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.

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