Monday, March 28, 2011

Life is a(n Information Super) Highway

"Knowledge is Power." - Thomas Jefferson
"Knowing is half the battle." -G.I. Joe

From an early age, we are taught that knowledge is one of the most important skills for success. Whether we are declaring our independence from wigged tyranny or saving the free world from the inherent threat of Cobra Commander, the facts mean the difference between success and failure.

Inform. From the Latin In Forma meaning To give form to. Guide. Animate.

Information is what gives the world it's form. True a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet. But if we did not share a common language, we could not share ideas. If we didn't share ideas, we could not invent, create, or advance. Information is cumulative, and through that accumulation, we grow, we build, and we succeed. Without information and communication, we would have been overtaken by our larger, less intellectual Homo Erectus cousins a hundred thousand years ago. Much like Brendan Fraser in Encino Man. Or any other film starring Mr. Fraser.

Why Mind Over-Matters

"If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants." -Isaac Newton

Newton realized that without the advancements of his predecessors, he could not have made the discoveries he did. We could not have dreamed up the internet without first inventing computers, the telegraph, or the abacus. We could not invent the abacus without language. We could not have language without information.

"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it." - Edmund Burke

This is what happened in the film Groundhog Day. By learning from the mistakes that have been made by our forefathers, we advance as a society. It is when we fail to see the similarities of our own time and those of the past that we wind up in a backward town in Pennsylvania with a clairvoyant rodent and Andie MacDowell. Not a pretty sight.

Know Your Friends, Know Your Enemies, Know Yourself

"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." - Michael Corleone 

That smooth son-of-a Brando knew a lot about many things. Enemies, friends, family, and foes, he was the king of using intelligence to get what he needed. And he learned it from the best. Not Marlon Brando. The Chinese Military genius, Sun Tzu.

"To know your enemy, you must become your enemy." - Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu wrote the seminal military strategy guide, The Art of War (Oprah's book club, 500 BC). In it, he covered field strategy, political jockeying skills, Middle-management tactics, and tips for dealing with a nagging wife.

Becoming the enemy meant learning the enemies tactics. It meant befriending the enemy. It meant making the enemy believe that you were a friend. Becoming the enemy. Some say that Sun Tzu invented the art of espionage and double agents. He also penned the James Bond novels under the pseudonym Ian Fleming.

Alright. Enough knowledge for now. My final thought on knowledge is this: Make sure it's legit. Check your facts and don't believe any old schmuck who has a blog.

NBC says it best.

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