Words do not have meanings- individual humans have their own personal meanings for words. The observer creates its local model of
reality through a process of imperfect observation.
Market: A physical system composed of two or more humans engaging in one or more transactions with each other. This definition is
restrictive (to "humans") as most useful definitions are- which is what the word "definition" means to the writer. The definition is
at the same time expansive- "market" is a generic description of a physical process of matter and/or information exchange. The
definition is also 'fuzzy'- e.g. what is "human"? Some more common examples of markets- the government bond market, the tulip-bulb
market, the stock market, currency market, arms market, CDOs, OTC derivatives, corporate paper- are further restrictions of this
definition. Less common examples that are compatible with the definition above are such things as a war, a meat market, an email
list and other such economic problems.
Transaction: An exchange of "matter-information" A transaction requires a 'transmitter', a 'receiver' and an information carrier. It
does not presume self-awareness. Some examples- an email, a kiss, a speeding bullet, a gift, a photon exchange.
The enumeration of definitions can be carried out ad infinitum; the word "matter" for example is not satisfactorily defined even by
physicists. The utility of definition is reductionist- to create artificial categories that can be treated as independent abstract
objects: "elaborate hallucinations"or "spooks". This is like a double-edged sword-
"Language creates spooks that get into our heads and hypnotize us." - Robert Anton Wilson
A more inclusive definition of "market" could consider any transaction(s) between "living" organisms-
The Flying-Bird Market
A flock of birds exhibits un-birdlike behaviors; 'emergent' properties such as 'V' formations, roiling and folding over upon
"itself". Yet we do not usually speak of the "will of the flock" as being an intelligent, guided process with its own volition
independent of the birds themselves. The intelligence, or information processing, is carried out entierly within the bodies of the
individual birds that are considered to be members of the flock. Each bird is acting within the guidance strictures of its own,
unique nervous system.
Each individual bird-in-flight is sending and receiving signals to the other birds-in flight nearby, that is, each bird is
engaging in a series of transactions with the other birds 'invested' in the "flying-bird market".
The "flying-bird market" is ephemeral- it is a physical process arising from individual behavior. It can be thought of as being
created sometime after the first bird takes flight, and annihilated (the market is destroyed) sometime before the last bird lands.
-- Forrest Bishop Chairman, Institute of Atomic-Scale Engineering www.iase.cc
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