Information, Communications, and Understanding

CONCERN WITH “INFORMATION” and “communications” started shortly before World War I. Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica, which appeared in 1910, is still one of the foundation books. And a long line of illustrious successors—from Ludwig Wittgenstein through Norbert Wiener and A. N. Chomsky’s “mathematical linguistics” today—has continued the work on the logic of information. Roughly contemporaneous is the interest in the meaning of communication; Alfred Korzybski started on the study of “general semantics,” i.e. on the meaning of communications, around the turn of the century. ...

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