# Morendil comments on Reacting to Inadequate Data

• What I find in­ter­est­ing is that Bob has more in­for­ma­tion than Alice but is stuck with the same problem

Yes, it seems that Bob has more in­for­ma­tion than Alice.

This is per­haps a good con­text to con­sider the sup­posed DIKW hi­er­ar­chy: data < in­for­ma­tion < knowl­edge < wis­dom. Or the re­lated ob­ser­va­tion from Bate­son that in­for­ma­tion is “a differ­ence that makes a differ­ence”.

We can say that Bob has more data than Alice, but since this data has no effect on how Bob may weigh his choices, it’s a differ­ence that makes no differ­ence.

Is this be­cause there is now doubt in the pre­vi­ous in­for­ma­tion ?

“Doubt” is data, too (or what Jaynes would call “prior in­for­ma­tion”). Give Alice a mem­ory of a blue ball, but at the same time give her a rea­son (un­spe­cific) to doubt her senses, so that she rea­sons “I re­call a blue ball, but I don’t want to take that into ac­count.” This has the same effect as giv­ing Bob con­flict­ing mem­o­ries.

• We can say that Bob has more data than Alice, but since this data has no effect on how Bob may weigh his choices, it’s a differ­ence that makes no differ­ence.

Okay, that makes sense to me.

Give Alice a mem­ory of a blue ball, but at the same time give her a rea­son (un­spe­cific) to doubt her senses, so that she rea­sons “I re­call a blue ball, but I don’t want to take that into ac­count.” This has the same effect as giv­ing Bob con­flict­ing mem­o­ries.

Ah, okay, that makes a piece of the puz­zle click into place.

In DIKW terms, what hap­pens when we add Blue to Alice? When we later add Red? My hunch is that the la­bel on the data sim­ply changes as the set of data be­comes use­ful or use­less.

Also, would any­thing change if we add “Green” to Bob’s choice list? My guess is that it would be­cause Bob’s mem­o­ries of Red and Blue are use­ful in ask­ing about Green. Speci­fi­cally, there is no mem­ory of Green and there are a mem­o­ries of Red and Blue.

In­ter­est­ing.