Information as Entertainment

For my Theory and Foundations class (which you’ll hear me refer to as 802), I have been doing a significant amount of reading about information.  This is what my future revolves around: Information.

Starting with the text Looking for Information, I found it interesting that defining information is actually quite difficult and has changed drastically in recent years.  The definition Donald O. Case chooses for this book is “any difference that makes a difference to a conscious, human mind”.  With this definition in mind, it was easier to understand all of the readings that I am taking in right now.

The issue of information needs vs. information wants came of quite often in this book as well.  Yes, we all want information for different purposes and while they are constantly changing there is still a need.  I do not agree with the idea that there is no actual need for information such as there is a need for food, shelter, security and companionship (Case, 2008).  How would one attain food and shelter and basic human needs without the information leading them to those needs?  I believe information IS needed by all humans, which is why seeking information is such a valuable tool for the success of individuals and societies.

This leads into the idea of “information as entertainment”.  Is entertainment a basic human need?  What happens if we don’t have it? Creativity? Boredom? What about where we get our news? Whether or not one is an NPR, Fox or a CNN enthusiast, we are receiving news and information about current events, politics and society.  The fact that all of these mediums vary SO drastically from one another is what interests me.  It leaves me wondering what drives people to listen to and watch the shows that they do.  Where does society get their “hard facts” from if we are getting information that is diffused through entertainment lenses and TV/talk show personalities?  Perhaps we choose these lenses based on previous beliefs, but even those beliefs are rooted in some experience that provided information for us at some point.

I’d like to know what percentage of my information is based on entertainment.  I could turn this into a study to find out exactly how much of my information “consumed” in a week is actually entertainment related and how much of it is knowledge based.  It will be heavily weighted, being that I am currently a student, but maybe I should differentiate between school, entertainment and knowledge.

I’ll check back in a week to share my results!

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