• Wayfarer
    13.8k
    An alien wouldn't (yet) be able to discern between books.TenderBar

    and as a consequence, raped a physicist. :lol:
  • TenderBar
    18
    and as a consequence, raped a physicist. :lol:Wayfarer


    :rofl:
  • TenderBar
    18
    and as a consequence, raped a physicistWayfarer

    "Excitation" wrongly interpreted as "to jump on"...
  • Mersi
    16
    High Pop

    I have no problem with the equivalence of matter and information. However I see no advantage in this assumption. What is the practical consequence?
    So information = matter = structure = form.
    Then you say information is interaction. Then you say logic is equal to informational structure found in the external world.
    Beside the fact that we now have a new notion: informational structure to deal with, I would say: NO!
    Form or what we perceive as form has no logic and needs none. We need logic to deal with forms.
    There is no place in the outside world where we could break down logical rules.
    The problem is that till now you have´t defined the term "Information".
    This cretes a mess of terms , so part of what you say is lost.

    To define the term "information" I suggest to with "Information" contained in propositions. Because most complex "information" travels via the network of language. As Wittgenstein said: Konwledge and language need not be the same, but what knowledge is it, that can not be expressed verbally.

    As far as I understand your thoughts move in an area between questions of quantum mechanics and neuro physiology, between structuralism and neo positivism. Even in a more modest area a clarification of the terms would be necessary.
  • TenderBar
    18
    I have no problem with the equivalence of matter and informationMersi

    They are not equivalent. Matter can exist and a matter arrangement (a form like a Platonic object) can carry information. You can even say the form is the (non-entropic) information but this is not equivalent to matter (whatever matter may be).
  • Pop
    1.5k
    However I see no advantage in this assumption. What is the practical consequence?Mersi

    Hi Mersi,
    A lot of your questions are answered in the OP and on the first page of the thread.

    There is no place in the outside world where we could break down logical rules.Mersi

    The world is mind dependent. We can not separate the two. In Enactivism the world is an amalgam of external causation and internal causation. If we look across cultures and through the ages, we can see how this has panned out.

    The problem is that till now you have´t defined the term "Information".Mersi

    I have defined it in the OP and in my last reply to you. It is a panpsychic and general definition, that fits Systems Theory, Constructivism, Enactivism, and Integrated information theory. When these theories are integrated, they become a pretty good theory of everything. Information is the evolutionary interaction of form, or Information = evolutionary interaction, explains the role of information in our lives. The definition should describe the interaction of any two systems, and everything is a system in systems theory. To make it more user friendly I reduce Systems to form, so it makes better sense when we apply it to our interaction with objects, that we don't normally see as systems.

    As far as I understand your thoughts move in an area between questions of quantum mechanics and neuro physiology, between structuralism and neo positivism. Even in a more modest area a clarification of the terms would be necessary.Mersi

    Yes, I agree, it is all over the place. I hope to write up something complete and coherent in time, but I am still trying to put it all together. I have found these threads and discussions and challenges are helpful toward that end. :smile:
  • Mark Nyquist
    278
    The first definition of information (if you must deal with more than one) should be brain information because it's what we use, what we are familar with, and what we ask the question with and answer the question with.

    So information is more specifically brain information.
    And brain information is dynamic brain states over durations of time.
    This includes a defined ability of brain state to hold a wide variety of specific content.

    Defining information is this way (definitions are ultimately arbitrary) can give focus to the special circumstance that we have information here on planet earth in the form of human brains in a way that exists nowhere else (that we know, of course). An 'information is everything' definition in this respect is extremely misleading. It completely ignores the uniqueness of our situation.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    So information is more specifically brain information.
    And brain information is dynamic brain states over durations of time.
    Mark Nyquist

    This is correct, but would be an anthropocentric definition of information. The theories I mention above imply a panpsychism. From the point of view of panpsychism, a theory of everything is possible. When these theories are integrated, then information is the evolutionary interaction of form, which gives rise to new forms, in an ongoing and open ended process.

    You have focused on brain, and have touched upon a micro instance, of what happens universally , when understood from the perspective of these theories.

    Ultimately order in the universe exists as an evolving body of information. This is the only way it can exist for us. This is consistent with how order exists in the brain.
  • Philofile
    62
    panpsychismPop

    ??? Is everything psyche?
  • Pop
    1.5k
    ??? Is everything psyche?Philofile

    I thought you were asleep. Everything can be understood as an evolving process of integrating information. But only the most complex forms of this can have a consciousness like ours. And then, amongst the forms of consciousness that we have across individuals, cultures, and through history also varies in form, and is open ended. So why limit yourself to a deadpan consciousness of materialism, where you live, work, and die, amen?
  • Philofile
    62
    What's brain information? Not the number of possible brain states. There are patterns flowing in the brain. Concerts played on the neural substrate. With the potential of the whole physical universe's forms to be played. I was asleep. But woke up again. Im very excited last days!
  • Philofile
    62
    Everything can be understood as an evolving process of integrating informationPop

    Can you give a concrete example?
  • Mark Nyquist
    278

    an anthropocentric definition of informationPop

    That's a good name.

    My argument is that if brains are present and the commom denominator, then I give credit were it's due, to brain based information.

    The way I think of brain state is that what your brains mental content is, at any given moment, would physically exist as a specific brain state. So you define information as this relation. Information is specific mental content existing as a specific brain state.

    I have applications I like using this definition/relation for and it's what works for me. The Shannon definition or 'everything is information' definition would have applications I would use in their own contexts. Time perception would be an applications of brain based information since brains are how we perceive time.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    The way I think of brain state is that what your brains mental content is, at any given moment, would physically exist as a specific brain state. So you define information as this relation. Information is specific mental content existing as a specific brain state.Mark Nyquist

    Whilst you are thinking about this then it is information, but when you stop thinking about this and think about the football, then it is not information, then the football thought is information. Information only exists in interaction.

    Schrodinger's cat in a box does not contain information, no matter how certain we feel that it does. It only contains information once we open the box and interact with the cat's form

    Information is the interaction of a brain state, with something that has caused a change to the brain state, whether this be an externality, or something imagined.

    This gets back to the moment of consciousness we discussed previously. Nothing exists outside of a moment of consciousness, and a moment of consciousness does not exist passively as a brain state, but as an interaction of a brain state with something that is causing it to change.

    Likewise outside of brain, when something incurs a change in state, it has integrated new information - it has incurred a change in state, due to an interaction with something.
  • Nosferatu
    7
    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 representationsPop

    Field excitations are particles. Aggregates of particles form quarks, leptons, mesons, hadrons, nuclei, atoms, molecules, structures, cells, organisms, planets that rotate, stars, groups, galaxies, superclusters, on the spacetime of the whole universe.

    What do you mean with logical / metaphysical limits? Different forms on a piece of paper?
  • Mersi
    16
    If you mean by "Dynamic brain states" the ever changing network of synapses and the traffic that travels over this network, I agree with you. Somewhere here where amounts of simple sensory data are put together to form first complex packets, which are than distributed over the system, the effect appears which we call information (if and when we become conscious of it at all).

    I suspect that the process that we perceive as an effect of information takes place high up in the ranking of all mental processes.

    From the point of neurophysiology the term "information" probably belongs to a certain processing, or even many steps of processing. As far as the processing of messages is concerned, information has to do with the fact that one proposition can verify other propositions. (Perhaps the "Home" of the transitivity of truth is somewhere here)
    By this way "Information" guides the mental process in a certain direction, although itself a product of the process.
    Perhaps this is even to be taken literally as certain "information" may activate certain areas of the brain, or as Nyquist may say, causes certain brain states.
  • VerdammtNochMal
    12


    Now it's going somewhere! There are 10exp10exp40 possible pathways for neural flows of peak potentials. Coordinated concerts, that is. We have potentially virtually infinite memory capacity!
  • Mark Nyquist
    278
    Perhaps this is even to be taken literally as certain "information" may activate certain areas of the brain, or as Nyquist may say, causes certain brain states.Mersi

    First, did you know the word 'literally' has two opposite meanings. Sometimes you can tell by the context and sometimes you can't. That's just a quirk of language.
    Next, my view is that information 'exists' as brain states (not causes). The important implication is that information (this model) can not physically exist unless it's in the form of a completely physical brain state. There may be a tendency to imagine information in a disembodied form but that's not something that can physically exist.

    Dynamic brain state = changing synapses = changing neural patterning

    Sure, why not? All terms for the same thing unless you disagree.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    :up: Yes, now we are on the same page. It often takes a few posts. :smile:
    I don't think it is possible, at present, or ever, to absolutely define the neuroplasticity that is seen evolving, but we need to conceptualize it at some level. I like the way Integrated Information Theory does this by calling consciousness a state of integrated information, and then overlapped by new information. Yes, the information is the physical change in brain state. And the impression arises that consciousness only exists in this dynamic state of change, of information. And what is evolving is the form of the state of integrated information ( consciousness ), in an endless process.

    In the abstract, new forms seem to be evolving. A body of past integrated information exists in a form, and this interacts with a novel neural form. So information would seem to be "an evolutionary interaction of form" ??

    Bear in mind, such informational structure exists universally, and I am trying to capture a panpsychist definition of information, that is universally applicable.
  • Mersi
    16
    "A dynamic brain state", as I understand, is work in progress.
    When you say information exists as brain state is this a conscious state?

    I would prefer to reserve the term "information" for the process that precedes the conscious state.
    Because in the moment we become conscious of something, we are already separated from the content.
    But here we enter the realm of transcendental philosophy, even phenomenology, the realm of the "Schelling" and "Heidegger" fans with theire strange and misleading vocabulary.

    Let´s try this example:

    Peter says: Company XYZ goes broke. It´s stocks will soon be worthless!
    Tom says: How do you know?
    Peter says: Ruth gave me the information.

    From Peters perspective the imminent bankruptcy is no longer information. As Tom put it, it is, what Peter knows. Ruth´s information was, what got Peter to the point where he activated all necessary brain regions to a point to paint a picture of his future where his XYZ shares are worthless.

    Or let´s try this anaology: To cause a certain brain state it is necessary to contact a lot of neurons. Let´s assume they all have numbers like phone numbers. Sort of conference call. The information is now in the numbers dialed, not in the outcome at the end. The outcome is the consious state. That´s what we know about. And what we know is what we immediately make subject of the next conference call.

    By the way: Each call changes the network at least slightly! So no impression can ever hit twice in the same way.
  • Mark Nyquist
    278
    "A dynamic brain state", as I understand, is work in progress.Mersi

    I try to use the word dynamic as it's used in physics. A momentary state can be static or dynamic. Brain state wouldn't be functional in a static state so a dynamic state should be recognized. You don't know if something is static or dynamic unless you have observations at times t0 and t1 to compare. This involves a duration of time.

    When you say information exists as brain state is this a conscious state?Mersi

    If you define information/brain state based on a relation of mapping mental activity to brain state then you could try to map what you observe to be concsiousness to the physical state that supports it. I don't know? It's complicated, isn't it. There seems to be overlap in the physical matter that supports (or is) information and consciousness but maybe not the same depending on what consciousness is. That's really not an answer, just a posible way to approach the problem. Maybe getting an understanding of this relation of information as brain state first will help in understanding consciousness.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    "A dynamic brain state", as I understand, is work in progress.
    When you say information exists as brain state is this a conscious state?
    Mersi

    If you define information/brain state based on a relation of mapping mental activity to brain state then you could try to map what you observe to be concsiousness to the physical state that supports it.Mark Nyquist

    :up: Yeah, that's the way I'm seeing it also.

    I think consciousness is effectively work in progress, but not absolutely. There are studies suggesting it lasts 1-400ms, and if this is accurate, then it exists in frames. I think, we can say information is the change of brain state, and consciousness is the integration of this change. This would be consistent with phenomenology. In my understanding feelings cause the information to self organize. In other interpretations, feelings result from this self organization.

    But, as you say it is difficult, I doubt it is a single linear process. I suspect there may be multiple streams of consciousness, occurring simultaneously. I imagine those studies can only focus on one stream of consciousness at a time. My wife is able to speak on the phone and type a message to another recipient simultaneously. My head is often in the clouds, whilst I do practical things around the house. Although deep concentration is a single stream, for me at least. How about you?

    I think if we can just conceptualize a single stream of information processing that gives rise to consciousness we will have done well. I don't think absolute brain functioning will be resolved any time soon. :smile:

    As we analyze information ever more deeply, we will inevitably depart from it's normal understanding.
    The normal understanding is that information can be written to a HDD and the HDD moved to another room, so we have moved information. But this is not actually the case. Whether there is any information on that HDD can not be known until it is read in the absolute sense. So it is only probabilistic that the HDD contains information until we prove it does by interacting with it and our brain state is changed due to this information. This is consistent with the Schrodinger cat scenario. This would suggest this is the case for all information. This illustrates the wave function collapse nature of reality, and suggests consciousness is probabilistic, until collapsed to a point. This would validate the notion that consciousness exists in frames - exists at the point of collapse of probabilistic information.

    However, thankfully, new information has to fit old information, in a constructivist fashion.It has to fit existing informational structure. So having an existing body of information keeps things on track - to evolve in a deterministic manner, with just a slight element of randomness, to allow for emergent / novel thought.

    What is the big deal about all this?? Information philosophy is the future of philosophy, imo. All disciplines are realigning their understandings to incorporate information as the fundamental.
    The really fun part about this is that it is all currently emerging, so as we start to develop an understanding about information and how it works, we start to develop an information philosophy. :nerd:
  • Gnomon
    1.7k
    I have no problem with the equivalence of matter and information. However I see no advantage in this assumption. What is the practical consequence? . . . To define the term "information" I suggest to with "Information" contained in propositions. . . .
    As far as I understand your thoughts move in an area between questions of quantum mechanics and neuro physiology, between structuralism and neo positivism. Even in a more modest area a clarification of the terms would be necessary.
    Mersi
    Claude Shannon narrowed his definition of "Information" down to one specific "practical consequence" : either a communication of Information conveys (certain) meaning from sender to receiver, or not (uncertain). But that is just one of many ways to define the term. Pop has developed a more philosophical way to approach the problem of understanding what Information is, in more general terms : "Information is the evolutionary interaction of form, or Information = evolutionary interaction, explains the role of information in our lives." Unfortunately, that definition may be a bit too broad for those who don't grasp the Idealized meaning of "interaction of form". Many posters on this forum don't give credence to Plato's notion of abstract eternal Forms, as the essence of concrete space-time Things.

    So, the problem with a comprehensive definition of "Information" is that it is all-of-the-above, and more. I call it a ShapeShifter, because Information takes different forms, depending on the context. In a computer, it can be reduced down to abstract mathematical symbols : 1 or 0, all or nothing. On the other hand, you mentioned that you have "no problem with the equivalence of matter and information". But what does that abstract equation imply about the real world? In what sense are Matter and Information the same thing? To clarify that claim of multiple identities, I would add a third entity : The Matter, Energy, Information Equivalence. The original referent, of the verb "to inform", was to the invisible & intangible contents of a human mind (meaning). But Shannon gave it a mathematical & physical interpretation similar to the quantum collapse of an abstract & random waveform into a specific concrete particle of matter. However, by comparing the uncertainty of randomness to Entropy, he brought-in a connection to abstract causal Energy, which we infer from its effects on Matter.

    Therefore, a complete definition of "Information" must cover all of those technical & scientific concepts, along with the philosophical notions of "aboutness" & "meaning" & "cybernetics". In its causal energetic form, I spell it : EnFormAction (the power to cause change in form). Only when you understand the ubiquity of Information in the real and ideal worlds, will you be able to see the manifold practical and philosophical "consequences" of Information, as Spinoza's "universal substance" of the world. :nerd:


    The mass-energy-information equivalence principle :
    Here we formulate a new principle of mass-energy-information equivalence proposing that a bit of information is not just physical, as already demonstrated, but it has a finite and quantifiable mass while it stores information.
    https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.5123794

    Matter, Energy, Information :
    Unpublished until now, this essay was written in 1969. It takes up the ancient concept of form, in order to interpret the contemporary concept of information and to develop a unified concept encompassing both biology, as understood cybernetically, and physics, as the theory of decidable alternatives
    https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-03668-7_11

    Information :
    * Claude Shannon quantified Information not as useful ideas, but as a mathematical ratio between meaningful order (1) and meaningless disorder (0) ; between knowledge (1) and ignorance (0). So, that meaningful mind-stuff exists in the limbo-land of statistics, producing effects on reality while having no sensory physical properties. We know it exists ideally, only by detecting its effects in the real world.
    * For humans, Information has the semantic quality of aboutness , that we interpret as meaning. In computer science though, Information is treated as meaningless, which makes its mathematical value more certain. It becomes meaningful only when a sentient Self interprets it as such.
    * When spelled with an “I”, Information is a noun, referring to data & things. When spelled with an “E”, Enformation is a verb, referring to energy and processes.

    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page11.html

    Information :
    Knowledge and the ability to know. Technically, it's the ratio of order to disorder, of positive to negative, of knowledge to ignorance. It's measured in degrees of uncertainty. Those ratios are also called "differences". So Gregory Bateson* defined Information as "the difference that makes a difference". The latter distinction refers to "value" or "meaning". Babbage called his prototype computer a "difference engine". Difference is the cause or agent of Change. In Physics it’s called "Thermodynamics" or "Energy". In Sociology it’s called "Conflict".
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page11.html
  • Pop
    1.5k
    the power to cause change in formGnomon

    ( I was wondering where you were? )

    :up: This highlights the potential of information. This is pretty close, and works well in your scheme.

    Another aspect of the definition that I thought important, that hasn't been mentioned. Information is always a first person experience, so I was careful to make the definition fit both a first person and third person perspective. Shannon information is well debunked in this interesting read.( download pdf )

    "Let us assume that information is the thought process in the mind of the person thinking the contents of the wire. Then what I thought when sending the wire and what the addressee thought on receiving it is not the same information. Information is not one or the other act of consciousness but what is known by the act of consciousness, something that is common to these conscious persons who are otherwise so different". - Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker......... original paper:Matter - energy - information 1969

    He is wrong!! information is not equal to consciousness. Information is the interaction of information, which when integrated becomes consciousness. Consciousnes = integrated information, which is different to the process preceding its integration?? Information is the interaction between two, or more, forms, and it is different to the eventual singular form it is incorporated into.
  • Thunderballs
    204
    Information is not one or the other act of consciousness but what is known by the act of consciousness, something that is common to these conscious persons who are otherwise so differenPop

    He was right.Information is not interaction. Interaction operates on information. It is waht gives form to forms. The forms are the information. Whithout interaction no forms exist. A quantum wavefunction spreads out more and more (or shrinks in momentum space). With interaction oblivion is called back (collapse).
  • Pop
    1.5k
    The Information Philosopher - A common definition of information is the act of informing - the communication of knowledge from a sender to a receiver that informs (literally shapes) the receiver.
  • Gnomon
    1.7k
    He is wrong!! information is not equal to consciousness. Information is the interaction of information, which when integrated becomes consciousness.Pop
    Yes. It's understandable that some might define Information in terms of Consciousness. But they are not the same. And the difference makes a difference in understanding. Information is what we are conscious of : aboutness, relationships, meaningful patterns, structure. In its native "wild" form, Information is meaningless potential, metaphorically equivalent to the static voltage of a battery, compared to the flowing amperage of an electrical circuit. Only when the circuit is complete (whole, unified) is it capable of doing work (energy ; useful relevant meaning).

    Likewise, only when integrated into a holistic concept, does information become conscious meaning-or-value-or-significance to the "first person" observer. In terms of quantum physics, an observation extracts information (energy, mathematical values, personal values), which causes the metaphorical "collapse" (manifestation) of an uncertain state into a certain value, such as a vector (position + direction). So consciousness is about information, but is not information per se. You could say that Consciousness is the transformation of Potential information into Actual meaning. Or perhaps, Consciousness is the integration of an amorphous pattern (discrete parts) into a meaningful pattern (a whole concept or image). :smile:

    PATTERNICITY
    Leopard%20pattern.JPG
  • Pop
    1.5k
    only when integrated into a holistic concept, does information become conscious meaningGnomon

    :up: Yep!

    1. Potential information exists in the book on a shelf

    2. Actual information occurs when we read it - interact with it.

    3. Consciousness occurs when this interaction is integrated with past informational structure - ( knowledge).

    The wavefunction is probabilistic / potential information, when interacted with it's potential is collapsed to a point, which gives rise to a moment of clarity - which is consciousness.

    There is no way in hell you can know this from the currently prevalent definitions of information out there, and I wonder why?? The definition of information as provided by the Information Philosopher is the obvious definition of information - to inform - to literally shape, Is not present in any of the dictionaries, wikipedia, etc.

    Information informs, gives shape to things. Only information gives shape to things. Anything that gives shape to things is information. And, everything is information from every perspective.

    So, it is plain to see why Information Philosophy is important.

    ** in systems theory all things are systems.

    ** I think now it is something like this. This would agree with this and this study which would suggest the information process lasts 1-400ms, and then consciousness arises at the end of this. Must be in between information processing. Of course we can only conceptualize it to some extent.
  • Mark Nyquist
    278

    I took a good look at the second study you mentioned.
    Here's a link to the type of head/chin rest used for eye tracking in this study:

    chinrest.net

    Doesn't that look like a fun day?
    Anyway, there are a few things that are salvageable but the authors are completely incompetent They identify information in the motion display entering the senses and being 'delivered' to the brain. And what they call a termination decision time is actually information formation time. They would have had a jewel of science if they had gotten it right. Maybe mutual incompetence is self reinforcing or maybe they are especially stupid.

    So salvaging the information formation times in this study is still useful so maybe the poor study participants efforts weren't completely wasted.
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