RE: A Value System

From: James Rogers (
Date: Tue Jun 18 2002 - 14:57:21 MDT

On Tue, 2002-06-18 at 12:53, Ben Houston wrote:
> I think that "value" is a very grey area and to attempt to simplify it
> to a single dimensional scale of "information content" is fairly
> incorrect. My DVD of absolute random information will thus be worth
> more than data representing the human genome because theoretically
> according to Claude Shannon my DVD has more information.

Claude Shannon is correct. Your subjective notion of information's
worth or value has no meaning in an objective context. Just because you
don't understand Swahili does not mean that everything ever written in
Swahili is mere noise. Your DVD of "noise" may actually contain
information on how to, say, fabricate your own universe, but you don't
know how to interpret the information so that the value of the
information is self-evident. Ascribing "intrinsic meaning" to
information is a very common fallacy. I'm sure I can find my own genome
encoded in the digits of pi, but that doesn't suddenly increase the
value of pi in any way or add meaning to it. If we did, we could
essentially call any random number generator an Oracle Of All Knowledge.

Nitpick: "random" is a measure of entropy, not a measure of subjective
value. All efficient formats will look very noisy i.e. "random".


-James Rogers

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