New Knowledge vs. Old Knowlege

I recently picked up Bruce Sterling’s book Shaping Things from my bookshelf again.  I flipped open to a random page which just happened to be about ‘sustainability as process’.  Sterling writes:

There is the known, the unknown known, and the unknown unknown. When the unknown unknown comes lurching to town, you have to learn about that comprehensively and at great speed.  Generating new knowledge is very good, but in a world with superb archives, accessing knowledge that you didn’t know you possessed is both faster and more reliable than discovering it.

This makes me think of the BP Oil disaster and how this is not unique, and yet to mainstream media, it would appear as though it is.  Alex Steffen from World Changing wrote an engaging piece called Seeing Past the Spill which argues for the enormous redesign and rebuild of the systems that support modern life on a massive scale – pronto. It’s a good read.

Knowledge is power.  Climb the wall.