- entropy in information is a measure of available "surprise" in a system
- entropy is a measure of the probability of a single message being "selected" from all the possible messages in the system
- that is, there's more entropy if there are more possible messages
- and the one selected message is more likely to be surprising
Therefore to encourage innovative thought it's important to maximize creation of and access to information.
This formalizes my entire view on collaboration and info use.
To get more surprise out of the available information, it must have more participants. For the available information to be selectable by many, it must exist as an accessible artifact (i.e. writing on a network).
The larger and more diverse network is one that is public and unconstrained.
Each participant must be able to navigate the network in what may initially seem bizarre ways, making connections. Creating order (negative entropy) in their own views of the network. If this results in more artifacts in the network they get more learning (order) but they also increase the potentiality of the network to surprise others.
So we need:
- people to write
- on an open hypertextual network
- people to build views and annotations over that network
- information to be identifiable and accessible
This does not have to mean that everyone should be able to write everyone's stuff, but rather that they need to be able to reference it, in their own writings.
The goal is not to control, but to make fertile ground. While organization of the information is useful, these are views and must themselves be an artifact in the network that is removable or transformable, not of the information.
From this we get that each piece of information should have its own identifier in the network (URI) so that organizing schemes may be applied to it without limiting its capability in other schemes.
Another view on the same concept: If you don't write in public view you are limiting the two most powerful things your ideas can allow:
- Feedback which can make your ideas better.
- Participation in the creation of possible new messages in the wide information system: enabling innovation.
This participation is a demonstration of a belief in a communal good, a commonweal. The larger the network in which you are willing to share the greater the good that can be done.