Information signs for contextual organisation
Jan van Til
Within living memory human beings organise life – people/actors, actions/activities, stuff/things, places, times and … information about it. Which, of course, makes information quite another category! Ever increasing amounts of information – far more than we can handle – nowadays criss-cross the globe at the speed of light. Information-problems keep popping up – for some decades now. Presented solutions all share a strong technology inset. Let’s admit it: we l-o-v-e technology! Real solutions however … still fail to appear.
Perhaps the problem we really need to face isn’t technological in nature at all. Perhaps we still fail to thoroughly understand this immaterial ‘thing’ we call information. Perhaps our advanced technologies are more than adequate to meet our needs if only we would really understand information.
Information, in my mind, is always a means to another end: situationally assigned meaning towards well-chosen action. In other words: it’s all about situated action (that’s a pleonasm) in response to assigned meaning to present/presented information. Action in-the-real-world is always situated. Therefore … information with respect to action-in-the-real-world is always situated as well. And that’s where we get ourselves into trouble and lose contact with our modern, dynamic, agile world! For information cannot meaningfully be/breathe/live without its inseparable counterpart: context – context being information too. It’s context that provides great grounds for assigning meaning to information. For text (information) without context very easily becomes … pretext.
So … let’s organise information contextually – always aligned with our ever evolving real-life-situations at hand. Real solutions will begin to appear – even with yesterday’s technologies! Information-infrastructure will appear on the horizon. Data scientists as-we-know-them-now will soon become obsolete.
Januari 2019, 2019 © Jan van Til