posted May 30, 2003
in Communication Ethics

Communication Ethics book part for Definition of Information. (This is an automatically generated summary to avoid having huge posts on this page. Click through to read this post.)

Information is used loosely in this essay to mean anything that can written on some medium and transmitted somehow to another person. Writing, sculpture, music, anything at all. Information can be communicated, which will be more carefully defined later. Yes, this is broad, but there is a rule of thumb: If it can be digitized, it's information.

Note that digitization is very, very powerful. While few people may own the equipment to do it, there is no theoretical difficulty in digitizing sculpture, scent, motions, or many other things people may not normally consider digitizable. Even things like emotions can be digitized; psychiatrists ask their patients to do so all the time ("Describe how anxious you're feeling right now on a scale of 1 to 10."). While something like a written letter may be fully analog, one can generally create some digital representation that will represent the letter satisfactorily, such as scanning the whole letter and sending the image file.

"Communication" is simply the transfer of information from one entity to another. The details of that transfer matter, and it's worthwhile to examine the history of those details.

 

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