Wednesday, April 22, 2009


(a short essay)

Information does not diffuse itself in perfect 3-D space (much like a balloon inflating, with participants receiving information more or less simultaneously).

Valuable information naturally forms into an (linear) Ordinal system, with the last ranked number being the general public. This certainly holds true for markets as a significant portion of financial services deals with information arbitrage and the proper ranking of players that receive information. When information is generally diffused, any "value" that can be derived from that information has been necessarily extracted.


In political terms, information is controlled in linear time. The natural constraint of a normal working day for politicians requires that they triage information providers. Lobbyists then have the opportunity to frame issues and "proper" policy responses. Notice that I am not asserting than any malicious intent is involved. A politician is much more receptive to a person who has contributed to their election campaign (and in this sense the phrase "pay for play" is so redundant).

But herein lies a problem. With market-based information filters, competition will generally drive efficient distribution of resources. With political information filters, it becomes more "messy". Now, which information filtering device is more important at the present time in history?

No comments: