Education is Compression

Last night, Nathan (the CTO) and I were talking with our roommate Ben, who at 22 is working on his first startup and naturally has a lot of questions about the process. We were all somewhat surprised by how much wisdom we could communicate to Ben in about half an hour of discussion, but then it became clear to me: education is the compression of others’ experiences into rapidly transferable knowledge.

Were it faster to just have the experience, education would be meaningless. A well-taught math course can generally teach a student several centuries of discovery per year.  Reading the journals of the best minds in a field is much less efficient (and, for most, less effective) than reading a well-written summary of their work.

Wikis let people collect and compress knowledge continuously, making it discoverable and usable. Wikis mirror the very processes by which education operates. It’s no wonder that hundreds of thousands of educators found us before we found them. It’s good that your customers can help slap some sense into you and give you a clue.

-David Weekly, Founder & CEO of PBwiki

Published by David Weekly

I like starting things. I founded PBworks (originally PBwiki) and am the cofounder of SuperHappyDevHouse and Hacker Dojo. I advise a dozen startups and am a mentor for Founders Institute, i/o Ventures, and Women 2.0.

2 thoughts on “Education is Compression

  1. What a profound statement! It’s so true that education draws upon what all others before have done, provided that those who’ve gone before have had the opportunity to share their experiences and the resulting knowledge. That’s exactly what we’re doing in our Wild Ones Projects. Thankis to PBWiki, the job shoulod become easier in the future. Oney Sattell, Co-Chair, Wehr Wild Ones Mentoring Project

  2. I agree to the above statement. Wiki is very helpful in compressing knowledge continuously. it guarantee us of continual learning and massive knowledge gain through reading articles submitted.

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