Disinforming, uninforming, deinforming, overinforming, reinforming, and finally: informing
Sometimes things seem too simple. Say, this whole informing ordeal.
The idea of being informed is based on the long-established assumption that us humans are primarily uninformed beings, until information about something we are unaware of is published, and then we are informed. Essentially, we make note of it, and whatever we choose to do with it is up to us. I should add that being informed is only the first step in the process which implies that something, after the informing process itself is complete, can be known, understood, studied, applied, taught …
And I suppose that’s all there is about being informed? Well, it’s not. Let’s start from the beginning.
As much as people are informed about something, they are also informed about its opposite. Disinforming is lying, to cut the explanation of the first word in our dictionary short. And there is nothing new we can say about it. Except that, from today’s perspective, the lie came first, and only then the truth; in order for communication to make any sense, that is.
A set of activities which enable the informed to forget everything they were previously informed about. In a media context, this means absorbing content which either contains no information, or the information is absolutely irrelevant and inapplicable to ordinary life. Reality TV, celebrity lives, examples of other people’s house and garden designs, new models of overpriced cars … Uninforming (or no-informing) is an escape from tedious truths, if it is intentional. And if not, it’s an act of forgetting. If we want to be really precise, it’s an act of parainforming.
Redirecting information with additional information, which changes the prerequisites, significance, and meaning. ‘Those who stole accuse us of stealing!’, ‘This so-called affair diverts attention from…’ and similar ‘you’re the one to talk’ phrases are used to make a very undoubtable piece of information seem doubtable, uncomfortable to remember and further transmit. ‘Spin’ is a word often used to explan deinformation. And spin would know why.
The pandemic came with a side of an infodemic, the disease of the modern media user. We learn everything about everything, and in the end it turns out we either know nothing, or we know things we have no use for. Social networks, news portals, search engines, message groups, emails, plus all the other media we had, all serve to create the illusion that we are informed when in reality we only see or hear this information. Nothing else. In that sense, what you are reading now is quite possibly too much information about information. Having said that, I’ve got a couple of other things to add.
Vaccines are fine, you’re not being chipped. The virus hasn’t been created to kill us all. Bill Gates is definitely too rich, but not too powerful. Planes release mostly water vapour, they’re not dusting us with anything. Mobile telephony isn’t killing us with its 5g rays. Oh, and this column was not commissioned by the Bilderberg group.
Reinformation is a global process of obtaining information about things we already know, aiming to no longer have them questioned by new fake news on the topic. Given the flood of so-called information, I expect reinformation to soon become a compulsory subject in primary and secondary schools.
And finally, informing.
The sum of all previous information gives a sufficiently complete picture of what being informed means today. We should add one important piece of information, and that is that there are far fewer those who would like to truly inform us, and far more those who would happily process, refine, rework, or devalue any information; this of course because of their own interests on which, for the most part, we are not informed. In this transitional, local vicinity of ours, timely and truthful information is more of an ideal we are occasionally informed on than an activity that we regularly engage in. Which is a piece of information that we certainly already knew, but we pretend to be uninformed.
That’s what we wanted to inform you of.