An Overview of Information Science
Information can be considered as the answer to uncertainty; it defines both the nature and the essence of an object and hence answers the question of who is it and what it does. The concept of information also has various other meanings in different context. To the reader who cannot understand what all this means we can explain it by analogy. We would, for example, say that the world’s most beautiful woman has just walked into a bar and is being served by three men who are looking at her; she sees and feels the men staring at her body; she takes notice of the fact that they have not noticed anything yet she is talking to them and touching her sensually.
This information could be called the perspective of that beautiful woman. Now, the question is where the perception ends. At the same time it could equally be said that she sees herself as having been served by the three men. Each man sees only part of the whole. The woman’s perception is incomplete because she is still subject to the perspective of the others. In other words, she could say that she sees the whole as already having been served; she could not say that she sees only part of it because she is still subject to the perspective of those others.
If one were to try to build a description of information science it would also take into account partial objectivity. Particular facts about one object may be seen as relevant in some way by one scientist while not in another. The goal of information science then, is to record the information thus arriving at some generalizable conclusions. However, even in this general framework, information science has a number of specific sub-fields.
For example, information science could be used to explain how various scientific methods to deal with the same information. For instance, a psychologist may look at the results of different psychological methods and come to different conclusions. He could look at telepathy as relevant, but not because of the information it contains but because of the type of people who use it. He may look at the results of hypnosis as relevant, but only because of its success rate and the technique in which it is done. He may consider the results of brainwashing an irrelevant factor because it was done on a person who wants to change his behavior. These are all part of the subfield of psychology known as psychotherapy and information science colloquially refers to the study of these methods of breaking down and analyzing information.
Another subfield of information science is cognitive science. Cognitive science deals more with how information is processed in the brain rather than just being stored. Cognitive science assumes that information is not just information, but is also a matter of thinking. Therefore, it could include the study of how various thought processes go together and how this affects the information processing in the brain.
Information science is a growing field all over the world, with specialties ranging from neuroscientists working on how the brain functions to statisticians calculating probability models and economic researchers trying to better understand and model complex systems. This information science could also be considered as a subset of philosophy or even theology because information can provide insights into religious matters. For example, information about the universe and God could help an atheist understand the workings of his religion. This subfield may seem confusing to scientists, but with proper training and a proper subfield to work in, information science can produce results that are as solid and comprehensive as any other subfield.