Knowledge and Information

Aef Setiawan
3 min readMar 19, 2020

Usually, I read two or four different books a week. Sometimes I fraud with my reading habits. But sometimes I often question myself, do reading this shit increasing my ability? I read many books about Marketing and selling, but in fact, I sell nothing.

I used to think to change my reading habit, even stopping reading anything. Just take action and action. Then my anxiety comes to the basic questions about knowledge and information. Wether book is a source of information or knowledge?

In this article, I want to share my own reflection on the two concepts: Knowledge and information.

Can we transfer the knowledge?

Can we transfer any knowledge from one person and another? Here is the basic question. And my answer is clear: No. We can’t transfer the knowledge. Knowledge can’t be taught by the teacher or lecture in the class. Reading books or listening to any podcast.

If a digital marketer gives a lecturer how he raises 1 billion dollars through selling property in the class to the student. After the end of the class, do the student able to sell the property and get 1 billion like him? absolutely not.

Similar to Ronaldo train you on how to execute a freekick to scoring a goal. Even with awesome teaching ability, he can not make execute a free kick as excellent as him. Why? because knowledge can not be transferred.

Plato vs Sofism

To comprehend the debate whether knowledge can be transferred or not, you can read a debate between Plato and Sofism from ancient greek. Plato argues that knowledge can not be transferred from the teacher to the students rhetorically.

The student should produce the knowledge by themselves and feels the pain like a woman birth their child. Hence, his jobs, as a teacher, help the students ‘birth’ their knowledge through questioning things that assuming as a truth.

Meanwhile, Sofism believes that knowledge can be transferred rhetorically. And they charged some money for each knowledge that they give to the students. In short, they give the student knowledge and exchange it with money.

Nowadays, the Sofism method of learning is dominant. We are attending the school and then university to get knowledge from the teacher. The books that we read and so forth. Even our parents advise us to get knowledge as much as possible.

My reflections

Like the majority of people, I do believe that knowledge can be transferred through rhetoric or textbook. It means when I listen to my teacher and reading many books, I will get a ton of knowledge.

However, as I tell you in the previous part where I read books about marketing and selling but the closing of none, I realize that Plato's argument is the truth. Knowledge can not be transferred, but information can.

My teacher in the school actually transfers information. My lecture on campus does the same things. Even the books that I read. All of them just transfer the information, not knowledge. Of course, it is important but knows the information will nit increase my ability.

To convert information to the knowledge through practice it in the field. If I got information about how to make good copy for ads on Facebook from a book, I must practice making ads. If it leads to conversion means I success birth a knowledge.