The Values in Knowledge Foundation identifies trends in modern thought and culture that give rise to what has been dubbed “the information age.” A great danger inherent in the dominance of ungoverned data and information is the lack of an organizing principle by which consumers of information can “make sense” of what is coming their way. “Why,” relevance, implications, application, and implementation stir at the core of human apprehension by our very nature. What implications does this information have for me? For my family and those I love? For my society, country, co-religionists, and other groups to which I am devoted? What are its implications for the health of our planet?
The reductionist view that only scientifically generated information is “factual” is harmful, leading to the type of breakdown we suffer presently at all levels, in our person, and all the way out to global political, economic, and military breakdown, not to mention the contemporary breakdown of faith, and the increasing misrepresentation of religious impulses for destructive purposes.
David McCandless, author of Information is Beautiful, is seen here presenting a lecture in the delightful TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) “Ideas worth spreading” series, on data visualization.
I believe the McMCandless brings forth a vital component profoundly resonant with the mission of VKF. His ability to create meaningful visualization of data relies on “asking the right questions,” and intuiting and anticipating the right “connectivity” or context which gives rise to the relevance and applicability of the information in question. McCandless helps us see clearly that “facts” are anything BUT value neutral.
The video lasts 18 minutes, but easily can be taken in in installments if you have to interrupt your viewing.