NECESSARY Information Increases Certainty

The Press and Social Graphs, not so much

I updated my personal information axioms. Axiom 4 now reads NECESSARY information increases certainty. The concept of “necessary” is articulated in the other axioms, but I felt it needed to be more explicit in Axiom 4.


Figure 1. Necessary information increases certainty


The need to do this was probably triggered in me by the article on information graphs in social media: social, interest, target, and influence.

Reflecting on the TikTok paradigm especially. Don’t crowd the user interface with noise, with respect to the key issue on what is holding the user’s interest. Hence, algorithm-friendly software for building an interest graph.

In so many aspects of information there is noise and redundancy. Eliminating these helps bring focus to what is necessary and The Important.

We seem to be surrounded by business models that are not helping us as a society, focus on The Important. We have a click-bait based commercial press business model that seems to focus on the sensational and the trivial. We have free to use social media algorithms that push us towards what we are already interested in (not all bad BTW, I kind of like that), or towards what someone has paid to convince us of.

Working out what the equation is, filtering out the noise, and then getting the necessary information, is a task largely left to the individual, though, there are some good sources for those that go seeking.

We are reluctant to censor and shutdown voices. Open, liberal democracies have thrived because the truth can be discovered, because we can learn from each other, ideas can compete, and mistakes corrected. In an age where the cost of creating and distributing a personal opinion is low, we all seem to have “suddenly” found ourselves inundated with information. While maintaining openness, we should also reinforce tools that allow us to discover the right equations and their necessary information, resulting in both entertainment and wisdom in any context.