[lit-ideas] Re: What is information?

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 19 Sep 2006 15:50:31 -0700

Phil wrote:

Robert Paul wrote:

"Apparently [Phil] does want say something like this: that it has to be
potentially useful (unlike 'Either it's raining or it isn't.')."

We distinguish between giving facts regarding something and giving
information.  Perhaps one way of making this distinction is to consider
use.  If I go to have my driver's license renewed, I can give them all
sorts of facts about myself, but really they only want particular facts,
information relevant to being issued and holding a driver's license.
That I broke my arm in Gr. 2 is a fact, that my eyesight is worsening is

That's one way to look at it. Like you, I wouldn't want to press this
distinction too hard. As somebody once said, that the Morning Star and the
Evening star are the same celestial body was at one time an important
astronomical discovery, although now every schoolchild knows it. (Well, that
isn't quite what he said, but never mind.) If the license examiner says, 'Well,
now, Mr Enns, I need just a few more facts,' I think you'd respond just as you
would had he said, '?I need just a little more information.'

Then there's the problem of outdated information.
Robert Paul

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