A Low-Down on Semantic Information
In a broader sense, information is structured, processed and organised data designed for a particular purpose. It gives context to other data and allows effective decision making by individuals. For instance, a single customer’s sale in a particular restaurant is useful data-it becomes information when the company is able to identify which restaurant is most popular or least popular for that particular day. The same data can be used by different people to analyze the restaurant sales in various ways-how many guests were female, how long did the average stay last night? This data can also be combined with other data to make decisions on marketing and product promotion-for instance, if you know that more female customers visit a particular restaurant during a weekend, then you could offer that restaurant a better deal to attract them.
So far we have established that information can be used to create knowledge and justify action. But information itself is ambiguous. We can use the term information without defining it-we can say that it gives meaning to certain concepts. Thus, while a philosophy of information may represent a particular philosophy existing in the twentieth century, the information concept is an older one, derived from the works of Aristotle. The twentieth century has seen developments in information science focusing on semantic information. This approach looks at information primarily as a system of knowledge, where there is a definite discipline of information, its definition being determined by its context and content.
This article intends to provide a low-down on semantic information as regards its origins, history, usage and development. It shows how the notion of information arose, and discusses in some detail the use and power of its current forms. Finally, it traces the history of information to provide a short but intriguing history of an idea that has had profound influence on our society-the idea of information as a rationalism. This article ends with an exploration of information and its power, exploring how information has been used by politics, businesses, and ordinary people in different contexts over time. Its importance to our everyday lives is detailed and explained in great detail. The ideas and concepts covered in this article are just a small piece of the huge subject of information, and the beauty of it is that this article is written at a simple level, so it can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of the topic.