Theres a place for books, or ‘single use society’.

Outside of a dog, a book is [sic] man’s best friend; inside a dog, it’s too dark to read (Oscar Wilde?)

Close up of two feed climbing piles of books arranged like stairs

The journey of books

I’m the first person to ‘consume’ the written word digitally, even by preference, however, there will always be a place for ‘analogue’ text in my house.

It is my experience that (in general) those who either don’t like or don’t keep books are or have been partially illiterate (nearly 50% of all Australians are considered ‘illiterate’ – and the government gets away with this!) or are participants of a ‘single use society’ – I generally find that these people don’t plant trees, they don’t really understand that beef comes from cow and not ‘Coles’, and are more likely to replace their mobile phone every 2 years because marketing says to, rather than any particular need for higher/better/faster technology – are these are also people who (generally) have a MASSIVE credit bill (this is actually able to be discovered – certainly the census and huge marketing databases like the ‘rewards’ type loyalty cards already know)?

I’m not saying that lack of books caused the Global Financial Crisis, however, there seems to be a bit of a pattern, with some obvious commonalities between those who *value* a book and who value cuddling up on a lounge and sharing a book with a child (rather than turning on the TV and leaving a child with their ‘default digital parent’).

You might not need a licence to have children (even through you do to drive a car) but the next best thing is a shared book, and the social engagement that either the book at the time, or the discussion of the book after can bring.

It is my firm opinion, that while digital word contains information and sometimes knowledge, books (and the social aspect of them) contain *wisdom* – perhaps one of the reasons why common-sense is no longer common.

So what?

Here come the questions:

Does that mean, in a database of corporate records, are we only storing the ‘information’ and knowledge’ (more or less easy to access) and then expecting the wisdom in the employees to be able to synthesize and use the available (or not available) information and knowledge?

Stone engraving of the word 'Wisdom'


Does that mean, there is a vast storage of ‘un-valued-‘ company assets which can’t be used, because we lack the wisdom to use them? Are we valuing ‘unused’ data, information and knowledge at the same value as the ‘used’ knowledge? This is especially important for government, who is required, by law (FMA Act) to ascribe a value to data, information and knowledge (but not wisdom?) and manage that valued asset in similar ways to tangible assets, as this new, intangible asset is the ‘property’ of the public.

So, what is the answer?  How to do we get the valuation of the assets right, and how do ascribe the difference in ‘value’ of an asset that we know ow to appropriately use and and asset that we either lack the knowledge and wisdom to be ABLE to use, as an organisation?

Food for thought…


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