MIT 1700 Review February 7, 2011
- Information is everything.
- email, weather network, brain signals, syllabus etc.
- retailers use information to persuade you
- credit cards are information condensed
- temperature is information. Thermostats regulate the temperature of a room
based on information output.
- Info is not:
- knowledge (which is organized use of info)
- Organizational problems are problems with information. World is governed by
information and organizational strategies.
- Total Information = 0. If you had all of the information in the world you would have
nothing. Information only has value when it’s circulated. Info is everything and nothing
at the same time.
- Public Information is tended by many intermediaries
- willful distortion
- telephone game
- Willful modifications: selective additions/omissions, censorship
- misinterpreting data = accidental modification
- Info can be more predictable/useful through patterning.
- A portion of the population should represent the whole; how statistical data is
Information Triad (control-information-organization)
- All are interconnected
- We can speak of information as reality (footprint in snow) for reality (instruction
manual) or about reality (LTC Bus Schedule)
- Information must contain data. Data must be structured, and structured data must
- Data is bits and bobs that haven’t been structured yet; they have no meaning.
- Syntax: how data is put together in some sequence. Still doesn’t give meaning though.
- Alien language has no meaning for us because we don’t understand it. It would
have meaning for those who could read it.
Library of Babel
- potentially infinite
- Data is something that is distinct from something else. Something unique against
something uniform (Duck Duck Goose - the goose is the surprise, the unique thing)
- Data gives you the ability to perform an action
- Silence/Absence is data
- Your phone not turning on is data because it gives you the information that your
phone is dead MIT 1700 Review February 7, 2011
- continuous, single purpose, operates in real time. Analog machines store information
that is proportional to the real world
- Traditional clock has gears and wheels gaged to move at certain intervals. Sundial,
record player and book are all analog data.
- 0 processing time
- Discrete, discontinuous. Coded, needs to be decoded. MP3 player, cellphone.
- Our bodies seem digital: brain, retrieval audio system, memories.
- We encode information through thinking and abstraction
- Nerves are digital and analog. Reflexes;analog. Pain; digital
- Yes/No system. No gray area.
- Bit is the smallest unit of information. Encoded, interpreted, displayed.
- Light switch is either on/off, so it’s binary.
- Raw/pure data, stored in a database. Hasn’t been interpreted yet.
- 312 dentists agree that our toothpaste is the best.
- Absence of information is information.
- 312 dentists agree our toothpaste is the best… out of 18 000 polled
- meaningful after interpreted
- Data about data.
- Looking up a book in Weldon gives you information about the book that isn’t even in
the book itself (the location of the book)
- tagging on Facebook to organize photos
- helps drive you to relevant content.
- taking notes/highlighting is metadata because it gives one word more importance than
- Dynamic data that tells us about the system (cell phone low battery signal, car light warnings,
passing out from low blood sugar)
- Data inferred from source data.
- Data given: “ZOMG! CUL8R”
- We know that this was sent via MSN or cell, and probably happened before 1998.
- how fossils are found/dated (animal tracks, tree rings, cloud movements)
- Is not opinion, belief, or experience. They can’t be substantiated objectively through empirical
- false/inaccurate information without the deliberate intention to deceive.
- false/inaccurate information with the deliberate intent to deceive. MIT 1700 Review February 7, 2011
- Printing Press (1450)
- Scientific (1500)
- Religious (1600)
- Industrial (1750)
- Darwin (1860)
- Freud (1920)
- Information (1940)
- In the 1400’s all knowledge came from Bible and Aristotle. Knowledge economy was controlled
by the 10% of the population that could read (the church).
- Information was hoarded by the Church. People still thought the world was flat. Only the
wealthy/church could afford books. A book used to be a huge investment.
- Monks were paid to copy out books; bad working conditions; No such thing as book
- Monks would write notes in the margins – the closest thing they had to writing their own
- Marginalia: lesser importance, a side note (margins)
- The Church used evocative imagery (stained glass windows) to carry out information in a
medium the public would understand.
- Church controlled the message. They had literacy and case, a monopoly on information.
- Transmission of information was slow because of having to rely on hand copied books.
- Probability for error was high because of this.
- Developed revolutionary movable type that facilitated invention of the printing press.
- Because of the printing press:
- Information can travel faster
- Ideas can be easily reproduced
- More people have access to information and can read it (increased literacy)
- More discussion of ideas
- Authors became more important, alphabet was standardized
- Cost to produce came down
- Church no longer had control on what was published.
- Aristotle and Bible seen as indisputable sources.
- 1543 the idea that Earth is the center of the universe was challenged.
- Paid for ideas with his life and invented the telescope
- Do we obtain knowledge from the world by faith or reason?
- Based on experiment/observation
- Revises old assumptions about Aristotle.
- We can’t make any absolute claims about the universe because we don’t know everything.
- If there’s no surprise, there’s no information.
- Sense extenders = microscopes and telescopes.
Reformation MIT 1700 Review February 7, 2011
- Martin Luther’s 95 Theses circulated fast because printing press translated the Bible into
languages that people could actually understand it - democratized it.
- Now people can make decisions for themselves about the Bible.
- Reason needs to work unfettered by matters of faith.
- Freedom of thought rejects Aristotle and Clericalism.
- We have a mind that can think for itself, Church is hindering us.
- Newspapers become strong/viable source of information about state matters.
- A monarchy having an army at its disposal doesn’t guarantee control (French Rev.) People who
weren’t content could now express their ideas.
- MIght of Arms was now the Might of In