In the mid-1990s, when email was all the rage and the worldwide web was making its commercial appearance, a friend in IT who was something of an IT guru told me about the DIKW pyramid, sometimes called the DIKW hierarchy. He explained how data becomes information, information becomes knowledge, and knowledge becomes wisdom.
I confess I didn’t take this too seriously. Even this early in the IT revolution, I was already skeptical about the heaven on earth promised by proponents of information technology. I was less concerned about how data leads to wisdom and more concerned with how the technology could be used and how it was likely to change everything, for good and for bad. Twenty-five years later, if the hierarchy was accurate, then we should be drowning in wisdom, which we clearly are not. We may have more data, more information, and more knowledge, but somehow wisdom decoupled from the train, assuming it was there in the first place.
I was reminded of my quarter-century-old conversation while reading the excellent How to Think Like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance Education by Scott Newstok.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.