Information, Machine and Human

By | November 11, 2014

I really enjoyed the film, The Information Machine by Eames. It was made in 1958 but I didn’t feel it at all. In the film, Eames presents the history of how human store and analyze information. Especially these phrases strike me: “With the computer, the concept and direction must come from the man. The tasks that it’s said and the datas that it’s given must be man’s decision and his responsibility.” Not only computer but also this can be applied to any kinds of digital media such as TV, radio, film. There is always human behind it.

Alan Liu’s article address us to understand – something we don’t really notice – how we send our message exactly what we want to be delivered by using machine. “The pure database approach works best when both the sending and receiving computers run the same database program, sharing a common discursive standard built into the workings of the software itself,” Liu says. It reminds me Encoding/Coding communication system by Stuart Hall. People interpret message in different ways depending on their background and experiences. And this links to Ted Byfield’s text when he says “the more freedom of choice one has, the more ways one can render the message.” Information has no specific meaning, it depends on how it’s coded/decoded.

One thought on “Information, Machine and Human

  1. shannon Post author

    Excellent, Eishin! Yes, we need to consider the role of human agency in our “automated,” “databased” culture. Among the choices humans make are how we choose to encode and decide info — and how we design machines that process/transmit/store/etc info and thus play roles in these encoding and decoding processs.


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