Einstein has famously stated that “information is not knowledge.” This may well be the case, since, as recent developments in the study of cognition have shown, knowledge derives not only from exposure to assertions, but also from one’s ability to analyze and synthesize these in a manner that both certifies their particular applicability and codifies their implications for further use under different circumstances. This is, so the cognitive claim goes, what genuine learning is, as opposed to mere studying.
What is conspicuously absent from this assertion, however, is the notion of truth. Is knowledge the same as truth? Or is truth to be located on a higher order than knowledge, since it cannot be equal to what we have seen is the inconsequential lower order of the merely informative? I would like to think that truth is, indeed, located beyond knowledge, but that the former depends on the latter no less than knowledge does on information. However, truth can only emerge when information reaches it declarative limit and knowledge its performative one, and as one moves on to the more profound and affective, which is also to say to the aesthetically and ethically apprehensive level of realization. Let us, therefore – in this era of post-modernity, post-truth, post-humanism and post office inefficiency – surpass the disbelief that has been fostered by emphasizing the machinations of cognition, and explore together what it means to unmakebelieve.