The Block of Granite – A Parable

[A little parable I wrote today. Nothing to do with games but I thought I’d share it anyway.]

The Block of Granite – A Parable

Once there was a huge outcropping of granite in the middle of our village. The elders called it Wisdom. They would sit on it and meditate, or rest under its shade from the summer’s sun. It was large, solid and dependable.

However the town grew and the boulder, for all it’s solidity, was impractical. So we forged tools and in time we were able to split the rock and carve large chunks away. Though still heavy, these pieces could be carried off and used for a variety of tasks. The pieces were much admired and their keepers respected women and men of the town. The chunks of practical wisdom came to be known as Knowledge.

The keepers of knowledge attracted disciples, young people who came to admire and employ the stones. Many carried away small pieces in their pockets, souvenirs they could admire later. These pieces were small and convenient and soon a market arose trading in Information, as the nuggets of knowledge came to be called. Information spread widely throughout the land, and soon every home had a piece or two.

As the market for Information grew, a strange thing happened: The smaller pieces became more valuable. It all came down to efficiency. Small fragments of information could be packed, weighed and transported more easily. Eventually some bright spark took the idea to its limits. Information could be ground down into a fine dust, so fine it could flow through pipes or be cast through the air. Infrastructure was built to pipe the dust anywhere in the world on demand.

This dust is called Data. Now the air is full of it. It blocks our ears and eyes and chokes our lungs. Large chunks of information or knowledge are getting rarer. It seems the grinding process has started a chain reaction. The remaining solid pieces are disintegrating at an increasing rate.

So here I sit with my back to the last outcrop of Wisdom. The sun is gone. And the wind blows the grey dust of Data through the city.

Published in: on November 6, 2012 at 12:19 am  Leave a Comment  

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