Manufacturing knowledge in the age of pervasive forgetting

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The distinction between information and knowledge highlights the often neglected difference between the storage of information, what it takes to build, maintain and utilize, and knowledge, whether private or public, the actualized ‘content’ that underwrites who we are and is both the tool and goal of what we do. The two processes are best exemplified by the library and the university. Both have grown in complexity and importance in unprecedented ways over the past few decades, yet their actual raison d’etre has shifted in ways that are both deceptive and dangerous. We have become obsessed with the technologies of information (processing), to the detriment of the art of knowing, and mistakenly equate storage with memory as we convert the world into a massive document archive. While we continue to invest heavily in the manufacturing of knowledge, from preschool through the university to the science lab, our knowledge of ourselves and of others, of how things are or came to be, is increasingly more piecemeal, temporary and one sided. I will present several examples to illustrate my point, briefly review the pertinent scholarship and advocate for an increased awareness of the negative consequences of the university/ library enterprise: the institutionalization of forgetting.

Klíčová slova
znalosti, knowledge