History and information process (pragmatic, axiological, semantic, syntactic aspects)
The modern developed society is informational. This means that in it most people produce, store, process and disseminate information. Information affects the quality of life, political and social processes, culture. It is recognized as a more important factor in the development of mankind. than traditional political, economic and social structures and systems, because now they are all controlled by information flows.
The term information society introduced the Japanese scientist Yujiro Hayashi. Theoretical foundations of this concept in the second half of the XX century. were developed by the American researcher Fritz Mahlup and the Japanese scientist Tadao Umesao. A great influence on it was provided by works devoted to the post-industrial and super-industrial society, Daniel Bell, Yonaji Masuda, Alvin Toffler.
Historical knowledge is part of this information flow, so it can be viewed in the same aspects as any information. We list the main aspects of information:
- pragmatic (on which processes and phenomena information affects in practice - first of all, management processes are considered here);
axiological (how information affects the formation of the value system of society);
Semantic (features of the information content);
- syntactic (quantitative and structural characteristics of volumes of transmitted information).
Historical information, of course, can be analyzed in all the above aspects. History is the experience of generations, and ideally it is assumed that society must take it into account in management and self-organization. Here the concept of the German scientist Norbert Wiener is applicable: the control process is the process of transferring information from peripheral systems to a central device that, on the basis of this information, gives commands to the elements of the system. Society can be represented in the form of such a system - then the government will act as the central device.
Another thing is that in reality, historical experience is considered by the authorities and society very selectively. The sarcastic utterance of B. Shaw History teaches only what does not teach anything ", alas, is actual.
The pragmatic information aspect is fully represented: first, historical information in any case is presented as true, while legitimizing and arguing administrative actions. Secondly, it is undoubtedly possible to manage and manipulate society by regulating information flows, including historical ones.
History can participate in the formation of values, moral imperatives of society. This happens through the cult of national heroes, the glorification of the deeds of ancestors, the debunking of anti-heroes of the fatherland, and so on. Registration of this memory and anti-memory occurs by memorialization (monuments, memorials, media, school textbooks, works of art, etc.). The acts of memorialization are based on information obtained by historical research. Thus, information plays an important axiological role.
In pragmatic and axiological aspects, much depends on the content of information, that is, on the semantic aspect. The dependence of information on the state of sources has been repeatedly mentioned. For the semantics it is extremely important to be able to read sources. The United States historian MA Yushim gave this process a very precise definition: "The historian receives his information from other people's texts, in this sense he is a professional reader. His professionalism consists in reading and commenting on other people's utterances .
The ability to read sources is equivalent to the ability to interpret, interpret and extract the necessary information from them. This ability provides a manifestation of the semantic aspect of historical science.
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