Friday, January 8, 2010

Knowledge WAS Power

Today I have been reading a blog by Mike Laurie about how social media has changed us. One part of this blog deals with the statement "Knowledge Was Power". Mike makes the statement:
From his Meditationes Sacrae, published in 1597, Francis Bacon was paraphrased as saying “knowledge is power.” Fundamentally, the more you understand about life, the more chance you have at success. But these days, Wikipedia and Google have democratized information to the point where anyone is able to acquire the knowledge they may want.....Back then, the friction that held people back from learning was low literacy, a lack of access to books and very little time. Now, that friction is almost non-existent. That is because of both the ability of computers to replicate information for distribution, and the the way that Google, Wikipedia and blogs have empowered people to share what they know. Now, the only real friction that exists is our own desire for knowledge. It’s there for you — if you want it.
Nowadays since we have access to the knowledge/information we want, the only limitation seems to be whether we know how to find the information we need, how to evaluate its usefulness and how to use it and communicate it to others. These 21st century skills are therefore the new knowledge and power.

Photo Credit: Power by Al-Thani


  1. This would make a great idea for kids to explore. Knowledge is power vs. knowledge was power. I bet they would have a unique perspective having grown up in the world where Knowledge was power. I see a Wallwisher in my future :)

  2. It's also more than just students being motivated to find things out - they also need to understand how to evaluate what they find. Today there is so much information out there it can be overwhelming - student need to know now to search in a smart way and how to validate what they find.