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Information: a transactional process

vgaffney's picture

 I found this week’s classes to be particularly interesting. After reading both Katherine Rowe and Paul Grobstein’s essays I’ve found the concept of information to be more complex and abstract than I had originally thought. I found the notion of information’s transactional quality to be the most intriguing aspect as it introduced the necessity of a decoder in the processing of information. The idea that information requires a decoder reinforces its transactional nature. In this sense I’m inclined to agree with Grobstein’s basic understanding of information as a transformative process from one form of matter or energy to another—the idea that information prior to decoding is in a potential state which is only actualized in the presence of the decoder seems to be necessitated by this transactional principle.  It seems what constitutes information is the transformative process itself; without the decoder there is only potential information. This understanding of information dovetails with Wednesday’s class with its evocation of communication and exchange: what is reading but the communication, transaction and processing of information? In regard to hyper-reading and close reading I feel strongly that each has their distinct advantages and that they share the common advantage of being  avenues to critical thinking (albeit different ones); I think both of them should be utilized by the information-seeker (the reader). Ultimately, both processes invoke pattern-recognition—whether its key word searching for hyper reading, or the more literary motif searching in close reading—information, as was also shown by the two music clips, involves searching for patterns in order to arrange the data, which in turn establishes potential information as actual information.

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