Slaying Dragons #5 – Audio as Information

John Watkinson looks at audio as Information

Allegedly we now live in an information society. I don’t accept that. In fact there has been information for as long as or longer than there has been society; indeed the cohesion of society depends upon information. Optical fibres descend from the use of smoke signals and semaphore; the Internet is a descendant of the Roman road. Society has always confused data and information and it has always been the case that received messages may not be actually reflect reality, but may also include everything from the ill-considered or misguided through propagandist and prejudicial to downright malicious. It has always been the case that a certain amount of caution has to be employed over the validity of a message and the adoption of electronics doesn’t change anything. Encryption is the descendant of the wax seal.

Caution is generally under employed. There is an equilibrium; a kind of cold war, because if the average person was less gullible the propaganda would be less effective. Our schools don’t provide the necessary awareness. The present incumbent of the White House is a chilling reminder of that. It’s as if the irrationality we identify in hi-fi enthusiasts has spread to the population at large. Perhaps it has always been there and with our narrow focus on audio we didn’t see it.

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