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Date: 2011/01/25 15:03:42, Link
Author: Shebardigan
Quote (mrg @ Jan. 25 2011,10:18)
Do ya'll get a bit annoyed when you hear the term "information" being bandied around these days?  It's been so thoroughly used to generate bafflegab that it immediately suggests somebody's up to no good.  These days I find that "functionality" works better for evosci discussions.

Pity, it used to be a perfectly good word.  Alas, much the same could be said for "complexity".

Do ya'll get a bit annoyed when you hear the term "information" being bandied around these days?

Performing meaningectomy on important words is a core process in any propaganda/disinformation campaign.  cf "patriotic" or "liberal" or "freedom".

FWIW, a block of instruction on control systems  a long while back propounded this hierarchy:

data (raw):       Analog-to-Digital Channel 6 value is now 776
data (cooked):  Temp sensor channel 6:  325 degrees F.

data + context -> information:
   Oven 3 chamber temperature is now 325 F.

information + context -> knowledge:
   Oven 3 is within band (320 - 330).

knowledge + history -> understanding:
   Oven 3 is within band but temp is dropping
   at 0.2 degrees per minute.

understanding + experience may beget wisdom:
   fuel flow to Oven 3 should be increased by 2.5%.

None of the definitions are canonical outside of that context, but they are reasonably coherent.

Date: 2011/01/25 16:06:30, Link
Author: Shebardigan
Quote (Richardthughes @ Jan. 25 2011,15:13)
I love how knowledge is less precise than information!

Nearly always.  If you don't discard most of the details from the previous layer of abstraction, the system likely comes to a gooey halt.

Date: 2011/01/25 17:17:31, Link
Author: Shebardigan
Quote (mrg @ Jan. 25 2011,17:01)
The problem with spinning ad-hoc "information theories" is that it's only too easy to spin them to prove any point desired, including points that contradict each other.

This particular instructor had a number of .. um .. novel idea systems, but from our standpoint, when you applied his stuff, it worked, at least in the design of complex nonlinear control systems.  

He never claimed to be proving any points, other than the general rule "In any exam situation, the correct answer is the one the Instructor wants".