What Is Chaos?
In a broader sense, information is structured, processed and organised information designed for a specific purpose. It gives context to previously processed data and allows effective decision making. For instance, a single consumer’s sale at a particular restaurant is statistical data-this becomes information the company can use to understand their customer’s needs. Information architecture provides a framework by which organizations can use information science to build up the information architecture. The information architecture consists of various layers.
The first layer is knowledge representation. In information theory, knowledge representation refers to the process by which information is used and understood. Knowledge typically refers to abstract logical systems (such as an object-oriented language), natural language (IPL), machine-assisted language (masks) or cognitive processes (such as deductive reasoning, argumentation and synthesis). The second layer is information processing itself.
Information processing can be performed consciously or unconsciously. For instance, some of the largest corporations in the world have large information processing departments that filter, collate, and utilise the information they are given. Organisations also utilise information processing in order to generate certain types of communication, such as email, instant messages and telephone calls. Information that is not consciously processed can be referred to as ‘unconscious’ in many other ways: for instance, if a person is thinking about something but cannot express it verbally, they may unconsciously decide to type the idea into a computer (or they may be typing it out on paper rather than converting it into a meaningful expression).
As information theory is a field of study, much debate has taken place about what sort of information is important, useful or relevant. One school of thought is that too much information can inhibit our thought process and inhibit our ability to make sound decisions. In other words, if we receive a lot of information about a topic we are attempting to solve, then we are more likely to get stuck, less likely to find an answer or work towards a solution. On the other hand, information overload can lead to information chaos – the inability to effectively manage the clutter of information that overwhelms us.
Therefore, the search for a better way to deal with information overload has led to developments in information theory, including information science and information technology (IT). The aim of information science is to find better ways to manage information overload; to manage information overload by developing better ways to filter, collate and disseminate information. Information technology seeks to improve the efficiency by which information is communicated, and its goal is to provide users with a greater degree of control over their information technology. In fact, some professionals in the IT industry to speak of information technology as ‘information realisation’.
The three layers of the information concept are physical information, informational equivalent and digital information. Physical information, often called ‘hard facts’, are things like temperature and pressure that we measure physically. Informational equivalent is what we use everyday to make sense of all this information – what we might term ‘folk knowledge’. Digital information is what we can think about, reason about and manipulate using computers.