All experiences are important

Data is not information

When I read the article, I was feeling like it was the book not for digital technology but for enlightening people. As I think of it, it has the great content like a wise saying. Honestly I was surprised at that. Anyway, in terms of digital communication, the author, Nathan Shedroff, argues the importance of information throughout. He says that data is not information. This expression was tricky for me at first. It seems they are equivalents. According to Shedroff, the more data we have, the less we are productive because with tons of data, we tend to think there is no need to create anything new or convenient. Moreover, they make people less communicative. Though they doesn’t completely stop us from communication, it is sure people getting feel unnecessary to interact with others. Then, if they understand correctly what information is, there will be more opportunities to get well understanding and productivity.

Knowledge is increasingly personal

Shedroff also evaluates knowledge gained through experience. People get more knowledge from knowledge already existing. On the basis of that notion, he mentions that technological problems are usually easy to solve and that the point is to meet people’s needs. Technology basically has been raised for helping people’s life and making the society convenient and I think technologists have made effort to accomplish it. However, these days it seems that technology is going on further ahead from our expectation. Every time new devices are invented, we get very curious and obsess with them soon. It is as if lots of supply compel consumers to have demand. I can’t say it is a bad thing, but I feel the fact prevents people from creating something interesting by themselves. Under normal circumstances, technology should be a thing that meets people’s need, not that people have to follow. Whether there is their independence is important.

Discussion Question:
What are his views on the role of design in our current and possible future societies?
There is nothing that can be done about the prominence of data. Then, what can we do to be creative and productive?

related stories:
Design and Meaning: An Interview with Nathan Shedroff


Dean of MBA in Design Strategy at the California College of Arts, Shedroff is one of the pioneers of experience design. He speaks and teaches extensively on design and business issues, and is a serial entrepreneur.

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