Chapter

Fragility and Noise

in Holding On to Reality

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780226066257
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226066226 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226066226.003.0016
Fragility and Noise

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Technological information is expected to be more robust than written cultural information because the former is binary rather than vicenisenary and in the latter copying has to pay attention to the least difference only and distinguish between two different symbols. Technological information is typically written, read, and copied by unfailing and objective copyists. It is socially fragile because of a heedless rush toward more powerful technologies that condemn older ones to obsolescence and illegibility. Social fragility is a threat to technological information not only in time and due to thoughtlessness but even because of mischief and crime. The overt structural fragility that besets technological information due to size and complexity can be traced in part to a profound and concealed fragility of the tie between technological information and reality.

Keywords: Technological information; cultural information; Social fragility; reality; symbols

Chapter.  7206 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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