Information in the dark

This page is missing:
  • An illustration of the streetlight effect.
  • Some details on research project Dark Information, the underlying math of which was accepted by the DFG, the whole of which was rejected by the Volkswagen Foundation.
  • A drawing/comic strip that replaces all these words

There are 2 sorts of information: the one we have and the one we don’t.  Within the traditional perspective on information, this might be one of its essential properties. To be had or not to be had. There is however an alternative view, and it leads to a much more telling distinction.


There are 2 sorts of information: “information in the light”  and “information in the dark“.

The difference still isn’t in the intrinsic properties of the information: it’s in how we discover it. Information in the light lies in the light of  knowledge we already have. It’s wedged tight in between things we already know. We access it by racking our brains long and hard on the things all around it that we already know, until hopefully … puff: out comes a new piece of knowledge.  Usually it works. But as you can imagine or already know, looking for information this way can feel very cramped and crowded. Plus, with so little wiggle room, assessing the time it will take to produce the next critical puff is near impossible. So as space thins and possibly in response to that, time lengthens, the task may become tedious and unrewarding. Indulging in a little knowledge-stacking instead is tempting (building upwards on top of existing knowledge for little more reason than we can).

There is a much more pleasant and efficient way of producing new information. It entails seeking out the dark to find out where exactly it meets the edge of the light, and then venturing a little beyond the beacon’s scope, where there is space to actually feel ourselves thinking and informing the darkness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hinweis / Hint
Das Captcha kann Kleinbuchstaben, Ziffern und die Sonderzeichzeichen »?!#%&« enthalten.
The captcha could contain lower case, numeric characters and special characters as »!#%&«.