The BBC’s Justin Webb (presenter of Today on Radio 4) has written an interesting “Point of View” article in this week’s Radio Times (8-14 June 2013). He starts by saying his children aren’t interested in “knowing anything”; they simply prefer to skim and interact with stuff that interests them.
He says you do not need to know anything any more (a hopelessly 20th century thing), because the answers to everything are now instantly available on your Smartphone, Tablet or PC. Why waste time learning facts, like we used to have to do at school, when they are there, on your ‘phone, all the time?
I’m sure I read an infographic recently that suggested 30 years ago we needed to learn and know 85% of “stuff” to be able to do our jobs, but today that figure is less than 10%.
While we may no longer need to know as much, what we do need is the skills to be able to find information and to manipulate it when we find it. Justin suggests that, in the new era of “big data”, there is a need for clever people to sort it out and compare datasets in a way that tells you interesting things about people. The key to entering this new and lucrative professional class will be knowing what to do with knowledge, not knowing the knowledge itself.
The title of this blog post is Justin’s misquote from Spock in Star Trek.
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