Information and Misinformation: An Investigation of the Notions of Information, Misinformation, Informing, and Misinforming

Information and Misinformation: An Investigation of the Notions of Information, Misinformation, Informing, and Misinforming

Information and Misinformation: An Investigation of the Notions of Information, Misinformation, Informing, and Misinforming

Information and Misinformation: An Investigation of the Notions of Information, Misinformation, Informing, and Misinforming

Synopsis

Fox addresses the question of exactly what is information by developing notions of information, misinformation, and misinforming to serve as a part of the foundation of the rapidly expanding field of information science. He turns to the processes of informing and deduces that these processes are merely variations of telling. He distinguishes between telling and informing and their relationship to truth by discussing their connection in terms of linguistic theories of factive terms. His study represents a significant departure from previous studies that attempt to explain information in terms of probability of the occurrence of events. The book takes an interdisciplinary approach that will make it interesting reading for scholars in computer science, librarianship, philosophy, and information science." Journal of Academic Librarianship

Excerpt

Information seems to be everywhere. We talk of its being encoded in the genes, so it must be carried in every living cell of every living thing. We say that it is disseminated by media of communication, so it must be transmitted around the world by wire, microwave, laser light, and radio wave, broadcast by television and radio, and printed in newspapers, magazines, journals, and so on. We say that information is exchanged in conversation, so it must be present in billions of the utterances occurring every day. Information is also said to be contained in all sorts of things, including books, letters, telegrams, films, tapes, computers, and minds. a large segment of the population is said to be employed in "information-related occupations" in a wide range of industries, and a large and growing industry is itself exclusively devoted to the tasks of storing, retrieving, processing, transmitting, and disseminating information. a science is devoted to the study of information. Libraries are overflowing with it, institutions are bogged down by it, and people are over- loaded with it.

Information, then, is as ubiquitous as air, or heat, or water. But it differs from these latter things in having a far more mysterious nature. For although we can say quite exactly what air, heat, and water are, no one seems to know exactly what information is.

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