“As Wiener stated more succinctly than Berkeley or Hume, “Information is information, not matter or energy” (1948, p. 155). To be sure, the communication of information depends on its transmission by measurable physical entities. This might be called a law of communication. But the information itself is without substance. In terms of quantum mechanics, one could sum it up by an illustration used by Brian Cooney in relation to the currently favored philosophical term qualia. Excitation of the retina by measurable waves and particles would offer an explanation of how the visual system might be activated so as to generate the subjective impression of the color green. But Cooney notes, “Nothing in the materialist universe is green” (1991, p. 208).” (from Maclean 1997)[i]
According to Rowley (2007), information is typically “defined in terms of data, knowledge in terms of information, and wisdom in terms of knowledge, but there is less consensus in the description of the processes that transform elements lower in the hierarchy into those above them, leading to a lack of definitional clarity.” These ideas became progressively more important in the emerging field of information management and its parent discipline of Data management, a field that emerged in the 1980’s with changing technology, and its resultant specialization, “information management” involved ways of recording, storing, organizing, and retrieving data organized at different levels of integration and complexity. “The data-information-knowledge-wisdom hierarchy emerged in this environment. It “seemed like a really great idea when it was first proposed. But its rapid acceptance was in fact a sign of how worried we were about the real value of the information systems we had built at such great expense. What looks like a logical progression is actually a desperate cry for help.” (Weinberger 2010)
- INFORMATION is what we pursue (recall, We are INFOVORES) and communicate the information acquired (we wish to know and to be known):
- THE ORIGINS of INFORMATION: a PERURBATION in ENTROPY?