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Someone's thoughts about information, wealth, and scarcity

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
http://mv.lycaeum.org//M2/filterz.html

notes and thoughts about: information, wealth and scarcity

19-DEC-94:

The increase in interconnectivity due to computer networks and the increased velocity of information neccesitates filtering of incoming messages, and selective responding. This effect is identical to the flood of neural messages, both sensory and inferential, encountered during the psychedelic experience.

A measure of confusion is the average inferential distance between any two facts. An index of information velocity is the average interconnecting distance between any two nodes or pieces of information on a network.

World Wide Web, for example, is a hypertext system that links multimedia and text documents distributed throughout the global information network into a chaotic but unified tangle of inference and digression.

(cf. Michael Shamberg's notion of an information economy.
Paco Xander Nathan's notion of an economy of attention.
Scotto's notion of a community as an attractor for ideas.)

Where one draws the boundary of ownership. These boundaries are arbitrary, contrived descriptions. Bluffs, essentially.

Intellectual property as a form of artificial scarcity. Information
is negentropic by definition (measured as negative entropy, see
Claude Shannon's "A Mathematical Theory of Communications"). Since information can be copied without limit and without reducing the original "supply" from which it is copied, information can never be scarce unless it is deliberately withheld.

Our relationship to this unbounded abundance of information resembles our relationship with nature before the invention of agriculture: an information economy is a hunting-gathering economy.

Money is stored violence, tokens of a wealth gradient maintained by armed force. The world DOES owe you a living, but it can't fullfill its contract because it's occupied territory.

It is not information that is scarce, but sources of new information that are scarce. If an idea does not exist, it cannot be copied. If value is a function of scarcity and demand, the only thing valuable in an information economy is the means to create new ideas: novelty.

(McKenna's model of time as the influx of novelty into history)

Entropy is central to the thermodynamic model of time. Dissipatives systems (cf:Ilya Prigogine) export entropy to increase their level of complexity. Exporting entropy is isomorphic to importing negative entropy, that is, importing information.

(Buckminster Fuller's notion of ephemerialization)

Information, in the form of design intelligence, allows one to do more with less. The net perceived effect is a decrease in the amount of material or energy required to accomplish a given function. This represents a decrease in demand, and a reciprocal perceived increase in supply. Here again, information acts negentropically.

Information is neither matter nor energy. It violates the laws of
thermodynamics that govern the behavior of matter and energy.
Yet, information is capable of transforming matter and energy into novel configurations that are self-propogating. (Rupert Sheldrake's notion of morphogenetic fields) Since information is non-physical, it may also be unconstrained by the laws of general and special relativity: information may travel freely across space at faster-than-light velocities, both forward and backwards across time.

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SubMemes:

Paco Xander Nathan: filtering incoming messages due to response time required.

Aldous Huxley: reducing valve theory of consciousness/psychedelics

Shamburg(Gene Youngblood?): Computers are the LSD of business...
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4JAN95:

Since value is a function of scarcity relative to demand, and wealth
is a function of abundance, wealth and value are opposites: As abundance increases, value decreases. The more wealth there is to go around, the less precious it is. The definition of wealth as "surplus" also supports this notion: Surplus is what you can afford to trade or give away - surplus is that for which its posessor has no demand.

(cf. the Native American concept of wealth: persons who "give away" are considered wealthy; hording is preceived as a symptom of poverty. Traces of this concept also emerge in industrial European culture: Philanthropy is typically an activity for the wealthy.)

Novel information is scarce: for example, software development is still a matter of hand-crafting, and requires enormous innovation and skill on the parts of software designers and programmers. Actual value, in this case, consists of the network of working relationships embodied in software and engineering firms, not the organized information (software) they produce. Data is not wealth, the capacity to give form to novel information, programming, is wealth; clearly the goose is more valuable than the golden egg. As more of the process of programming becomes
automated, Metaprogramming will come to represent wealth.

Metaprogramming is scarcer than programming by definition. A product will always be more abundant than any process that repeatedly produces it. In a way, this is a redefinition of wealth=capital; an assertion that it is the means of production, not the product, that embody real wealth.
 
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AshG

Member
i think the author must be careful in distinguishing the general function and the ability to perform general functions.

while they state the important, (but obvious...maybe ;) ), principle that information itself is neither matter nor energy, they seem to think that by "violating" the laws that govern matter and energy that somehow information holds a special place in the world around us.
the principles of entropy are "violated" all the time, as any cursory study of the relativistic effects noted in the article would reveal. not to mention that these aren't laws in the sense that they are absolutes that pin the universe in unshakeable foundations.
personally i see no reason why the 3rd law alluded to above would be violated in every sense of the word(err... maybe) at the edge of the universe.

yet all of the above aside, the unfortunate step in reasoning occurs here:
" Since information is non-physical, it may also be unconstrained by the laws of general and special relativity: information may travel freely across space at faster-than-light velocities, both forward and backwards across time."

Here the substance and function of information are confused.
The transfer of information is governed by physical laws, while the idea of information might not be(though it might be said that since the idea had to have originated through some unique chemical process in the brain, that this too is a physical thing).
Information and transfer of information are not one and the same.

The author is correct in asserting that information transfer is not governed by relativity but not for the reasons they think.
As they assert, information transfer occurs through a series of nodes.
But all nodal systems are governed by what are known as special difference-equations, as opposed to the usual differential- equations used to desribe "continuous" matter and time.

On a philosophical level. it might also be viewed that since there is no reality except that which is physical, information, if it exists at all, must also be governed by the same group of physical laws we all know and love.

As far as the argument connecting information and information manipulation(metaprogramming) with wealth, that also depends on a quantitative world view, to which not all cultures are familiar.
 
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SelfExel

TRIBE Member
2 things that stand out:

Money is not stored violence and anyone who believes this is focusing on the negative aspects of human nature and not really looking at how and why money originated.

Time is not a realm, it does not exist independently from our mind. It's a measuring tool, nothing more. Time travel is not possible and neither is information going back and forwards "into" time.

There is alot more I could discuss but in order for me to illustrate more information I need to rest my body, then feed it, then think about what has been physically presented in front of my eyeballs. Information requires energy.
 
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graham

Well-Known TRIBEr
there is a wealth of information scarcity in this thread

although I haven't read it, so the ironling could be me
 

chipotle

Well-Known TRIBEr
bumping this thread up. i can't read it now ... 'cause i am drinking. And really... i read the first paragraph and it looks interesting 'cause of the mixture of economics and science.. which is why mr. postmod has posted it. IMO.
 

SelfExel

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by PosTMOd
AshG pretty well covered it.
My observation on the value of money was not mentioned by AshG. Neither was my idea that time is irrelevant when speaking of physical phenomena, which is what I classified information as.

I though someone would have something to say about it, it have found that I hold a minority view on the issues.
 
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PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by SelfExel
My observation on the value of money was not mentioned by AshG. Neither was my idea that time is irrelevant when speaking of physical phenomena, which is what I classified information as.
I'm afraid he covered both issues... re-read it-- you may have miscomprehended.
 

Static EQ

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by PosTMOd
http://mv.lycaeum.org//M2/filterz.html

notes and thoughts about: information, wealth and scarcity


Intellectual property as a form of artificial scarcity. Information
is negentropic by definition (measured as negative entropy, see
Claude Shannon's "A Mathematical Theory of Communications"). Since information can be copied without limit and without reducing the original "supply" from which it is copied, information can never be scarce unless it is deliberately withheld.

That is a total distortion of the theory... simply because copied information, ceases to be scarce. If you copy a message a million times, it becomes common place knowledge and thus ceases to have informational content.

Shannon stated that

I = 1/P(m)... that is, the informational content of a message is inversely proportional to the probability of the messages reception.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by mr tall
if any of you want to know about money, this is the best text on the matter. In English !

http://www.mises.org/money.asp

Once I meta guy that disagreed, but his information neccesity and inferential distance velocitized my scarcity
Awesome. If there's one broad field I know nothing about, it's economics.

Problem is, whenever I read something about economics or business, I start thinking that I really went into the wrong field in university, and that pisses me off.
 
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PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Re: Re: Someone's thoughts about information, wealth, and scarcity

Originally posted by Static EQ
That is a total distortion of the theory... simply because copied information, ceases to be scarce. If you copy a message a million times, it becomes common place knowledge and thus ceases to have informational content.

Shannon stated that

I = 1/P(m)... that is, the informational content of a message is inversely proportional to the probability of the messages reception.
I like finding crap on the internet that I half understand, and posting it here. Eventually, it all gets straightened out...


Originally posted by PosTMOd
I'm afraid he covered both issues... re-read it-- you may have miscomprehended.
Also, I like lying sometimes, knowing that SelfExel re-read that response 10 times, looking for the answer that wasn't there ;)
 

SelfExel

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Re: Someone's thoughts about information, wealth, and scarcity

Originally posted by PosTMOd
Also, I like lying sometimes, knowing that SelfExel re-read that response 10 times, looking for the answer that wasn't there ;)
Hah! jokes on you assneck, I never looks at nuthin.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
http://www.mises.org/money/3s1.asp

Governments, in contrast to all other organizations, do not obtain their revenue as payment for their services. Consequently, governments face an economic problem different from that of everyone else. Private individuals who want to acquire more goods and services from others must produce and sell more of what others want. Governments need only find some method of expropriating more goods without the owner's consent.

In a barter economy, government officials can only expropriate resources in one way: by seizing goods in kind. In a monetary economy they will find it easier to seize monetary assets, and then use the money to acquire goods and services for government, or else pay the money as subsidies to favored groups. Such seizure is called taxation. [1]

Taxation, however, is often unpopular, and, in less temperate days, frequently precipitated revolutions. The emergence of money, while a boon to the human race, also opened a more subtle route for governmental expropriation of resources. On the free market, money can be acquired by producing and selling goods and services that people want, or by mining (a business no more profitable, in the long run, than any other). But if government can find ways to engage in counterfeiting—the creation of new money out of thin air—it can quickly produce its own money without taking the trouble to sell services or mine gold. It can then appropriate resources slyly and almost unnoticed, without rousing the hostility touched off by taxation. In fact, counterfeiting can create in its very victims the blissful illusion of unparalleled prosperity.

Counterfeiting is evidently but another name for inflation—both creating new "money" that is not standard gold or silver, and both function similarly. And now we see why governments are inherently inflationary: because inflation is a powerful and subtle means for government acquisition of the public's resources, a painless and all the more dangerous form of taxation.

[1] Direct seizure of goods is therefore not now as extensive as monetary expropriation. Instances of the former still occurring are "due process" seizure of land under eminent domain, quartering of troops in an occupied country, and especially compulsory confiscation of labor service (e.g., military conscription, compulsory jury duty, and forcing business to keep tax records and collect withholding taxes).
 
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