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Information Evaluation by Philippe Capet, Thomas Delavallade

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Introduction

I.1. An information society?

The “information society” to which we all now supposedly belong immerses us – or submerges us – in a constant and historically-unprecedented torrent of informational data, whose origins and topics are so different that they become incomprehensible, or at least impossible to organize, memorize, utilize… Nowadays, we spend our entire lives receiving and sending information by telephone, e-mail, Web consultation or SMS…

There is no need to labor the point, so let us now leave aside this type of consideration, and other trivialities that are poorly defined but are bandied about by so many of our thinkers. Assuming it is indeed true that today’s society is an information society, then of which other form of society is it the successor? In terms of traditional chronologies, our predecessors lived in an industrial society, whose advent is often qualified as a revolution that took place in the 19th Century. If we greatly simplify the changes that were brought about, the revolutionizing factor in yesteryear appears mainly to be the simultaneous development of techniques stemming from scientific discoveries immediately preceding them: the steam boat, the locomotive, the electric light bulb, the telephone, the motor car, etc. Significant advances in medicine or agriculture can also be seen to coincide with these new technical means. These inventions, and a great many other scientific breakthroughs, caused considerable changes in demographics, transport, ...

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