Free Information vs Information Protectionism
28 May 2001 16:54:57 +1200
On Sun, 27 May 2001 23:38:11 -0400, Kyle Lahnakoski wrote:
> May you clarify the distinction between "idea" and data.
Data, in this sense, is a physical, tangible thing -- patterns of
magnetism on the surface of a disk or tape, electrical impulses inside
a computer, etc.; an idea given form, if you will.
You know that saying about an infinite number of monkeys banging on
typewriters eventually producing the complete works of Shakespeare?
That makes a good example, I think: imagine not an infinite number of
monkeys, but a finite number of people. Provide them with an idea for
a story: give them one of Shakespeare's plays in as much detail as you
like, save only that you not provide the original text. Now ask that
each person write a play based on that idea. If they each produce
text which matches, verbatim, the text produced by Shakespeare, then I
withdraw my claim that there is any distinction. In fact, if any one
of them produces such a text, I withdraw it!
You don't have to agree with me; you can be wrong if you want.
(concatenate 'string "Paul Foley " "<mycroft" '(#\@) "actrix.gen.nz>"))