biomatrix systems theory blog

reflection on mei

Everything we observe consists of mei (i.e. matter, energy and information).

There is a difference in the properties or qualities associated with material, energy and information resources which is (or should be) of relevance to our economic theory as it is concerned with the production and exchange of goods and services.

As we move further into the information age, the importance of information as a resource, means of production and as embedded in our goods and services increases. Its unique properties make its exchange and production different from those of matter and energy.

Information is synergistic by nature, allowing win / win and giving rise to emergence. If shared, one does not lose it. If exchanged, new information can arise that was not there in the exchanging parties (i.e. it is synergistic). It is also abundant (even infinite?). To ensure harnessing these qualities requires the sharing of information.

Matter and energy do not have these properties. For example, dividing material resources (e.g. a piece of land) between us is a zero sum, win / lose game in which either you or I own all or nothing, or each of us owns a part of it. Also, material resources are finite, hence scarce.  Securing them requires competition.

The properties of energy as we use it are similar. Although energy is potentially infinite, the types of energy we utilise currently to run our economic production are finite, either in terms of the material from which we extract it or the processors used in harnessing, distributing and using it. It is therefore also a win / lose and zero sum game.

This distinction could affect the economic concepts of diminishing returns and opportunity costs, amongst others.


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