Guenther Krumpak: The Book and The Internet - the Antithesis between Paper and Electricity
KISK - Blok expertů
The Book And The Internet
MU Brno, Feb. 27, 2014
A writer, speaker, preacher
Studies of English, French &
Italian Lingusitics & literature
As a journalist stumbled into
ICT. Discovered Europe's
digital achievements and
started to write about them.
Moved to CR in 2007: The old
desire to experience a former
„Eastern Block“ country. Fell
in love with Prague and
started to write about the city.
Who am I?
In Part 1 we're talking about
We'd rather talk about Information „ovládání“
What is information?
Information, in its most
restricted technical meaning,
is a sequence of symbols that
can be interpreted as a
We are receiving
information all the time
What IS information?
Everything we acknowledge with our senses
In a human context, anything that we perceive via
In a more restricted meaning, coded content - written,
In a corporate context, data - facts&figures, reports,
From information to knowledge
Information knowledge = I can use it now and in
We structure and store information to be useful for us
and our environment
I see a red car: „There is a red car“
Option: The information is stored, but we forget it
Option: „That's the red car I always wanted“
Option: „Watch out when you cross the street“
Option: „Finally my friends arrive“
Information as such has no value
unless we process it - we must acknowledge it
and put it into a context
Information is constantly growing
Národní knihovna: 6 million documents
Austrian national library: 10 million objects
Library of Congress: 120 million items
Wikpedia: 30 million entries
Newspapers: 600 million copies
WWW: 630 milion websites (Dec. 2012)
Plus: TV, radio, newspapers, all other media
(posters, public advertising etc.)
How shall we manage that?
We are heaping new information upon new
Once more: Information management is
Do you agree?
Please help me:
Who profits from this activity?
turning large amounts of diverse
into useful and well organised units
for the profit of organisations of any kind:
university, company, shop, lawyer, hospital,
public administration etc.
„Pracujeme a žijeme v době, ve které jsou nejcennější
informace. Bez ohledu na jejich typ a význam si však
musíme uvědomit, že jsme schopni vnímat a účelně
tedy využít jen omezený informační toky, které k nám
proudí všemi dostupnými komunikačními kanály.
Zásadní tedy je, dle zákonů logistiky, mít informace v
potřebném množství a kvalitě ve správný čas a na
správném místě tak, abychom za přiměřených
nákladů mohli uspokojit naše zákazníky.“
Realita však může vypadat i takto:
Information management is good for...
Assumption 1: ...everybody -
any production unit, any research, any
marketing unit, any authority needs data
Assumption 2: ...people who have no other
capacity for deciding
Assumption 3: ...a small group of
dominating capitalists to further increase
„The amount of data available today via WWW is only a
fraction of what we can expect in the future. We will need
completely new methods to deal with this flood of
information. The winners will be search machines,
searching tools, and those people who see information
as the basis of the future development of mankind.
Those who develop useful educational and didactic
materials, information products and educational methods to
help mankind with evolutionary development“
Information management is good for...
...most probably all three target groups, but most of all for
the information industry itself?
Tobias Knoof, founder of the German online magazine
www.digitale-infoprodukte.de and expert on internet traffic
World dominating monopoly?
Depends on the ability of the information industry to deliver correct data
and make information more useful:
● Now, Google and others deliver everything and do not adequatly reply to
● Try to find the facts&figures you need on the statistical pages of the
● Try to find „the right“ data in international university rankings
● Many data connected to academic research are contradictory -
Greenhouse effect, „healthy“ nutrition, negative or positive
consequences of genetically manipulated seeds
● Compare European and US unemployment statistics
● Remember business figures issued by certain US investment banks in
the recent past
● Think about the reality behind figures on the GDP
Security & Privacy?
1) Data security technologies
● 1.1 Disk encryption
● 1.2 Hardware-based mechanisms for protecting
● 1.3 Backups
● 1.4 Data masking
● 1.5 Data erasure
2) International laws and standards
● 2.1 International laws
● 2.2 International standards
Join ATTAC and start destroying
the information age?
Rely on only what we see, hear, smell, touch?
(Remember? That was the original definition for
Get back to before 1995? (The year the WWW had its
Give up my career, go to the countryside and start
We can add new values and parameters to information.
Now what if we added these:
We cannot and will not turn back time, but...
So far, we dealt with information with these attributes:
● Quantity to
The more need for information
= the more dependence on others
= the more support for monopolies
Leads automatically to value no.2. - Quality:
Less information can/should increase its quality
= To rely more on personal experience
= opportunities for older generations
= To increase the responsibility for decisions!
(Risk + chance)
● Reduction might also mean to forget about growth. But this
is an idea for a different discussion
Too large a field to discuss today. Just a few keywords:
● Selection & verification
One of my favourite examples for data manipulation:
International university rankings
1) A look behind the questionnaire reveals a lot of
inadequacy: English speaking respondents, geographic
divisions, quotations in (English) scientific journals
2) Why are Harvard, Yale, Princeton always at the top of the
list? Money (Harvard $32.7 billion!), self fulfilling prophecies.
Questions in the foreground:
How do we get information?
For what purpose do we use it?
Who profits from its processing?
Questions in the background:
Would I be ready to discuss ethics with
How do I choose my job?
Would I accept a well paid job in an oil sand exploitation
company or with an army supplier?
Ethics & Emotion
The most difficult aspects of information
If so, this will be a
For two reasons:
1) Literacy, and,
connected with it,
2) The limited life
cycle of electronic
Part 2: The Book
Why now talk about
books? Will they not
Literacy aspects in a nutshell:
● Books are an essential part of general education and a basis for
Reading is a fundamental training for the cognition of complex
systems, for understanding context, for creativity and for
● The physical book has an emotional character different from
the virtual existence of e-book content.
● There is a growing discrepancy between dropping basic
educational skills and the growing requirements of a highly
N. b.: We're not talking about non-fiction such as telephone
directories, address books, all kinds of data collection etc.
Floppy disk: 3-5 years. Though no longer made, many still exist; examples include
8”, 5.25” and 3.5” disks, along with items such as Zip and Jaz disks.
Flash media: 1-10 years. Includes USB flash drives, SD/SDHC cards and solid-state
drives; all generally are less reliable than traditional spinning-disk hard drives.
Hard drive: 2-8 years. The health of a spinning disk hard drive often depends on the
environment; excessive heat, for example, can lead to quick failure.
CD/DVD/Blu-ray optical disk: 2-10 years. There is large variation in the quality of
optical media; note that “burnable” discs typically have a shorter life than “factory
Magnetic tape: 10-30 years. Tape is a more expensive storage option for most
users–it depends on specialty equipment–but it is the most reliable media
The limited life cycle of electronic storage media
Information management is undoubtedly a position that will
be very asked for in the future.
Some of you will be decision makers.
Some of you will work in information management.
Some of you will work in libraries.
Maybe some of my thoughts make you think...
Contact me via www.park.cz
Your Role in all this...