Re: It don't mean a thing ...
Date: Wed, 02 Jun 2004 15:36:47 +0200
mountain man wrote:
> mAsterdam wrote:
>>>>>><quote> >>>>>> Data on its own has no meaning, only >>>>>> when interpreted by some kind of data >>>>>> processing system does it take on >>>>>> meaning and become information. >>>>>></quote> >>>>>>Does it have a source? >>>>>>Is it bad? >>mountain man wrote: >>>>>The word "meaning" is critical here. Meaning to whom? >>>>>I'd probably guess that this meaning is with respect to >>>>>the organization which has assembled the data, the systems, >>>>>the users, etc. So using this ... >>>>> >>>>>IMO the statement is accurate, but should be >>>>>generalised further: data on its own not only has >>>>>no meaning but is absolutely useless without the >>>>>corresponding application layer by which it is >>>>>constantly maintained. >>>> >>[snip] >> >>>>Is it bits & bytes? Does, in your view, shared data >>>>constitute, by definiton, information? >>> >>>What we call data is stored by the OS on the HW >>>by the RDBMS as bits and bytes. >> >>So, Newton had no data you (plural) can speak of. >>What did he have?
> Enter Newton, stage right. ?
> OK, well Newton has his ideas and intelligence and other
> human faculties and perceptions, but he did not have
> any computer data processing system or database.
> He had no computerised data.
I think he had data. Do you?
>>The emergence of bit and bytes changed >>the way we can handle data (meaningful data, >>of course - sigh - should I add this everey >>time I use the word data? - I'ld rather not). >>When we handle data them with computers we >>can say computer data, most of the time that >>is a little overly specific so we simply say data. >>Should the definition of data change because >>of this change in the way we handle them? >>For what purpose?
I apologize if I made you guess what I was asking. I think you did get my question right, because you proceed to answer it (not giving an answer I agree with - but that is another issue :-)
> Data is not the
> same as it was 100 years ago, today it is managed
> within a computer system. 100 years ago it may
> have been managed by a quill, ink and paper scrolls.
In short: the stuff is managed differently so you need to redefine it?
>>>Those in this forum who like to think that the data is of >>>meaning and use (to an organisation) without the application >>>layer should sit in an organisation alongside the database >>>and ask themselves how the needs of that organisation >>>with respect to the data are going to be met without the >>>application layer. >> >>I like to think that data is of meaning and use with >>and without computers.
> Philosophically, the data in the external world that is
> relevant to an organization's processes will be represented
> within the organization's database. In this sense it will
> always have use and meaning without computers.
> But is we restrict consideration only to the computerised
> data (hey, business is business) then for how many days
> will this data (database) be meaningful and useful without
> being maintained by the system?
There is an important difference
between meaning and use.
Say we currently have a validated statement about the exchange rate of some stock at some recent time.
- It does not matter to the meaning where/how this statement is represented. We have it.
- To the use of it it is important where/how it is represented, and available to relevant actors.
- Twenty years later the meaning of this statement is still the same.
- Twenty years later most of its usefullness will probably have gone.