Archive for the ‘Homogenization’ Category

Semantics Irrelevant to Communication?

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

C. E. Shannon in A Mathematical Theory of Communication (Bell System Technical Journal, 1948) says:

The fundamental problem of communication is that of reproducing at one point either exactly or approximately a message selected at another point. Frequently the messages have meaning; that is they refer to or are correlated according to some system with certain physical or conceptual entities. These semantic aspects of communication are irrelevant to the engineering problem.” (emphasis added)

Avoidance of the “semantic aspects of communication” remains the most popular position. Think about it. What are the common responses to heterogeneous data (semantic “noise”)?

  1. Let’s use my semantic (or, lacking the power to insist),
  2. Let’s use a common semantic.

Both are homogenization of semantically heterogeneous messages. A “McDonald’s” version as opposed to having choices ranging from Thai to Southern Barbeque (BBQ, Bar-B-Q, Bar-B-Que). Not only is there information loss, the results are bland and uninteresting.

Semantic homogenization is not the answer. Semantic homogenization is the question. The answer is NO.