New language for information

We need a new language to describe information. Our language on information uses all kind of metaphors. These metaphors use an image of information as a merchandise:

  • Information can be valuable, and you could sell it and buy it.
  • Information is stored and retrieved.
  • Information has a location, and sometimes it has an owner.

But when we share information we do not possess half of it each.
When I retrieve information from a scholar, the scholar still ‘Has’ all information, maybe even more.

The use of this metaphor as  information as a merchandise is harmful, because it is misleading and confusing.

  • Retrieving information is not going to a shop and buy it, and after the customers did buy all information  the information stores are not empty when the day is over.
  • Reading a book to get information about the subject of the book does not remove the ink from the book.
  • When someone asks a question and another one gives an answer, the information is not handed over like one hands over an apple.

All the ‘sharing’ and ‘storing’ phrases ignore the connectivity way of looking at information.

  • I do not retrieve information, but I connect or reconnect to the information.
  • I do not share information, but you and me connect to this information.
  • I do not receive information, but the information and me are connected.

(source image Kath Doc.)

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