• Pop
    1.4k
    The proposed definition of "Information" is : the evolutionary interaction of form. We normally see it as data, but it causes a change in our neural patterning, thus creating the distinction between moments of consciousness, that we perceive as time, thus driving our evolution.

    In systems theory, everything is a self organizing system, enmeshed into an environment of other self organizing systems. The systems can have many attributes, both simple and complex and it is these attributes that interrelate to cause evolutionary change. A system is a concept represented in a form. It has various attributes which themselves are forms. So, we can reduce systems to forms. Thus enabling a simple definition of something of enormous complexity, reduced to "the evolutionary interaction of forms." These interactions of forms are information. Information creates a sense of time, and drives our evolution.

    New information overlaps old information in a continuous process, thus creating time, and evolution


    Please Discuss.


    This short 10min video, is a good primer.

  • Pop
    1.4k
    “Why are processes so hard to classify? In earlier times, we could usually judge machines and processes by how they transformed raw materials into finished products. But it makes no sense to speak of brains as though they manufacture thoughts the way factories make cars. The difference is that brains use processes that change themselves-and this means we cannot separate such
    processes from the products they produce. In particular, brains make memories, which change the ways we'll subsequently think. The principal activities of brains are making changes in themselves. Because the whole idea of self-modifying processes is new to our experience, we
    cannot yet trust our commonsense judgement about such matters.”

    What is remarkable about this passage is the absence of any notion of representation. Minsky does not say
    that the principal activity of brains is to represent the external world; he says that it is to make continuous
    self-modifications. What has happened to the notion of representation?

    In fact, an important and pervasive shift is beginning to take place in cognitive science under the very influence of its own research. This shift requires that we move away from the idea of the world as independent and extrinsic to the idea of a world as inseparable from the structure of these processes of self-modification. This change in stance does not express a mere philosophical preference; it reflects the necessity of understanding cognitive systems not on the basis of their input and output relationships but by their operational closure. A system that has operational closure is one in which the results of its processes are those processes themselves. The notion of operational closure is thus a way of specifying classes of processes that, in their very operation, turn back upon themselves to form autonomous networks. Such networks do not fall into the class of systems defined by external mechanisms of control (heteronomy) but rather into the class of systems defined by internal mechanisms of self-organization (autonomy). The key point is that such systems do not operate by representation. Instead of representing an independent world, they enact a world as a domain of distinctions that is inseparable from the structure embodied by the cognitive system.

    We wish to evoke the point that when we begin to take such a conception of mind seriously, we must call into question the idea that the world is pregiven and that cognition is representation. In cognitive science, this means that we must call into question the idea that information exists ready-made in the world and that it is extracted by a cognitive system, as the cognitivist notion of an informavore vividly implies.”

    - @Joshs


    Information is not the stored data but the interaction of that data with other data. Information is not representation but the interaction of one representation with that of another representation. This creates the distinction in terms of an established neural patterning, and overlapping patterns, in a continuous process. The established patterning at any particular time can be thought of as a state of integrated information, overlayed by new patterns, thus the new patterns are distinct in relation to the old patterns. This is consistent with constructivism, IIT, and, I believe, Enactivism. It is just not possible to understand, given the vague and inappropriate definitions of information that we have. All definitions of information focus on the data, the quantity of data, or the representations of data - whereas, in fact information only exists in the interaction of data. This is missed because we do not see ourselves in the equation. We do not notice how information changes us. We imagine ourselves as passive observers of and manipulators of information, whereas in fact we are the ones being changed– due to our neural patterning incurring an involuntary physical change. Thus enacting us. This is why we see an evolving neuroplasticity, because the patterning has to interact, and evolve, as a product of thinking, in a continuous process, but to arrive at some form of integrity, such as to create a moment of clarity – only to be disturbed by further information. I am not saying that clarity is equal to the external world. Idealism has long ago established that.

    What do you think?
  • Joshs
    1.9k
    Information is not representation but the interaction of one representation with that of another representation.Pop

    I do like your emphasis on interaction as being primary. But if the interaction that constitutes information is between two representations, what are the original presentations being re-presented?
  • Prishon
    984
    what are the original presentations being re-presented?Joshs

    Good one.
  • Pop
    1.4k
    Energy and it's information creates a wavicle. Two wavicles integrating. A field and its excitation. A blank sheet of paper and its scribble, 1+1. These are logical / metaphysical limits, that would have their counterparts in the physical world, assuming a systems understanding. Distinction requires two representations.

    Two wavicles integrate their information ( frequency and amplitude ) to a resultant wavicle. That is all that ever happens really. The resultant wavicle is integrated information, disturbed by the next wavicle integrated. It starts there and evolves to elementary particles, atoms, molecules, etc. It is an evolution of form - the perturbations of a substance being form, being the property that enables interaction. A system is a something that exhibits such form, and changes in the process of interaction, all the while integrating the interactions.

    Everything can be represented by a wavefunction, as it integrates more information, it simply changes form. :smile:

    A system can be represented by a wavefunction, as it interacts, the form of the wavefunction will change.

    "Information is an interaction of form". This is what occurs as you read this - the form of this sentence disturbs your neural state and is distinct against your understanding, which is a form of integrated information .
  • Manuel
    1.4k
    Information is a word. If it is a property of the natural world, it seems to me to be nebulous if it is applied to so many different fields of inquiry.

    Wheeler's idea of information differs from Tononi's. So it's not clear to me how useful this term is. But, people seem to do a lot of work with it, so I could be quite wrong.
  • Joshs
    1.9k
    You have been working on a thoroughgoing and comprehensive philosophy, with your concept of information as its centerpiece. The most important and relevant implications of a metaphilosophy have to do with the most complex phenomena in the world. And those most complex phenomena are none other than human interactions , our passions, drives and intellectual processes and goals, how the individual contributes to their culture and how that culture
    shapes the individual politically , morally , creatively, and how language is to be understood. Of course, you want to locate the irreducible basis for your model in order to give it precision and clarity. You’ve attempted to accomplish this by embracing a kind of quasi-physics vocabulary. The problem with this is that it may run the risk of being dismissed by physicists who don’t see it as either empirically valid or philosophically coherent.
    They may be wrong , but I think what you’re aiming for will be much between comprehended by others of you put more emphasis on the human behavioral implications of your theory ( emotion, intersubjective relations , cognition and perception , psychopathology, language , ethics).
  • Pop
    1.4k
    The problem with this is that it may run the risk of being dismissed by physicists who don’t see it as either empirically valid or philosophically coherent.
    They may be wrong , but I think what you’re aiming for will be much between comprehended by others of you put more emphasis on the human behavioral implications of your theory ( emotion, intersubjective relations , cognition and perception , psychopathology, language , ethics).
    Joshs

    :up: Yes I agree. Most of the time I am just trying to keep my theory afloat by elucidating it with simple unassailable concepts. It is a work in progress. Thanks for you reply. :smile:
  • Pop
    1.4k
    Wheeler's idea of information differs from Tononi's.Manuel

    They both believe information is fundamental. This takes some appreciation!

    Wheeler said "it from bit", whilst Tononi sees everything as "integrated information", and tries to measure it with phi.
  • Pop
    1.4k
    It may not be immediately obvious, but if this is a "valid and irreducible" definition of information, and if everything is information, then logically, this is also a definition of everything! :smile:
  • Prishon
    984
    Wheeler said "it from bit", whilst Tononi sees everything as "integrated information", and tries to measure it with phi.Pop

    What did Wheeler mean by that? What is phi? What is measured? Can you measure a pattern? Say a square or a circle? What are the bits of a circle? What is intergated information.

    Prishon already lucky with one answer!
  • Pop
    1.4k


    Wheeler's it from bit concept implies that physics, particularly quantum physics, isn't really about reality, but just our best description of what we observe. ... As Niels Bohr, one of the founders of quantum theory, said:"It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how Nature ......

    Phi is the proposed measure of integrated information in any object - still a little controversial.

    Can you measure a pattern? Say a square or a circle? What are the bits of a circle?Prishon

    I can not. :sad: But emergent disciplines such as mathematical biology, and mathematical ecology attempt to.

    Mathematical and theoretical biology or, biomathematics, is a branch of biology which employs theoretical analysis, mathematical models and abstractions of the living organisms to investigate the principles that govern the structure, development and behavior of the systems, as opposed to experimental biology which ...

    Mathematical ecology is an area of applied mathematics concerned with applications of mathematical concepts, tools and techniques, usually in the form of mathematical models, to problems arising in population dynamics, ecology and evolution.
  • Pop
    1.4k
    Looks like this will be one of those threads where I talk to myself. :sad:

    In Darwin's evolution, there is evolution and natural selection. Theoretically there are explanatory gaps.

    Using systems theory and this definition of information we can fill them.

    What is evolving is a physical self organizing system, due to the evolutionary interaction of something else physical - something that has physical form, which all systems do. Normally, not all things physical are understood as systems ( though strictly speaking they are ) but all things physical have form.

    So, the evolution of a self organizing system is due to information, where information is the interaction of physical form.

    I think this way of understanding gets closer to what is happening. It explains information’s role in the evolution of everything, and particularly ourselves. It explains why everything is information.
    Systems are informationally created bottom up, and then they interact laterally with all other systems in the same manner. They are totally enmeshed together. Movement in one system spreads throughout the others, causing what is popularly known as the Butterfly effect.
  • MikeBlender
    31
    Systems are informationally created bottom up, and then they interact laterally with all other systems in the same manner. They are totally enmeshed together. Movement in one system spreads throughout the others, causing what is popularly known as the Butterfly effect.Pop

    That gets really close. As Prishon rightly claimed, all organism are formed between the heat of the Sun and the cold of space on the other side of the Earth. The Earth rotates and faces the heat, the cold, the heat, the cold, etc. The periodic flow of heat (inward, outward, inward, outward, etc.) creates the huge variety of patterns in organisms. Not total order nor total chaos but in between. All organisms posses the same relative entropy (just a number) but they show a wide biodiversity. The butterfly effect makes them diverge away from each other. The need each other to realize themselves. A bee is the same as a whale and at the same time completely different. You're not alone... :smile:
  • jgill
    1.5k
    Movement in one system spreads throughout the others, causing what is popularly known as the Butterfly effect.Pop

    This concept from dynamical systems is sometimes assumed to exist in many if not all circumstances. In fact, the opposite can occur: disturbances in one area fritter out and don't really affect other areas. Or, as Stanislaw Lem conjectured, certain movements have lives of their own and are relatively immune to minor disturbances. Rise of the Third Reich, etc.
  • Pop
    1.4k
    The butterfly effect makes them diverge away from each other. The need each other to realize themselves. A bee is the same as a whale and at the same time completely different. You're not alone... :smile:MikeBlender

    :up: So good to hear.
  • Pop
    1.4k
    This concept from dynamical systems is sometimes assumed to exist in many if not all circumstances. In fact, the opposite can occur: disturbances in one area fritter out and don't really affect other areas. Or, as Stanislaw Lem conjectured, certain movements have lives of their own and are relatively immune to minor disturbances. Rise of the Third Reich, etc.jgill

    As far as I can see, the systems view is relevant in all circumstances. I have only really considered it in very fundamental situations, and not so much in situations of great complexity such as the evolution of the Third Reich. But in considering the history of the build up of the Nazis, it fits very well. In any systems scenario there is a build up of information, such that an informational body evolves and has it's own momentum. It would need to be met with an informational body of equal weight and momentum to be diffused, which it eventually was.

    I liken this to the information accumulation and momentum of personal understanding - how it is somewhat like a large oil tanker heading in a certain direction, and will not be swayed by the efforts of one tug boat ( one differing view ) but If enough tug boats join the effort, then it might be veered off course?
  • jgill
    1.5k
    As far as I can see, the systems view is relevant in all circumstances.Pop

    Could be. But the Butterfly Effect (In math: sensitive dependence on initial conditions) won't necessarily exist. Takes many tugs. :cool:
  • Pop
    1.4k
    Could be. But the Butterfly Effect (In math: sensitive dependence on initial conditions) won't necessarily exist. Takes many tugs. :cool:jgill

    :up: Yes, the Butterfly effect is overreach. It is a well known popular idea, that is true figuratively, rather then literally.
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    the evolutionary interaction of formPop

    One thing's for sure, we can define information any which way we want. The definition, whether the one you advocate here or some other, will have to

    1) Either be true to what information really is or approximate it to the extent possible.

    OR/AND

    2) Be useful in one way or another.

    Can you tell us how the definition of information as "the evolutionary interaction of form" meets the two conditions I mentioned above?
  • Pop
    1.4k
    One thing's for sure, we can define information any which way we want.TheMadFool

    I don't think this is true. Information is a very difficult thing to define, because everything is information. Other definitions do not recognize this, so it is very difficult to understand how information works to enact us in the world. How information is something that is incorporated into the person that we become. How there is nothing outside of information.

    Integrated Information Theory tells us that consciousness exists as moments of integrated information. Systems Theory tells us that interaction is information, and nothing exists outside of interaction. Enactivism tells us that we are enacted / interacted in the world informationally, and Constructivism tells us that it is a body of integrated information that becomes knowledge, in an evolving and idiosyncratic fashion and what we are is a product of this. All that is missing is a definition of this information, and I think this one fills the bill.
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    I don't think this is true. Information is a very difficult thing to define, because everything is information. Other definitions do not recognize this, so it is very difficult to understand how information works to enact us in the world. How information is something that is incorporated into the person that we become. How there is nothing outside of information.

    Integrated Information Theory tells us that consciousness exists as moments of integrated information. Systems Theory tells us that interaction is information, and nothing exists outside of interaction. Enactivism tells us that we are enacted / interacted in the world informationally, and Constructivism tells us that it is a body of integrated information that becomes knowledge, in an evolving and idiosyncratic fashion and what we are is a product of this. All that is missing is a definition of this information, and I think this one fills the bill
    Pop

    My approach is scientific to the extent I'm capable of that. Your idea of what information differs from the standard set down by Claude Shannon. I reckon that Shannon too must've wondered about how information could be defined - there are so many ways, yours included - but he settled for one that could be quantified (measured) and also had just enough philosophy (uncertainty) to silence his critics.
  • Pop
    1.4k
    My approach is scientific to the extent I'm capable of that. Your idea of what information differs from the standard set down by Claude Shannon. I reckon that Shannon too must've wondered about how information could be defined - there are so many ways, yours included - but he settled for one that could be quantified (measured) and also had just enough philosophy (uncertainty) to silence his critics.TheMadFool

    Shannon did not define information. He quantified it. There is a very important difference.
  • MikeBlender
    31
    because everything is information.Pop

    Do you think even an elementary particle is information?
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    Shannon did not define information. He quantified it. There is a very important difference.Pop

    I can't seem to tell the difference. Kindly edify me.
  • Pop
    1.4k
    Do you think even an elementary particle is information?MikeBlender

    Yes, Information is fundamental. This is the trend, as I read it, these days. with proposals such as the mass - energy - information equivelence principle.

    It used to be that everything was matter, then due to Maxwell, Einstein, and Rutherford, etc. matter became equal to energy. Now there is a push, from various directions to include information in this mix.
  • Pop
    1.4k
    I can't seem to tell the difference. Kindly edify me.TheMadFool

    "Information" is : the evolutionary interaction of form, tells you what information "is ". That it is the interaction of form .

    Shannon's theory tells you how to quantify the amount of information traveling over a wire.
  • MikeBlender
    31
    It used to be that everything was matter, then due to Maxwell, Einstein, and Rutherford, etc. matter became equal to energyPop

    But energy is a particle too. Photons are pure energy, not moving in time. The can give their energy, their pure energy to massive particles like electrons which change their state of motion (the pure energy, kinetic energy through space only, is changed in kinetic energy through space and time). I can't see information in a single isolated particle. If non-interacting its wavefunction will get dispersed over space (or localized in momentum space).
  • Pop
    1.4k
    But energy is a particle too. Photons are pure energy, not moving in time. The can give their energy, their pure energy to massive particles like electrons which change their state of motion (the pure energy, kinetic energy through space only, is changed in kinetic energy through space and time). I can't see information in a single isolated particle. If non-interacting its wavefunction will get dispersed over space (or localized in momentum space).MikeBlender

    How will you know about it without the information describing it?

    In this case it is you who is interacting with a photon.
  • MikeBlender
    31
    How will you know about it without the information describing it?Pop

    Well,withou me being informed (informationed?) the particle can still exist.
  • TheMadFool
    11.9k
    Shannon's theory tells you how to quantify the amount of information traveling over a wire.Pop

    How would we measure something that hasn't been defined?
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