Modern Invention of Information: Discourse, History and by Ronald E Day

By Ronald E Day

Illuminating the social creation and historical past of the time period details as a great, Day (library and data technology, Wayne country U.) identifies 3 info a long time of the twentieth century: eu documentation earlier than and shortly after global struggle II, US info idea and cybernetics quickly after global battle II, and the digital age that was once proclaimed almost immediately sooner than the tip of the century. a massive obstacle is to resurrect a few prior notions of data that don't imagine a predetermined and unavoidable destiny.

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As with his term “the book,” the term “book-machine” refers to paper documents as well as other types of objects that may be understood as containing or transmitting thought. Otlet’s citation of Archimedes’ famous statement points to a functional characterization of documents as well as to Otlet’s belief that documents can “geometrically” change the relation of a given body of knowledge to the world: The mechanism which studies or which produces the application of the mechanical is a combination of organs or parts disposed for the production of a functional as- 17 European Documentation semblage.

A press release to newspapers, radio, and newsreels announces its arrival. The discovery “becomes the object of communication in the Academy of Sciences. A professor mentions it in his lecture” (7). The antelope is added to a film track, and it is recorded on a record. When it dies, it is stuffed and preserved in a museum. A monograph appears on it, then it enters a zoological encyclopedia, and then a general encyclopedia. These works are announced, and then they are cataloged in a library. These documents and others are then recopied through drawings, paintings, photographs, film, and microfilms, and then those documents are further selected, analyzed, described, and translated.

Instead of a general theory of human, and even animal, communication, I propose through the work of other theorists a notion of information that stresses the site-specific and temporal nature of affects rather than the communicational effects of messages. In this manner, I hope to engage information theory at its site of historical production, to critique its social metaphors, and to propose a sense of information based on events and affects that resist representation and management. One of the consequences of such a critique of information theory would be that the classical subject of “man,” which is the agency of production and reception in the social extension of information theory, is severely brought into doubt in terms of its ontological reality.

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