It Was Digital And Knowledge Society

What we are living in a time called a general knowledge society. And as part of it, we, in turn, go through the digital age. That is to say; according to specialists, we have gone from the information society to a knowledge society. And in technical terms, we have gone from analog to digital. The human species is very akin to generalizations and scientists are not the exception. However, the problem lies herein that any generalization always implies a certain degree of falsehood, greater or lesser.

In the case of digital, without a doubt, the generalization is almost entirely correct. There is no question that we have gone from analog to digital. But there are people who even today prefer the analog or in any case the non-digital, at least in certain types of merchandise. For example, in the purchase of cassettes and vinyl records. It is a very focused market and even small, but it exists. And so we have others who do not necessarily look for the digital. Then the digital coexists with all this and rather we could talk about a dominant and majority tendency, which seems closer to what happens.

We think that the same thing happens with the knowledge society. Because the same specialists and investigators brainy in the subject do not agree in agreeing on what exactly we can call the organization of knowledge. That is, what exactly is the knowledge society? That each consumer-citizen has a platform through which he accesses the Internet? Could it be our participation on the Internet? Or even more in detail, the way in which we relate to the network of networks? It could also have to do directly – and following the latter – with the information, we receive and opt for the Internet and our activity on the network, not only as passive users but as prosumers. That is, not only as recipients of “speeches,” “messages” or “merchandise,” but as “builders” of all this.

Terminological And Conceptual Discussions

Continuing with the terminological and conceptual discussions -which, incidentally, are not at all useless as many seem to believe-, what are the clear and distinct differences, as the good René Descartes would say, concerning the information society as opposed to the culture of the knowledge? Where is the border between the two? In which one deals with information and the other with expertise? We believe that the situation is not so simple. It is part of the difference between both, that is obvious from the semantics of names, but it is not enough to demarcate a border, not only in linguistic terms but also epistemological. Information is not only received but is also manufactured, in a relationship of continuous symbolic interactions, within the social fabric. And the same knowledge. With the difference that education goes beyond information because among other things knowledge means what we do with the information we handle. Both theoretically and practically.

Even with this clarification, the relationships of interconnection between information and knowledge are complex and complicated and far from transparent and obvious. Even less in a watery world as the great Polish intellectual Zygmunt Bauman calls it. Where all the relationships and objects in the society of hyper-consumption – regarding Gilles Lipovetsky- take place in a “plastic” or “watery” way. In other words, materialities dissolve easily, the ephemeral, as Lipovetsky says, earns him by far the departure to the stable and continuous, the liquid corrodes the solid and flows incessantly almost in a “Heraclitian” river course. We can summarize it perhaps through the expression with which Marshall Berman titles his excellent book -paraphrasing the old Marx-All that is solid melts into air. The experience of modernity.