Response to Information

There are several interesting idea discussed in these chapters. As Jose has mentioned about the “inclusionist” and “deletionist” I think it’s better if I touch on the fear of the overload of information mentioned in the next chapter. “New news everyday” bases on its previous chapter, which talks about the birth of wikipedia, to give us an idea of an age with the accumulation of information.

It all started with e-mail, a simple and convenient tool that in much favor of everyone. The sender and receiver are not bounded by time and space anymore. However, they soon began to find out the threat of information overload, too much control was given to the senders while little to none to the receivers: “People get too many messages, which they do not have time to read. This also means that the really important messages are really difficult to find in a large flow of less important messages”. In fact, with the available of internet and ebook (Kindle),  People found the problem more severe, but the nature of studying, the process of of learning about the world of human, since they were born, was to receive and proceed them. As according to the text, yesterday ‘s newspaper would take up space that needed by today’s work, and we will have to empty our memory for the newer news, “forgetting used to be a failing, a wasted, a sign of senility. Now it takes effort. It may be as important as remembering”.

I mention about these problems the society has faced in the past because it shows a link to the question we discussed last class, the necessity of the “app using OS” like iphone compare to the “multi-layer folder OS” like Windows.  The “multi-layer folder OS” came better due to filter and search-the solution for information overload.  It seems clear for us these days the importance of these 2 engines, filter gives us the authority to bypass unconcerned information and concentrate on the wanted. When information, which was once precious, becomes cheap, our attention gets more expensive. We become selective in receiving, not just news, but almost anything we intake. The other engine, search, shows the contrast between Windows and Iphone lay out.  If a file is a book and a our laptop/iphone is a library, we can imagine that the book, if it is stored in the laptop, will be put under multiple-layers of folder, categorized by its author, language, genres, etc. and the reader have to remember that path in order to find out the book for the next time he wants it; while if it is stored in the iphone,  it will ,literally, just stay there, right in the screen. Now imagine, if we have thousands, millions of books, what will happen with the 2 OS?

In my opinion, the way we store our information is like how we used Windows to store the files. We set layers and layers of description and used search engine to find them base on those identities. However, once the information is stored, we will not see it again, until the next time we need to see the information. And if someday, people, the only ones who know about that piece of information, forget about them, will we consider that information exist? The answer is no. Many unknown books are stored in the library, and it will still stay there, until the next time people request to find/borrow them. But if there is nobody know about those books, how can they borrow them? This problem, then, is directed back to the fight between the worthiness of being remembered/treasured of information between the “inclusionist” and “deletionist”. It is the conundrum that is not easy to solve, at least until we come up with other algorithm to solve the conundrum of information overload.

 

2 thoughts on “Response to Information

  1. I like your comparison of the 2 OS to a library with lost books. It’s interesting to think about information being lost because it is forgotten by it users. On one hand, you make a valid point, if no one knows about it, does information exist? On the other, modern search engines make it difficult for information to stay forgotten, even by new users who have never seen it before. It seems possible that we are approaching the point where technology will make losing information accidentally impossible.

  2. I disagree with how the analogy between the contrast of two OS is applied to the layout on information. In iPhone OS, there is no clutter of files -as you have mentioned- since all of the data is bounded and hidden under predefined functionality. Therein, if myriad books were to be placed into an OS, PC’s would be more indulgent to the formation of an unarrayed clutter.

    You have also denoted that human information retention is in parity with that of directory hierarchy storage. As we have discussed in class in accord with Memex, human mind retains information through protean connections -therein the hierarchy absent or trivial and malleable. A PC with arbitrarily sprouting shortcuts would be an expedient representation of human mind.

    In accord with the information retention means of human mind, what you denoted as lost information can be defined as an information to which connections have been dropped. Per this definition, old memories can also be denoted as lost information since human brain expunges the unused memories and information fades over time. Still, the memories are viable to be resuscitated if a similar set of connections is established in a later time. In accord, and information that is stored in a forgotten physical medium can be retrieved by formation of similar connections.

    To explicate how connections are formed, human mind connects information for fast retrieval per pragmatism (which can be reduced into survival, etc). Then, forgetting of these connections is also pragmatic for the mind, so if any given information is lost (whether temporarily or permanently), it would be applicable to presume that information is unnecessary (when it will be come necessary, it will be retrieved). To return to your response, why would such an nonnecessity present a conundrum?

    A viable answer can be optimization of retrieval process, but this optimization would hamper the pragmatic outcome prehand, by cluttering the necessary information of a previous time with the unnecessary information.

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