Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Information



I spoke to my wife the other day about the importance of enforcing discipline on our son, as we believe that it is vital to his upbringing. During our conversation, she mentioned that she wished our son to be a lawyer in future… For me, I’ve never thought about wishing my son to have any particular career. Cos, the bottom line is that it is his life. It is up to him to seek and manage what kind of life he wants to live. Also, what kind of career he will take will depends on his talent, interest, and the macro environment. Talent wise, I believe that it is at least 50% natural born, so there is only so much we can to change/train the other 50% or less. Interest wise, it is still too early to tell, for Christ sake, he is still a toddler! Regarding the macro-environment, well, I’m no prophet. Who know what the future will be. However, come to think of it, we are living in the Information Age. I think we, including my son, will still live in this Age for foreseeable future. So, what I think is important is to learn to live with information and be comfortable with it for the sake of survival. Whether we can succeed or not, most likely it will depend on whether we can ‘master’ information to make it serve our goals. Whoever can do that most of the time, he/she will be invincible!

According to Wiki, ‘Information’ as a concept has many meanings, from everyday usage to technical settings. The concept of information is closely related to notions of constraint, communication, control, data, form, instruction, knowledge, meaning, mental stimulus, pattern, perception, and representation.

Everybody needs information, even our ancestors - the cavemen would be in advantageous position if he knew where can find abundant foods. In this day and age, able to acquire accurate and timely information and know how to apply it is the key to success. There is almost no exception to that. Just look at the following areas that I can come up with:

Commerce – from a street corner hawker to MNEs, from pawnshops to investment banks, everyone is trading something in the market. Have the right information to determine the right prices to buy and sell made the ultimate difference, just look at Lehman Bros. vs. Goldman Sachs.

Science – Regardless which areas in science, collected data for further analysis generate theories. Theories go through experiments to prove validity produce knowledge. Appropriate application of knowledge shows intelligence. Information is spot along the whole process.

Politics – Insider information get people into higher place or in trouble. In the dirty world of politics, nothing beat the dirty laundry of opponents. It applies to different political systems in different countries throughout history.

Art – Art itself doesn’t involve information heavily. The technique part has a bit. Of course, art is a broad subject, some would involve information more than the others, especially those involve a large group of people, lengthy process and many resources, such as movie-making, or performing art. They require skillful information management. But, in order to make the art available for wide public access or try to make some money from it, i.e. commercialize it, and information rules.

Law – itself is information. Cases are information. How to win a case is to dig out and present advantageous information in front of the judge and juries.

History – is basically to dig out and study information in the past. Enough said.

Religion – Well, we can mediate or pray anywhere, anytime we want. Perhaps, this is the only area that doesn’t have too much ‘active’ information exchange, just our thoughts and God. However, if religious organizations are involved, I would say as long as there are a lot of people involved. To properly organize and manage them would take a lot of information management as well. Therefore, there is no escape from information.

Military – Intelligence gathering, encryption, decryption are critical throughout military history. Morse codes, spy, ninja, CIA, spy jets, all of these terms ring the bell of information. Why U.S. military is so superior is because of the satellite network coverage it has. Why the troops are still in Pakistan and Afgthanstein partially is because they don’t have information aka. intelligence where Bin Laden is at!

So, the point that I’m trying to make is that all aspects in our human society would involves information. I would think that my son will definitely have his own share of information to manage in future. Certainly, there are many things that we as parents should teach and guide him, such as moral values, manners, etc. I don’t have a lot to give him. I can only share with him my success and failure in handling information. Hopefully, we can bring him up properly to effectively use information and I do see that as a key to his education.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cool flash games. Don't miss!!!