information and communication

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Information and communication ( IuK ) is a comprehensive term for information processing and communication . In the technological form of information and communication technology , the pair of terms is also abbreviated as ICT .


In English and French, information and communication or the associated verbs inform, informer and communicate, communiquer denote nothing more than the simple “message”, whereby communication is even more general and can only mean “connection”.

In German, these words are typical foreign words that can always be replaced by better, i.e. more precise, expressions in everyday language. It is these more precise terms that give rise to the many different technical meanings in which information and communication are used in various disciplines.

Colloquial meaning

Information is:

  • the activity of communicating: speaking to one another, telephoning with one another, sending letters, telegrams or e-mails to one another, but also non-verbal communication (facial expressions, gestures, touching, etc.).
    • Informing: communicating, notifying or teaching.
    • Getting informed or getting informed: receiving, understanding, exploring, acquiring knowledge.
  • the result of informing: the communication, message or knowledge (passed on), the acquisition of knowledge.

Critically speaking , it should be noted that the term information does not always clearly separate the activity or process from the result. However, this rarely leads to misunderstandings in the discussion.

Critical of knowledge , it should be noted that the term, or the more precise expressions, as a rule, or perhaps not in principle, can be defined positively: You can only say what information is not. In all discussions in which the term plays a role, this leads to pseudo-problems and supposed paradoxes , unless one decides to use more precise or different terms that only partially cover the term information. The same applies to the concept of communication.

History of the development of the term

In connection with the invention of computers and the development of telephone networks in the 1940s, information is discovered as a measurable mathematical and physical quantity with information theory and its communication model , and thereby gains its great importance in scientific, philosophical and social discussion and in practice every scientific discipline develops its own communication models. Within sociology , a communication science is developed .

In the 1960s, transaction analysis , a further development of psychoanalysis, developed a communication model that very well explains the disturbances and thus the possibilities for restoring and resuming communication between people. Originally a therapy method , it finds its way into marketing.

In the 1980s, marketing developed the so-called communication policy . Communication is any contact between a business entity and the outside world, which should be planned and checked.

Definitions in detail

Mathematically and physically

Information, more precisely information content , denotes a calculable and measurable quantity of a set of events, usually a text or a data set, which is closely related to the quantities of redundancy , probability and entropy and can be defined using them. Redundancy is what you already know . Information what you don't know yet. The greater the probability of an event occurring, the more redundant it is. The less likely an event is, the more informative it is. Information is measured in bits or Shannon .

In information analysis, texts or media events are subjected to a statistical analysis, in statistical linguistics text sets or corpora (text collections and collections of text excerpts). The probability is measured using the relative frequency. From the probabilities one can then calculate redundancy, information, entropy and many other problem-specific values ​​to be defined. If events are sorted according to their rank, that is, according to their relative frequency, the following applies: the lower the rank, the greater the relative frequency (that is, the most frequent element of a set has rank 1). This connection is called Zipf's law . Zipf's law established for a data set provides information on the representativeness or statistical accuracy of the data set. All of the proportional relationships of the form “the more - the less” mentioned here are not linear , but logarithmic .

The exchange of information in the technical sense is described in the communication model . A transmitter (radio, speaker, mouth) encodes (encrypted, formulated) information (signal) in order to send it via a channel (radio waves, sound waves) to the receiver (radio, listener, ear), who receives the information ( signal ) decodes (understands). Interference (noise) in the channel can mean that the receiver can no longer decode the information. The communication model and information theory make statements about how communication systems such as telephone networks, the Internet and a radio link, among other things, must be designed so that decoding is not endangered.

The exchange of information between people, as well as the exchange of information between modern computers, mail servers or telex devices in the past, takes place in dialogue . Questions and answers, messages and acknowledgments of receipt, requests and consents or rejections, i.e. messages and feedback, are exchanged. If messages can be represented as signals with informational content, then chains and structures of sending and receiving elements (e.g. microprocessors , temperature sensors , enzymes , synapses ) in animate and inanimate nature, but normally in the construction of machines and devices, can be called and discover or assemble control circuits.

How regulation and control circuits work is studied in cybernetics . One speaks of "control" when the receiving element does not produce any feedback. From "regulation", if the sending element changes its transmission based on feedback. Control is a term to be avoided in this context because it means both regulation and control .

The success of the quantification of the concept of information, the astonishing discovery of a connection with entropy, the possibility of assembling very complicated control and regulation systems (e.g. arithmetic units, microprocessors, enzyme cycles) from simple signal structures, has made the concept of information a fundamental technical term in technology and natural science .

Philosophically and logically

The communication model of information theory and cybernetics examines signals between senders and receivers, information is a measurable quantity that measures the property of the signal to be able to be decoded. In contrast, the information in the colloquial sense is interpreted as a so-called sign in the philosophical communication models.

The relation of a sign to other signs is called syntax , the relation to the world is called semantics and the relation to the users of the sign is called pragmatics . It is said that signs contrast with other signs, they refer to their meaning and they appeal to their users. The study of signs is called semiotics . Avoid using the term information. Signs carry information, but they are not information. The information carried by signs is therefore essentially different from the colloquial term. Information in this sense is better described as meaning or term or referent .

Information that can be either true or false is called statements . Statements are studied in logic . Statements about statements are called metalinguistic . The attempt to scientifically represent metalinguistic signs without contradiction leads to extremely complex formal logic and semantic systems .

Communication is the exchange of information between the users of characters. Communication and dialogue models are therefore part of pragmatics (see also: pragmalinguistics, psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics).

Psychological and social

Communication is a permanent state and a normal state in which people are always. They communicate with each other, with their environment and with themselves. They talk to one another, they understand their pets, they talk to God and the flowers and see symbols in stars and experiences . That communication exists at all only becomes clear when communication is disturbed. Defining communication only as the exchange of information seems like an extreme shortening.

The transaction analysis is a method by which communication patterns can be analyzed of the people to improve communication. It is a further development of psychoanalysis . It explains why communication is disturbed and how it can be restored. Originally a therapy method, its communication model is now the basis for professional communication techniques.

Economically and legally

Information that is available in sufficient quantities and that can be consumed to the point of saturation has no price as free goods (e.g. neighborhood gossip). Other forms of information (e.g. books, computer programs, photographs) are economic goods . Your market price is made up of generation or procurement costs and distribution costs. The marginal costs of copying and distributing the information are almost zero when using digital technology. In contrast, the generation or procurement of information can be very expensive. The price of information can also decrease with decreasing news value and decreasing exclusivity (e.g. free time-delayed display of stock exchange prices in online media).

With the help of property rights and secrecy strategies, a monopoly on the reproduction or distribution of information can be achieved and the disclosure of information or the research of information can be sold as a service . The costs of information are always imputed costs that are arbitrarily assigned via mixed calculations, in which very different factors are incorporated. On the other hand, there is the freedom of communication under the Basic Law, which obliges the state to guarantee a minimum level of communication and information and to create framework conditions for the necessary infrastructure ( see also : media law ).

Economically and politically

Information is the message. Communication is the delivery of the message.

Since the late 1980s, communication has been understood as what used to be called rhetoric or argumentation: the art of being able to convince. Rhetoric is the speaking technique, while argumentation means the logical structure and the sequence of arguments (logical or only insightful statements). Gestures and facial expressions are now called body language . Gestures mean posture and the movement of arms and legs, facial expressions mean facial expression.

Economically and financially

Communication policy is part of marketing . Public relations or public relations is part of the communication policy. Information policy is a part of public relations .

In this context, information is synonymous with publication . Communication policy is the planning and monitoring of the external impact of a company and communication is practically every contact with the outside world.

See also


Web links