The conservation of information: Measuring the cost of successful search

Many spaces that need to be searched in the sciences are too unwieldy for random search to stand any hope of success. Success instead requires a nonrandom search. But how does one find a nonrandom search that stands a good chance of success? Even to pose the question this way suggests that such nonrandom searches do not magically materialize but need themselves to be discovered by a process of search. The question then naturally arises whether such a “search for a search” is any easier than the original search. This paper establishes a conservation of information theorem according to which the information required to find a successful search is always at least as large as the information required to successfully complete the original search. This result shows that information, like money, obeys strict accounting principles, leaves a trail, and can only originate from a prior information source.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Only published papers are available at libraries
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

    Added to index


    Total downloads


    Recent downloads (6 months)


    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.