Information or noise?

Reading Taylor’s “Noise in information”.

Noise and information is relative. Or they are not even different from each other. If information doesn’t mean anything to a person, then it’s not even noise, it’s just some background sound that we never notice. For example, have you ever being asked, do you know what color the person is wearing, or have you noticed…. Most of the time the answer would be: hm…I don’t know. That’s because those information/messages/data don’t mean anything to us unless we need to use them. That’s when it becomes information to us. As a result, the noise in information always exists, and once we need it, it becomes useful.

In this article, Taylor talked about the trade-off between uncertainty and redundancy in order to convey the amount of information. However, nowadays, the line between them becomes unclear, or not even important. “Noise in information” reminds me of “everything is miscellaneous.” The information now is overabundance and can be access everywhere. “The solution to the overabundance of information is more information.” People now sort information in their own way. Professional categorization is not the only way. For people to make sense of information is letting people organize them in their own way, and people create the meaning behind it.

For me, what I got from this reading is that it’s not about dematerialization, it’s about the meaning and the value that information brings to human-being. In the ancient time, people do have information that is being written down. In the 20th century, the emerge of internet and the growth of media increase the freedom for people to access information. It becomes a conscious or unconscious choice for people to see and get the information.  It becomes a meaningful choice for people to see from possible messages. While it’s a choice process for people, people who try to deliver these messages/information try to grab people’s attention. The information that being seen and get people’s attention becomes the most valuable. Under information age, attention is actually the essential quality.