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Information Space (RLE: Organizations) by Max Boisot

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Chapter 2

ABSTRACT

How is data extracted from data by human information processing agents? Man intercepts low-level energy – i.e., data – from his external environment in such a way that if it is subsequently processed, it acts upon him informationally rather than mechanically. Data processing is subject to two distinct yet interrelated economizing strategies.

The first, coding, is an act of selection from a repertoire of possibilities that is performed with varying degrees of efficiency. Such coding organizes sense-data into perceptual categories. The second, abstracting, generates concepts that in turn economize on perceptual categories. Abstraction leads to generalization, a process that links together ostensibly ...

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