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A  New Site Is Coming

savvylearners.com is a planned website under construction designed to be a network of learners that exchange information about superior learning resources. Thousands of courses and learning tools are offered online and offline, yet there are few guide posts to course quality. We are looking for the cream of the crop and the hard  to find. The idea is make a fence of guide posts to course and training resource excellence rather than to critique bad educational material.  Topics are selected by visitors to the savvylearners.com site, and resources are provided if identified by visitors who have had  experience with the sought after resources. When no feedback is available from actual users, training resource providers are solicited for sources.

Although the primary mission of savvylearners.com is to be an information provider for training and learning resources, the authors and editors of that site are well aware that "information"  in the so-called Information Age (there's a lot of noise out there) is a word whose definition rests on a slippery slope. It is a  word whose meaning is influenced by the eyes of the beholder. No only do we have information anxiety, we also have information complexity. 

It turns out that much of what is passed off as information doesn't inform and, in fact, is really unorganized data that may have little or no value in itself. Sometime data or information is merely ordered, which may or may not be sufficient to make it useable. A dictionary is an ordered list of definitions. You can't do much more with it than look up words if you already have some idea of how they are spelled.  Many folks make a living just out of ordering and organizing data into a meaningful context that hopefully transforms it into accessible, useful information.

As suggested above,  information comes in packages." Edward De Bono uses the phrase "comes wrapped in concepts and perceptions." A good example of this was the CIA's inability to assess the condition of the Soviet Union just before it collapsed. There was plenty of information, but it was wrapped with preconceived CIA notions that obscured the reality.  

Futurist Peter Schwartz believes that "Information is always contaminated by people's beliefs and is never really complete." Actually information can also be enhanced by a creative imagination. For example, the Czech composer, Janacek, could take a simple melody from a country village party and transform it into a composition of high art.

Computer scientist Jack Vallee writes that "All you can ever store in a computer is DATA, and the relationship between data and information is a fundamental mystery." He goes on to say that scientists have yet to describe that relationship because it is too complicated for current knowledge. 

 Jack Vallee believes that data become information only when "someone asks a question about it." There's the rub. Who knows what questions will be asked?  How many times have you read expository material on a subject of interest that didn't address some weighty questions you have had?

The Peninsula & Silicon Valley Guide: An Insider's Reference for Newcomers, Visitors, & Residence put out by Good Life Publications is filled with good facts and information about transportation, restaurants, hotels, sights, etc. It is, in fact, an excellent guide. The cover  has a picture of a street sign with the word 'semiconductor' on it, yet there is not a clue there about the semiconductor and other technological infrastructure that supports Silicon Valley. Of course, that was not what was intended, but  would not some information about the principal players and their locations in the valley have added some juice and spice to the publication?  Note: You can order the Guide in our Book Store

Thus, savvylearners.com will be built up from queries from site visitors and data will hopefully be transformed into information. 

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