Marina Ristic CPC.041 03.26.2007. Essay # 1 INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE “Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.”-Mahatma Gandi. “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”-A.Toffler. Since knowledge and information are closely related, it is very hard to make a distinction between them. Knowledge is about implications and consequences, while information is about conveying a message and seeking an audience. Knowledge has a shared and negotiated meaning while information is usually about some explicit message or object. A concentration of information leads to harvesting knowledge which becomes our greatest capital. Intellectual capital is one’s biggest asset. Knowledge is power. Information can be collected from various sources websites, books, etc. Knowledge is application of accumulated or memorized information and making use of it. Information becomes rational when it has significance and meaning, when it is analyzed memorized by process of thinking. “Information Age” is a transition period after the “Industrial Age” and before the “Knowledge Economy”. In information economy productivity and competitiveness depend mainly on their capacity to generate, process and apply efficiently knowledge based information. It is an economy where information is both the currency and the product. While we have always relied on information exchange to do our jobs and run our lives, the information economy is different in that it can collect more relevant information at the appropriate time. What makes information plentiful in this economy is the pervasive use of information and communication technology. Microsoft became one of the largest companies in the world based on its influence in creating mechanics to facilitate information distribution. The “Knowledge Economy” started around 1992 and continued until 2002. The current economic era is defined as the “Intangible Economy”. Information revolution is knowledge revolution. The software used for computers merely reorganizes traditional work, which was based on experience. This is achieved through the application of knowledge, in particular systematic, logical analysis. Setting up an information technology structure is not enough. In order to maintain leadership in the new economy, the social position of knowledge professionals and the social acceptance of their values should be guaranteed. The knowledge economy is also a networked economy. The concept stresses the important role of links among individuals groups and corporations in the new economy. What Robert Reich calls “ symbolic analysts”-engineers, scientists, attorneys, consultants, professors, executives journalists and other “mind workers” who engage in processing information and symbols for a living will occupy a privileged position because they can sell their services in the global economy. In an economy where information is critical, symbolic analysts or knowledge workers will constitute an elite group.