It is as true today as when it was written several decades ago. Perry describes two different types of students, or users of knowledge. The cow is someone who can regurgitate data but cannot put it into an order that makes it useful or gives it purpose…
The bull is someone who can put together a rhetorically effective argument without any substance or information. Both are as present in the academy today as they are elsewhere. These two types of individuals treat knowledge in different ways. The cow may be good at collecting information, but information itself has no real meaning to him or her. This person doesn't understand the purpose of data; all that they are capable of doing is presenting it as a lump. This is what is today called a data dump. It is very hard to make meaning out of information that is not filtered and well organized. The bull has the opposite problem, as the mischievous Mr. Metzger shows. They can make a convincing sounding argument out of anything. And yet there is no content to what they say: it only sounds good. I think these are extremely valid points. ...
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