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Saturday, December 31, 2016

The difference that makes...

humanistic -------------------------------------------  mechanistic

So information,
while a critical part of learning,
is only one among many forces at work.

Information theory
portrays information as a change registered
 in an otherwise steady state.
It's a light flashing out on a dark hillside (to borrow an example from the philosopher Fred Dretske) or the splash of a pebble breaking the calm of a still lake.

In either case, the result,
as the anthropologist Gregory Bateson
puts it neatly, is ...

"a difference that makes a difference." p.138.

Seely Brown, J., & Duguid, P. (2000). The Social Life of Information. Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press, 138.

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