23 December 2007

Information Pollution

Power is a famous metaphor for information! Very nice metaphor indeed; nothing can suite better.
Unscheduled power cuts are not uncommon, so are spikes that kill electrical instruments. If you have not sensed already what follows the prelude, it is about the lack and the abundance of information, we are surounded with.

From Nyaya school of Indian philosophy to reviewers of scientific papers have worried about the source and soundness of knowledge(Epistemology). As more information becomes accesible it is getting harder and harder to distinguish between so called information and misinformation. Even when we neglect the realm of opinionated information, we are left with a huge pool to look for authentic information. I use the word "authentic" to mean "that which is the outcome of genuine scientific process".

There are claims that because information is easily accesible we see more misinformation. Unfortunately it seems that with more information msunderstanding also increases and result in more misinformation. What is the rate of increase in misinformation?

I is proportional to MI
where I is information and MI is misinformation. (The use is not in sense of information theory but as in popular use)
If MI is 10% of I and 2% is obivously recognised as MI, then we have 108 unit of I. If we assume a 50% inreases in I then we will endup with 162 units od I. of which 4 unit is new MI.
We can clearly see the compuonding of the MI.

We know the equation of compound interest:

Interest = P (1+ r/100n)^n -------> 1

by analogy

amount of MI = I (1+ X/100n)^Y -------> 2

We know

amount of MI = I* e^z where z= X/100.

The slope of the exponential curve is determined by z. It is thus important that z remains bellow one so that MI does not go past I. Due to the fact that it has not, so far, we can assume that z<<1.

I know we are all smart enough to figure out that there is a flaw here! We have not concidered increasing I. Unlike P, I is not constant. It is om to have higher values of z!

Well that is a complicated way of saying we are fine the way we are!

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