Internet is not Knowledge. Exploration is.

A lot of people think that knowledge these days is just a click away. All you have to do is search. Several years back, I had read a student of some b-school naively say in the Times of India, ‘The world has two kinds of people. Those who know how to Google and those who do not.’

Of course, it isn’t that simple.

Here is an example. For the last two years, I have been growing the fickle Orchids at home. When I started out, I searched on Google and YouTube with all kinds of keywords, reading hundreds of lines of texts and watching several scores of hours of videos to learn about the plant’s growth and care. Yet, after all these months of hard work, I realized that much of the information I read on internet simply didn’t apply to me. I learnt Orchid care only by committing mistakes, killing the plants and learning in the process.

You can’t run a successful YouTube channel of your own by copying content from other channels. You need to think, create and manage your own unique content and identity. You can’t run a website that is a mishmash of what is already available on the net. It will eventually die. You can’t be a fashion or a make-up blogger unless you develop your unique style and content. And much of this comes from experimentation, trials and failures, the ingredients that create knowledge. You might have billions of gigabytes of information at your disposal, but if you can’t create a single useful thing that’s not found anywhere, you effectively have no knowledge.

Reality is often not uploaded on the net. It stays in the head instead, in the trillions of neurons of mankind’s memory. The complex tangle of thinking often doesn’t have words. But these are the hotbeds of creativity. Internet is akin to the steps that are built, and no one needs you to paint them over and over again. What the worlds needs from useful people is the ability to build new steps. By exploration, creativity, trials and failures. This is how Elon Musk’s reusable rockets have flown. Amazon’s sales have grown. They did things that no could tell them was right or wrong. But they did anyway, learning in the process.

One needs to get out. And do something no one has done before. That’s how the world grows, we all grow.

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