Here are two lists:


  • Cars
  • Houses
  • Food
  • Electricity
  • Clothes


  • Software
  • Music
  • Books
  • Encyclopeadias
  • News
I think that everything in the economy can fit into these two categories of Matter and Information.

Cost of copying

If an item can be copied perfectly with near-zero cost, it's information, otherwise it belongs in the matter realm.


The wealth of a person, country, organization etc. is the sum of matter they have and all the Information in the world. Hold on, surely the wealthiest person is the one with most money? This is true for any moment in time because all information is available to everyone, so matter is only thing that varies. But compare a king from 1,000 years ago to a regular citizen these days. The king would be the wealthiest person, owning an entire country. The regular citizen of today may own a house, car and a few other things. However, if they both were unfortunate enough to suffer from tooth ache, today's citizen would be better off. The difference is information.

Changing categories

As technology progresses, items move from Matter to Information. For example, if I wanted to find out about glass I would have had to buy an encyclopeadia. Now I go to Wikipedia.


Things in the Matter category can be owned, but ownership doesn't work for items in the Information category.