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The Information Age

According to John Waters, design director, Waters International, Inc.,

● "There was a time when information was precious, when news was important. We
collected and stored the facts in our heads. But something began to happen around the
middle of the last century. Information got ahead of us. It started to grow at a rate we
were unprepared to handle. Throughout the sixties and seventies information abundance
made collecting and recalling more selective and more difficult. During the eighties, real
angst set in. We suffered from 'Information Anxiety,' as Richard Wurman explained in his
classic book by the same name. In the nineties, information became the currency of
business — the preferred medium of exchange, and the information managers became
information officers. Today ... this currency has become a commodity, another mass-
produced, unspecialized, overdeveloped product. And we are nearly drowning in it."
Sizing up the Information Age

The following is a sampler from an article by Robert Harris, "Truths of the Information Age".

1. The information industry is built on a certain quantity of information flow. Whatever the
medium - newspapers, TV news, book publishing, websites - the space must still be filled with
whatever is available.

2. Information must compete. A need exists for information to stand out and be recognized in
the increasing clutter, the data smog, that surrounds us.

3. The early word gets the perm. The first media outlet to cover an issue often defines the
terms, context, and attitudes surrounding it.

4. The frame makes the painting. If an issue is framed as a battle between tolerance and
bigotry, then whatever side is the tolerant one will be preferred.

5. Selection is a viewpoint. If you want to receive a more-balanced view of reality, choose


multiple sources for your information.

6. Newer is equated with truer. We have lost the sense that any fact or value can endure.

7. The media sell what the culture buys. In other words, information is shaped by cultural
priorities.

8. You are what you eat and so is your brain. If certain ideas are never presented to you, you
cannot draw adequate conclusions.
9. All ideas are seen as controversial. It is probably impossible to make any assertion that will
not find some supporters and some detractors.

10. Anything in great demand will be counterfeited. The demand for amazing knowledge,
secrets, and scandals is ever present, and hence many events are fabricated by the tabloids,
publicists, or other agents of information fraud.

11. Undead information walks ever on. Lies, hoaxes, misinformation, rumors, disinformation,
and garbled truth never really pass away. They continue to circulate.

12. To accuse is to convict, and possibility is proof. Many people believe that no accusation
would be made without any basis, so that if an accusation is made, it must be true, at least in
part.

13. The medium selects the message. Television is mostly pictorial, partly aural, and very little
textual, so visual stories are emphasized: fires, chases, disasters.

14. Media presence creates the story. When the media are present, especially film news or
television media, people behave much differently from the way they would if not being filmed.

15. Yours is not to reason why. Yours is to buy and buy.. As a commercial product, information
is subject to the same treatment as other consumer goods - packaging, marketing, competition,
positioning, and hyping.

16. The whole truth is a pursuit. The information we receive comes to us filtered, selected,
slanted, verbally charged, and sometimes fabricated. What is left out is often even more
important than what is included.

The purposes and basic parts of a computer

A computer is an electronic device that stores and processes data (information). It runs on a
program that contains the exact, step-by-step directions to solve a problem. A hard drive stores
data. A central processing unit (CPU) contains the circuitry necessary to understand and carry
out program directions. A microprocessor is a small, integrated circuit that performs all the
functions of a CPU. A modem enables the transmission of data to or from a computer