Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Importance Of Context

One about the importance of context. Lot has been written about how context is important to knowledge, and that without the appropriate context, knowledge lacks some crucial element.

Talking recently with a gentleman who is well versed with the Fahrenheit scale ... the topic came to the weather. When the gentleman mentioned that it must be 80 degrees, i had no idea what that meant. I was experiencing the same weather as he, but without the context, i had no idea what 80 degrees meant. Of course, 80F is approximately 28C, but thats something which i had to look up.

And this is the point i am trying to illustrate. That the information being there, probably it is the context which is important to actually bringing some meaning into it. If someone were to tell you, for example, that the temperature at some place where you are going is 80F, you wouldnt know whether to pack woollens, or swimwear, unless you have the context of the conversion of F to C (provided C is the context that you have available to you to refer to).

From this, could it be said that

Information + Context = Knowledge

Any thoughts? Please feel free to comment.

3 comments:

CYBERCRIME TRAINING UNIT said...

Interesting, thought provoking specially the contextual aspect of themes, I would also add a time space cultural dimension to year elegant equation. Levi strauss, took a diverging view though. Yes,in this webosphere one needs to keep in mind that all knowledge/info may not be universally applicable. Great post, the complex u have typed out in simple-which I think requires high degree of analysis.

Vikram Madan said...

Well explained, the simple example you give helps understand what its all about.

If information cannot be formatted into something that makes sense, it is meaningless. Without a reference that leads to comprehension in practicable terms, information is useless.

Atul said...

time, space, cultural dimension ... interesting! :-)