„It is probably dangerous to use this theory of information in ﬁelds for which it was not designed, but I think the danger will not keep people from using it.“
— J. C. R. Licklider American psychologist and computer scientist 1915 - 1990
Context: It is probably dangerous to use this theory of information in ﬁelds for which it was not designed, but I think the danger will not keep people from using it. In psychology, at least in the psychology of communication, it seems to ﬁt with a fair approximation. When it occurs that the learnability of material is roughly proportional to the information content calculated | by the theory, I think it looks interesting. There may have to be modiﬁcations, of course. For example, I think that the human receiver of information gets more out of a message that is encoded into a broad vocabulary (an extensive set of symbols) and presented at a slow pace, than from a message, equal in information content, that is encoded into a restricted set of symbols and presented at a faster pace. Nevertheless, the elementary parts of the theory appear to be very useful. I say it may be dangerous to use them, but I don’t think the danger will scare us off. Licklider (1950) quotes in: Claude E. Shannon " The redundancy of English http://www.uni-due.de/~bj0063/doc/shannon_redundancy.pdf". In: Claus Pias, Heinz von Foerster eds. (2003) Cybernetics: Transactions. p. 270.