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Information and Knowledge

I define information in distinction to the concept of knowledge as follows: The content of information concerns the characteristics of products or results (output, condition, supply), whereas the stuff that science consists of refers primarily to the qualities of processes or resources (input, procedures, business enterprises), which are used in processes. Knowledge is the capacity to act, whereas information does not enable one to set anything in motion.

It is just as important to emphasize from the outset that information and knowledge have, to a limited extent, common attributes. The most important basic common denominator is that neither information nor knowledge can be understood independent of societal contexts. In daily life, as in the scientific discourse, the conceptual interchangeability of information and knowledge is extensive. It is nonetheless notable that public places such as airports, shopping centers, railroad stations, and highway roadhouses commonly do not have a knowledge stand but rather an information stand. The blending of these terms will probably continue to prevail in practice, in science and everyday life alike, because who can distinguish between the information society and the knowledge society?

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