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Media, Information and Technoculture 2200F/G Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Alien Language, Marginalia, Toothpaste

Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
MIT 2200F/G
Kane Faucher
Study Guide

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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
have meaning.
-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

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MIT 1700 Review February 7, 2011
Analog Data
-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
Digital Data
-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
Binary Data
-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.
Primary Data
-Raw/pure data, stored in a database. Hasn’t been interpreted yet.
-312 dentists agree that our toothpaste is the best.
Secondary Data
-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
Operational Data
-Dynamic data that tells us about the system (cell phone low battery signal, car light warnings,
passing out from low blood sugar)
Derivative Data
-Data inferred from source data.
-Data given: “ZOMG! CUL8R”
-We know that this was sent via MSN or cell, and probably happened before 1998.
Environmental Data
-how fossils are found/dated (animal tracks, tree rings, cloud movements)
Factual Information
-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.
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