So to synthesize the concept of information and its flow: What happens if there is mixed information? How does it affect one’s being-in-the-world?
We could imagine a situation where culture industry sends a certain image of “how things are”, local and international media send different kinds of messages and perhaps one’s peers give a totally different picture, giving hope to the belief that retreating to a limited scope of “social life” is the answer to the mystery of life. In fact, this description is probably what resembles reality more than the idealized picture.
In this chaotic situation, what is one to do? There is only one answer: intuition. The person should start sharpening his senses – that is, raising his awareness. In practice this means developing thoughts of things. A good way to do this is to start discussing with people or start writing a blog. Blog is good because it allows quick review of thought, from writing it to reading it yourself with a critical attitude.
The person should also start developing the feedback mechanism between his actions and the results, constantly reviewing the latter to improve the former. Here it’s important to acknowledge: how does one interpret hostility towards himself? What meaning is given to despair that will eventually arise?
It should be understood that the relationship between individual consciousness and reality is dialectic, with the main variations of monologue, dialogue, dispute and warfare. And it’s more useful to have a dialogue with the reality rather than a war.
I remember writing in high school about the relationship between information, knowledge and wisdom. What is interesting is that this follows pretty much the consciousness approach I have been developing in this blog. However, I now started thinking of information in more detail. What is it and how does it relate with individual consciousness?
Let’s think of a piece of information. Example: “European Union is in crisis.” What actually is this statement?
It is an emergent product of my consciousness where I declare a state of reality the way I see it. The emergentness can be seen in the way this statement encapsulates background information in itself; For the statement to make sense, the reader has to have understanding of English language and meanings of the ‘European Union’ and ‘crisis’. The reader also has to have knowledge of recent developments or otherwise he asks: “What do you mean?”. Without the background knowledge, the reader has no way to connect the thing I just said to anything so he becomes confused.
The statement automatically transforms consciousness, building the conception of “how things are”. The individuals are, however, on different levels when it comes to information processing skills, and that causes different responses (confusion/rejection, enthusiasm, curiosity, leadership).
What should be noted is that even the reader’s negative response still builds his consciousness. Aggressive response emerges, but the result of it is still transformed consciousness: “European Union is not in crisis.” Note that this is more awareness than there was before the initial statement, even though it may not be that accurate a belief.
This is why individual’s thinking should be started with the attitude: “Just say something about this, whatever it may be.” Opinions shouldn’t be considered as anything static but always flowing and altering consciousness – and through this process, changing the world.
I’m trying to get a clearer picture of how information flows in society.
In this model it is thought that information flows upwards from reality. It flows to the spectators as pleasure through the culture industry and to the activists and researchers through the cultural lense. Researchers distribute this information to the society via media, while activists’ role focuses on mainly producing feelings of guilt in the spectators (they lack the practical know-how, so they can’t change much). Managers use the information as a tool for organizing action towards the reality.
Different groups of people are seen as different level of information processors:
- Spectators: unskilled in information processing, become confused and react by escaping to the reality produced by culture industry or start longing for the “good old days”. Motto: “Everything is vanity.”
- Activists: skillful information processors. Produce the culture, but from spectators’ point of view, they produce guilt. Are confused with the practical action. Motto: “Something has to be done.”
- Researchers: professional information processors. Produce scientific information (scientists) and cultural information (journalists) to be distributed to the society via media. Motto: “I’m just telling how it is.”
- Managers: practical information processors. Produce practical action with the aim of influencing reality. Motto: “Let’s get down to business.”
So, it can be thought that each group produces also their own roles in the society as the result of the information flow into them. Therefore information is approached as “formation or molding of the mind or character, training, instruction, teaching”. See History of the word and concept “information” in Wikipedia.