Something on information

The following is my review of Information: A very short Introduction by Luciano Floridi.

I think if I rate this book 1 star, no one gets hurt. Enough people read it and value it 5 starts so the voice is not going to ruin anything for anyone.

The author opens the book with:

"My hope is that it will help the reader to make sense of the large
variety of informational phenomena with we deal on a
daily basis, of their profound and fundamental importance,
and hence of the information society in which we live".

I’m afraid the author didn’t succeed. Paraphrasing example from the book itself, it describes the Information as “a Newtonian description of the physical laws describe the dynamics of a tennis game”, as opposed to “the description of the same game as a Wimbledon final by a commentator”.

The author drags the reader through information taxonomy the mathematical theory of communication, Shannon’s information theory, then through more taxonomy, quantum information, DNA and neurons, game theory and Bayesian probabilities, and finally ethics of information with a bit of greenwashing at the very end.

Ethics of information which is as I understand it and an invention of the author, so this book isn’t the into to information this is an “into to info and my glorious theory of information ethics”.

I did not sign up for it, I do not get it, and I can not recommend it. And despite the author’s hope for the book to be useful for the “information society in which we live” - it isn’t. At least not for me, the average person curious about things. I did not get its utility.

The book has interesting references and ideas, I picked up a few. I want to know more about Shannon’s information theory, the scandal of deduction, inverse relationship principle, but there are should be better ways to learn about those things. All those concepts appear in Chapter 4 on Semantic Information. If you need to read something of this book - read chapter 4.

If you are looking for the summary/taxonomy, into to author’s ideas about information ethics, and enjoy dense unedited academic language - knock yourself out. Otherwise, look elsewhere.