Information as Communication

Information

Information as Communication

Information, by a broad definition, is structured, processed and organised information that can give context to other information. It allows decision making and provides information for decision analysis. For instance, a single customer’s sale at a restaurant in a specific day is data this becomes information after the restaurant has been able to identify who the most popular or least popular meal is. Information in this sense also includes date, time, price, person involved, amount, location, and other details that make the event meaningful.

It’s easy to see that making information is a non-lingering task in time, space and cost. However, it gets trickier when we want to make sense of this information as people generally tend to group, classify by topic. This leads to the common problems of text classification, meaning we have more words to say than we actually know what the word actually means, as well as ambiguous classifications, which are subject to interpretation and change with context, such as when people use the word “fishing”. Although, it is possible to express all of these concepts using one word, “fishing” is ambiguous, not simple for English speakers to express, even if they could.

The challenge for language users, when they attempt to convey any amount of information in any way, is to create a model in which every piece of information can be distinguished from its neighbors, subject to the constraints that the user chooses. Information is never neutral. Language users create and modify information through processes like categorisation, syntax, etymology, formal structure, organisation, glossary, all of which are subject to individual processes, constraints and rules of grammar, and so on. Information is always an arbitrary selection from a set of nongeneral, external, unchangeable and self-existing categories. The beauty of using the internet to store and deliver information, as opposed to traditional information delivery models, is that you can express pretty much anything using the internet (although storing and delivering information in this way is quite a complicated topic in itself).