Thursday, June 7, 2012

Response to Lecture: Information

During this lecture, the class commenced with a continuation of the history of communication. However, the lecture was mainly centered on the topic of information. Prof. Strate defined information as, "what is needed to reduce uncertainty." I think this definition possesses a somewhat philosophical nature. It made me question whether something can really be classified as information. According to the given definition, only new knowledge is truly considered as information. Furthermore, we discussed Claude Shannon and his Information Theory that involves the quantification of information. Entropy, the opposite of order and organization, is a way to measure information. It entails the randomness that exists, the different possibilities that can occur. Another interesting topic that was explained in class was the bit, a binary contraction of digits. They are basic units of information consisting of 1s and 0s that are used in computer data bases and kind of reminds me of The Matrix. In coherence to our discussion about Claude Shannon, we were also taught about his work, "The Mathematical Theory of Communication" where Shannon lays out the basic components of communication, which he considers the paradigm of communication with a scientific basis. Towards the conclusion of the class, Norbert Wiener is brought into discussion with talk about cybernetiks, the science of control. Wiener places great importance on the notion of the feedback loop. With the feedback loop, one can attain the key to control. The feedback loop also serves as the building blocks to the interactive technology that is present today.

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