Information Over Intelligence

Jalyn Marks

In text messages (and many other modes of communication), senders and receivers know whether or not the message has been viewed. That’s the direct feedback from the interface. However, there are different connotations and denotations of the actual content sent, depending on context, existing relationships between the communicators, etc.

James Gleick quotes Sir Thomas Elyot (16th century) to begin distinguishing information from intelligence, “Nowe used for an elegant word were there is mutuall treaties or appoyntementes, eyther by letters or message” (2011). I really like this quote because it communication is not solely reliant on cognitive or other biological functions; instead, communication is dependent upon access and education. We can ask: do the parties communicating with one another have the cultural, political, and economic backgrounds necessary to send and receive their messages?


Gleick, J. (2011). The information: A history, a theory, a flood.