26 December 2013

Project Management: Laws (Just the Quotes)

"Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome." (Samuel Johnson, 1759)

"In anything at all, perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away [...]" (Antoine de Saint Exupéry, "Wind, Sand and Stars", 1939) 

"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." (C Northcote Parkinson, "Parkinson’s Law", 1957) 

"Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later." (Fred Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month", 1975)

"By failing to plan, you will free very little, if any, time, and by failing to plan you will almost certainly fail […] Exactly because we lack time to plan, we should take time to plan." (Alan Lakein, "How to get control of your time and your life", 1974) 

"Program advocates like to keep bad news covered up until they have spent so much money they can advance the sunk-cost argument; that it's too late to cancel the program because we've spent too much already." (James P Stevenson, "The Pentagon Paradox: The development of the F-18 Hornet", 1993)

Graham's Law: "If they know nothing of what you are doing, they suspect you are doing nothing." (Robert J Graham et al, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management", 2007) 

O'Brochta's Law: "Project management is about applying common sense with uncommon discipline." (Michael O'Brochta, "Great Project Managers", 2008) 

"No project should be allowed to proceed without clear specification and acceptance  criteria, that are understood by all participants." (Tony Martyr, "Why Projects Fail", 2018)

Augustine's Law: "A bad idea executed to perfection is still a bad idea." (Norman R Augustine)

Cohn's Law: "The more time you spend in reporting on what you are doing, the less time you have to do anything. Stability is achieved when you spend all your time doing nothing but reporting on the nothing you are doing."

Fitzgerald's Law: "There are two states to any large project: Too early to tell and too late to stop." (Ernest Fitzgerald)

Hoggarth's Law: "Attempts to get answers early in a project fail as there are many more wrong questions than right ones. Activity during the early stages should be dedicated to finding the correct questions. Once the correct questions have been identified correct answers will naturally fall out of subsequent work without grief or excitement and there will be understanding of what the project is meant to achieve."

Kinser's Law: "About the time you finish doing something, you know enough to start." (James C Kinser) 

Operations Management: Operations Research (Just the Quotes)

"No science has ever been born on a specific day. Each science emerges out of a convergence of an increased interest in some class of problems and the development of scientific methods, techniques, and tools which are adequate to solve these problems. Operations Research (O. R.) is no exception. Its roots are as old as science and the management function." (C West Churchman et al., "Introduction to Operations Research", 1957)

"An objective of O.R. as it emerged from this evolution of industrial organization, is to provide managers of the organizations with a scientific basis for solving problems involving the interaction of the components of the organization in the best interest of the organization as a whole. A decision which is best for the organization as a whole is called optimum decision." (C West Churchman et al, "Introduction to Operations Research", 1957) 

"The systems approach to problems does not mean that the most generally formulated problem must be solved in one research project. However desirable this may be, it is seldom possible to realize it in practice. In practice, parts of the total problem are usually solved in sequence. In many cases the total problem cannot be formulated in advance but the solution of one phase of it helps define the next phase. For example, a production control project may require determination of the most economic production quantities of different items. Once these are found it may turn out that these quantities cannot be produced on the available equipment in the available time. This, then, gives rise to a new problem whose solution will affect the solution obtained in the first phase." (C West Churchman et al, "Introduction to Operations Research", 1957) 

"The concern of OR with finding an optimum decision, policy, or design is one of its essential characteristics. It does not seek merely to define a better solution to a problem than the one in use; it seeks the best solution... [It] can be characterized as the application of scientific methods, techniques, and tools to problems involving the operations of systems so as to provide those in control of the operations with optimum solutions to the problems." (C West Churchman et al, "Introduction to Operations Research", 1957) 

"Operational research is the application of methods of the research scientist to various rather complex practical operations." (John F T Hassell, "The Scientific Approach", 1965) 

"Operations research (OR) is the securing of improvement in social systems by means of scientific method." (C West Churchman, "Operations research as a profession", 1970)

"Decision theory, as it has grown up in recent years, is a formalization of the problems involved in making optimal choices. In a certain sense - a very abstract sense, to be sure - it incorporates among others operations research, theoretical economics, and wide areas of statistics, among others." (Kenneth Arrow, "The Economics of Information", 1984) 

"The lag between knowing the facts and knowing the system which generates the facts can be considerable. […] Similarly there is a lag in passing from the stage in which sets of empirical observations constitute exciting discoveries, to the stage of insight into underlying mechanism, in every field of management today. In controlling the economy and diplomacy and society at large, in controlling business and industry and commerce, we have collected facts and perhaps identified systems. But we have barely begun to explain their underlying mechanism. This is what operational research is for." (Stanford Beer, "Decision and Control", 1994)

24 December 2013

Knowledge Management: Knowledge (Just the Quotes)

"There are two modes of acquiring knowledge, namely, by reasoning and experience. Reasoning draws a conclusion and makes us grant the conclusion, but does not make the conclusion certain, nor does it remove doubt so that the mind may rest on the intuition of truth unless the mind discovers it by the path of experience." (Roger Bacon, "Opus Majus", 1267)

"Knowledge being to be had only of visible and certain truth, error is not a fault of our knowledge, but a mistake of our judgment, giving assent to that which is not true." (John Locke, "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding", 1689)

"[…] the highest probability amounts not to certainty, without which there can be no true knowledge." (John Locke, "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding", 1689)

"It is your opinion, the ideas we perceive by our senses are not real things, but images, or copies of them. Our knowledge therefore is no farther real, than as our ideas are the true representations of those originals. But as these supposed originals are in themselves unknown, it is impossible to know how far our ideas resemble them; or whether they resemble them at all. We cannot therefore be sure we have any real knowledge." (George Berkeley, "Three Dialogues", 1713)

"Our knowledge springs from two fundamental sources of the mind; the first is the capacity of receiving representations (receptivity for impressions), the second is the power of knowing an object through these representations (spontaneity [in the production] of concepts)." (Immanuel Kant, "Critique of Pure Reason", 1781)

"Knowledge is only real and can only be set forth fully in the form of science, in the form of system." (G W Friedrich Hegel, "The Phenomenology of Mind", 1807)

"One may even say, strictly speaking, that almost all our knowledge is only probable; and in the small number of things that we are able to know with certainty, in the mathematical sciences themselves, the principal means of arriving at the truth - induction and analogy - are based on probabilities, so that the whole system of human knowledge is tied up with the theory set out in this essay." (Pierre-Simon Laplace, "Philosophical Essay on Probabilities", 1814) 

"We [...] are profiting not only by the knowledge, but also by the ignorance, not only by the discoveries, but also by the errors of our forefathers; for the march of science, like that of time, has been progressing in the darkness, no less than in the light." (Charles C Colton, "Lacon", 1820)

"Our knowledge of circumstances has increased, but our uncertainty, instead of having diminished, has only increased. The reason of this is, that we do not gain all our experience at once, but by degrees; so our determinations continue to be assailed incessantly by fresh experience; and the mind, if we may use the expression, must always be under arms." (Carl von Clausewitz, "On War", 1832)

"All knowledge is profitable; profitable in its ennobling effect on the character, in the pleasure it imparts in its acquisition, as well as in the power it gives over the operations of mind and of matter. All knowledge is useful; every part of this complex system of nature is connected with every other. Nothing is isolated. The discovery of to-day, which appears unconnected with any useful process, may, in the course of a few years, become the fruitful source of a thousand inventions." (Joseph Henry, "Report of the Secretary" [Sixth Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution for 1851], 1852)

"Isolated facts and experiments have in themselves no value, however great their number may be. They only become valuable in a theoretical or practical point of view when they make us acquainted with the law of a series of uniformly recurring phenomena, or, it may be, only give a negative result showing an incompleteness in our knowledge of such a law, till then held to be perfect." (Hermann von Helmholtz, "The Aim and Progress of Physical Science", 1869)

"Simplification of modes of proof is not merely an indication of advance in our knowledge of a subject, but is also the surest guarantee of readiness for farther progress." (William T Kelvin, "Elements of Natural Philosophy", 1873)

"The whole value of science consists in the power which it confers upon us of applying to one object the knowledge acquired from like objects; and it is only so far, therefore, as we can discover and register resemblances that we can turn our observations to account." (William S Jevons, "The Principles of Science: A Treatise on Logic and Scientific Method", 1874)

"[…] when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of science." (William T Kelvin, "Electrical Units of Measurement", 1883)

"The smallest group of facts, if properly classified and logically dealt with, will form a stone which has its proper place in the great building of knowledge, wholly independent of the individual workman who has shaped it." (Karl Pearson, "The Grammar of Science", 1892)

"Without a theory all our knowledge of nature would be reduced to a mere inventory of the results of observation. Every scientific theory must be regarded as an effort of the human mind to grasp the truth, and as long as it is consistent with the facts, it forms a chain by which they are linked together and woven into harmony." (Thomas Preston, "The Theory of Heat", 1894)

"Knowledge is the distilled essence of our intuitions, corroborated by experience." (Elbert Hubbard, "A Thousand & One Epigrams, 1911)

"It is experience which has given us our first real knowledge of Nature and her laws. It is experience, in the shape of observation and experiment, which has given us the raw material out of which hypothesis and inference have slowly elaborated that richer conception of the material world which constitutes perhaps the chief, and certainly the most characteristic, glory of the modern mind." (Arthur J Balfour, "The Foundations of Belief", 1912)

"We have discovered that it is actually an aid in the search for knowledge to understand the nature of the knowledge we seek." (Arthur S Eddington, "The Philosophy of Physical Science", 1938)

"Science usually advances by a succession of small steps, through a fog in which even the most keen-sighted explorer can seldom see more than a few paces ahead. Occasionally the fog lifts, an eminence is gained, and a wider stretch of territory can be surveyed - sometimes with startling results. A whole science may then seem to undergo a kaleidoscopic ‘rearrangement’, fragments of knowledge being found to fit together in a hitherto unsuspected manner. Sometimes the shock of readjustment may spread to other sciences; sometimes it may divert the whole current of human thought." (James H Jeans, "Physics and Philosophy" 3rd Ed., 1943)

"Every bit of knowledge we gain and every conclusion we draw about the universe or about any part or feature of it depends finally upon some observation or measurement. Mankind has had again and again the humiliating experience of trusting to intuitive, apparently logical conclusions without observations, and has seen Nature sail by in her radiant chariot of gold in an entirely different direction." (Oliver J Lee, "Measuring Our Universe: From the Inner Atom to Outer Space", 1950)

"The essence of knowledge is generalization. That fire can be produced by rubbing wood in a certain way is a knowledge derived by generalization from individual experiences; the statement means that rubbing wood in this way will always produce fire. The art of discovery is therefore the art of correct generalization." (Hans Reichenbach, "The Rise of Scientific Philosophy", 1951)

"Knowledge rests on knowledge; what is new is meaningful because it departs slightly from what was known before; this is a world of frontiers, where even the liveliest of actors or observers will be absent most of the time from most of them." (J Robert Oppenheimer, "Science and the Common Understanding", 1954)

"Knowledge is not something which exists and grows in the abstract. It is a function of human organisms and of social organization. Knowledge, that is to say, is always what somebody knows: the most perfect transcript of knowledge in writing is not knowledge if nobody knows it. Knowledge however grows by the receipt of meaningful information - that is, by the intake of messages by a knower which are capable of reorganising his knowledge." (Kenneth E Boulding, "General Systems Theory - The Skeleton of Science", Management Science Vol. 2 (3), 1956)

"Incomplete knowledge must be considered as perfectly normal in probability theory; we might even say that, if we knew all the circumstances of a phenomenon, there would be no place for probability, and we would know the outcome with certainty." (Félix E Borel, Probability and Certainty", 1963)

"Knowing reality means constructing systems of transformations that correspond, more or less adequately, to reality. They are more or less isomorphic to transformations of reality. The transformational structures of which knowledge consists are not copies of the transformations in reality; they are simply possible isomorphic models among which experience can enable us to choose. Knowledge, then, is a system of transformations that become progressively adequate." (Jean Piaget, "Genetic Epistemology", 1968)

"Scientific knowledge is not created solely by the piecemeal mining of discrete facts by uniformly accurate and reliable individual scientific investigations. The process of criticism and evaluation, of analysis and synthesis, are essential to the whole system. It is impossible for each one of us to be continually aware of all that is going on around us, so that we can immediately decide the significance of every new paper that is published. The job of making such judgments must therefore be delegated to the best and wisest among us, who speak, not with their own personal voices, but on behalf of the whole community of Science. […] It is impossible for the consensus - public knowledge - to be voiced at all, unless it is channeled through the minds of selected persons, and restated in their words for all to hear." (John M Ziman, "Public Knowledge: An Essay Concerning the Social Dimension of Science", 1968)

"Models constitute a framework or a skeleton and the flesh and blood will have to be added by a lot of common sense and knowledge of details."(Jan Tinbergen, "The Use of Models: Experience," 1969)

"Human knowledge is personal and responsible, an unending adventure at the edge of uncertainty." (Jacob Bronowski, "The Ascent of Man", 1973)

"Knowledge is not a series of self-consistent theories that converges toward an ideal view; it is rather an ever increasing ocean of mutually incompatible (and perhaps even incommensurable) alternatives, each single theory, each fairy tale, each myth that is part of the collection forcing the others into greater articulation and all of them contributing, via this process of competition, to the development of our consciousness." (Paul K Feyerabend, "Against Method: Outline of an Anarchistic Theory of Knowledge", 1975)

"Knowledge is the appropriate collection of information, such that it's intent is to be useful. Knowledge is a deterministic process. When someone 'memorizes' information (as less-aspiring test-bound students often do), then they have amassed knowledge. This knowledge has useful meaning to them, but it does not provide for, in and of itself, an integration such as would infer further knowledge." (Russell L Ackoff, "Towards a Systems Theory of Organization", 1985)

"There is no coherent knowledge, i.e. no uniform comprehensive account of the world and the events in it. There is no comprehensive truth that goes beyond an enumeration of details, but there are many pieces of information, obtained in different ways from different sources and collected for the benefit of the curious. The best way of presenting such knowledge is the list - and the oldest scientific works were indeed lists of facts, parts, coincidences, problems in several specialized domains." (Paul K Feyerabend, "Farewell to Reason", 1987)

"We admit knowledge whenever we observe an effective (or adequate) behavior in a given context, i.e., in a realm or domain which we define by a question (explicit or implicit)." (Humberto Maturana & Francisco J Varela, "The Tree of Knowledge", 1987)

"We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." (John A Wheeler, Scientific American Vol. 267, 1992)

"Knowledge is theory. We should be thankful if action of management is based on theory. Knowledge has temporal spread. Information is not knowledge. The world is drowning in information but is slow in acquisition of knowledge. There is no substitute for knowledge." (William E Deming, "The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education", 1993) 

"Discourses are ways of referring to or constructing knowledge about a particular topic of practice: a cluster (or formation) of ideas, images and practices, which provide ways of talking about, forms of knowledge and conduct associated with, a particular topic, social activity or institutional site in society. These discursive formations, as they are known, define what is and is not appropriate in our formulation of, and our practices in relation to, a particular subject or site of social activity." (Stuart Hall, "Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices", 1997)

"An individual understands a concept, skill, theory, or domain of knowledge to the extent that he or she can apply it appropriately in a new situation." (Howard Gardner, "The Disciplined Mind", 1999)

"Knowledge is factual when evidence supports it and we have great confidence in its accuracy. What we call 'hard fact' is information supported by  strong, convincing evidence; this means evidence that, so far as we know, we cannot deny, however we examine or test it. Facts always can be questioned, but they hold up under questioning. How did people come by this information? How did they interpret it? Are other interpretations possible? The more satisfactory the answers to such questions, the 'harder' the facts." (Joel Best, Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists, 2001)

More quotes on "Knowledge" at the-web-of-knowledge.blogspot.com.

21 December 2013

Knowledge Management: Information Overload (Just the Quotes)

"Every person seems to have a limited capacity to assimilate information, and if it is presented to him too rapidly and without adequate repetition, this capacity will be exceeded and communication will break down." (R Duncan Luce, "Developments in Mathematical Psychology", 1960)

"Information overload occurs when the amount of input to a system exceeds its processing capacity. Decision makers have fairly limited cognitive processing capacity. Consequently, when information overload occurs, it is likely that a reduction in decision quality will occur." (Bertram Gross, "The Managing of Organizations", 1964)

"My experience indicates that most managers receive much more data (if not information) than they can possibly absorb even if they spend all of their time trying to do so. Hence they already suffer from an information overload." (Russell L Ackoff, "Management misinformation systems", 1967)

"One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There's always more than you can cope with." (Marshall McLuhan, "The Best of Ideas", 1967)

"Unless the information overload to which managers are subjected is reduced, any additional information made available by an MIS cannot be expected to be used effectively." (Russell L Ackoff, "Management misinformation systems", 1967)

"People today are in danger of drowning in information; but, because they have been taught that information is useful, they are more willing to drown than they need be. If they could handle information, they would not have to drown at all." (Idries Shah, "Reflections", 1968)

"Faced with information overload, we have no alternative but pattern-recognition."(Marshall McLuhan, "Counterblast", 1969)

"We live in and age of hyper-awareness, our senses extend around the globe, but it's the case of aesthetic overload: our technical zeal has outstripped our psychic capacity to cope with the influx of information." (Gene Youngblood, "Expanded Cinema", 1970)

"[...] in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it." (Herbert Simon, "Designing Organizations for an Information-Rich World", 1971)

"Everyone spoke of an information overload, but what there was in fact was a non-information overload." (Richard S Wurman, "What-If, Could-Be", 1976)

"The greater the uncertainty, the greater the amount of decision making and information processing. It is hypothesized that organizations have limited capacities to process information and adopt different organizing modes to deal with task uncertainty. Therefore, variations in organizing modes are actually variations in the capacity of organizations to process information and make decisions about events which cannot be anticipated in advance." (John K Galbraith, "Organization Design", 1977)

"We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge." (John Naisbitt, "Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives", 1982)

"In the Information Age, the first step to sanity is FILTERING. Filter the information: extract for knowledge. Filter first for substance. Filter second for significance. […] Filter third for reliability. […] Filter fourth for completeness." (Marc Stiegler, "David’s Sling", 1988)

"Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data." (John Naisbit, "Re-Inventing the Corporation", 1988)

"What about confusing clutter? Information overload? Doesn't data have to be ‘boiled down’ and  ‘simplified’? These common questions miss the point, for the quantity of detail is an issue completely separate from the difficulty of reading. Clutter and confusion are failures of design, not attributes of information." (Edward R Tufte, "Envisioning Information", 1990)

"Traditional ways to deal with information - reading, listening, writing, talking - are painfully slow in comparison to 'viewing the big picture'. Those who survive information overload will be those who search for information with broadband thinking but apply it with a single-minded focus." (Kathryn Alesandrini, "Survive Information Overload: The 7 Best Ways to Manage Your Workload by Seeing the Big Picture", 1992)

"'Point of view' is that quintessentially human solution to information overload, an intuitive process of reducing things to an essential relevant and manageable minimum. [...] In a world of hyperabundant content, point of view will become the scarcest of resources." (Paul Saffo, "It's The Context, Stupid", 1994) 

"We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning." (Jean Baudrillard, "Simulacra and simulation", 1994)

"Specialization, once a maneuver methodically to collect information, now is a manifestation of information overloads. The role of information has changed. Once justified as a means of comprehending the world, it now generates a conflicting and contradictory, fleeting and fragmentation field of disconnected and undigested data." (Stelarc, From Psycho-Body to Cyber-Systems: Images as Post-human Entities, 1998)

"We all would like to know more and, at the same time, to receive less information. In fact, the problem of a worker in today's knowledge industry is not the scarcity of information but its excess. The same holds for professionals: just think of a physician or an executive, constantly bombarded by information that is at best irrelevant. In order to learn anything we need time. And to make time we must use information filters allowing us to ignore most of the information aimed at us. We must ignore much to learn a little." (Mario Bunge, "Philosophy in Crisis: The Need for Reconstruction", 2001)

"One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There's always more than you can cope with." (Marshall McLuhan, "Understanding Me: Lectures and Interviews" , 2003)

"What’s next for technology and design? A lot less thinking about technology for technology’s sake, and a lot more thinking about design. Art humanizes technology and makes it understandable. Design is needed to make sense of information overload. It is why art and design will rise in importance during this century as we try to make sense of all the possibilities that digital technology now affords." (John Maeda, "Why Apple Leads the Way in Design", 2010) 

"The instinctual shortcut that we take when we have 'too much information' is to engage with it selectively, picking out the parts we like and ignoring the remainder, making allies with those who have made the same choices and enemies of the rest." (Nate Silver, "The Signal and the Noise", 2012)

"Complexity has the propensity to overload systems, making the relevance of a particular piece of information not statistically significant. And when an array of mind-numbing factors is added into the equation, theory and models rarely conform to reality." (Lawrence K Samuels, "Defense of Chaos: The Chaology of Politics, Economics and Human Action", 2013)

"In this time of 'information overload', people do not need more information. They want a story they can relate to." (Maarten Schafer, "Around the World in 80 Brands", 2014)

"Today, technology has lowered the barrier for others to share their opinion about what we should be focusing on. It is not just information overload; it is opinion overload." (Greg McKeown, "Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less", 2014)

"There is so much information that our ability to focus on any piece of it is interrupted by other information, so that we bathe in information but hardly absorb or analyse it. Data are interrupted by other data before we've thought about the first round, and contemplating three streams of data at once may be a way to think about none of them." (Rebecca Solnit, "The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness", 2014) 

"While having information is a crucial first step, more information isn't necessarily better. Take a look at your bookshelves and the list of seminars you have attended. If you have read more than one book about a subject or attended more than one seminar but still haven’t reached your goals, then your problem is not lack of information but rather lack of implementation." (Gudjon Bergmann)

More quotes on "Information Overload" at the-web-of-knowledge.blogspot.com.

16 December 2013

Knowledge Management: Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom (Just the Quotes)

 "Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." (Samuel Johnson, 1775)

"It is almost as difficult to make a man unlearn his errors as his knowledge. Mal-information is more hopeless than non-information; for error is always more busy than ignorance. Ignorance is a blank sheet, on which we may write; but error is a scribbled one, on which we must first erase. Ignorance is contented to stand still with her back to the truth; but error is more presumptuous, and proceeds in the same direction. Ignorance has no light, but error follows a false one. The consequence is, that error, when she retraces her footsteps, has further to go, before she can arrive at the truth, than ignorance." (Charles C Colton, “Lacon”, 1820)

"In every branch of knowledge the progress is proportional to the amount of facts on which to build, and therefore to the facility of obtaining data." (James C Maxwell, [Letter to Lewis Campbell] 1851) 

"[The information of a message can] be defined as the 'minimum number of binary decisions which enable the receiver to construct the message, on the basis of the data already available to him.' These data comprise both the convention regarding the symbols and the language used, and the knowledge available at the moment when the message started." (Dennis Gabor, "Optical transmission" in Information Theory : Papers Read at a Symposium on Information Theory, 1952)

"Knowledge is not something which exists and grows in the abstract. It is a function of human organisms and of social organization. Knowledge, that is to say, is always what somebody knows: the most perfect transcript of knowledge in writing is not knowledge if nobody knows it. Knowledge however grows by the receipt of meaningful information - that is, by the intake of messages by a knower which are capable of reorganising his knowledge." (Kenneth E Boulding, "General Systems Theory - The Skeleton of Science", Management Science Vol. 2 (3), 1956)

"The idea of knowledge as an improbable structure is still a good place to start. Knowledge, however, has a dimension which goes beyond that of mere information or improbability. This is a dimension of significance which is very hard to reduce to quantitative form. Two knowledge structures might be equally improbable but one might be much more significant than the other." (Kenneth E Boulding, "Beyond Economics: Essays on Society", 1968)

"In perception itself, two distinct processes can be discerned. One is the gathering of the primary, sensory data or simple sensing of such things as light, moisture or pressure, and the other is the structuring of such data into information." (Edward Ihnatowicz, "The Relevance of Manipulation to the Process of Perception", 1977) 

"Data, seeming facts, apparent asso­ciations-these are not certain knowledge of something. They may be puzzles that can one day be explained; they may be trivia that need not be explained at all. (Kenneth Waltz, "Theory of International Politics", 1979)

"Knowledge is the appropriate collection of information, such that it's intent is to be useful. Knowledge is a deterministic process. When someone 'memorizes' information (as less-aspiring test-bound students often do), then they have amassed knowledge. This knowledge has useful meaning to them, but it does not provide for, in and of itself, an integration such as would infer further knowledge." (Russell L Ackoff, "Towards a Systems Theory of Organization", 1985)

"Information is data that has been given meaning by way of relational connection. This 'meaning' can be useful, but does not have to be. In computer parlance, a relational database makes information from the data stored within it." (Russell L Ackoff, "Towards a Systems Theory of Organization", 1985)

"There is no coherent knowledge, i.e. no uniform comprehensive account of the world and the events in it. There is no comprehensive truth that goes beyond an enumeration of details, but there are many pieces of information, obtained in different ways from different sources and collected for the benefit of the curious. The best way of presenting such knowledge is the list - and the oldest scientific works were indeed lists of facts, parts, coincidences, problems in several specialized domains." (Paul K Feyerabend, "Farewell to Reason", 1987) 

"Probabilities are summaries of knowledge that is left behind when information is transferred to a higher level of abstraction." (Judea Pearl, "Probabilistic Reasoning in Intelligent Systems: Network of Plausible, Inference", 1988)

"Information engineering has been defined with the reference to automated techniques as follows: An interlocking set of automated techniques in which enterprise models, data models and process models are built up in a comprehensive knowledge-base and are used to create and maintain data-processing systems." (James Martin, "Information Engineering, 1989)

"Knowledge is theory. We should be thankful if action of management is based on theory. Knowledge has temporal spread. Information is not knowledge. The world is drowning in information but is slow in acquisition of knowledge. There is no substitute for knowledge." (William E Deming, "The New Economics for Industry, Government, Education", 1993)

"Knowledge, truth, and information flow in networks and swarm systems. I have always been interested in the texture of scientific knowledge because it appears to be lumpy and uneven. Much of what we collectively know derives from a few small areas, yet between them lie vast deserts of ignorance. I can interpret that observation now as the effect of positive feedback and attractors. A little bit of knowledge illuminates much around it, and that new illumination feeds on itself, so one corner explodes. The reverse also holds true: ignorance breeds ignorance. Areas where nothing is known, everyone avoids, so nothing is discovered. The result is an uneven landscape of empty know-nothing interrupted by hills of self-organized knowledge." (Kevin Kelly, "Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World", 1995) 

"Now that knowledge is taking the place of capital as the driving force in organizations worldwide, it is all too easy to confuse data with knowledge and information technology with information." (Peter Drucker, "Managing in a Time of Great Change", 1995)

"Data is discrimination between physical states of things (black, white, etc.) that may convey or not convey information to an agent. Whether it does so or not depends on the agent's prior stock of knowledge." (Max Boisot, "Knowledge Assets", 1998)

"The unit of coding is the most basic segment, or element, of the raw data or information that can be assessed in a meaningful way regarding the phenomenon." (Richard Boyatzis, "Transforming qualitative information", 1998)

"While hard data may inform the intellect, it is largely soft data that generates wisdom." (Henry Mintzberg, "Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour Through The Wilds of Strategic Management", 1998)

"Information is just bits of data. Knowledge is putting them together. Wisdom is transcending them." (Ram Dass, "One-Liners: A Mini-Manual for a Spiritual Life (ed. Harmony", 2007)

"Traditional statistics is strong in devising ways of describing data and inferring distributional parameters from sample. Causal inference requires two additional ingredients: a science-friendly language for articulating causal knowledge, and a mathematical machinery for processing that knowledge, combining it with data and drawing new causal conclusions about a phenomenon."(Judea Pearl, "Causal inference in statistics: An overview", Statistics Surveys 3, 2009)

"We also use our imagination and take shortcuts to fill gaps in patterns of nonvisual data. As with visual input, we draw conclusions and make judgments based on uncertain and incomplete information, and we conclude, when we are done analyzing the patterns, that out picture is clear and accurate. But is it?" (Leonard Mlodinow, "The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives", 2009) 

"We reach wisdom when we achieve a deep understanding of acquired knowledge, when we not only 'get it', but when new information blends with prior experience so completely that it makes us better at knowing what to do in other situations, even if they are only loosely related to the information from which our original knowledge came. Just as not all the information we absorb leads to knowledge, not all of the knowledge we acquire leads to wisdom." (Alberto Cairo, "The Functional Art", 2011)

"Any knowledge incapable of being revised with advances in data and human thinking does not deserve the name of knowledge." (Jerry Coyne, "Faith Versus Fact", 2015)

"The term data, unlike the related terms facts and evidence, does not connote truth. Data is descriptive, but data can be erroneous. We tend to distinguish data from information. Data is a primitive or atomic state (as in ‘raw data’). It becomes information only when it is presented in context, in a way that informs. This progression from data to information is not the only direction in which the relationship flows, however; information can also be broken down into pieces, stripped of context, and stored as data. This is the case with most of the data that’s stored in computer systems. Data that’s collected and stored directly by machines, such as sensors, becomes information only when it’s reconnected to its context."  (Stephen Few, "Signal: Understanding What Matters in a World of Noise", 2015)

"Real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know." (Lev N Tolstoy)

"The Information Age offers much to mankind, and I would like to think that we will rise to the challenges it presents. But it is vital to remember that information - in the sense of raw data - is not knowledge, that knowledge is not wisdom, and that wisdom is not foresight. But information is the first essential step to all of these." (Arthur C Clark)

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