In the interest of making additional connections between our comments and developing some of the previously started conversations, I have decided to recycle part of my response to a past comment by one of our student readers. In the response, I continued a quotation from the book that the student reader began and posed a question. The quotation is the following: “The key to good decision making is not knowledge. It is understanding. We are swimming in the former. We are desperately lacking in the latter” (Gladwell 265). In my previous response I asked, how might this reference to “swimming” in too much knowledge relate to the “Information Age”, a time characterized by our ability to collect vast amounts of information very quickly, primarily through the continued advancement of varied technology like computers? I would also be interested in examples of instances when you felt like you were “swimming” in knowledge but lacked understanding. I have one that comes to mind from my recent experience, but I would love to hear from you first.
In closing, as I reread this section of the book, I began to write down a list of differences between knowledge and understanding. The distinctions between the two are represented in several of Gladwell’s examples in the book, including the Millennium Challenge. I also encourage you to think about how you would define these words and maybe even look up the dictionary definitions. Then you could compare and contrast and possibly make a list of your own to share here.