Off on another tangent…

20Feb08

I’m in the process of digesting an interesting article suggesting that information may not be human-centered. I will be coming back to this, but it sparked an idea that has been floating around my head amorphously for a little while now.

 

The Rational Choice Approach to Information/Knowledge

Any lurkers out there willing to shed some light on this for me…please jump in. We are supposedly in the midst of an information glut, surplus, or overload (insert your own descriptor here). What does this mean, why does it matter, and so what? If we are individually producing terabytes of data, information, or knowledge on an annual basis, what is it, why is it, and where is it?

 

Here’s an early stab at some of the information-seeking and behavior questions I’m wrestling with (could be Sumo): I look for the easiest, most complete information that will support my cause. Why? In the larger equation of balancing work, family, school, and other commitments I have to make a choice in allocating my resources. If I can accomplish my goals from my home office – yippee. If I need to call someone with expertise or experience (I rarely confuse these anymore) that’s acceptable – thanks to VOIP and cell phones long-distance charges are a thing of the past. If I need to go to a library or other “information store” I have to further calculate my tendency to wander off course (and topic) or expend my resources on those off-the-chart chance encounters.

 

When I started thinking about this, I went straight to my lifeline (Google + Google Scholar) and looked up “rational choice information.” The first hit on Google looked interesting, and I will read this at some point; but it’s not really what I am looking for. Google Scholar wasn’t much help either. This means either one of two things: (1) I’m in unchartered waters, again; or (2) the rational choice approach really is one of the motivational or background factors in other information theories.

 

On the flipside of this, there is CONTENT. That ubiquitous word in the b-world these days to refer to reusable, replaceable, and repeatable elements of information. Not necessarily full text insertions, but rather a “cherry-picking” of “low-hanging” fruit to drive down costs (overhead, production, etc.). So, is there a link between creating a “rational choice theory of information” and the move towards content? What might this say about knowledge – or that hypothetical higher-level activity inspiring, aspiring, and perspiring to universal awareness…at least in certain contexts, and under certain conditions…further rationalization of choice?

 

Well, if this tangent pays off in some other end…other than creating some interesting new links…you read it here first!

ECONOMICS OF INFORMATION

THE WEALTH OF INFORMATION

IN SEARCH OF INFORMATION

THE SEVEN HABITATS OF EFFECTIVE INFORMATION

THE EFFECTIVE INFORMATION EXECUTIVE

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