We explain everything about the information, how it is used, its classification and other characteristics. In addition, its importance for the State.
What is the information?
Information is an organized set of relevant data for one or more subjects who extract knowledge from it. That is, it is a series of knowledge communicated, shared or transmitted and that therefore constitute some kind of message . However, its definition varies according to the discipline or approach from which it is thought.
For example, in biology , informations is understood as the set of sensory stimuli exchanged by living beings , while in journalism informations is the set of messages exchanged by the actors of a given society. To this we could add definitions from computer science , cybernetics or thermodynamics.
Types of information
Information can be classified in very different ways, according to numerous criteria. One of the most common has to do with the relationship established between the issuers of the informations and their eventual or possible recipients, as follows:
- Confidential or classified informations . That which can only be accessed by a small group of people, given the secret, dangerous, delicate or private nature of the data contained in it.
- Public informations . That which, on the contrary, allows the general access of anyone to its content, without requiring special permissions and without having any degree of privacy.
- Personal informations . That which belongs to each person, that is, that emanates from a specific individual, who can decide with whom to share it or to whom to offer it.
- External informations . That which emanates from an organism, institution or company , and whose recipients are instances or persons external to it.
- Internal informations . That, on the contrary, that emanates from an organism, institution or company, in order to be consumed internally, without going outside the organization.
Uses of the information
The information has as many uses as the recipient can give it . They range from the mere increase of the knowledge that it possesses on a specific subject, or perhaps of the knowledge applicable to a given situation, that is, of useful knowledge. Reading an artifact usage manual will provide us with immediately applicable informations, for example.
Other uses of the informations can be more strategic, allowing the recipient to carry out better decision making , better control processes, better evaluation rules or a better choice of alternatives, depending on what we mean.
Finally, information has a cultural value , that is, educational , informative. A greater amount of information, more knowledge possible, and therefore greater educational possibilities
The informations, broadly speaking, meets the following characteristics:
- Meaning . That is, semantic, thematic, contextual or of some nature content that each individual will use according to their own criteria.
- Importance . While the importance of informations is always relative to the recipient, that is, it depends on each person, taking into account how much the data received alter the behavior of individuals. The relevant information produces important or immediate changes, the little relevant produces nothing.
- Effect . The validity of the informations in time is understood to be valid, that is, if it is outdated or updated, which always depends on the context and its recipients.
- Validity . The informations will be more or less reliable, more or less credible or valid, depending on the sender and the criteria of the receiver. If the latter considers that the issuer is unreliable, the informationv it issues will lose importance.
- Value . Some type of specific use for the recipient, even if it is merely informative.
Information in society
Information is a precious asset in human society and even in some animal societies. On the one hand, informations management can influence the behavior of individuals, since it allows complex forms of cooperation and organization .
On the other hand, the accumulation of informations and knowledge allows to open the door to revolutionary changes in society, either by the hand of the scientific – technological , or the philosophical , or the political-social.
In society, the informations can be distributed free of charge, or it can be part of private assets , as in the case of manufacturing industries , which hide the specific recipe for the production of their most quoted goods, so that they do not fall into the hands of the competition.
Information and Status
Always propaganda and censorship have been ways in which the state controls which information circulates freely and which not. This has become more complex in the so-called ” informations society ” and thanks to the new Informations and Communication Technologies (ICT).
This issue is a matter of national and international debate, especially since the Internet questioned the traditional idea of country and border. Today, computer networks allow informations to circulate much faster and over much greater distances than ever before in the history of mankind.
On the other hand, scandals such as the one that occurred in the US electoral campaign won by Donald Trump, known as the “Cambridge Analytica” case, reveal the important incidence of informations in the life of the States in the 21st century.
Information in computer science
For computer science, understood precisely as the science of information management, this concept is understood as an explicit knowledge, accumulated by living beings or expert systems when interacting with their environment. It has the value of being able to be stored, organized and recovered.
For that, in the end, computers are used : large systems of classification, retrieval and transmission of informations, the latter contained in electronic storage formats.
Analogue and digital information
There is talk of analog and digital informations within the framework of electronics, to differentiate two types of signal. The amplitude of the analog signal can vary freely , taking any value (of electrical voltage).
On the other hand, a digital signal is one that has limit bands with respect to the amplitude it can take, and which are predetermined. This makes digital signals not continuous, but discrete, lacking the typical noise that analog signals possess.