The Nature of Information
What is information? We have already asserted that it is a profound, primitive (i.e., irreducible) concept. Dictionary definitions include “(desired) items of knowledge”; for example, one wishes to know the length of a piece of wood. It appears to be less than a foot long, so we measure it with our desktop ruler marked off in inches, with the result, let us say, “between six and seven inches.” This result is clearly an item of desired knowledge, hence information. We will return to this example later. Another definition is “fact(s) learned about something,” implying that there is a definable object to which the facts are related, suggesting the need for context and meaning.
KeywordsMarkov Process Shannon Index Preceding Symbol Logical Depth Conditional Readiness
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