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The 4 Basic Laws of Information

    • #1 — There are 2 pri­mary ways we use infor­ma­tion.
      • Knowl­edge, and 
      • Deci­sion-mak­ing
    • #2 — There are 2 pri­mary ways we obtain information.
      • Infor­ma­tion we seek at our “point-of-need” (PON), and 
      • Infor­ma­tion that seeks us, at our “point-of-inter­rup­tion” (POI)
    • #3 — There are 2 pri­mary com­po­nents that com­pose information.
      • Expo­sures — what we see/hear/experience, and
      • Credibility — what we believe of what we see/hear/experience
    • #4 — Infor­ma­tion we seek @ our “point-of-need” (PON) is more cred­i­ble than infor­ma­tion that seeks us @ our “point-of-inter­rup­tion” (POI).

These laws gov­ern all infor­ma­tion includ­ing mar­ket­ing and adver­tis­ing, form­ing a frame­work that defines how we use, obtain, per­ceive, and value information.

“A few fun­da­men­tal con­cepts — together, a men­tal model — that have both explana­tory and pre­dic­tive power, so that if you under­stood them and how they inter­re­late, it would enable you to under­stand the most impor­tant changes occur­ring…” Doug Shapiro, The Mediator

The 1st Law describes the two pri­mary ways we use infor­ma­tion and each way has its asso­ci­ated sources and meth­ods. Seek­ing “knowl­edge” is usu­ally a more relaxed and less for­mal with the excep­tion of “knowl­edge” being sought for edu­ca­tional pur­poses such as “report cre­ation” or “test prepa­ra­tion.” Whereas, infor­ma­tion sought for “deci­sion-mak­ing” is nearly always per­formed at a greater “urgency” level since the deci­sion is antic­i­pated or imminent.

The 2nd Law describes the 2 pri­mary ways we obtain our infor­ma­tion. We either inten­tion­ally seek it out when we “need or want” it, or the infor­ma­tion inter­rupts what­ever we hap­pen to be doing to deliver what is usu­ally unwanted infor­ma­tion that is rarely infor­ma­tive because some­one paid to have it deliv­ered to us.

The 3rd Law explains how we per­ceive infor­ma­tion — the “how much we believe of what we see/hear/experience.” The 3rd Law is the basis for The Mar­ket­ing Equa­tion.

And the 4th Law explains that we believe infor­ma­tion we inten­tion­ally seek and even­tu­ally find — more than infor­ma­tion that inter­rupts what we are doing because some­one paid for the interruption. 

  • The most pow­er­ful mar­ket­ing is high-value infor­ma­tion deliv­ered at the con­sumer’s point-of-need.

    The Atlantic, June 13, 2014 - “Think about how much you can learn about prod­ucts today before see­ing an ad. Com­ments, user reviews, friends’ opin­ions, price-com­par­i­son tools: These things aren’t adver­tis­ing (although they’re just as ubiq­ui­tous). In fact, they’re much more pow­er­ful than adver­tis­ing because we con­sider them infor­ma­tion rather than mar­ket­ing. The dif­fer­ence is enor­mous: We seek infor­ma­tion, so we’re more likely to trust it; mar­ket­ing seeks us, so we’re more likely to dis­trust it.

  • Inquiry:
    What are the 2 most fun­da­men­tal uses for information?
    The two most fun­da­men­tal uses for infor­ma­tion are:
      1. Knowl­edge and Learn­ing: Infor­ma­tion serves as the foun­da­tion for acquir­ing knowl­edge and learn­ing about the world. It enables indi­vid­u­als to under­stand con­cepts, gain skills, and develop exper­tise in var­i­ous subjects.
      2. Deci­sion-Mak­ing: Infor­ma­tion is cru­cial for mak­ing informed deci­sions. It pro­vides the data, con­text, and insights nec­es­sary to eval­u­ate options and choose the best course of action, whether in per­sonal, pro­fes­sional, or soci­etal matters.
    The two most fun­da­men­tal uses for infor­ma­tion are:
      1. To learn and under­stand the world around us. Infor­ma­tion helps us to make sense of our expe­ri­ences, to form new ideas and opin­ions, and to expand our knowl­edge. For exam­ple, we can use infor­ma­tion to learn about dif­fer­ent cul­tures, to under­stand how the world works, or to develop new skills.
      2. To make deci­sions and solve prob­lems. Infor­ma­tion helps us to iden­tify and eval­u­ate options, to weigh the pros and cons, and to choose the best course of action. For exam­ple, we can use infor­ma­tion to decide which job to accept, where to live, or how to invest our money.

    These two uses of infor­ma­tion are inter­con­nected. We learn and under­stand the world around us in order to make bet­ter deci­sions and solve prob­lems. And we make deci­sions and solve prob­lems in order to learn and under­stand the world around us.

    Here are some exam­ples of how we use infor­ma­tion in our daily lives:

      • A stu­dent reads a text­book to learn about a new topic.
      • A doc­tor uses med­ical records to diag­nose a patien­t’s illness.
      • A dri­ver uses a GPS to nav­i­gate to a new destination.
      • A voter uses infor­ma­tion about can­di­dates and issues to decide who to vote for.
      • A busi­ness owner uses mar­ket research to develop a new product.

    In all of these cases, infor­ma­tion is being used to learn, under­stand, make deci­sions, or solve problems.

    Infor­ma­tion is essen­tial to human life. It allows us to func­tion in the world, to achieve our goals, and to improve our lives.

    There are two ways we obtain infor­ma­tion — infor­ma­tion we seek and infor­ma­tion that seeks us
    That’s an inter­est­ing way to put it! It high­lights the two main avenues through which we acquire knowl­edge and data.
      1. Infor­ma­tion we seek: This refers to the delib­er­ate and con­scious effort we make to gather knowl­edge. It involves activ­i­ties like read­ing books, con­duct­ing research, ask­ing ques­tions, and actively seek­ing out sources of infor­ma­tion. This can be dri­ven by curios­ity, a need for spe­cific infor­ma­tion, or a desire to learn.
      2. Infor­ma­tion that seeks us: This encom­passes the pas­sive acqui­si­tion of infor­ma­tion. It includes things like unso­licited advice, unex­pected encoun­ters, or infor­ma­tion that comes to us through var­i­ous chan­nels like noti­fi­ca­tions, con­ver­sa­tions, or even chance occur­rences. Some­times, this infor­ma­tion can be unex­pected and might not align with what we were orig­i­nally seeking.

    Both types of infor­ma­tion are valu­able in their own ways. The infor­ma­tion we seek is often tar­geted and spe­cific, allow­ing us to address par­tic­u­lar ques­tions or issues. On the other hand, infor­ma­tion that seeks us can intro­duce us to new ideas, per­spec­tives, or oppor­tu­ni­ties that we might not have come across otherwise.

    Being open to both types of infor­ma­tion can lead to a well-rounded and diverse knowl­edge base, enrich­ing our under­stand­ing of the world around us. It’s also impor­tant to crit­i­cally eval­u­ate and ver­ify the infor­ma­tion we receive, regard­less of how it comes to us.

    There are two ways we obtain infor­ma­tion — infor­ma­tion we seek at our “point of need” and infor­ma­tion that seeks us at our “point of interruption.”
    Yes, that is cor­rect. There are two main ways we obtain information:

    1. Infor­ma­tion we seek at our point of need

    This is infor­ma­tion that we actively search for when we need it. For exam­ple, we might search for a recipe online, look up the mean­ing of a word, or read a news arti­cle to stay informed about cur­rent events.

    2. Infor­ma­tion that seeks us at our point of interruption

    This is infor­ma­tion that comes to us unso­licited, often through adver­tis­ing, social media, or email. For exam­ple, we might see an ad for a new prod­uct on a web­site, receive a noti­fi­ca­tion about a friend’s post on social media, or get an email from a com­pany we’ve sub­scribed to.

    Exam­ples of infor­ma­tion we seek at our point of need:

    Googling a recipe for dinner
    Read­ing a news arti­cle about a cur­rent event
    Using a map app to find directions
    Look­ing up the def­i­n­i­tion of a word
    Watch­ing a tuto­r­ial video on how to do something
    Research­ing a prod­uct before buy­ing it

    Exam­ples of infor­ma­tion that seeks us at our point of interruption:

    See­ing an ad for a new prod­uct on a website
    Receiv­ing a noti­fi­ca­tion about a friend’s post on social media
    Get­ting an email from a com­pany you’ve sub­scribed to
    Watch­ing a com­mer­cial on TV
    Hear­ing a radio ad
    Get­ting a pop-up ad on a website

    The bal­ance between these two types of infor­ma­tion is chang­ing. In the past, most of the infor­ma­tion we con­sumed was infor­ma­tion we sought out. But today, we are bom­barded with infor­ma­tion from all sides. This can make it dif­fi­cult to focus on the infor­ma­tion that is impor­tant to us and to avoid distractions.

    It is impor­tant to be aware of the dif­fer­ent ways we obtain infor­ma­tion and to be mind­ful of the infor­ma­tion we con­sume. We should strive to seek out infor­ma­tion from reli­able sources and to be crit­i­cal of the infor­ma­tion that comes to us unsolicited.

    There are two main com­po­nents of infor­ma­tion — expo­sures (how much we see/hear) and credibility (how much we believe of what we see/hear)
    You’ve made an insight­ful obser­va­tion about the two key com­po­nents of infor­ma­tion: expo­sures and credibility.
      1. Expo­sures:
        • This refers to the amount or fre­quency with which we encounter infor­ma­tion. In the dig­i­tal age, we are con­stantly bom­barded with a vast amount of infor­ma­tion from var­i­ous sources — social media, news out­lets, adver­tise­ments, and more. The sheer vol­ume of infor­ma­tion can be over­whelm­ing, mak­ing it cru­cial to fil­ter and process it effectively.
      2. Credibility:
        • Credibility per­tains to how much we trust or believe in the infor­ma­tion we receive. It depends on fac­tors such as the source’s rep­u­ta­tion, reli­a­bil­ity, and the evi­dence pro­vided. Estab­lish­ing credibility is cru­cial because it influ­ences our inter­pre­ta­tion and accep­tance of the information.

    Bal­anc­ing these com­po­nents is cru­cial for mak­ing informed deci­sions and form­ing accu­rate per­cep­tions of the world around us. It’s essen­tial to crit­i­cally eval­u­ate the credibility of the sources we encounter and be mind­ful of the poten­tial biases or agenda they might have.

    In an era of infor­ma­tion over­load, hon­ing skills in infor­ma­tion lit­er­acy, crit­i­cal think­ing, and fact-check­ing is more impor­tant than ever. This helps us sift through expo­sures and assess credibility effec­tively, ulti­mately lead­ing to a more informed and dis­cern­ing approach to the infor­ma­tion we encounter.

    Yes, that is cor­rect. Expo­sures and credibility are the two main com­po­nents of infor­ma­tion. Expo­sures refer to the amount of infor­ma­tion we are exposed to, while credibility refers to how much we believe the infor­ma­tion to be true.

    Expo­sures can be influ­enced by a num­ber of fac­tors, such as our social media feeds, the news we con­sume, and the peo­ple we inter­act with. Credibility can be influ­enced by fac­tors such as the source of the infor­ma­tion, the evi­dence that is pro­vided, and our own per­sonal biases.

    It is impor­tant to be aware of both expo­sures and credibility when eval­u­at­ing infor­ma­tion. We should strive to expose our­selves to a vari­ety of sources of infor­ma­tion, and we should be crit­i­cal of the infor­ma­tion we con­sume. We should also be mind­ful of our own per­sonal biases and how they may affect our judgment.

    Here are some tips for eval­u­at­ing information:

    * Con­sider the source of the infor­ma­tion. Is it a rep­utable source? Is the source biased in any way?
    * Look for evi­dence to sup­port the infor­ma­tion. Are there facts, sta­tis­tics, or quotes from experts?
    * Be aware of your own per­sonal biases. Do you have any pre­con­ceived notions about the topic?
    * If you are unsure about the credibility of a piece of infor­ma­tion, try to find cor­rob­o­rat­ing evi­dence from other sources.

    It is also impor­tant to remem­ber that infor­ma­tion is not always sta­tic. New infor­ma­tion can come to light that changes our under­stand­ing of a topic. As a result, it is impor­tant to be open to new infor­ma­tion and to be will­ing to change our minds when pre­sented with new evidence.

    Infor­ma­tion we seek at our “point of need” is more cred­i­ble than infor­ma­tion that seeks us at our “point of interruption”
      1. “Infor­ma­tion we seek at our ‘point of need’ ”:
        • This refers to actively look­ing for infor­ma­tion when we require it. For exam­ple, when we have a spe­cific ques­tion or need to solve a par­tic­u­lar problem.
      2. “is more cred­i­ble”:
        • This sug­gests that infor­ma­tion we actively seek out tends to be more reli­able and trust­wor­thy. This is because when we actively search for infor­ma­tion, we are more likely to eval­u­ate its source, cross-ref­er­ence it, and assess its credibility.
      3. “than infor­ma­tion that seeks us at our ‘point of inter­rup­tion’ ”:
        • This con­trasts with the first part of the state­ment. Here, it’s refer­ring to infor­ma­tion that comes to us with­out us actively seek­ing it. This could be in the form of adver­tise­ments, noti­fi­ca­tions, pop-ups, or unso­licited messages.

    Putting it together, the state­ment is empha­siz­ing that infor­ma­tion we proac­tively seek out is gen­er­ally more trust­wor­thy than infor­ma­tion that comes to us unso­licited. This is because when we actively seek infor­ma­tion, we have the oppor­tu­nity to assess its credibility and reli­a­bil­ity, whereas infor­ma­tion that inter­rupts us may not go through the same level of scrutiny.

    In the dig­i­tal age, where infor­ma­tion is con­stantly bom­bard­ing us through var­i­ous chan­nels, being dis­cern­ing about the sources and qual­ity of infor­ma­tion is cru­cial. It encour­ages indi­vid­u­als to be proac­tive in seek­ing out infor­ma­tion from rep­utable sources rather than pas­sively accept­ing what­ever infor­ma­tion comes their way.


    On the other hand, infor­ma­tion that seeks us at our “point of inter­rup­tion” is often designed to grab our atten­tion and get us to click on a link or make a pur­chase. This type of infor­ma­tion is often more sen­sa­tion­al­ized and less credible.

    Here is a sim­ple example:

    * **Point of need:** You are look­ing for a recipe for choco­late chip cook­ies. You go to Google and search for “choco­late chip cookie recipe.” You click on the first link that comes up and read the recipe. You are more likely to trust this recipe than a recipe that is s