Information, Meaning, and Intellectual Organization ; preprint available

Loet Leydesdorff loet at LEYDESDORFF.NET
Tue Jun 24 01:55:48 EDT 2014

Information, Meaning, and Intellectual Organization
in Networks of Inter-Human Communication

The Shannon-Weaver model of linear information transmission is extended with
two loops potentially generating redundancies: (i) meaning is provided
locally to the information from the perspective of hindsight, and (ii)
meanings can be codified differently and then refer to other horizons of
meaning. Thus, three layers are distinguished: variations in the
communications, historical organization at each moment of time, and
evolutionary self-organization of the codes of communication over time.
Furthermore, the codes of communication can functionally be different and
then the system is both horizontally and vertically differentiated. All
these subdynamics operate in parallel and necessarily generate uncertainty.
However, meaningful information can be considered as the specific selection
of a signal from the noise; the codes of communication are social constructs
that can generate redundancy by giving different meanings to the same
information. Reflexively, one can translate among codes in more elaborate
discourses. The second (instantiating) layer can be operationalized in terms
of semantic maps using the vector space model; the third in terms of mutual
redundancy among the latent dimensions of the vector space. Using Blaise
Cronin's oeuvre, the different operations of the three layers are
demonstrated empirically. 


** apologies for cross-postings



Loet Leydesdorff 

University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)

 <mailto:loet at> loet at ;
Honorary Professor,  <> SPRU, University of

Guest Professor  <> Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou;
Visiting Professor,  <> ISTIC,

Visiting Professor,  <> Birkbeck, University of London;



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