The quest for useful Information

The only information of any real value is the information that is useful. The challenge is knowing what information is useful.

Castle CragMy uncle tells a story of a time in his life when he decided that he wanted to extend his vocabulary.

He decided that the best way of doing this was to pick a new word from the dictionary and to put it into use for a week and then to pick another one.

The problem was that before long he was using words that no-one else understood. There’s little point in knowing words that other people don’t understand – it defeats the whole purpose of the word, which is to communicate something.

He eventually gave up his challenge.

Having information and not being able to use it is a waste of time to the information addict, but so is knowing what everyone else knows. The quest is to find information on the edge of other people’s knowledge so that it is useful.

Like doing a jigsaw puzzle, the thrill isn’t in the pieces, it’s in putting the pieces together, and you only do that one piece at a time. But to push the analogy to destruction; the challenge is knowing what pieces other people have in place because the ultimate thrill is in putting your piece into someone else’s jigsaw.

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