The Churning Sea

“Information alone is strength without coordination. We become a danger mostly to ourselves when we have it. Understanding is the ability to coordinate that raw information in meaningful ways. Understanding creates a certain enthusiasm. We can direct our knowledge toward potentially useful ends–but we may also be a danger to others. Wisdom, however, is knowing how, when and why we use our understanding; wisdom is settling into our understanding without being too enamored by it.

The internet encourages only the knowledge-gathering stage without considering coordination or meaningful connections. Despite Google and Wikipedia’s best efforts, understanding is not born of the answers algorithms provide–answers and understanding are not the same thing. Some will sift through the answers and information, seek to coordinate it, and emerge with understanding–but this is still not the same as wisdom.

Unfortunately, the Information Age does little to encourage the development of wisdom. This requires time, experience, contemplation, patience, suffering and even stillness to obtain. But the churning sea of information never settles long enough to allow for the emergence of wisdom. We are left instead with “the conceit of wisdom rather than real wisdom” and become a burden to society rathe than a boon.

If we are not alert, the Information Age may stunt our growth and create a permanent puberty of the mind.

— Shane Hipps, Flickering Pixels

Shane, you swished the three on this one, buddy. To anyone out there who doesn’t buy and read this book, I feel sorry for you. 🙂


7 thoughts on “The Churning Sea

  1. i thought i’d have to wait to get this one… but a store in town (anchorage) had a bunch of copies, on its release date, i picked up two.

  2. Shane’s stuff is completely amazing – I’ve read his first book a few times and I shove it into the hands of anyone that will take it. I’m intrigued to see what he came up with this time!

  3. As a teacher I deal with the gap between Googling and knowing something all the time. My kids think just because they find something on myspace then it’s true. I try my best to explain to them the difference between reading and knowing, but it only sinks in with a few of them. I’d love to know the ultimate solution for that, it would make my life so much easier.

  4. Zach-I help lead a network of 18-30 something Christian communities in Chicago and I see you’ll be out here on Saturday the 28th and then taking off Sunday March 1st. We gather on Sundays and I was wondering if you’d come and be a part of our gathering and share some of your story, passions, and spirituality. We’re in the process of bringing in all sorts of authors, activists, and musicians with the hope of raising the level of conversation around spirituality here in Chicago and we need guys like you to make that dream possible.

    If you’re interested please contact me, you should have my email through my comment here. We’d cover all costs associated with getting you to the show in Colorado on time.


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