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Information and communication - Essay Example

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Summary
Information influences all aspects of life and human activities, economic and political spheres, education and knowledge transfers. In general, information is the raw material of work. The daily activities of people and machine tools involve the processing of information. …
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Information and communication
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Information and communication

Download file to see previous pages... In the book Theories of the information Society Webster (2002) admits that it is difficult to define the term ‘information society’ because of diverse concepts and ideas involved in this concept. He identifies five main definitions based on ethnological, economic, cultural, occupational and spatial characteristics (8-9). These are all information-processing activities. The processing of information demands the use of communication media. Since the early 1990s, poeple have relied increasingly on new communication technologies to improve their performance. This trend can be observed across various countries and in companies of different sizes. There are two major reasons for this increased emphasis on communication technologies. Webster identifies information society as “one in which theoretical knowledge occupies a pre-emptiness” (26).
Information is a core of information society. Information" has never been an easy construct to define. Dennings (2001) attempts to develop a precise measure of information in terms of the selection and reduction of alternatives. Given a set of possible alternatives, the amount of information in a message is the amount of uncertainty that is removed by virtue of the message. For example, if there are 10 possible alternatives, a message that narrows the set to 2 has more information than a message that narrows the set to 5. This definition of information can be applied to questions in a straightforward manner. That is, an informative question or answer would dramatically narrow down the space of possible alternatives.
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In order to measure the amount of information in a message, it is necessary to know the number of alternatives and the likelihood that each alternative would occur (Dennings 54).
Webster (2002) states that information is "meaningful; it has a subject; it is intelligence or instruction about something or someone" (24). Individuals constantly need to acquire information in order to support goal-directed behavior, problem solving, and decision making. Once again, these goals and information needs are reflected in the questions that individuals ask as they complete tasks. Conversely, the goals and information needs of a person are central to any mechanism that explains question generation. For example, individuals ask a comparatively large number of questions when they encounter obstacles to their goals and when they have problems explaining anomalous events in the world. One productive direction for research is to clarify how our goals and plans constrain the questions that we ask when completing tasks (Negroponte 43).
Technology is the main element of information society. "New technologies are one of the visible indicators of new times, and accordingly are frequently taken to signal coming of an information society" (Webster 9). With the introduction of new communication technologies the basic economic laws of information processing are changing. The ability to unbundle information from its physical carrier is having an impact on the trade-off between 'richness' and 'reach'. Richness can be explained as the amount of information that can be transferred and its ability in changing human understanding - for example, voice mail is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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