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When does information become knowledge? Part 2

21. May 2018 13:12

In the olden days, master craftsmen would pass their knowledge and skill down to their apprentices. Apprentices turned into journeymen, and after many years, they themselves became masters, with apprentices of their own. The apprentice process took years, each technique was practiced and proven, and there was a master craftsman overseeing and correcting their grasshoppers and padawans.

When I apprenticed as a carpenter, I recall my master saying that any carpenter can make mistakes (we all do), but it is the good ones that can correct them, quickly, with no one begin the wiser. For me, this is the crux of this topic. Anyone can tell you how to do something like cut a dovetail, set up a band saw, and spray a finish. But how to tell when something goes wrong intentionally or simply when Murphy’s Law pops up, is the key to mastery.

We’ve all know great master craftsmen who can’t teach, and one can only learn through hours of watching and trying as an apprentice. We all read articles that recommend tools and materials and believe that they’re the best; we attend schools and learn from masters in a week long class. We also see YouTubers that sound knowledgeable and are very entertaining, but how do we know if their information is any good?

The fact is, with advertisers, sponsorships, and pay-to-play arrangements, ciphering out what is good information can be challenging at best. Can the number of likes, subscribers, hits, and views be a gauge? Or is it simply the success of the entertainer and/or marketing team? One would think that survival of the fittest would be in play, but that’s not necessarily the case: I’ve seen some very high quality and informative outlets go under for being too informative and not entertaining enough.

In today’s attention-deficit society, it seems all information needs to be obtained from a two-minute video, a 500-word article, or a two-day weekend course that give just enough information and entertainment to satisfy the thirsty craftsman, giving them just enough knowledge to go cut down a tree.

Please join me to discuss these and other questions with a panel of media experts: we’ll weed through all the information and get to the truth during the "When Does Information Become Knowledge?" session on Thursday, August 23rd from 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM.

Panel members include:

Will Sampson, Editor, FDMC Magazine

Greg Larson, Director, New England School of Architectural Woodwork

Jim Hamilton, Author and Host, Stumpy Nubs Woodworking YouTube channel

George Vondriska, Host, Woodworkers Guild of America


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