Information
Overview

Information in its most restricted technical sense is a message (utterance or expression) or collection of messages that consists of an ordered
Order theory
Order theory is a branch of mathematics which investigates our intuitive notion of order using binary relations. It provides a formal framework for describing statements such as "this is less than that" or "this precedes that". This article introduces the field and gives some basic definitions...

sequence
Sequence
In mathematics, a sequence is an ordered list of objects . Like a set, it contains members , and the number of terms is called the length of the sequence. Unlike a set, order matters, and exactly the same elements can appear multiple times at different positions in the sequence...

of symbols, or it is the meaning that can be interpreted from such a message or collection of messages. Information can be recorded or transmitted. It can be recorded as signs
Sign (semiotics)
A sign is understood as a discrete unit of meaning in semiotics. It is defined as "something that stands for something, to someone in some capacity" It includes words, images, gestures, scents, tastes, textures, sounds – essentially all of the ways in which information can be...

, or conveyed as signals by wave
Wave
In physics, a wave is a disturbance that travels through space and time, accompanied by the transfer of energy.Waves travel and the wave motion transfers energy from one point to another, often with no permanent displacement of the particles of the medium—that is, with little or no associated mass...

s. Information is any kind of event that affects the state
Thermodynamic state
A thermodynamic state is a set of values of properties of a thermodynamic system that must be specified to reproduce the system. The individual parameters are known as state variables, state parameters or thermodynamic variables. Once a sufficient set of thermodynamic variables have been...

of a dynamic system
Dynamical system
A dynamical system is a concept in mathematics where a fixed rule describes the time dependence of a point in a geometrical space. Examples include the mathematical models that describe the swinging of a clock pendulum, the flow of water in a pipe, and the number of fish each springtime in a...

.
Quotations

Information can tell us everything. It has all the answers. But they are answers to questions we have not asked, and which doubtless don’t even arise.

Jean Baudrillard|Jean Baudrillard French semiologist. Cool Memories, Ch. 5 (1987, trans. 1990)

Wisdom is dead. Long live information.

Mason Cooley (1927-2002), American academic and aphorist. City Aphorisms (1984)

Do not seek for information of which you cannot make use.

Anna C. Brackett (1836–1911), American author. The Technique of Rest, Ch. 2 (1892)

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.

Samuel Johnson, Boswell's Life of Johnson, 18th April 1775.

When action grows unprofitable, gather information; when information grows unprofitable, sleep.

Ursula K. Le Guin|Ursela K. Le Guin (b. 1929), American Science Fiction author. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ch. 3 (1969)

What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.

Herbert Simon, Computers, Communications and the Public Interest, pages 40-41, Martin Greenberger, ed., The Johns Hopkins Press, 1971.

Private information is practically the source of every large modern fortune.

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Sir Robert Chiltern, in An Ideal Husband, Act 1.

In 2007, for the first time ever, more information was generated in one year than had been produced in the entire previous five thousand years - the period since the invention of writing.

Jaap Bloem, Menno van Doorn, Sander Duivestein, Me the media: rise of the conversation society, VINT editions (research institute of Sogeti), 2009, p.270.