Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good News For The "Artsy"

There isn't any knowledge stored in literacy, in all our libraries and databases. What we can store are symbols that are a cue to knowledge. People can read the symbols and not understand the knowledge, or partially understand it, or have only a vague sense of what it means.
Kieran Egan, Professor of education (2008)

We are in the Information Age, and many of us are "knowledge workers"; we work with knowledge. Being in the Information Age means there is more knowledge available than in centuries past. An historian in the 1980's spent much time in dusty libraries in far away places, but now that job is often done by a data entry person. Dust is less part of the historian's experience these days, but the process of making sense of history is the same. The historian, still sifts through data, maybe from her desk at home, but she must still
pick, decide what information is worth including in a narrative and what is useless data. The great historian will construct a beautiful, compelling narrative. That is something a data entry person may not be able to do. Art, in all disciplines, whether history, medicine, cosmology or biology will flourish and push humanity toward greater introspection. Probably the key function of artists in this century will be the ability to choose well; to judge in time, what is important, from the absolutely best word to describe a smell from long ago to what physical structure accounts for dark matter in the Universe. So:
Information + Judgement = Art
and: Art is the gold of the twenty-first century.

No comments:

Post a Comment