The interesting thing about this piece, written way back in 1995, is that it leaves wide open the concept of information.
Just what is information? People instinctively grasp for “facts” as their definition. But in computing, we think otherwise. Can music be described as information – sure can. Opinions? Yep. Visual arts? Certainly. Video. Yes, even video. Anything that can be described in ones and zeroes can be thought of as information that can be transmitted and shared on a network.
Well, what about advertising? Yes, that too.
Jeneane Sussum: The Value of Words: These. People. Are. Lying. To. You. And. Themselves.
There is a paradox at work here. As the cost of generating and transmitting information decreases, more of it becomes available, thus increasing the need for better filters.
Advertising, Newspapers, and Libraries were the premier filters of the pre-Internet age.
So were the ‘big 3’ TV stations, radio conglomerates, record companies, book stores and magazine stands for that matter.
Search engines, blogs, social networks, and smart aggregators are those of the now.
How the practices of the old evolve in the infrastructure of the new, how new disciplines arise to meet the needs of today and tomorrow, will determine how informed, or how uninformed, we will be as a society.
Other interesting links for today:
P’unk Avenue Window: What should a modern library be?
keithhopper.com: A Brief History of Hyperlocal News
MediaPost: Yelp Reviews Spawn At Least Five Lawsuits
Epicenter: eMusic Says Data Supports Long Tail Theory
ComputerWorld: What the Web knows about you