Information, information systems, information society: interpretations and implications View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle      Open Access: True


Article Info

DATE

2008-09

AUTHORS

Wolfgang Hesse, Dirk Müller, Aaron Ruß

ABSTRACT

The term “information” has become a universal and omnipresent keyword in almost all areas of our modern world—be it in science or society in general. This is not only obvious from the naming of whole scientific branches like Information Theory, Information Science or Informatics but even more from common speaking—characterising our present time and society as information age viz. information society. However, what “information” might mean, is by no means clear and there is a wide range of interpretations covering, among others, its technical, communicational, educational, mental, and scientific aspects. But is the use of the same term justified when adopted in Biology, Physics, Archaeology, Law, Communication Technology, and Informatics (to list just a few of the involved scientific branches) or do its different uses at least have some common characteristics—some sort of common denominator? Is information natural, e.g. manifesting itself as a material phenomenon residing in organisms, stars, atoms, or genes, or is it just a cultural product of human communication, thinking, and interpretation? In this article, we try to clarify some of the most important interpretations, discuss and contrast them with the Informatics point of view. Interpretations range from taking information as material, transferable signals (following Shannon’s Information Theory or the genetic approaches), treating it as a sign (following a semiotic approach), as a commercial product (now common in Web-based Information Business) to considering it a pure mental phenomenon bound to humans or human-like individuals or even to groups and societies. Based on these interpretations, we shall throw a critical glance on current trends in human science and society—focusing on the now popular concept of “information society”—and then derive some theses and guidelines for further research escorting the growth and dispersal of information technology. As it will turn out, an information society which defines itself through the number of computers, internet connections and network links is based on a very narrow, techno-centric concept of information. However, a reflection on the educational and cultural aspects of information might lead to a better-qualified society consisting of responsible and critical citizens. More... »

PAGES

159-183

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s10202-008-0044-4

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10202-008-0044-4

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1011685766


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