Felix Ungman (felix@objectzone.se)
Sat, 04 Apr 1998 16:25:13 +0200

Information is measured in number of bits (or more commonly kilobytes or
megabytes). This measure does not tell you much about meaning of the
information. If I would convert this mail to a gif picture or an mpeg
slideshow it would take more information to hold it, and perhaps give a
heavier hype measure (or spam measure), but it wouldn't contain more

The concept of Exformation is on the other hand more meaningful. When you
buy milk, butter and eggs, you get a receipt containing a list of these
items and a total. The list contains more information that the total, but
you are more interested in the total, because that is what you will pay to
the cashier. The total contains more Exformation.

The total is computed using the addition algorithm, and in fact the purpose
of any algorithm (the useful ones at least) is to produce exformation, not
information. Information is not good in itself, the less you can do with,
the better (ok, I know there are some info-junkies out there :-).

The interesting question is, how is exformation measured? I claim that
exformation is measured as money. It fits nicesly in the
production-consumption theory. You produce exformation, sell it to someone,
who consumes the information. Although I'm just an economist wannabe, I
would like to go as far as to say that exformation *is* money. You don't
know how valuable something is/was until you actually sell it. But as
exformation is laos closely related to algorithmic complexity, exformation
may be measured as time. So money is time. The time someone has to spend
instead of spending money.

The definition of Extropy (in The Extropians Principles) says it is a
measure of Information (among other things), but more accurately this should
be Exformation. So if Exformation is one measure of Extropy, perhaps Bill
Gates really is the greates Extropian among us.