Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Sun Nov 29 2009 - 15:32:21 EST

Paula wrote:
> "The information studied by Shannon is sharply distinct from
> information in the sense of knowledge or of propositional content. It
> is also distinct from most uses of the term in the popular press
> ('information retrieval', 'information processing', 'information
> highway', and so on). While Shannon's work has strongly influenced
> academic psychology and philosophy, its reception in these disciplines
> has been largely impressionistic. A major problem for contemporary
> philosophy is to relate the statistical conceptions of information
> theory to information in the semantic sense of knowledge and content"
> (the author of this entry is Kenneth M. Sayre).
I think the author is conflating *information* with its possible
*utility* to human agents. The former requires no qualitative
distinction of the data, i.e. whether it is semantic or anything else.
It is all treated equally. Moreover, I don't think he is distinguishing
between 'information obtained' from a source and its 'information content'.

Once it is understood that information obtained is the uncertainty
reduced I think the engineering concept of information corresponds quite
well to the everyday sense of the word. Only more precise and quantitative.

//Dave Z
ope mailing list
Received on Sun Nov 29 15:36:35 2009

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