Thursday, October 06, 2016

Functional pressure on information flow

Information flows with such volume that I tend to think of it as massive streams surging around our planet where the volume gets bigger all the time. Not surprisingly to me what can be an overwhelming concept becomes manageable in my opinion from a functional perspective.

And functionally I suggest that information flows because some person needs it, in general, though also computer systems pull information, so maybe more generally should say that information flows because some intelligent entity needs it. I paused while typing as debated, is a computer system an intelligent entity? I decided, yes.

Need for information as a basis for flow is interesting to me, as of course there is information generated which does not then flow, as it may not be needed or known, so it may simply pool in some location. Or the person generating it may not give access to it to others, like recently a famous photographer was discovered after she died. And I added a link, after doing a search, which not surprisingly to me brought up Vivian Maier at the top of the list.

That pull reality to information flow was about need, and for a given individual, or computer system greatly simplifies what is conceivably a complex system, but one cares about what one gets, rather than what was necessary to deliver that flow of information.

As esoteric as all may sound it shifts perspective for someone like me, from pushing information to considering pulls. Then functionally can see pulls of information as indicative of need.

That information flow then gives me information about my planet, and what information intelligent entities on it, are flowing related to me. It's a lot that does flow in that way too.

These streams of information are informative then for me, not about me, but about the intelligent entities who need that information.

And I write something like this post and ask myself why, and the answer here is to consider a needed shift. I think it's easy to think, hey need to convince when functional information flow theory as presented here says otherwise.

Maybe it is worth noting that prior to the web especially if you wanted to go global, you would have to convince gatekeepers to have information injected into some accepted stream.

James Harris
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