The bank of knowledge in a person is a measure of his thinking. It identifies one’s status in the society; it is also through knowledge that man has conquered the world and mastered nature.
Knowledge is the foundation of theories, patterns, and models that provide people with solutions, prescriptions, and skills needed to survive the everyday living. The search for the “what’s good now” is the reason why these knowledge are significant. It comprises the solutions in the problems of the society, organization, and individual. It provides us with the prescriptions on how to behave and how to act. It trains us to apply these knowledge that become skills when we render services and produce products.
However, knowledge has a shelf life. Due to the demand of “what’s better now,” existing problems become old problems because of new problems. Thus, old solutions become unusable that’s why new solutions are being hunted. Some knowledge became discarded because it is not applicable to new sets of problems.
There are examples that we can cite. Before, astronomers believe that there were more than 800 planets. But there were only nine being recognized later on. As time passed by, Pluto was demoted to as a mere “dwarf planet.” Harvard mathematician Samuel Arbesman called this phenomenon as “the half-life of facts.” According to him, we cannot predict which individual knowledge is going to die but we can know how long it takes for a knowledge to become obsolete. “Scientometrics” which is the science of science has been an aid to librarians in the 1970s in the very fast growing of scientific knowledge. Because there were no enough shelves, they calculated which fields get turned rapidly.
This phase is completely normal. People are in continuous search for the better that’s why it happens. There is even a website which was labelled as “up-to-date.” It constantly updates medical textbooks. There enters the word “innovation.” Generally, innovation is changing processes, ideas, and products for a more effective performance: efficiency, and productivity.
On the other hand, knowledge seems to be discarded at a time for a concept and then re-used again for another concept. We have different sets of knowledge but the question is what time would it be used. It depends on the context. Knowledge doesn’t necessarily mean applicable for a given society because of peculiarity of a problem.