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Information - A conceptual labyrinth

TitelInformation - A conceptual labyrinth
AuteursJonker, R.
Plaats uitgaveLeeuwarden

The world of information has all the characteristics of a chaotic complex system with lots of turbulence. In no way it is comparable with the static paper environment. Nothing remains everything changes, something we actually have to accept as quite normal.
We as archivists are in this fluid digital world looking for fixation points, we want to be able to fixate some moments. But to fix, it must be clear why something has to be fixed, what content is to be fixed and eventually how this fixation technically is to be carried out.
Our field, the archival science, has at its disposal a broad variety of fundamental pillars. To begin with of course, the Manual for the Arrangement and Description of Archives (De Handleiding). This work still contains components and concepts that are still in modern times very useful. This work has been during the years complemented by a number of useful standards from ICA, ISO, and even the European Union. Not to forget the results of the international research of InterPares.
The intention of these works is to provide the professional archivist or records manager guidance through the maze or the labyrinth of information concepts and information systems. But is this assumption right or we missing something? If there is already enough guidance why is it that there are there still so many questions asked, why is there so much not cleared.
Therefore current concepts and models with derived terms and definitions are insufficient for the approach of the current changes. A lot of those approaches are often accrued from a very persistent "paper mind set".
A phenomenon and heritage which permeates our culture. A legacy one can describe as the paper paradigm. A phenomenon that leads actually to the ‘paperization’ of the perception of the digital environments. This confusion must be put aside. Otherwise, we will continue to drive forward at full speed only relying on the rearview mirrors while the windshield is still blinded. Therefore a fundamental reinvention and redefinition of our professional paradigms is a prerequisite. 
On the other hand the archivist / records manager has as practitioner to travel on the moving high speed train. At the same time he has to find his way in the design departments, the construction sites, the maintenance sites and the boardroom table. This is only possible when his message is unambiguously and clear. To be able to do that he needs 'simple' information model with instruments that meets the following requirements, it is generic, easy to handle and it is constant. 

In recent years I have as a result of my work as archivist particularly from the viewpoint of the practice thought a lot about the possibility to come up with a foothold in this wonderful world of information management.
I noted that my answers and advices were more and more based on an implicit information model, which consists of a core or a kind of constant undercurrent. 
This model has a number of invariant constant elements where information has qualities like meaningful, well-formed and trustworthy. It represents information in a continuum of time and space as the only constant factor at its centre. These qualities are also the essential composing parts of a record.  Furthermore there is a relation with the information model and the explanation of semantic information described by the information philosopher Luciano Floridi . 

Just three entities are the essence of the model. First of all to be meaningful the information has to be provided with context (1), to be well formed the information has to be contained in an information object (2). For information to come into existence there has to be an event or transaction (3). Part of an event or transaction are different ways of communication. In this model  trustworthiness and veracity are derived qualities. 

This information model is so far crystallized that it is possible to give an insight that covers the answer to this question:

Is it possible to develop an information model including a model for sharing and exchange of information (records) independent of social, organizational and technical changes and at the same time compliant to the required qualities and retention interests?

The process of filling up a car with fuel will be used as example for presentation and discussion.


Presentatie voor het DLM Forum dat op 8 en 9 juni 2016 werd gehouden in Den Haag (Nationaal Archief)

De inhoud van deze presentatie is verwerkt in mijn bijdrage aan het S@P Jaarboek 17 Archives in Liquid Times1A perfect match? Connecting partners in the labyrinth of information2.

In deze presentattie heb ik ook een poging gedaan de relaties via 'stellingen' weer te geven (sheet 4). 

De stellingenSI = Semantic information met

- de objecten:

  • C = Context
  • A = Activity
  • Io = Information Object

- kwaliteiten

  • T = Trustworthyness (betrouwbaar)
  • M = Meaningfull (context)
  • W = Wel formed (structuur)

De R staat voor Record, 

Het geheel is dan te lezen als 

  • Voor alle Semantische informatie (SI) geldt dat er een Context, een Activiteit en een Informatieobject moet zijn. Ontbreekt er een dan is er geen sprake van SI.
  • Voor alle Semantische informatie geld dat zij betrouwbaar, betekenisvol en gestructureerd moet zijn. Ook hier wanneer een van de kwaliteitsfacoren ontbreekt is er geen sprake van SI.
  • Voor alle Records geldt dat het gaat om Semantische Informatie. Dat betekent dat de stellingen die gelden voor SI onverkort van toepassing zijn op een record.  
  • Er bestaat echter ook semantische informatie die geen record is. Dat is te deduceren uit de context van de SI.

Voor het begrip semantische informatie mag ook de samenstelling emantisch kapiltaalgoed gebruikt worden. 3



Citation Keyref_10079


Datum eerste publicatie: 
vrijdag, 8 januari 2021 - 1:40pm