Overwhelmed by Information Overload? Struggling with Information Superabundance? Disoriented by the Data Deluge? How to Make the Big Shift in the Era of Big Data

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. (Pablo Picasso)

Make Just one Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions (Right Question Institute 2011)

Scalable learning also takes into account how knowledge has moved onto networks. In his book, Too Big to Know (2012), David Weinberger observed that people used to know “how to know” by getting their knowledge as answers or facts from books and experts. However, since knowledge has moved onto networks, there is more knowledge than ever but topics have no boundaries and nobody agrees on anything. Perhaps now, good questions are more important than answers when it comes to learning in the Big Shift era. (Learning in and for the 21st Century, John Seely Brown, 2012, pdf) [link and emphases added]

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world. (Big Think)

data deluge

(Data, Data Everywhere, The Economist, Feb 25, 2010)

data inflation

(All Too Much: Monstrous Amounts of Data, The Economist, Feb 25, 2010)
  • Explore in tonight’s Honors Salon (7-8pm) how to make the ‘big shift’ from scalable efficiency to scalable learning (John Seely Brown) in the era of ‘big data’ – aka how to shift from finding the needle in the haystack (even as the haystack exponentially grows in size)/collecting the dots to finding ‘the pattern that connects’/metapattern (pattern of patterns)/connecting the dots (Gregory Bateson)
  • Explore how to deal with big data to make sense of the world this spring in HON 380: Trends Shaping Our Future: Local and Global Perspectives
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