• Pop
    1.5k
    Of course, this being a Real material world, the change in Ideal mental state we call "Consciousness" or "Meaning" is preceded by a change in the physical state of the brainGnomon

    :up:
  • Gnomon
    1.7k
    There is an asymmetry in the interaction of forms, otherwise they annihilate.Pop
    Absolute symmetry is perfect & changeless. Change requires asymmetry (difference) in order to allow room for something new to happen. :smile:


    which would imply that "meaning" is the last information integrated by a body of information?Pop
    Yes. Metaphorically, meaning is like the right-hand image in my last post. It begins as isolated dots, with no apparent connection. But the mind connects-the-dots or fills-in-the-blanks (integrates), resulting in a meaningful pattern of information. No longer random, that mental pattern relates to our personal experience in some way. :nerd:

    Thanks for the answer, and for humoring my speculations.Pop
    You're welcome. Us "woo-mongers" don't get much positive reinforcement on this forum. We are talking about unconventional concepts, that sound "weird" (like Quantum Physics) to those with a classical mindset. :joke:

    It's by exchanging views that we learn to see things from a different perspective. And we gain a new vocabulary in which to express our private mind-states. For example, I hadn't thought of Information in terms of "self-organization" before your post on a Short Theory of Consciousness. But that's exactly what EnFormAction is. It causes disorganized random patterns to organize into orderly meaningful patterns of information. Although technically, each transformation (change) has an external cause, since that cause is invisible, the new form appears to be "self-organized". Some think that the Big Bang organized itself from nothing-but invisible "Laws", which are necessarily Causal. Only the First Cause would be self-caused.

    Even the universe itself can be understood as an Organism. Ironically the question remains : "is the Universe self-organized, or is it organized by an outside Self"? Is our world self-conscious? I don't know the answer, but it's worth looking into. :chin:

    PS__Sorry, I got carried away with imaginary nonsense and speculative pseudo-woo. :cool:
  • Pop
    1.5k
    PS__Sorry, I got carried away with imaginary nonsense and speculative pseudo-woo. :cool:Gnomon

    Not at all, it is great to have another woo juggler to talk to. BTW I saw a video recently on developments in biology and science in 2020, and they were juggling the same woo that we are - understood in much the same way, in much the same terms - as interactive and evolving informational bodies. :lol:
  • Gnomon
    1.7k
    Yeah. I would think of information as being the change in mental state, due to an interaction with an externality. So much the same thing.Pop
    Yes. EnFormAction causes changes in physical material, and in meta-physical states. It's the subsequent causation after the First Cause. That initial impetus had potential for both physical effects and meta-physical effects. That's why our current reality includes both Matter and Mind. The Big Bang was not just a fireworks explosion of matter & energy -- no room in the Singularity for a universe full of 3D spatial matter. Instead, I envision it as the engagement of a no-D Program of Potential EnFormAction, which being metaphysical (mind stuff) requires no space for storage, or time for its static state. That's how a sub-Planck-scale pinpoint of Potential could give birth to a universe, which is currently a zillion times larger, and has existed for zillions of Planck seconds. *

    Of course, this being a material world, the change in mental state we call Consciousness or Meaning is preceded by a change in the physical state of the brain. The external patterns ** we observe make a difference in the mental patterns of our Mind. This may sound like mere semantics to a Materialist, but it helps to explain what Bateson labelled The Difference That Makes a Difference. In other words, its the change that makes a meaning (some pattern that is significant to the observer). The difference is expressed mathematically as a ratio, such as the difference between Life & Death. :gasp:

    The Difference :
    Gregory Bateson, an English anthropologist is credited with this phrase. He was talking about information and how it can affect things. What information can we know that will completely change the situation/experiment/culture?
    https://www.stephanie-burns.com/blog/2017/3/25/the-difference-that-makes-the-difference
    Note -- in physical terms : "The potential difference (which is the same as voltage) is equal to the amount of current multiplied by the resistance." And metaphorically, a mental difference has the potential to complete a circuit (meaning ; meme) in another mind.

    * Some physicists are still trying to imagine an explanation for the beginning and expansion of the universe, which doesn't require a miraculous something-from-nothing beginning. But so far, all of those woo-ish proposals assume the eternal existence of The Potential for a new world. And like Voltage, Potential is the idea of a future something -- an imaginary state of mind ; a snap-shot of the future -- not necessarily a physical substance -- nor even a ghostly "weird probability field". "Potential" is merely probability with the power of Intention. :chin:

    What would have happened if there was no Big Bang? :
    What if there was no Big Bang, no dark matter, no dark energy, and everything is swamped in some kind of weird quantum probability field. ... The Big Bang, as we currently understand it, says that everything in the universe started out as a single, infinitely small point, or singularity.
    https://www.seeker.com/what-if-the-big-bang-never-happened-1792546415.html

    ** Pattern is an intelligible form. We see the invisible relationships between a group of material objects, and recognize it as a form we are already familiar with.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    * Some physicists are still trying to imagine an explanation for the beginning and expansion of the universe, which doesn't require a miraculous something-from-nothing beginning. But so far, all of those woo-ish proposals assume the eternal existence of The Potential for a new world. And like Voltage, Potential is the idea of a future something -- an imaginary state of mind ; a snap-shot of the future -- not necessarily a physical substance -- nor even a ghostly "weird probability field". "Potential" is merely probability with the power of Intention. :chin:Gnomon

    I'm thinking a start to a philosophy needs to be the interaction that is information. I'm not at all sure how to do it, but a start at the source and then work outwards as far as is reasonably possible.

    This would be a start with consciousness, but with information being the main focus.
  • Mark Nyquist
    278

    Pop, this thread has been running a month now. Something that may be overlooked is the definition of the word definition. In the sense that information is a word, then any usage that exists could be used as the basis of a definition. The comments reflect that and a lot of options have been covered.

    You have tried to focus on a universal definition but it still seems to go in every direction. It could be a problem of methodology. Maybe it's setting up a problem in a way that doesn't lead to a solution. Like given the word information, what is its meaning? A better method(or approach to the same problem) would be to start with an identified singular physical state, like brain state, and assign a word to it(like information). That way you avoid the endless posibilities. And you are moving from something that is primary(the physical state) to something that is secondary(the definition).

    If you asked in your terms "Is neural patterning the basis of information?" some of us would agree and others would not but it would help focus the issue.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Pop, this thread has been running a month nowMark Nyquist

    Time flies when you're having fun. :lol:

    I think the old fashioned definition of information is the obvious definition to use: Information = to inForm - literally change the shape of, including neural shape?

    Information is the evolutionary interaction of form is meaningful, to me at least, as it describes information in a systems setting, where systems are interacting with each other. This definition is a little more predictive, so useful, to me, in predicting the interaction of two or more systems. The definition is important as it becomes the basis of any information philosophy. Ideally a definition should be logically perfect and describe information in every respect, but given everything is information, this might be a little optimistic? :grin:

    If you asked in your terms "Is neural patterning the basis of information?" some of us would agree and others would not but it would help focus the issueMark Nyquist

    Yes I think the change in neural patterning is the basis of information for us. I'm trying to tie this to the accumulation of information, that creates an informational body. Where consciousness is the latest state of neural patterning, which is equal to the latest state of integrated information. Thus it becomes a general and panpsychist definition of information.

    Might be time for a new thread ? :chin:
  • Mark Nyquist
    278

    Might be time for a new thread ?Pop

    This was a good one. I'm sceptical of the comments on information existing as 'form' where you still need a brain as a placeholder for form...forgot who...I forget more in a month than I remember.
  • Adughep
    26
    I might be late to this thread, but i will try to post some real examples.
    I had discussed this theory with Pop on other threads and i agree with it.
    For me it looks really simple to understand this definition of "information" and looks correct in all aspects, regarding if is material or immaterial.
    I will try to emphasize some examples and i hope it wont confuse people more.




    I saw that you are insisting at "the brain state" or an observer, but sometimes a brain state is complex and depends on the observer.
    Bellow i will present a biological and non biological example.

    Why do you think the living cell DNA information is passed from grandfather/father and grandmother/mother to the son/daughter ? Why when a new human child or animal cubs are born some of the information is passed to the offspring ? They could be born offspring without any resemble to his grandfather/father or grandmother/mother, but this is not the case.

    The same is for non-living ordered structures like diamonds or when we try to produce steel.
    You need to have a big amount of heat/energy to the iron (which is essentially an energy wave that push information into the iron ) to be able to transform it into steel.
    If you apply to much heat you will have evaporated iron (so in essence it will go back to the formation of molecules since it lost the previous information data of iron ). If you apply less heat then required, steel is not formed and you just have again only iron.


    The Universe encourage and promotes the law, that you can create another ordered form through interactions (between forms) only if it will contain the previous forms history data(aka information).
    It will not matter for "the Universe" how you did it, only the end result will matter. If you are able to create another ordered form using the previous form through interaction and information exchange between the forms, it will be more then enough.



    The bellow might not reflect directly to the thread subject on the definition of information, but could resolve some doubts.

    On previous posts you mention about the Quantum entanglement and the spooky action at the distance.
    This is happening because the quantum particles are so small that from your observer point of view the particles can be in any place at the same time.
    This is because the very very big difference in size between you as an observer and a simple quantum particle,
    The difference in space and time of a sensorial perception by a quantum particle in comparison with the human sensorial, is like the quantum particle lives in another parallel universe where everything happens in nanoseconds or even picoseconds.With this big gap in the perception of time and space of course the particle can be in any place at the same time from the human observer point of view.

    The same rules apply to the perception of gravitational waves.
    You need to be as big as a planet to be able to sense the gravitational waves.

    You will be most of the time wrong if you try to observe the big and the small "universe" with only your human senses of perception and not using some measure instrument.
  • Gnomon
    1.7k
    I'm sceptical of the comments on information existing as 'form' where you still need a brain as a placeholder for form...forgot who...I forget more in a month than I remember.Mark Nyquist
    That dualistic Cartesian worldview -- mental Form vs physical Brain -- is a common stumbling block for discussions of Information : 1> the ideal essence (concept, design, idea, theory, abstraction) of a thing, and 2> its real physical embodiment. Ironically, for a philosophy forum -- where many posters are influenced by Physics Envy -- the notion of disembodied (non-empirical) ideas seems to be off-limits, because they can't be dissected under a microscope, or accounted with numbers.

    We only infer the existence of ideas in another brain, by projecting our personal subjective experience onto the other person. Doubting that inference leads to Solipsism. We can cut the other person's head open to confirm that he has a Brain. But we can't verify that he has a Mind. He might be a philosophical Zombie. However, partly due to our mammalian trait of Empathy, humans have almost always assumed that other humans experience, and model the world, in a manner similar to our own. So, it's that invisible intangible mental model that we have to take for granted, in order to empathize and socialize.

    Unfortunately for the Solipsistic Skeptic, Platonic "Form" is the core concept of the modern word "In-Form-Ation". Yet, in modern usage, there are two referents for the same term : the ghostly mental platonic qualities (Qualia), and its tangible physical empirical properties (Quanta). For clarity, I call the subjective qualia "Form", and the objective quanta "Shape". Our physical senses deliver information to our minds about the physical shapes, as abstracted from the world outside our mental model into mentally-meaningful Forms. However, unlike animals in general, rational philosophers do not have to rely on apparent Shapes for all knowledge of the real world. They also construct mental models of their environment, that are imbued with personal meaning. But, when we dissect their brains, those meanings or essences or Forms are nowhere to be found.

    It's a simplistic truism that all Information accessible to our physical senses is embodied in physical matter. But, in the process of embodiment, the subjective meanings are stripped-out. So, in order to know what another person is knowing and feeling, we are forced to empathize with them, by imagining what we would know and feel, if we were in a similar situation. By communicating & comparing our mental models (our ideas about reality) via the process I call "Enformation" (the act of communicating Forms between Minds). Therefore, if the brain is nothing-but "a placeholder for Form", we would all be Zombies. :cool:


    Physics envy :
    "Physics envy" refers to the envy (perceived or real) of scholars in other disciplines for the mathematical precision of fundamental concepts obtained by physicists. It is an accusation raised against disciplines (typically against social sciences and liberal arts such as literature, philosophy, and psychology) when these academic areas try to express their fundamental concepts in terms of mathematics, which is seen as an unwarranted push for reductionism.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physics_envy

    Infer : deduce or conclude (information) from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements.
    Google (Oxford Dictionary)

    Solipsism and the Problem of Other Minds :
    Rather, the solipsist can attach no meaning to the supposition that there could be thoughts, experiences, and emotions other than his own.
    https://iep.utm.edu/solipsis/

    Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy
    Note -- none of those objects of philosophical study are physical objects made of Matter. Instead, they are all made of Mind-stuff (ideas). And they are all General concepts, that can exist simultaneously in a variety of Brains.
  • Mark Nyquist
    278
    So, it's that invisible intangible mental model that we have to take for granted, in order to empathize and socialize.Gnomon

    It almost seems this invisible intangible mental model is what you are arguing for. But I'm not sure. Since you mentioned Qualia and Quanta, do you view them as inseparable or stand alone objects? I don't see how Qualia can exist in the absence of Quanta.

    Our physical senses deliver information to our minds about the physical shapes, as abstracted from the world outside our mental model into mentally-meaningful Forms.Gnomon

    Isn't just a physical signal delivered to our brains sufficient to form mental models? If you are arguing for this kind of externally mobile information you might need to explain how that works. Brain only information is a simpler model as you only need to identify information as brain state.
  • Gnomon
    1.7k
    It almost seems this invisible intangible mental model is what you are arguing for. But I'm not sure. Since you mentioned Qualia and Quanta, do you view them as inseparable or stand alone objects? I don't see how Qualia can exist in the absence of Quanta.Mark Nyquist
    That's because you are confusing two separate methodologies : Empirical Science and Theoretical Philosophy. Qualia and Quanta are not real things, but ideas about things. And those terms were invented specifically so we could separate them in our minds -- to examine their properties and qualities in isolation. In the real world, Information is always embodied -- as far as our physical senses are concerned. But Rational Analysis is not a physical dissection of objective objects -- it's a meta-physical scalpel for parsing subjective ideas. It does not literally cut any material object, but it metaphorically slices & dices human concepts about such objects. Philosophy is not a physical science ; it's a meta-physical science. Qualia (attributes) can "exist in the absence" of Quanta (properties) only when abstracted into the ideal vocabulary of the rational mind. Where there are Minds, there are Qualia. :smile:

    Physics & Metaphysics :
    Two sides of the same coin we call Reality. When we look for matters of fact, we see physics. But when we search for meaning, we find meta-physics. A mental flip is required to view the other side. And imagination is necessary to see both at the same time
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page14.html

    Aboutness :
    Philosophers often remind us, and each other, that mental contents have the property of 'aboutness'. Indeed, this is their distinguishing feature.
    About Aboutness | Issue 132 | Philosophy Now
    https://philosophynow.org › issues › About_

    Qualia : Individual instances of subjective, conscious experience

    Isn't just a physical signal delivered to our brains sufficient to form mental models? If you are arguing for this kind of externally mobile information you might need to explain how that works. Brain only information is a simpler model as you only need to identify information as brain state.Mark Nyquist
    1. Regarding the "mobility of Information", it's what we call "communication". And we don't communicate by boring holes in heads, in order to rearrange their neurons into "states". Instead, we package ideas into Memes, and transmit them in the form of Words. Communication uses physical media, but is not itself physical. McLuhan was not speaking literally, when he famously noted that "the medium is the message".

    A statement by Marshall McLuhan, meaning that the [container] of a message (print, visual, musical, etc.) determines the ways in which that message will be perceived.
    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/the-medium-is-the-message
    Note -- I added the brackets, replacing "form", to indicate that the Amazon box your new phone is delivered in, is not the object you ordered, but its easily recognized smile carries a message of its own, that a porch pirate can interpret : valuables within.

    2. Since when are philosophers content with simplistic models? Occam's Razor is a pragmatic rule-of-thumb for reductive empirical science. But for holistic theoretical science (philosophy) the situation is seldom that simple. Neurologists study physical neurons. and infer (hypothesize) related non-physical brain states. But they don't claim to actually "see" the states we call "Meaning". Philosophy is all about Meaning. :nerd:

    Intel launches its next-generation neuromorphic processorso, what’s that again?
    https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/09/understanding-neuromorphic-computing-and-why-intels-excited-about-it/

    An Internet meme, more commonly known simply as a meme (/miːm/ MEEM), is an idea, behavior, or style that is spread via the Internet,
    ___Wiki
    Note -- a Meme is the meaning (content), the medium (internet) is merely the vehicle (container)
  • Mark Nyquist
    278

    That's the first and last time I will ever use the words Qualia and Quanta. I maybe don't understand parts of it. Thanks for the explanation.

    I can't back off on brain only information being the best model... and communication becomes a simple process of encoding and decoding physical matter.

    I'm still not sure if you think information should be both brain internal and brain external? The brain external information is what requires a brain as placeholder. There is a huge tendency to do this without acknowledging it or even being aware of it. So if you identify some brain external 'form' as being information then you should understand you are doing it, be aware of it, and acknowledge your brain is the source of it(the perception of information).
  • Gnomon
    1.7k
    If you are arguing for this kind of externally mobile information you might need to explain how that works.Mark Nyquist
    FYI -- I do "explain how that works" in my website and blog. If you are really interested, I'll give you some links. :smile:
  • Gnomon
    1.7k
    That's the first and last time I will ever use the words Qualia and Quanta. I maybe don't understand parts of it. Thanks for the explanation.Mark Nyquist
    Unless you are a professional philosopher, you may never have to use those technical terms for the fundamental distinction of Reality (quanta) and Ideality (qualia). But if you intend to post on this forum for amateur philosophers, you will often need to make that crucial discrimination between Things and Ideas-About-Things. :smile:

    I can't back off on brain only information being the best model... and communication becomes a simple process of encoding and decoding physical matter.Mark Nyquist
    If you are a professional scientist, the physical brain is indeed the best subject for study. But if you are a layman, it will be useful to be able to distinguish between Physical Matter and a Meta-physical Process. The process we call "Thinking" does not take place in space, but in time. That's why it is not subject to empirical testing, but only to theoretical modeling. Your "brain only" view is missing half the picture. :cool:

    I'm still not sure if you think information should be both brain internal and brain external?Mark Nyquist
    Let me clear-up that uncertainty. I do think that Information is both physical (brains) and meta-physical (minds). It's common nowadays for philosophers to claim that there is no such thing as a Mind. They justify that view by labeling the Conscious Contents of your brain as "illusions". If that is the case, then everything you think you know, including your model of the world, is an illusion. But the question arises : who is deluding who? Are you constructing a fake world in your brain? If that mental model has no relevance to reality, what good is it? And if the other posters on this forum are likewise deluded by their private illusions, what's the point of communicating with them?

    Speaking of communicating, your "brain only" model implies that communication of Information would have to send a little chunk of your brain (the material machine) to the brain of the receiver. But physicist Paul Davies refers to the immaterial contents of your brain as "the demon in the machine" (the Mind or Soul). http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page6.html

    Now that I have introduced that taboo term "Soul" into the conversation, let me quote from a book by astrophysicist John Barrow, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. In a chapter on Life and the Final State of the Universe, he says : ".. . an intelligent being -- or more generally, any living creature -- is fundamentally a type of computer [an information processor] . . ." Then, ".. . we may even say that a human being is a program designed to run on particular hardware called a human body . . . the essence of a human being is not the body but the program which controls the body; we might even identify the program which controls the body with the religious notion of a soul". So, the distinction between Qualia and Quanta is equivalent to the ability to discriminate between a Computer and its Program. The machine (quanta ; hardware) without a program (qualia ; software) is a "brick". Likewise, a Brain without a Mind is a Philosophical Zombie. Is your Brain running a Program, or are you a Zombie? :joke:


    Zombies in philosophy are imaginary creatures designed to illuminate problems about consciousness and its relation to the physical world. Unlike the ones in films or witchcraft, they are exactly like us in all physical respects but without conscious experiences: by definition there is ‘nothing it is like’ to be a zombie. Yet zombies behave just like us, and some even spend a lot of time discussing consciousness.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/zombies/

    Both/And Principle :
    My coinage for the holistic principle of Complementarity, as illustrated in the Yin/Yang symbol. Opposing or contrasting concepts are always part of a greater whole. Conflicts between parts can be reconciled or harmonized by putting them into the context of a whole system.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page10.html

    Note : in order to avoid the obsolete religious connotations of "Soul", I prefer to refer to the human Program as the "Self" or "Self Concept".
  • Mark Nyquist
    278

    FYI -- I do "explain how that works" in my website and blog. If you are really interested, I'll give you some links. :smile:Gnomon

    Sure, provide some links. I have checked your glossary links before.

    I do tend to avoid metaphysics because my interest is in physically based processes. Things like the physical basis of information, time perception, artificial intellegence and computing.

    Something to laugh about is our over-estimation of our ability to transfer information from brain to brain...it almost never happens in a completely intact form, especially in philosophy.

    A special case, were the most techincally accurate understanding of information possible is needed, is in the study of human psychosis. It could be that some psychosis cases could be information processing anomolies and not biological failure. I am especially interested in this mechanism if anyone has an opinion. The specific symptoms might be false beliefs, conspiracy theories, magical thinking which are all things based on information. This is actually an example of how the definition of information can be critical to an application because if you get the definition wrong you will also likely get the treatment of psychosis wrong. Like the wheel him down the hall and give him a good dose of electroshock and see if that helps approach. Or the give him some horse tranquilizer approach. Or the just lock him(or her) up forever approach. Maybe some of us know these people. One week they are normal and the next they are on a mission from GOD, and the next week they are confused or in a psychward. They don't know what happened and their Doctors are doing guesswork or doing experiments on them. (drug studies...here, sign this and we'll go easy on you)

    I rambled on a little, so that's one view on why the definition of information can be critical to a specific application.
  • Gnomon
    1.7k
    I do tend to avoid metaphysics because my interest is in physically based processes. Things like the physical basis of information, time perception, artificial intellegence and computing.Mark Nyquist
    That's fine with me. But, if you are not interested in metaphysics, my views on Information won't interest you. That's because Enformationism is a philosophical treatise, not a scientific report. In the beginning of philosophy, the Greeks especially, didn't make a distinction between Physics & Metaphysics. They had no sense-expanding instruments, so had no choice but to use their rational faculties to investigate mysteries.

    But then, Aristotle wrote two books summarizing the current state of philosophical understanding. The first was labelled The Physics, because it was all about specific aspects of Nature (matter + energy). And the second volume was later designated The Meta-Physics, because it discussed various general notions about Nature (ideas, information). However, by the "age of Enlightenment", knowledge of the physical had made little progress, and the focus was on religious beliefs & speculations, on idealized concepts and spiritual matters. That's why the early scientists, Galileo etc, turned away from ivory-tower ideal metaphysical conjectures, and turned their attention back to the "real" world.

    Today, however, modern Science has revealed that the foundations of Reality are not as firm as once assumed. Relativity & Quantum Theory have undermined our Classical worldview, and re-opened our axiomatic beliefs to question. Now, instead of solid Atoms & Matter, scientists talk about Virtual Particles and Abstract Mathematical Fields. As a consequence, even sober scientists are forced to think like philosophers. You might call this era "The Re-Enlightenment" or "The Information Age".

    Therefore, while my Enformationism thesis is grounded in modern Physics, and Information theory, it is theoretical, not empirical. The website discusses such things as "the physical basis of information, time perception, artificial intelligence and computing". But, it is more concerned with general & universal concepts, than specific details and data. :nerd:


    Meta-physics :
    The branch of philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value.
    1. Often dismissed by materialists as idle speculation on topics not amenable to empirical proof.
    2. Aristotle divided his treatise on science into two parts. The world as-known-via-the-senses was labeled “physics” - what we call "Science" today. And the world as-known-by-the-mind, by reason, was labeled “metaphysics” - what we now call "Philosophy" .
    3. Plato called the unseen world that hides behind the physical façade: “Ideal” as opposed to Real. For him, Ideal “forms” (concepts) were prior-to the Real “substance” (matter).
    4. Physics refers to the things we perceive with the eye of the body. Meta-physics refers to the things we conceive with the eye of the mind. Meta-physics includes the properties, and qualities, and functions that make a thing what it is. Matter is just the clay from which a thing is made. Meta-physics is the design (form, purpose); physics is the product (shape, action). The act of creation brings an ideal design into actual existence. The design concept is the “formal” cause of the thing designed.
    5. I use a hyphen in the spelling to indicate that I am not talking about Ghosts and Magic, but about Ontology (science of being).

    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page14.html

    Philosophy and Its Contrast with Science :
    Science is about contingent facts; philosophy is also about necessary truths (if they exist). Science is about descriptive facts; philosophy is also about normative truths (if they exist). Science is about physical objects; philosophy is also about abstract objects (if they exist).
    https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=science+vs+philosophy+debate

    FWIW :
    http://enformationism.info/enformationism.info/
    wp4f1337d7_06.png

    Science vs Philosophy debate :
    https://medium.com/predict/science-vs-philosophy-a-debate-on-youtube-between-physicists-and-philosophers-45c5bc103604
    1*PBCGDKA_ZwOWabKL8PqtCA.jpeg
  • Gnomon
    1.7k

    Speaking of "what is information?", which we were discussing way back in the beginning of this thread : I just came across -- in a book I read before but picked-up to browse -- some comments relevant to your "self-organization" definition.

    The book is Information and the Nature of Reality, edited by physicist Paul Davies. In a chapter by an American philosopher, Holmes Rolston says, regarding spontaneous patterns of organization in matter such as crystals : "these patterns may further involve critical thresholds, often called self-organized criticality. Such processes are 'automatic', sometimes called 'self-organizing', Initially, the 'auto' should not be taken to posit a 'self' but rather an innate principle of the spontaneous origination of order". In the next sub-heading, he quotes biologist Stuart Kauffman : "spontaneous formation is a starter . . . 'forming' becomes 'informing". Later, he notes that "Darwin could not have suspected the existence of self-organization . . . We may have begun to understand evolution as the marriage of selection and self-organization". Which is the function of what I call EnFormAction. :smile:

    Information and the Nature of Reality : From Physics to Metaphysics :
    https://books.google.com/books/about/Information_and_the_Nature_of_Reality.html?id=0k6oQq8lN-YC
    Heads up! From a review -- "The symposium on which the book is based having been sponsored by the profoundly misguided Templeton Foundation, the last 5 chapters (~120 pages) and some other parts are garbage (theology),"
    Actually, I found even the theologian's philosophical understanding of the role of Information to be compatible with my own. Of course, they may apply these ideas to defending Intelligent Design, but that's not so far off from my own myth of Intelligent Evolution.
    http://gnomon.enformationism.info/Essays/Intelligent%20Evolution%20Essay_Prego_120106.pdf
  • Pop
    1.5k
    We may have begun to understand evolution as the marriage of selection and self-organization". Which is the function of what I call EnFormAction. :smile:Gnomon

    :up: In General systems theory we can take any part of the universe and know that it is a self organizing system made up of self organizing subsystems all the way down to plank length and possibly beyond. It is a bottom up self assembling universe, and physical interaction is information, then this is modified somewhat for sensing organisms, in that they can be changed physically from afar due to interpretation of changes in their environment, normally called information.

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/comment/591498
  • Benj96
    531
    These interactions of forms are information. Information creates a sense of time, and drives our evolution.Pop

    But don’t all interactions require time in order to occur? Yes they can create a “sense” - subjective perception - of time but they still require an objectively existing passage of time in the first place to even occur.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Aha - you are arguing for a mind independent time? This would be a form of naive realism? Yes, this is the paradigm the world works in. Einstein's relativity however says we each have our own relative space time, and he made the point that time is a stubborn illusion. I always had difficulty understanding this until it dawned on me that a moment of consciousness is overlapped by the next moment of consciousness, and the difference between the two creates a difference of time. All the while the clock on the wall keeps ticking, but this is irrelevant for us until we look at it. Thus in that moment of consciousness when we check the time, time has passed since we were last conscious of it.

    I am trying to elucidate time in the "first person perspective", where moments of consciousness of time is what is relevant to the passage of time. You are applying a "third person realist" perspective to this and so the two do not agree. In line with relativity, your mechanical measure of my time will not agree with my mechanical measure of my time, provided that we are traveling at different speeds. So who's time is right? Einstein decided that it was relative to the first person, which seems reasonable?

    It's a good question, and a hard one to answer. We can pose concepts in the third person, but we can only ever experience in the first person. The "experiential" element is messed up in the third person perspective, so is not equally "real" to the first person perspective, imo.

    From the empirical point of view time passes independent of everything and everyone, but from my point of view this requires a consciousness to construct such a paradigm through which to view the world through.
  • Benj96
    531
    I have considered time from your concept also. For example if we had no ability to remember time would not pass. As each moment is completely novel and unanticipated. If one cannot recognise the existence of past through memory then the present means nothing. Similarly without the past and present the mind could not logically anticipate future present states. The concept of /expectation of a future too would not exist. One would not have a past, would be unaware of the future and would simply consider the present moment as being the only thing that has ever existed despite present conditions constantly changing.

    However regardless if whether one recalls the past or has an expectation of the future or not the present will of course continue to change. I doubt this state of living is possible as none of our bodies mechanisms can work if there is no recollection of previous states.

    How does one become hungry if they cannot remember the development of the sensation, compare it to a point when they were satiated, when they last ate, remember they are looking for food or how to catch and consume it. Without memory our body mechanisms would fail. We would not survive
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Without memory our body mechanisms would fail. We would not surviveBenj96

    Yes that is true. And we do have a memory of past moments of consciousness, which I would call a body of information, and it is this body of past information ( made from previous experience ) that we are, and then we incorporate new information ( which is the change that we notice ). This way the body of information grows, and consciousness is the latest state of this.

    Be warned however, this is my personal understanding. It is how I have come to understand it. I think it would be the understanding that underpins IIT but I am not sure.

    Importantly there is an element of randomness that accompanies the collapse to a moment of consciousness that is descrbed by:
    Landauer's principle
    It holds that "any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase in non-information-bearing degrees of freedom of the information-processing apparatus or its environment". - Wiki.

    This is something that may be relevant to consciousness. In the process of information, as an interaction of one part to another, there is an element of entropy which changes the deterministic nature of the relation, such that a tiny degree of randomness arises - perhaps this is what causes emergence?
    Could Landauer's principle explain it?
    Pop
  • Gnomon
    1.7k

    Postscript to my previous post about the "self-organizing" function of Information. In the same book and chapter, philosopher Rolston mentions "autopoiesis" (self-creating) in passing. That seems to be a more provocative term, in that it could imply a teleological tendency, intrinsic to the mechanism of evolution, toward the emergence of self-aware entities. Such organisms are "unique" in the universe, which remains -- after all these years of incremental evolving -- mostly inorganic, and unaware.

    In my own writing I often use "Self" as a bare-bones substitute for the ancient notion of "Soul", which carries a lot of mythical baggage. Even so, the concept of a self-organizing, self-producing, self-creating, and self-aware being is essentially what it means to be human. We don't literally create our bodies from scratch, but we do create our mental self-image from our self-centered experience. And that immaterial image consists of a custom-made pattern of Information.

    But that's not the end of autopoiesis. Even dolphins and apes seem to have a self-image of some sort. Yet only humans are engaged in the creation, or re-creation, of a world in their own self-image. If the world today is not entirely suitable for own selfish purposes, we (collectively) are able to imagine giving it a make-over to suit ourselves, Of course, some of us envision going backward to the Garden of Eden, while others imagine going forward to a technological Utopia. Now, isn't that unique? :wink:

    "The notion of autopoiesis is at the core of a shift in perspective about biological phenomena: it expresses that the mechanisms of self-production are the key to understand both the diversity and the uniqueness of the living." ___Francisco Varela
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/autopoiesis

    Self/Soul :
    The brain can create the image of a fictional person (the Self) to represent its own perspective in dealings with other things and persons.
    1. This imaginary Me is a low-resolution construct abstracted from the complex web of inter-relationships that actually form the human body, brain, mind, DNA, and social networks in the context of a vast universe.

    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page18.html
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Postscript to my previous post about the "self-organizing" function of Information. In the same book and chapter, philosopher Rolston mentions "autopoiesis" (self-creating) in passing. That seems to be a more provocative term, in that it could imply a teleological tendency, intrinsic to the mechanism of evolution, toward the emergence of self-aware entities. Such organisms are "unique" in the universe, which remains -- after all these years of incremental evolving -- mostly inorganic, and unaware.Gnomon

    Yes, we come from a tradition of thinking of ourselves as the chosen one's at the center of the universe, tended by a benevolent god, etc, and this sort of thinking is so hard to break free from. Yet the idea that information is self organizing certainly puts a spanner in the works! Indeed if information is self organizing, and I am convinced that it is, then who does the thinking? I think what we have to say is that what we are is integrated information, and this body of integrated information does the thinking. In this sense a self is an artefact of this process, consistent with enactivism, and evolutionary psychology, and slightly beyond autopoiesis, to self organization. Varela would "never say self organization", as even autopoiesis was radical in his time. But I think the time is ripe, and in so doing one virtually obliterates all previous philosophy, and in it's place one gains a theory of everything as self organizing informational bodies. Life and consciousness emerge and evolve along with the complexity of information integrated - everything is solved - end of enquiry - How do you like it? :lol:

    This is simple and rough indeed, but it does seem to be where information philosophy is heading. What are your thoughts?
  • Gnomon
    1.7k
    But I think the time is ripe, and in so doing one virtually obliterates all previous philosophy, and in it's place one gains a theory of everything as self organizing informational bodies. Life and consciousness emerge and evolve along with the complexity of information integrated - everything is solved - end of enquiry - How do you like it?Pop
    Yes. (self-aggrandizement aside) I characterize the Enformationism thesis as a sort of Theory of Everything, because it reveals the foundations of both physical Reality, and meta-physical Ideality. The new Atom is the Bit. Of course, my amateur thesis is not a scientific TOE, but as a preliminary philosophical TOE, it could form the kernel of a new scientific worldview. And I think information-based science & philosophy is already in the early stages of a New Enlightenment.

    However, we are still just scratching the surface of a full understanding of the role of EnFormAction in the world. It's not just physical energy, but Enformed Energy : energy with a mission, or programmed Energy, so to speak. It both integrates (organizes) and disintegrates (disorganizes) existing matter, in the process of building a world from scratch. And we seem to be right in the middle of that incremental evolutionary development --- with a long way to go, before the program plays itself out. So, it's not "the end of enquiry", but merely a new path of inquiry. :nerd:


    Enformationism :
    A philosophical worldview or belief system grounded on the 20th century discovery that Information, rather than Matter, is the fundamental substance of everything in the universe. It is intended to be the 21st century successor to ancient Materialism. An Update from Bronze Age to Information Age. It's a Theory of Everything that covers, not just matter & energy, but also Life & Mind & Love.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page8.html
  • Pop
    1.5k
    The new Atom is the Bit.Gnomon

    But a bit is not meaningful. We need a meaningful bit. When I first started this thread, I looked through all the dictionary definitions of information, and none were satisfactory. It was only several weeks later that I happened upon the Information philosophers old time definition - to inform - literally change the shape of. If we take this to be the definition then information is not something static, but something dynamic, that exists as a change causing interaction.

    The definitions that we have are:
    1. Enformation
    2. To inform - literally change the shape of
    3. The evolutionary interaction of form.
    4. Evolutionary interaction.

    If we bundle all these together, we get: the evolutionary interaction of different forms of energy, maybe?

    If we accept that information is fundamental, then information is everything. The only other thing that is everything is energy, and matter - as different forms of energy. These different forms of energy exist as systems in an enmeshed, and interacting, and evolving process. This includes mental systems. So interaction is also everything.

    Therefore information is the interaction of energetic forms? There must be some counterarguments??

    FYI: An information theory of individuality
  • Gnomon
    1.7k
    But a bit is not meaningful. We need a meaningful bit.Pop
    Yes. Any single isolated thing is meaningless. The meaning is in relationships (e.g. ratios ; values). So, if you put two Bits together, the result many be an "interaction". Therefore, the basic element of meaning is the Byte -- an ensemble of bits; a system ; an integrated whole.

    Likewise, the basic element of Energy is interchange, an active relationship that causes change. That change may be of physical Shape, as in protein folding, or of metaphysical Form, as in a change of mind or memory. In my thesis, physical Energy is only one facet of cosmic EnFormAction : the power to cause change in both physical Shape, and metaphysical Form. :nerd:

    Byte :
    The byte is a unit of digital information that most commonly consists of eight bits. Historically, the byte was the number of bits used to encode a single character of text in a computer and for this reason it is the smallest addressable unit of memory in many computer architectures.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byte

    Interchange :
    the action of interchanging things, especially information.
    Note -- interchange of energy/information is what we call Communication of Meaning : the act of enforming a mind.

    Ensemble :
    a group of items viewed as a whole rather than individually.
    Note -- meaning is not in the parts, but in the whole

    Energy :
    Scientists define “energy” as the ability to do work, but don't know what energy is. They assume it's an eternal causative force that existed prior to the Big Bang, along with mathematical laws. Energy is a positive or negative relationship between things, and physical Laws are limitations on the push & pull of those forces. So, all they know is what Energy does, which is to transform material objects in various ways. Energy itself is amorphous & immaterial. So if you reduce energy to its essence of information, it seems more akin to mind than matter. Likewise, all we know of God/First Cause/Logos is what it does : create novel forms. That's why I think of Energy as the “power” aspect of the willpower of G*D, which is guided by the intentional (lawlike) “will” aspect. Together I call them : EnFormAction.
    http://blog-glossary.enformationism.info/page8.html
  • Gnomon
    1.7k

    Here's an article on the math of Self-Oganization. You may already be familiar with the math of organized chaos. But the article has some images to illustrate the result, based on the mandala math of a fractal sandpile. :smile:


    https://nautil.us/issue/107/the-edge/the-math-of-the-amazing-sandpile?utm_source=pocket-newtab
    5771_d156d4836ea87dd732cfda175b7911cb.png
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Yes. Any single isolated thing is meaningless. The meaning is in relationships (e.g. ratios ; values). So, if you put two Bits together, the result many be an "interaction". Therefore, the basic element of meaning is the Byte -- an ensemble of bits; a system ; an integrated whole.Gnomon

    :up: Yes something like this. The interaction self organizes, or integrates, to become a self in some way. Similar to the sand pile, and similar to Wolfram's automata. Lots to consider now - thanks.
    Self assembly.

    The real issue for me is that this understanding of information ( If we bundle the above definitions into one ) is really quite divergent from the normal understanding, which is various and situationally specific. I have now read more papers than I can remember, and I would estimate only about 30% of the definitions of information focus on interaction, and change in mind state. I find this hard to understand as a change in mind state seems to be the obvious necessary element of information, and this would be a systemic interaction.
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