[Paleopsych] information inflation
HowlBloom at aol.com
HowlBloom at aol.com
Mon Apr 25 07:00:02 UTC 2005
Joel--All thanks. You're absolutely right.
The thought, brief as it was, was inspired by Eshel, who asked me roughly
four years ago to ponder the nature of information. If I interpreted him
correctly, he felt that understanding the nature of information would provide the
key to understanding the evolution of the cosmos and of the cosmos'
That led to the following bit of musing:
hb: "I’m pondering what value we can derive from regarding time as an
information translation and stimulus-and-response process. One instant of time
reads the instant that came before it, presumably in the tiny dividing line
between Planck units of time. The present translates the previous instant into a
new pattern. What are the rules of this grand translation, of this grand
interpretation of a previous instant's implications?"
Then add this: hb: "evolution is a process in which nature admires herself
in a mirror and compresses what she sees, then uses that condensation of
herself to produce new realities."
And toss in yet another quote from an old posting: "hb: Patterns repeat on
many levels because the repetition of old things on new levels is how this
cosmos grows new patterns, processes, and things--from singularity to a sheet
of time-space expansion, from that sheet of hurried departure from less than a
single point to many points, to quarks, then to nucleons, and onward 300,000
years later to atoms and straight-line-traveling photons, then, 700,000
years down the road to galaxies, the ignition of stars, and light. Now we take
nearly infinitesimal streams of that light and shift if from one frame of
reference to another--from the tiny light-twitches the human eye can't see to the
twitching of electrons in a CCD sensor to the image made by luminescent
particles on a computer monitor, to the pixels of an image, to the ink of wood
pulp of a picture, to the mathematics of an astrophysicist and from there to
the technical language of a journal article and the colloquial language of a
press release. But that's not the end of the condensations and translations
from one from of reference to another, not be any means. If the information
officer in charge of the press release makes just the right a bursts of
electrons and photons move on the telephone lines and rearranges the
neurotransmissions in a New York Times reporter's mind, the numerous translations of the
twitch of light can be reconstructed in the minds of millions as a vision of a
process that once occurred on the very edges (or at the very center) of this
spreading universe. Then prophets, preachers, and politicians can use the
resulting genesis tale to change the course of human history. Compression and
expansion all over the place. Representation and translation. Why does it
all work? Because the original ancestors of stars, of atoms, of photons,
and of you and me were a handful of rules that can be expanded and compressed
iteratively--folded over and under and upon themselves endlessly."
Does a bigger picture begin to emerge, one that comes from an
eight-year-long colloquy with Eshel? Or is the bigger picture one I need to be more
explicit about, one I need to take the time to write? Onward--Howard
ps for more on this line of thought see Eshel's “Seeking the Foundations of
Cognition:From Thermodynamics to Contextual Information and Back” and his
paper on linguistics among bacteria.
In a message dated 4/24/2005 9:01:14 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,
isaacsonj at hotmail.com writes:
You echo below certain aspects of Eshel's 3rd principle. Increased
living systems allows for detection of (latent) higher-level complexity both
within and without.
And this is an ongoing, recursive/dialectical process. -- Joel
PS For reference, here is Eshel's 3rd principle.
"3. The principle of matched complexity. The system needs an internal level
of complexity which is sufficiently high in order to extract latent
information from the external complexity.
I view this matched complexity principle the driving force of evolution that
explain the ever increasing level of complexity. In a nutshell the idea is:
A single bacterium needs some level of complexity to detect the complexity
of the surrounding environment and over the time window between replication.
To glean more information the bacteria form cooperative behaviour and
generate complex colonies. However for that each individual bacterium needs
a higher level of internal complexity for communication and to cope with its
external environment which is now has higher level of complexity - the
environment becomes both the outside and the rest of the colony. To solve
the paradox self-organization leads to the formation of functional modules
and spatio-temporal patterns. And than .. (for next time)."
>From: HowlBloom at aol.com
>Reply-To: The new improved paleopsych list <paleopsych at paleopsych.org>
>To: paleopsych at paleopsych.org
>Subject: [Paleopsych] information inflation
>Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 09:47:09 EDT
>New ways of interpreting information increase the amount of
>of information’s consequences—in the cosmos. When photons from a
>star hit the face of an empty planet, they mean just about nothing. Give
>planet 3.85 billion years or so to evolve star-gazers, mythmakes, and
>astrology, and the information gleaned from the same photons goes up
> So do the number of decisions based on the distant star’s trickle of
>Give the life-forms on that previously empty planet another few hundred
>thousand years to evolve astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology, and the
>information gleaned from the star’s photon trickle goes up by a factor
>of ten or
>more. So do the decisions based on that photon drip.
>Which means that the cosmos is not just inflating in physical space and
>time. It’s not just expanding in the intricacy of its structures and
>processes. It’s also expanding in its information-content…and in its
>causes and effects.
>New ways of seeing lead to new ways of being. And new ways of being lead
>new ways of seeing. Information chews on what information spews. And the
>cosmos fattens as it grows.
>Author of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces
>History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to
>Visiting Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York University; Core
>Faculty Member, The Graduate Institute
>Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; founding board member:
>of Evolution Society; founding board member, The Darwin Project; founder:
>Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New York Academy of Sciences, American
>Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological
>Academy of Political Science, Human Behavior and Evolution Society,
>Society for Human Ethology; advisory board member: Youthactivism.org;
>executive editor -- New Paradigm book series.
>For information on The International Paleopsychology Project, see:
>for two chapters from
>The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History,
>For information on Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big
>Bang to the 21st Century, see www.howardbloom.net
>paleopsych mailing list
>paleopsych at paleopsych.org
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Author of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of
History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the
Visiting Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York University; Core
Faculty Member, The Graduate Institute
Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; founding board member: Epic
of Evolution Society; founding board member, The Darwin Project; founder: The
Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New York Academy of Sciences, American
Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Society,
Academy of Political Science, Human Behavior and Evolution Society, International
Society for Human Ethology; advisory board member: Youthactivism.org;
executive editor -- New Paradigm book series.
For information on The International Paleopsychology Project, see:
for two chapters from
The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History,
For information on Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big
Bang to the 21st Century, see www.howardbloom.net
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