Re: database systems and organizational intelligence

From: mAsterdam <>
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 17:32:43 +0200
Message-ID: <40bb5013$0$65124$>

Laconic2 wrote:

> mAsterdam wrote:

>>The physical representation, real,
>>only contains shapes and media, not meaning.


> Agreed.
>>Data IMO encompasses meaning.

> I'm not so sure. Let's take the SETI project. (Search for Extra
> Terrestrial Intelligence). They've collected lots of data, gathered by
> radio receptors. But there may or may not be any meaning behind the data
> they have gathered.

Restating this as an exercise in practising the idea of data having meaning - by definiton: They have collected lots of data about signals gathered by radio receptors. If/when it is discovered that these signals carry meaning, only then we have gathered data about something else.

> That's an unusual case. In most commercial applications there is a common
> understanding between the writer and the reader of the data about what the
> data means. So, in most cases, I would agree with you.

To add: a lot of problems in data-processing stem from a dis-alignment of this *assumed* common understanding. The way this newsgroup struggles about the most basic words and concepts (data, code, meaning, information, database, pointer, model) suggests (to me) at least that we should put some effort and compromise into a common basic reference.

>>So, in order to retrieve data from the rosetta stone, we need to
>>interpret the carvings (being shapes on media a.k.a. signs).

> Well, the rosetta stone may have been a poor example. It contained the same
> message in Greek, and in Hieroglyphics and some other language. The people
> who decoded the Rosetta stone knew one of the languages, and used that one
> to decode the others.

Grrrmpf! I liked it ;-) It would give another nice excersise. Received on Mon May 31 2004 - 17:32:43 CEST

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