Starting this year, I also plan on reading more academic papers, mostly around tech and policy. Recording my readings and (sometimes, observations + annotated copies on this newsletter).
What I Read This Week:
Where Are We in the Theory of Information? J. Hirshleifer in the American Economic Review. [Link]
Since this is behind a paywall, I won’t be sharing a PDF (or my notes on it).
What You Should Know:
When I read the title of the paper, I was hoping to find a buried framework that gives me a lens to look at the information age. Given that the document is from the 1970s, I did not have a lot of expectations. Happy to say that I was wrong.
Hirshleifer has an interesting definition of information.
Uncertainty is the dispersion of belief over possible states of the world. Information consists of events tending to change these probability distributions. In a sense, information is a negative measure of uncertainty.
Very mathematical, I know.
When it comes to information, there are basically two kinds of people, i.e. people who have information and people who want information.
In the 70s, circles that Hirshleifer used to frequent called them possessors and seekers of information. There are eight broad things possessors and seekers of information do (mentioned in the tables below). Also, information has five attributes that determine it’s quality.
Data Sufficiency and Shiny Graphs (from the source):
What I Have Been Reading:
Mark Your Calendars: