Can someone explain to me the piping concept in exersize 7?

I’m not really understanding the way the pipe works or how it’s being used by redirecting the outputs and inputs. (also first time posting if i did something wrong sorry)

Programs communicate by reading and writing text. | is used to send the output of one into another. Similarly, > sends to file and < reads from file

the | cat part is redundant, can send wc's output directly to the file, cat is just repeating it there.

This is equivalent:

wc < volcanoes.txt > islands.txt
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I was wondering pretty much the same thing richt now, all the “cat” is a bit confusing here.

Would it work if we just did it like this:

wc volcanoes.txt > islands.txt

?