Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

From: Dave Zachariah <>
Date: Fri Dec 04 2009 - 04:05:36 EST

Paula wrote:

> But the utility of information *is* important.

By definition, the utility depends on the agents that will use the

> We would hope this exchange of emails is of some use, right? It's not just
> a jumble of characters, bits, or whatever. There's meaning involved, there
> are issues involved, there are people involved. If the quantitative approach
> can't handle that aspect, then the approach itself is of restricted utility.
Your conclusion is clearly mistaken. Apart from the sub-field of lossy
source coding, modern information theory does not consider the utility of
the information because that is agent-dependent. But this approach has
enabled and sustained the development of communication and information
technologies since the 1950s. Name any industrial product and you can find
how information theory has improved it in some way.

//Dave Z

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Received on Fri Dec 4 04:08:28 2009

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