Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Information is cheap, but meaning is expensive"

--- George Dyson, in an interview with Martin Eierman in the European, 17.10.2011 (via Peter Haynes)

With a little more context, from the interview:
There are many different ways of computing. Pure deterministic finite-state digital computing is one form, but there are other forms as well. Statistical computing is much more robust, because you don’t need all parts in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. . . .

Finding answers is easy. The hard part is creating the map that matches specific answers to the right question. That’s what Google did: They used the power of computing – which is cheap and really does not have any limits – to crawl the entire internet and collected and index all the answers. And then,by letting human beings spend their precious time asking the right questions, they created a map between the two. . . .

We now live in a world where information is potentially unlimited. Information is cheap, but meaning is expensive. Where is the meaning? Only human beings can tell you where it is. We’re extracting meaning from our minds and our own lives.