Joho the Blog » If we had called it the Age of Patterns instead of the Age of Information

If we had called it the Age of Patterns instead of the Age of Information

Claude Shannon, a father of Information Science, had to call the differences that move through telephone wires something. He picked “information,” a term that had meant, roughly, something that you hadnt known, or the content of written tables. Had he called it “data,” or “patterns,” or “differences,” or “Arthur,” we would have skipped right past one of the false continuities: from information to knowledge. We would have had the Age of Patterns, characterized by an abundance of patterns of difference, and we wouldn’t have thought that that has anything much at all to do with knowledge. But, because traditional information had something to do with expanding what we know, we tricked ourselves into thinking that our modern technology is about making us smarter. With an abundance of information, it seems we must be gaining more knowledge. With an abundance of patterns, or differences, or of arthurs, it would not have seemed so.

The new age is one of connection. This is less misleading, for it has us looking for its effect on how we connect with one another, how we connect our ideas, and how we connect our connections. And these are, I believe, the right places to be looking.

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21 Responses to “If we had called it the Age of Patterns instead of the Age of Information”

  1. […] a post titled “If we had called it the Age of Patterns instead of the Age of Information,” Joho nails succinctly what I (and he and other people) been saying for a long time: Claude […]

  2. 是这样的很给力

  3. We could call it the Age of Signal. Signal is where we find Information. Knowledge comes from somewhere else. Poetry? Music? Hard knocks? Books?

  4. I like that, Wray, especially since I often think about the current age as the Age of Noise. I should add that I take noise as being quite positive in many ways … and that I read “noise” in Shannon’s diagram as the world intruding on the formalism of signals.

    “Signal” captures the loneliness of that age so nicely.

  5. Apologies for shamelessly self-promoting, but my thought as I read this post was, “…hence the age of ubiquitous connectivity and pervasive proximity – the UCaPP world.”

  6. Knowledge does not come out of patterns, neither from electronic signals, nor from optical signals or what have you. We live in the age where we fool ourselves by our own buzzwords. We are hypnotized by our own noise.

  7. Joho the Blog » If we had called it the Age of Patterns instead of the Age of Information…

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  8. […] respect to their authors as well as to our understanding that knowledge is so much more than mere aggregation of patterns. [4] Even semantical ones. The knowledge that resides on the book shelves and the “kn […]

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