Sunday, August 21, 2005

Pars Pro Toto

The first thing to say about information is:

forget what you know. Everything you're told about.

Because it's just a piece of the puzzle: (often) correct, right and proven, nevertheless just a piece.

Why?

We think of information as state-based or object-based – and that’s understandable. We have information, get information, store information, retrieve information, send information, map information, measure information...

so information must be stable: must be storable, must be mappable, must be sendable and retrievable – since it is describable by states and stable objects and their connections.

Why storability or mappability or measurability needs stability?

Just consider, how it is done: to store things you put in in a “store” and after a while, the things should be as they were before. If they had changed, your store isn’t that good. To measure things you have to compare it with some other thing of the same kind, defining the “unit”, to be able to say: “oh, that’s 4 times the unit”. And to map things you have to postulate some attributes, which are part of the mapped objects – and part of the capabilities of your mapping system, so that you can use them to link a real object with an “image”. And after a while, when another object of the same kind happens to cross your path you can decide if it is the same as before: just by comparing the stored values of the describing attributes with the newly measured data.

So the basic precondition for all our measuring and formulating, thinking and understanding is: stability.

And states are stable – they may be replaced by another state, but the state itself is based on values and values are like numbers: eternal.

The question never asked, however, is: Why should information itself be eternal? Only because we need it to be? Only because we can’t think outside the box, can’t think in other categories than mappable states and their mappable relations?

Pars Pro Toto.

We often describe whole things by characteristic parts, that works fine. That’s called “symbolism” and works even if the symbol is not really part of the thing (“by proxy”): the basic nature of natural laws or our language. That’s also called “abstraction”: “Abstraction uses a strategy of simplification of detail” – Pars Pro Toto.

But, alas, in case of information...

we did simplify too much.

Because we forgot that each and every state – in reality – has to be entered.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ramadan Saleh said...

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3:08 PM, December 03, 2013  

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