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INFORMATION: n. "knowledge obtained from investigation, study, or instruction"

Information derives from the Latin informare, “to give form to the mind, to discipline, to instruct.” The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) offers the earliest written record of that sense in a passage from 1387 but adds that the definition is now “rare” or “obsolete.” Still, a word generally carries some measure of the force of its etymology. The second definition in the OED illustrates that point: “the action of telling a fact or being told something.” What we are told by a person or by recorded media forms our thinking, opinions, and perspectives.

For those who study the origin of life, information, specifically the...


is a retired secondary teacher of English and philosophy. For forty years he challenged students to dive deep into the classics of the Western canon, to think and write analytically, and to find the cultural constants reflected throughout that literature, art, and thought.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #65, Summer 2023 Copyright © 2024 Salvo |


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