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Holding On to RealityThe Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium$
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Albert Borgmann

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780226066257

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226066226.001.0001

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Fragility and Noise

Fragility and Noise

Chapter:
(p.193) Chapter Fifteen Fragility and Noise
Source:
Holding On to Reality
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226066226.003.0016

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

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