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data and information

My puzzlement with Mud Dauber wasp Iíve docu- mented earlier (pg0FC and pg0FD); here I would like to make some other point: the difference between data and information.

Mud Dauber wasps are building their clay nests in the interior of our concrete block barbecue - which Iím using once weekly or so. They are building new nests next to burned ones from last week. Surely they can sense the smoked walls, surely they can see the last week nests smoked if not scorched. But those are data. It looks that evolution did not capacitate them to process those data into an information about appositeness of the place.

Our senses by which the external world is perceived, all of them, collect data only. It is the brain where an information is born. Or not. Take, for instance, the recent popular science article by Croatian academician Vladimir Paar in which he claims that an ice age is imminent in the near future because Earth is running away from Sun. Now, the data out there point to a stable Earthís orbit for at least several billion years. But those are data. An information is born in the brain.

thread-waisted wasp

 2010-08-01 

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