Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Top Paper Panel: "Terms for Talking About Information and Communication"


School of Communications


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range





This paper offers terms for talking about information and how it relates to both matter-energy and communication, by (1) identifying three different levels of signs: index, based in contiguity, icon, based in similarity, and symbol, based in convention; (2) examining three kinds of coding: analogic differences, which deal with positive quantities having contiguous and continuous values, and digital distinctions, which include either/or functions,discrete values, and capacities for negation, decontextualization, and abstract concept-transfer, and finally, iconic coding, which incorporates both analogic differences and digital distinctions; and (3) differentiating between information theoretic orientations (which deal with data, what is given as meaningfulaccording to selections and combinations within contexts of choice) and communication theoretic ones (which deal with capta, what is taken as meaningful according to various choices of context). Finally, a brief envoi reflects on how information broadly construed relates to probability and entropy.

Conference Name

National Communication Association Annual Convention

Conference Location

Orlando, FL

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