Information is any entity or form that provides the answer to a question of some kind or resolves uncertainty. It is thus related to data and knowledge, as data represents values attributed to parameters, and knowledge signifies understanding of real things or abstract concepts. As it regards data, the information's existence is not necessarily coupled to an observer (it exists beyond an event horizon, for example), while in the case of knowledge, the information requires a cognitive observer.
Information science is a field primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval, movement, dissemination, and protection of information. Practitioners within and outside the field study application and usage of knowledge in organizations along with the interaction between people, organizations, and any existing information systems with the aim of creating, replacing, improving, or understanding information systems. Historically, information science is associated with computer science, library science, and telecommunications. However, information science also incorporates aspects of diverse fields such as archival science, cognitive science, commerce, law, museology, management, mathematics, philosophy, public policy, and social sciences.
A library is a collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. It provides physical or digital access to material, and may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space, or both. A library's collection can include books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, films, maps, prints, documents, microform, CDs, cassettes, videotapes, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, e-books, audiobooks, databases, and other formats. Libraries range in size from a few shelves of books to several million items. In Latin and Greek, the idea of a bookcase is represented by Bibliotheca and Bibliothēkē (Greek: βιβλιοθήκη): derivatives of these mean library in many modern languages, e.g. French bibliothèque.
Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
As I understand the theory of period information doubling, this states that if we take one period of human information as being the time between the invention of the first hand axe, say around 50,000 BC and 1 AD, then this is one period of human information and we can measure it by how many human inventions we came up during that time. Then we see how long it takes for us to have twice as many inventions. This means that human information has doubled. As it turns out, after the first 50,000-year period, the second period is about 1500 years, say around the time of the Renaissance. By then we have twice as much information. To double again, human information took a couple of hundred years. The period speeds up—between 1960 and 1970, human information doubled.
As I understand it, at the last count human information was doubling around every 18 months. Further to this, there is a point sometime around 2015 where human information is doubling every thousandth of a second. This means that in each thousandth of a second we will have accumulated more information than we have in the entire previous history of the world. At this point I believe that all bets are off. I cannot imagine the kind of culture that might exist after such a flashpoint of knowledge. I believe that our culture would probably move into a completely different state, would move past the boiling point, from a fluid culture to a culture of steam.
Alan Moore The Mindscape of Alan Moore (2003)
If you torture the data enough, nature will always confess.
Ronald Coase "How should economists choose?" Warren Nutter Lecture, 1981. Reprinted in Essays on Economics and Economists (1994) p. 27.
Today, when so much depends on our informed action, we as voters and taxpayers can no longer afford to confuse science and technology, to confound “pure” science and “applied” science.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau, in Jacques Cousteau and Susan Schiefelbein, The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World (2007), 181.