From: Philip Goetz (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Jan 10 2007 - 11:07:21 MST
On 1/9/07, Randall Randall <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> On Jan 8, 2007, at 8:02 PM, Russell Wallace wrote:
> > On 1/9/07, Philip Goetz <email@example.com> wrote:
> > What does "canonical" mean here?
> > Having a single form so that you can be sure 100 units of X = 100
> > units of X. (I don't know whether there's a standard term in
> > economics for this, if there is please insert that instead.)
> The term you're looking for is "fungible".
Energy is certainly fungible. As for it being storable, that's what
credit is for. You don't store energy. You store a record of the
transaction, and a debt.
An information calculation is an alternate way of computing
a price, versus market mechanisms. A market leads to people who value
something more offering more money for it, and optimal outcomes in
terms of total value. An information measure could lead to people
having to pay less for information about subjects that they know more
about, causing societal knowledge to be clustered; society itself
would become a large classification machine. This might have some
I generally favor market mechanisms, but an information calculation
might be more fair, in a world in which superintelligent beings
control the markets.
Alternately, information content might be measured, not in bits
communicated, but in uncertainty about the world reduced - by the
receiver's entropy change. In this case, people more knowledgeable
about a subject may or may not pay more for information. It might be
very hard to compute the receiver's entropy change.
Information seems problematic. Energy is better, in that it /is/
fungible; one joule is one joule is one joule.
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