Information and Information
The fact that there is information and information really struck me this week. I had the rare opportunity to chat with a woman politician who is in the opposition to the government in my country, Bolivia.
She had collected a lot of information about human rights violations in small towns. She described all her doings, and how she could not get any results from the government. People in Bolivia know about this impossibility of the opposition parties to reclaim anything to the government, or to get anything done by it.
So it occurred to me hat maybe she, and the whole opposition, had mistaken information, as in the recollection of data, with information, as in getting to know the personal stories of people around them. What is the difference between these two? In the first kind of information, you can tell how many women have suffered the loss of their homes in a big land slide, for instance. In the second kind of information, you can tell how their lives changed from the fact that they lost their homes, how much suffering it means to have to wake up from one day to another in a shelter instead of your home, and how much stress they had when their kids got sick in the shelter, or how many times a day they had to make a line to get drinking water, or how horrible their lives have become, from one day to another.
So I decided to tell her about that. I told her that she needed to gather the second kind of information, about the stories of people, how they feel, how their lives have changed in this six years of left wing government, how their salaries have become meager, how violence in the streets affect their everyday life.
I told her that this kind of information, about the real situation of people, about their lives and how they want to improve them, is the right kind of information to get. I told her that through my experience in the web 2.0, I have gathered a lot of information of this type, and I could write books about it, but I use it to improve my work first. Maybe this type of information could be used to improve her work, and the work of the whole opposition, to give them a vision, to connect with the people they have neglected, and recover from their nearsightedness.
Will I ever get an answer to that comment? I don´t know. But I know I am doing my part so that politicians in my country will start working to use money to care for people, instead of using people to care for the money. We pay their salaries. We need them to work accordingly. Both in the government and the opposition.