What is the information?

When I could not blog the last week in December, my brain got overloaded with stuff I wanted to offload.

InformationMark Evanier noted an article about information:

Anne Pluta says that the trouble with Donald Trump voters is not that they are uninformed but that they are misinformed. Biggggg difference. Uninformed people just plain don’t know. Misinformed voters think they do but they’re wrong — and they’re usually determined to never admit it.

Then Alan David Doane pointed to Frank Santoro, who wrote:

I asked my editor and comics scholar, Dan Nadel, about this occasionally quoted sentiment of younger makers
towards older makers and he said, “Here’s the thing about ‘knowing your history’ (you can quote me): It’s soooo easy. It’s a short history, there’s less than like 50 essential works that would take you about a week to digest, and, y’know, if you’re ambitious as an artist in the sense that you care about making good art (as opposed to making books, making Twitter, making a persona etc. etc.), it’s useful to know what was done before you in the medium of your choice. Only in comics (seriously) can one find a streak of self-hatred so strong that people would proudly talk about not knowing the history of the medium.

I realized why ADD’s rant about Facebook, on Facebook, made sense to me. A lot of those misinformed, or deliberately uninformed, people seem to gravitate there. “I am trying to wrestle it to the ground and preserve its usefulness while eliminating as many annoyances and aggravations as possible.” At the same time, I get less the value of, as one of his friends noted, “like a good cocktail party. You want interesting, stimulating conversation and a wide range of opinions.”

Chuck points to something Pat Robertson said about David Bowie. Except he didn’t say it. (And if he had, who cares? But that’s another issue, about online OUTRAGE.)

Some people are just mean, usually trolls, which is why SamuraiFrog doesn’t allow anonymous comments on any of his social media. “Mean” is a kinder word than what I’m really thinking.

I posit that if there’s a story about a firefighter saving a cat from a tree, it’ll be attacked by trolls. Some will think government money shouldn’t be spent on such minor activity, someone else will suggest the tree was harmed, some dog owner will suggest preferential treatment for felines, a person will note that it was a white cat and ask whether a black cat would have gotten equal treatment, and yet another person will declare that there must have been a payoff by the evil cat lobby.

Plus Facebook is just a time suck. I don’t even comment as much because, even when pleasant, is a degree of back-and-forth I don’t seem to have available. Some people seemed to get ticked off with me when I haven’t caught all their latest news, much of which is some boring memes.

Beyond FB, there’s a LOT of social media I have joined, such as GoodReads and Pinterest, which I find benign at worst, but simply cannot fit into the calendar. Those things that reward you for writing on your blog every day: I do the writing, but can’t be bothered to let “them” know.

But the blog stays. When I could not blog the last week in December, my brain got overloaded with stuff I wanted to offload. And it is, as as Arthur notes, an aid to memory. My memory. It is an information resource for ME. And, optimally, you too.
The Novel is Dead, Celebrity is a Disease, and More

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

5 thoughts on “What is the information?”

  1. Donald Rumsfeld became a figure of fun for his comment: ‘There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.’

    But I know exactly what he meant, and that is the secret of being informed – to be aware of limitations of your ignorance.

  2. Because that’s how I find out that JW was hit by a car, that my niece has a new song out…

  3. At its most fundamental, information is any propagation of cause and effect within a system. Information is conveyed either as the content of a message or through direct or indirect observation of some thing . That which is perceived can be construed as a message in its own right, and in that sense, information is always conveyed as the content of a message .

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