientist thinks he knows about the merits of a flu vaccine or the safety of a nuclear reactor is just data for presidential policy and politics. Data or knowledge are just types of information content -- of greater or lesser value, of greater or lesser cost." Quoted from Anthony Oettinger.




Anthony Oettinger's Introduction to the new book "The Information Resources Policy Handbook" (ed., Benjamin M. Compaine & Wm. H. Read)


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Classification (Data - Information - Knowledge)


Tacit versus Explicit Knowledge