How's the Philippine economy like compared to the US?
In the field of information science, there is a hierarchical model, aptly but uncreatively called DIKW, which is depicted as a pyramid. In this acronymally termed pyramid, data is found at the base, followed by information, then knowledge, and finally, at the apex, wisdom.
How do people in this academic field differentiate these concepts?
Practitioners generally define data as "discrete, objective, and unprocessed facts or observations." As such, they are said to have no value whatsoever -- the data, not the practitioners -- because they lack context and interpretation.
Defined in terms of data, information is "organized or structured data" and therefore valuable and useful.
Defined in terms of information, knowledge is considered the "synthesis of multiple sources of information over time" which provides a "framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information."
While actually understood by many, the trickiest concept to define is wisdom because it does not lend itself to easy, formulaic definition. Not that practitioners don't try. But when defining it in terms of knowledge and information, they claim wisdom is "integrated knowledge" or, more sophomorically put, "information made super-useful." Some of these academicians also turn philosophical on you and introduce another concept that's also difficult to define: Because wisdom, they say, requires the mental function we call "judgment."
For its definitional simplicity, I like the version put forward in 1987 by Czechoslovakia-born educator Milan Zeleny. For him, the DIKW model really equates to know-nothing, know-what, know-how, and know-why.
Now, where am I going with this preamble in answering your question?
I was reminded of these concepts for two reasons: (1) because The Filipina is involved in this field; and (2) because I stumbled upon the answer to your question while browsing the online version of The Economist. I've always been a fan of the magazine because the folks there are really great at turning data into information and information into knowledge.
So let's proceed to your question.
Found below is a US map. Can you find the Philippines?
|Source: The Economist|
If you easily spotted the Philippines where the Bluegrass State is commonly found, I say, "Good for you -- keen eyes!"
And if you were disappointed in finding it there, I say, "I'm sorry -- and I am with you."
Because the map, which depicts the size of the economies of the individual American states and how they compare with other countries, tells us -- aside from the obvious fact that the US is really an economic colossus -- some unfortunate truths. Among them:
One: The Philippines has an economy almost the same size as that of Kentucky despite having a population roughly 20 times bigger.
Two: The Philippines' next-door ASEAN neighbor, Thailand, has an economy equivalent to that of Colorado (which is a state bigger by about $100 billion than Kentucky), despite having roughly 30 million fewer people.
These are not happy facts to face, but face them we must -- that is, if we want the country to aspire to some objective, achievable targets. Like becoming another Colorado, for instance, by the end of P-Noy's term.
The country can do so because Thailand has already shown the way. Filipinos, at home and from all over, just have to help, especially the Filipino Americans, who have a collective "GDP" also bigger than the Philippines.
This brings me back to the DIKW Hierarchy.
Who would have thought that the singer-musician Frank Zappa would actually expand the model?
Yes, he did, as shown in the lyrics of his song, "Packard Goose":
Information is not knowledgeAnd this brings me to my concluding thoughts.
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST.
When I was in college, I was part of a group which performed a musical in front of audiences in the East Coast. I've forgotten many of the details of that awesome period in my life, but I still cannot forget one memory.
After every performance, we would sing the song composed by Constancio de Guzman in 1929, Bayan Ko. Without fail, many Filipinos in the audience would join and sing with us, and you could literally feel the emotions -- intense, raw, palpable, unstructured, tearful. Unfortunately, I could tell many in the audience who didn't understand Tagalog could not quite grasp the significance of the song.
So here's my parting gift to you to share with others as you feel necessary: The English version of the song as translated by the poet Ed Maranan.
The beauty of his translation, which is incredibly faithful to the original language and its spirit, is that it can actually be sung following the same original melodic tune, the same music. How cool is that?
Now, if Maranan's translation cannot be deemed wisdom, if it cannot be considered beauty, if it is not a manifestation of love of country, then I, for one, don't know the definition of these concepts anymore.
And pardon my preachiness, but for the Philippines to advance, you and I, and all the other Filipinos who care for even just one tiny bit about the country, really have to start showing it some love.
Got a question for The Filipino? Email him now at firstname.lastname@example.org.