Information, by a broad definition, is structured, processed and organised information that can be retrieved, used and altered in certain ways. It gives context to unprocessed data and allows effective decision making. For instance, a single consumer’s sale in a particular restaurant is unprocessed information it becomes information only if the company is able to identify which dish is the best or least popular. Decision making using information thus relies on accurate and current information.
The information theory then postulates that information is a set of atomic or structural combinations that provide meaning. According to this idea, information ultimately depends on the act of receiving and processing. It is not an abstract thing like logical truth. Rather, it is a concrete entity capable of causing an action. It is true or false depending on the causal inputs. Informational theories assume that we use information as a tool to cause an effect in a particular world.
Informative theories, on the other hand, postulate that we use information as an informational equivalent or a mirror into another reality. We use the new information, given by our sensory system and its memory to access previously unknown or inaccessible information. In so doing, we use the causal memory of the physical information system to access and interpret the information. This is done through the conscious mind.
Pragmatics is an influential branch of information theory. According to pragmatics, everything that makes life worth living is a result of some prior choices and actions. It is therefore a part of our ethical decisions. For instance, accepting a criminal charge in a court of law is a result of choosing to accept the charges rather than committing a criminal offense.
Pragmatic information theory also includes the pragmatics of choice re-weighting. According to pragmatics, an agent who knowingly commits a crime has to weigh the information provided to them by the means of which they commit the crime, with the available information at their disposal at the time of the commission of the crime. A person charged with a misdemeanor, for example, must evaluate the amount of harm they are doing versus the benefit that they will receive from the charge, according to pragmatics. This helps them avoid committing the crime.
As stated earlier, semantic information is the meaning behind the information we use. Semantic information may be divided into two types, namely semantic information theory. The former can be known as cognitive information, while the latter can be referred to as linguistic information. The meaning behind the words and phrases we use in a language are known as semantic information. On the other hand, the information theory seeks to describe the patterns and structure of information.