Information, in a broad sense, is structured, processed and organised data that enables analysis. It gives context to other data and allows analysis to determine patterns and relationships. For instance, a single customer’s sale in a particular restaurant is statistical data provided by the system. But if that same customer had gone twice, the third time being a bad experience and the first time being very good, then we can make a correlation between the two data sets and use it to forecast which food outlets are likely to have a high or low hit or miss ratio in relation to customer satisfaction.
Now one might wonder whether it is even relevant to talk about “conscious mind” or its implications on the modern society today. Well the answer is simple. In fact, I would say that information theory is at the heart of everything. The physical information that drives the market, the demand and supply decisions that are then executed by the central banks and other monetary authorities all come under information theory. The concept of self-liquidation is at the basis of fractional reserve banking as well.
But how about in the case of the macro-relations between quantities and prices? For instance, the demand for money is driven by the overall demand for all raw materials, including capital equipment. But the supply of money is also affected by the overall supply of human capital – labour. So although there may be a causal relationship between prices and quantities, prices are not solely driven by the effects of demand and supply, but also by the distribution of human capital.
Now you might think that it doesn’t matter because the information that you are providing to the market will take care of the demand and supply aspect. This is not so. It has been found that information, even concerning a wide range of topics, tends to get distorted once passed through the filter of one’s consciousness. In other words, if you are talking about a particular economic topic, then your perception of that topic will tend to be shaped by your beliefs or personal attitudes towards that topic. Now this may seem like a bit of a stretch, but it is all in the same direction – when information is consciously processed, it tends to shape our perceptions in the same way that our cognitive thought processes do.
Of course, most people are not consciously aware of the impact of their information processing on the information that they are acquiring. And even those who are consciously aware of this impact may not be able to change their beliefs about that information once it has been passed through the filter of their unconscious mind. But there is hope. There is technology which enables information processing to occur without altering the information’s causal outputs.
One example of such a technology is Deep Blue. Deep Blue is a computerised trading platform that allows its users to process and evaluate large amounts of unprocessed data – much like a stock trading platform – in a matter of minutes. This information is then sent back to the user’s own neural network of neurons in the brain. The end result is that the user’s conscious mind no longer needs to process all that information, because the information is already there. This is one of the ways in which the conscious mind can be influenced by the subconscious.