Re: Exformation

Thom Quinn (
Sat, 04 Apr 1998 11:31:50 -0600

Isn't exformation just meta-informaiton

Felix Ungman wrote:
> 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
> meaning.
> 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.