Working list for Spring 2004 Brown Bag Series

Information, Meaning, and Noise: What's the Différance?

Noon Thursdays, Multicultural Center

Information lays claim to prompt verifiability. The prime requirement is that it appear 'understandable in itself'...because of this it proves incompatible with the spirit of is half the art of storytelling to keep a story free from explanation as one reproduces it...thus the narrative achieves an amplitude that information lacks.

--Walter Benjamin,"The Storyteller"

Meaning is information that has been discarded: information that is no longer present and no longer needs to be. Information and meaning are rather like money and wealth. Real value, real weath, is a matter of...the money you have spent, money you used to have: utility values you have obtained by paying for them....Likewise information: It is only when you have got enough of the stuff that you realize it has no value in itself.

--Tor Norretranders, The User Illusion: Cutting Consciousness Down to Size

Jan. 29 Katherine Rowe (English): Composing a Collage: Comparing Our Conceptual Maps and Investments

Feb. 5 Scott Silverman (Information Services): "What's So Informative About Information?"

Feb. 12 Sandy Schram (GSSWSR): "Reassessing Welfare Reform: Numbers in Search of Narratives"

Feb. 19 Sharon Burgmayer (Chemistry): "The Teleology of Green, or: Is There Meaning in Orange?"

Mar. 4 Kim Cassidy (Psychology): "Information Processing: How Psychology Approaches Knowledge"


Mar. 18 Natasha Lee (French): "Meaning and Genre"

Mar. 25 Nancy Collins (Public Affairs): "Is It All Noise? What Matters in Public Relations"

Apr. 1 Doug Blank and Jim Marshall (Computer Science): "A Bit About Bits"

Apr. 8 Tamara Davis (Biology): "Genotype and Phenotype"

Apr. 15 Jenny Rickard (Admissions): "Information, Meaning, and Noise in College Admissions"

Apr. 22 Weecha Crawford (Geology)

Apr. 29 Paul Grobstein (Center for Science in Society): "It's Time for a New Theory of Information"