What is Information?

We use the word " information " as a descriptive adjective has exploded to the point of near absurdity. We cannot do anything with...

We use the word "information" as a descriptive adjective has exploded to the point of near absurdity. We cannot do anything without it. But what is "information"?

Before discussing abut it, lets we know the short History at first-

A short History of Information

The word “Information” comes from The Latin roots and Greek origins in 14th century in both English (according to Oxford English Dictionary).

Information history is an important introduction and a review on it was made by Alistair Black (2006). Alistair Black (2006, p. 445) wrote: "This chapter explores issues of discipline definition and legitimacy by segmenting information history into its various components:

•    The history of print and written culture, including relatively long-established areas such as the histories of libraries and librarianship, book history, publishing history, and the history of reading.

•    The history of information as social history, with emphasis on the importance of informal information networks.

•    The history of contiguous areas, such as the history of the information society and information infrastructure, necessarily enveloping communication history (including telecommunications history) and the history of information policy.”
Here I have discussed in short about Information. To get more please take the help of some reference book or another website. Now I shall discuss about Information.

What is information?

At present the word information is used in various ways and purpose. for better understanding, At first, it appears that the definition of "information" is clear to all because we all know in common sense, what it is? Information is a definite knowledge acquired or supplied about something or somebody a bulletin giving the latest information on the trial.

But, immediately, if we discuss in details, it becomes evident that we can’t exactly specify the term in its everyday usage, and that the term is being used in some other way when attached to the words "society, " "age," “economy” etc. In fact, it appears that "information" is either used too ambiguously to talk, as a collection place for multiple significations that are generated in the application of the term to a bewildering range of different practices; or that "information" is used too precisely, that is, that its meaning becomes attached to narrowly specific technological functions, such as those generated in the field of information What is Science or engineering technology.

According to Machlup (1983, 642) , The original meaning of the word "information" derives from the Latin, informare, which means "to put into form." "Informing" therefore carries the sense of "imparting learning or instruction" or more generally conveys the sense "to tell (one) of something." Thus, "information" refers to the action of informing or to that which is told. These meanings of the term are carried along with it wherever it occurs and are the basis of our commonsense notions of "information." The semantic definition of information conveys that "information is meaningful, it has a subject, it is intelligence or instruction about something or someone." When we talk of an "information society" it is these connotations of "information" that we would expect to be discussing.

But, this definition of information is out of dated in the fields of cognitive science, information theory and cybernetics. Here, information does not have a semantic content. In a words, the dominant conception of information within the technical, scientific and economic institutions that are instrumental in defining "the information society," is one in which information is emptied of any relation to "meaning."

In its most restricted technical sense, is a sequence of symbols that can be interpreted as a message. It can be recorded as signs, or transmitted as signals. It is any kind of event that affects the state of a dynamic system that can interpret the information. We use the term information technology or IT to refer to an entire industry. In actuality,  I.T. is the use of computers and software to manage information.

Within the limits of specific disciplines this nonsemantic use of the term "information" is, at times, applied in a carefully circumscribed manner, but each of these fields undergo an extension in which they apply themselves to processes where the semantic definition of information normally holds sway. This creates a confusion of levels, one in which meaningful activities are reduced to non-meaningful ones. In each of these disciplines the term "information" is applied metaphorically to processes that involve a flow, impulse, etc. But it seems unavoidable that some of the "meaning" component of the term "information" carries over into the characterization of the processes. This can be compared to the circular reasoning that occurs in some work in Artificial Intelligence. Knowledge obtain from investigation, study, or instruction. The mind and computer are defined in a circular loop: the computer thinks like the human mind, the human mind is like a computer. I want to clear that I am not claiming that there are no interconnections between these phenomenon, nor that the common sense definition of "information" is somehow superior. Rather than, the problem is the way in which "information" itself becomes a master concept. We will argue that these definitional ruminations are not insignificant quibbling but rather, are crucial to the formation of the "information society," since the very conception and forging of this construction is rooted in the technological and economic formation of a conjuncture of sciences united through the model of information processing. Again, I am not proposing that all informational sciences can be lumped into a corporate driven project, nor that abstract or metaphorical applications of the term "information" are not useful. Afterall, the extension of concepts into new domains can fruitfully open up unseen connections that advance the diversity of knowledge.

To get a handle on the usage of "information" we need to situate the term historically within the forces of technology and language. For this reason, At first, we need to recognize that historically "information" holds little significance in Western history as a term of broad definitional power. Western philosophy, for instance, foregrounds "knowledge" as its keyword within the broader project of epistemological grounding tied to the material projects of the domination of nature and the conceptualization of the human individual as juridical, political and economic subject. Because we should keep in mind that Information is the internal and external communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence. "Information" emerges as a key word only in the mid-20th century as industrial capitalism grapples with the incorporation of "intelligence" into its machine tools, the production of consumption through the "intelligence gathering" of marketing, and as modern scientific thought re-forms itself around the technology of the computing machine.

From the above discussion we can say that information is the fact or details about somebody or something.

 According to Entertica Dictionaries Information is -

1.  knowledge: definite knowledge acquired or supplied about something or somebody a bulletin giving the latest information on the trial.
2.  Gathered facts: the collected facts and data about a specific subject.
3. Telephone service: a telephone service that supplies telephone numbers to the public on request.
4.  Making facts known: the communication of facts and knowledge.
5.  Computer organized computer data: the meaningful material derived from computer data by organizing it and interpreting it in a specific way.
6.  Law formal criminal accusation: a formal accusation of a crime brought by a prosecutor, as opposed to an indictment brought by a grand jury.

For example:
1. We need more information about the object for investigation.

Synonyms of information:

News, notice, instruction, report, massage, fact, knowledge.

Now Lets we see -

Some famous and important quotes on information:

Bill Gates (1955 - ) Says- A digital nervous system enables a company to do information work with far more efficiency, depth, and creativity. I am optimistic enough to believe that if you have sound facts, you can put a sound policy into effect.

Peter Drucker (1909 - 2005) says-

*** The right model for the information-based organization is not the military...it is the symphony orchestra.

*** You know you have built an excellent digital nervous system when information flows through your organization as quickly and naturally as thought in a human being...It's business at the speed of thought.

*** If computerized information services have any natural place in a democratic society, it is in the public library.

*** We must also keep in mind that discoveries are usually not made by one man alone, but that many brains and many hands are needed before a discovery is made for which one man receives the credit.

 According to - Henry E. Sigerist (1891 - 1957)

Swiss medical historian.

A History of Medicine


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IT Info World: What is Information?
What is Information?
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