[lit-ideas] Re: What is information?

  • From: "Phil Enns" <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2006 16:03:27 -0400

I don't see how information can be discussed without involving
experience and purposiveness.  One provides information to someone for a
purpose.  One can give facts, but they may not matter.  But if one gives
information, isn't there a sense that it matters in some way?  It may be
a fact that it is raining outside, but one informs someone that it is
raining so that they can dress accordingly.

A computer may process information, but the computer is functioning
according to a purpose.  If it functions according to the purpose, it is
processing information.  If it mis-functions, it is no longer processing
information.  What distinguishes functioning from mis-functioning is how
the information is processed.

It may be that the word 'information' has an idiosyncratic meaning in
the environment Peter describes, in which case very few of us, myself
included, could contribute.


Phil Enns
Toronto, ON

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