The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418 Message #1231781
Posted By: Amos
22-Jul-04 - 08:09 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
The process of information abstraction and interchange is a wide study and it cannot be done full justice here. Suffice it to say that modern information technology has fundamentally modified the quantity of explicit information, by orders of magnitude, which can reach the ordinary individual. It has also subtly modified the quality of that information. Thus, it has become popular to refer to the period as an Information ìage ì, running ìInformation economiesî. Before too big of an issue gets made of this, it might be useful to look a little closer at what information is and consists of.
The largest and most obvious component of any information is the system of relays via which it arrives. The information itself is less palpable, although it may be more far-reaching and far more important.
Consider the receipt of an ordinary postcard, on which your cousin in Indiana writes to tell you he has seen a cat. The obvious, real and immediate components of the experience are the card, the writing on it, the mail box from which you recovered it, the postal person who brought it, the truck which brought it from the airport, the plane it came from Indiana on, the intermediary steps it went through after it left his hand, and so on. It may evoke, when you read it, images of the table at which he sat while looking at his cat, or the weather in Indiana on the day he saw it. But on a physical level it is the vias, the physical relays of the communication which are tangible and obvious.
Systems of information exchange deal primarily with these ìviaî issues and have little attention to spare for the event that occurs after delivery or before transmission. The technology is not truly about information, for the most part, or even remotely about communication in a living sense. It is about the design of relay systems and the architecture of vias, mechanisms for flooding the channels of networks with signals.
But no matter how complex the network, how wide the WAN or how fast the throughput, there is an alpha and an omega in information. We touched on the alpha when we examined the abstracting process in part 1. It involves the creation of representations of experience. At the beginning of any system, system of systems, layer or concatenation of layers, is the simplicity of this initial process: the representation of experience. The beginning of all information is the apprehension by an awareness of experience. From this all else derives. You could say the alpha point occurs when a source of understanding generates an intention to bring about understanding.
Similarly, the end point of all information and its measure of value is not anywhere in the formatting process or the transmission or the correlation. These things serve to support the value that occurs, but the value does not occur until a source of understanding appreciates the information.