Posts Tagged ‘data’

One of my favorite discussions of wisdom is actually on a website that has nothing to do at all with scripture, but is, instead, about knowledge management and systems thinking. The particular article is called Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom by Gene Belliner, Durval Castro, & Anthony Mills.

They divide the mind’s capabilities to handle “content” into five areas: Data, Information, Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom. They say the first four categories have to do with the “past,” that is, how the mind deals with what has been or what is known. Wisdom, on the other hand, deals with the future and interprets what has gone before in order to move ahead.

They actually chart out the five content areas:

  • Data: symbols
  • Information: data that are processed to be useful; provides answers to “who”, “what”, “where”, and “when” questions
  • Knowledge: application of data and information; answers “how” questions
  • Understanding: appreciation of “why”
  • Wisdom: evaluated understanding.

I find this a useful chart in thinking about II Peter 1:5-6. If these verses are talking about knowledge in this sense, it means working through the “how” of being or doing good… it’s the application of what it means to be a person of faith. However, if it is wisdom, then it’s more contemplative, comprehensive, and evaluative. It means we are taking the next step in choice. We have understanding to with the faith & virtue. It is a type of “revelation knowledge.”

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