Archive for the “Wisdom” Category

There’s all sorts of wisdom in academia.  It seems to have started in business schools, but LIS has taken up the banner too.    It’s only a matter of time before we start awarding MSWS degrees.

It’s in handbooks of Measuring System Design. This isn’t on UNC’s subscription, so I couldn’t say what the SI unit of Wisdom is, but I’ll take a guess at the kilowit.

Other brave souls have attempted to identify the definitions of the Wisdom hierarchy (and why it changes to the Information Hierarchy when Information Scientists talks about it, and the Knowledge Hierarchy when Knowledge Management professionals are involved).

See The wisdom hierarchy: representations of the DIKW hierarchy for one effort.

After revisiting Ackoff’s original articulation of the hierarchy, definitions of data, information, knowledge and wisdom as articulated in recent textbooks in information systems and knowledge management are reviewed and assessed, in pursuit of a consensus on definitions and transformation processes

We should have plenty of time afterwards for tea and cake.
The sad thing is, I think there is an operationalisable definition available using Shannon’s Information Theory as a starting point, but the result isn’t that exciting.   If you treat Knowledge as the ability to reason backwards from a desired end state from the inferred current state (based on perceived data), then executing that plan, updating current state as more information is learned;  then Wisdom can be the ability to infer forwards to the fuller set of consequences of those actions.  Since the only real law in this area is the law of unintended consequences, this isn’t too useful a definition. 

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