• Paul S
    146
    That's true. But it also applies to Mathematics. And Energy is essentially an abstract relationship (800 degrees Celsius of the match, relative to 72 degrees of the tinder) between hot & cold, for instance. The potential is in the ratio, which can actualize changes in matter.Gnomon

    But again you can argue that is just out of perception. Try to define any perceived quanta of energy or elemental particle through an analogy where you cannot just choose a medium like a star for heat, or an atomic nucleus for distance. Can you think of any information that represents the universe without needing a physical or energetic phenomenon to explain it?

    The radius of an electron is a property of an electron. We stick a label of information on it to categorise it at an abstract level. When a programmer compiles a program, the if statements and for loops are no longer relevant as information, it's just machine code after compilation, or a program and the output it creates happens whether these statements were ever present in the first place. And once the program is run, 1 or million times, its output occurs with or without any changes to the labels. Could the universe be the same?

    If the universe was designed, what use is the information to the designer anymore once it is all set in motion?

    If you ask me how I feel, and I reply, you can argue that my response contains an abstract representation of how I feel, and that it contains information. But if you measure my height, have you retrieved an abstract representation of my height, or just understood the reality of my dimensions and created that abstraction yourself?

    If we cannot create an analogy that involves physical objects to describe information, then surely information is dependent on the objects energy, quanta, properties themselves. Would the universe not be more efficient if it doesn't require the concept of information as the inherent properties already define it.

    Do we disassemble them into what they are physically using just our own imaginations?
  • Pop
    602
    This seems good in the context of your own blog, and a continuation of your own narrative. If you don't mind, I would suggest you spend less time apologizing for lack of formal qualification, and that you provide a different perspective / interpretation. These are irrelevant considerations given you provide citations, references, and an argument.

    What I found interesting was the background information - Plato, enlightenment, Shannon, etc. For the article, I would briefly narrate the history, and then jump straight in to the hyper relevant and factual stuff. "Information → Energy → Matter". How everything is information, and how information connects everything. How the universe is an information processing system. How information creates the patterns that entangle energy and matter. How human consciousness is the most evolved or complex example of this.

    This is just my own bias however. I tend to prefer things in list or point form, logically reduced and to the point - this is just me, there is nothing wrong with how you have expressed yourself. :smile:
  • Gnomon
    1.3k
    This is just my own bias however. I tend to prefer things in list or point form, logically reduced and to the point - this is just me, there is nothing wrong with how you have expressed yourself.Pop
    I do provide some lists in the blog, on specific topics. But Enformationism is such a holistic wide-ranging inter-related concept, that it's hard for me to think of it in a linear 1 - 2 - 3 format. If I had some training in philosophy or mathematics, that itemization might come more naturally. Instead, I'm self-taught in a haphazard manner. And most of my philosophical learning has occurred after I retired 11 years ago. As a Designer-Architect, I do tend to think holistically, rather than reductively & sequentially, like an engineer, or scientist.

    My Enformationism thought process began with a kernel concept, based on an observation by a quantum physicist, speaking of the "superposition" of "virtual" particles of matter. He said something like : "it's all information; nothing but information." From that all-is-information notion, I just jumped into the middle, and started flailing around in all directions, like a beginning swimmer.

    In an early blog post, I tried to summarize the concept of EnFormAction . So, I added two lists, defining that neologism from two different perspectives (link below). Here's another list, presenting a summary of my speculation on how Information evolved into Consciousness. But it assumes a prior understanding of some essential features of Information, beyond the simplistic definition by Shannon. And each upward step in complexity is the result of inherent Self-Organization, built-in to the creative energy of EnFormAction. :smile:

    Progression of Evolution :

    1. World Program as Singularity
    2a. EnFormAction as Causation
    2b. Physics as Energy
    3. Chemistry as Matter
    4. Biology as Life
    5. Psychology as Mind
    6. Sociology as Culture, Religion, Politics
    7. Philosophy as Reflective Mind
    8. Cosmology as Worldview
    9. Artificial Intelligence as self-programming Computers, Robots
    10. Next . . . . . Omega Point deity?
    http://bothandblog.enformationism.info/page29.html

    What is EnFormAction? : http://bothandblog2.enformationism.info/page29.html
  • Gnomon
    1.3k
    But again you can argue that is just out of perception.Paul S
    Yes, but our perceptions of objects in physical reality are immediately interpreted into subjective mental abstractions (concepts), representing the ultimate abstractions underlying the real world. Here's my review of cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman's “Interface theory of perception”. :smile:

    Interface Reality : http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page21.html

    The Case Against Reality : https://www.amazon.com/Case-Against-Reality-Evolution-Truth-ebook/dp/B07JR1FDXH/ref=sr_1_1?crid=J8QCEZE2ZI2N&dchild=1&keywords=the+case+against+reality+why+evolution+hid+the+truth+from+our+eyes&qid=1614035239&s=books&sprefix=The+Case+Against+Reality%2Cdigital-text%2C234&sr=1-1
  • Pop
    602
    I do tend to think holistically, rather than reductively & sequentiallyGnomon

    This tends to be the trend these days, so it is I who is old fashioned and reductionist. I was really just thinking about the time most people ( including myself ) put into reading these things. My web stats show an average retention of 3 minutes. So I tend to think short and to the point is the way to go, but I could be wrong - its not as if I know the answer, I was just stating my personal preference. I find your style is easy to read and understand, so that is half the battle won. :up:

    the "superposition" of "virtual" particles of matter.Gnomon

    That's how I imagine a thought works: the object of thought is the nucleus, whilst ones knowledge is in superposition of it. Of course one's knowledge can only assume a partial superposition. :sad:

    The idea that energy is the fundamental element is deficient, as energy has to have form, so there is something informing it. Of course the logical difficulty here is that energy and information ( enformation ) are inseparable, so that's why I wonder if one is a quality of the other? Or is matter a quality of the two together? - I feel there is something in this, but I just cant quite get at it - yet!

    And each upward step in complexity is the result of inherent Self-Organization, built-in to the creative energy of EnFormAction. :smile:Gnomon

    Yes, the observation is that it is a self organizing universe where each layer of self organization gives rise to an emergent property. This is well illustrated in cells where different patterns of amino acids combined create cellular proteins of various different function. This would be the systems / embodied perspective, but complexity theory really brings it home.
  • Gnomon
    1.3k
    This is just my own bias however. I tend to prefer things in list or point form, logically reduced and to the point - this is just me, there is nothing wrong with how you have expressed yourself. :smile:Pop

    Here's another attempt to present the Enformationism concept as a numbered or bulleted list. It's adapted from the website.

    Abstract of the Enformationism Thesis :

    1. The Enformationism hypothesis begins with the ancient, but still controversial, theory that the fundamental “substance” of reality is not sensible energy or tangible matter, but abstract spirit, soul, or mind. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/substance/
    2. Yet it concludes that those mysterious, metaphysical, mental building blocks of reality are nothing stranger than the ordinary, mundane objects of thought that we take for granted in our everyday thinking. https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195396577/obo-9780195396577-0076.xml
    3. Axiom : Consciousness is real and primal. Hence, Mental concepts are categorically and hierarchically prior to material things. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness/
    4. Premise 1 : At the quantum level of reality matter is essentially reduced to mathematical information.
    5. Premise 2 : The essence of mind and thought is Information, which consists of patterns and relationships between things.
    6. Conclusion : Matter and Energy are condensed forms of abstract, ethereal information.
    7. Therefore, the 19th century, reductive, physical, scientific Paradigm of Materialism should be updated to include the knowledge emerging from 21st century, holistic, metaphysical Information Sciences.
  • Gnomon
    1.3k
    The idea that energy is the fundamental element is deficient, as energy has to have form, so there is something informing it. Of course the logical difficulty here is that energy and information ( enformation ) are inseparable, so that's why I wonderif one is a quality of the other? Or is matter a quality of the two together? - I feel there is something in this, but I just cant quite get at it - yet!Pop
    Yes. Most Cosmologists take it for granted that Energy and Natural Laws existed prior to the Big Bang. And they assume that Life and Mind are merely accidental products of collisions between matter & energy. I have tried to reverse the order of priority in the thesis and blog. But most materialist philosophers find it difficult to imagine that something as ethereal as Mind Stuff could be the ultimate reality. :worry:

    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 is what it does : create. 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
  • Pop
    602
    1. The Enformationism hypothesis begins with the ancient, but still controversial, theory that the fundamental “substance” of reality is not sensible energy or tangible matter, but abstract spirit, soul, or mind. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/substance/Gnomon

    What is wrong with - Enformationism posits that the fundamental substances of reality is not energy or matter but mind.

    2. Yet it concludes that those mysterious, metaphysical, mental building blocks of reality are nothing stranger than the ordinary, mundane objects of thought that we take for granted in our everyday thinking. https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780195396577/obo-9780195396577-0076.xmlGnomon

    :up:

    3. Axiom : Consciousness is real and primal. Hence, Mental concepts are categorically and hierarchically prior to material things. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness/Gnomon
    :up:

    Abiogenisis theory from a dozen or so perspectives / disciplines agrees that self organisation led to life. Self organization = Consciousness! Every moment of consciousness is a moment of self organization.


    4. Premise 1 : At the quantum level of reality matter is essentially reduced to mathematical information.
    5. Premise 2 : The essence of mind and thought is Information, which consists of patterns and relationships between things.
    6. Conclusion : Matter and Energy are condensed forms of abstract, ethereal information.
    7. Therefore, the 19th century, reductive, physical, scientific Paradigm of Materialism should be updated to include the knowledge emerging from 21st century, holistic, metaphysical Information Sciences.
    Gnomon

    :up: Yep, yep, yep. And there are plenty of references - Santiago school of cognition.

    But most materialist philosophers find it difficult to imagine that something as ethereal as Mind Stuff could be the ultimate reality. :worry:Gnomon

    These tend to be older guys like ourselves. There is no understanding from this perspective. Not even a hint of an understanding. Not only is there no theory, but there is not even the vaguest conception of how one might arise. A thought dose not arise in the brain, but from all the system layers a brain depends upon - all the layers of the system have to be integrated for the brain to function and for the next thought to arise. As we look back along the causal chain we end up outside the complex biological system in a universal pocket of order with enformation creating molecules. That's what causes the next thought to arise.

    From monism an explanation is possible. It may not be the ultimate explanation, but its a step in the right direction, I feel - in more ways then one! Panpschism is gaining momentum, with people like Tononi, Koch, Hoffman, etc, but it will be up to the millennial generation to really cement it into place. You and I will just beat our heads against a brick wall, but who knows we may displace a brick or two along the way. :grin:
  • Gnomon
    1.3k
    What is wrong with - Enformationism posits that the fundamental substances of reality is not energy or matter but mind.Pop
    I'll take that under advisement. But now I'm thinking about adding another, even more controversial, conclusion or Coda. Something along the lines of :

    A possible corollary to the Enformationism Thesis is that "everything happens for a reason". But the Reason for Being may not have anything to do with You as a singular sentient being. The rational basis of reality, and the logic of evolution, may instead serve the long-range intention of the anonymous First Cause - Creator - Programmer - Enformer.

    Unfortunately nobody knows what that ultimate goal might be. Except that it seems to have something to do with Complexity & Consciousness. Yet, the element of Randomness, implies that some freedom from determinism is essential to this exercise in Enformation.

    So, your personal role in the process of computing that Final Answer may be as an independent-minded improvisational role-player in the on-going story of Evolution toward a Universal Mind in space-time, as envisioned by Teilhard deChardin.

    But, your guess is as good as mine. So I play my role, and construct my character, for my own personal reasons. And you are somewhat free to do likewise.


    Still, too wordy. But I feel the need to justify each conjecture beyond the bare facts. Such speculation might just dig me in deeper over my head. But then, what's the point of philosophy if not to go beyond Ontology (being) into Epistemology (knowing)? :worry:
  • Gnomon
    1.3k
    Panpschism is gaining momentum, with people like Tononi, Koch, Hoffman, etc, but it will be up to the millennial generation to really cement it into place. You and I will just beat our heads against a brick wall, but who knows we may displace a brick or two along the way. :grin:Pop
    Yes. I think a revival of the old Panpsychism worldview is a step in the right direction. But it is currently most popular in the form of mystical magical New Age religions. Apparently the notion that everything, including a grain of sand, is conscious makes them feel a part of something greater than themselves. However, I think it's more comforting to feel that humans are an important part of the whole. However, our self-importance is diminished somewhat by the knowledge that the higher animals are also sentient. So, homo sapiens seems to be merely one step in the stairway to heaven, not the "chosen people" with a reservation in the Eternal Bliss suite. :cool:
  • Pop
    602
    A possible corollary to the Enformationism Thesis is that "everything happens for a reason". But the Reason for Being may not have anything to do with You as a singular sentient being. The rational basis of reality, and the logic of evolution, may instead serve the long-range intention of the anonymous First Cause - Creator - Programmer - Enformer.

    Unfortunately nobody knows what that ultimate goal might be. Except that it seems to have something to do with Complexity & Consciousness. Yet, the element of Randomness, implies that some freedom from determinism is essential to this exercise in Enformation.

    So, your personal role in the process of computing that Final Answer may be as an independent-minded improvisational role-player in the on-going story of Evolution toward a Universal Mind in space-time, as envisioned by Teilhard deChardin.

    But, your guess is as good as mine. So I play my role, and construct my character, for my own personal reasons. And you are somewhat free to do likewise.
    Gnomon

    This is more like it, in my opinion ( particularly the stuff highlighted in bold ). I am much more inclined to read something like this as you are unifying and integrating your knowledge and drawing some conclusion from it. The conclusion can never be complete, as consciousness is infinite, but it pushes the boundary of consciousness to the edge of knowledge and from there one can imagine what human consciousness might look like in a future time.

    In art the edge of knowledge is the sweet spot. In stepping beyond it one becomes truly creative. Everything up until the edge is just a repetition of something somebody else has done. This seems less well understood in philosophy.

    So, homo sapiens seems to be merely one step in the stairway to heaven, not the "chosen people" with a reservation in the Eternal Bliss suite. :cool:Gnomon

    I think, to be creative, whether in art or philosophy - such that one is producing truly original work is a form of heaven in itself. Don't you think?
  • Gnomon
    1.3k
    This is more like it, in my opinion ( particularly the stuff highlighted in bold ).I am much more inclined to read something like this as you are unifying and integrating your knowledge and drawing some conclusion from it.Pop
    FWIW, I have added a pop-up on the last page of the Introduction to Enformationism blog post. It is a revised version of the Abstract post previously. It's more compact and less personal than this one. But it's not really an article. I may reserve the abstract for those who specifically request a brief summary, before they invest any time in some nobody's vanity blog. :cool:

    Abstract pop-up : http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page82.html
  • Pop
    602
    Your blog is very interesting - a great variety of useful information. I'm sure many people like myself will appreciate it. You just never know with these blogs. I did a definition of art a while back which nobody liked, probably because I nailed it, but Google AI thinks its sexy - If you google ungrounded variable mental construct you'll see what I mean.

    BTW your pop-up is not working for me - Chrome browser on windows.
  • Gnomon
    1.3k
    BTW your pop-up is not working for me - Chrome browser on windows.Pop
    It works in Firefox and Edge, so I don't know what the problem is. Unlike an internet link, this page link doesn't change the place marker to a finger pointer. You just have to put the place marker over the text and click. I might try a "rollover" popup instead of a "click" to see if that will work in other browsers. The problem with that solution is the popup box disappears if you move the mouse. Anyway, here's the content of the popup ---


     Abstract of the Enformationism Thesis :
    1. The Enformationism hypothesis aligns with the ancient, but still controversial, theory that the fundamental “substance” of reality is not sensible physical energy or tangible matter, but the abstract meta-physical contents of a cosmic mind, or what we might now call : a universal “information processor”. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/substance/
    2. Yet it concludes that those mysterious, metaphysical, mental building blocks of reality (bits & bytes) are no more mystical than the ordinary, mundane objects of thought (ideas) that we take for granted in our own personal neural information processor.  https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/. . . .xml
    3. Axiom : Enformation (the power to enform) is real and primal. Hence, Mental concepts are categorically and hierarchically prior to material things. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness/
    4. Premise 1 : At the quantum level of reality matter is essentially reduced to mathematical information.
    5. Premise 2 : The essence of mind and thought is Information, which consists of patterns and relationships between things.
    6. Conclusion : Matter, Energy & Mind are evolved forms of abstract, ethereal information encoded in the Primal Singularity.
    7. Therefore, the 19th century, reductive, physical, scientific Paradigm of Materialism should be updated to include the knowledge emerging from 21st century, holistic, meta-physical Information Sciences.
  • Gnomon
    1.3k
    If you google ungrounded variable mental construct you'll see what I mean.Pop
    Ooooh! That's quite a technical philosophical concept. But your summation is on target :
    Art is an expression of human consciousness. Art work is information about the artist’s consciousness.”

    Yes. Art is a form of communication. And some older definitions of "art" emphasized how it conveys the feeling of beauty. Yet a lot of modern art is not intended to display beauty, but the ugliness of reality. So, I think you nailed-it, that what is communicated is how the artist views the world. This reminds me of the epigram -- attributed to Kant, The Talmud, among others -- "we see the world, not as it is, but as we are" :smile:
  • Pop
    602
    Unlike an internet link, this page link doesn't change the place marker to a finger pointer. You just have to put the place marker over the text and click.Gnomon

    Yes thanks that worked. Still the text at the bottom of the pop up couldn't be read. The content seems spot on however. :up:
  • Pop
    602
    we see the world, not as it is, but as we areGnomon

    We are - an evolving process of self organization, so this is spot on - we see the world in terms of our self organization, Talmud- circa 200CE :chin:

    Another similar observation : “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” — Hillel
  • Gnomon
    1.3k
    Yes thanks that worked. Still the text at the bottom of the pop up couldn't be read. The content seems spot on however.Pop
    Just for the record, I have revised the Thesis Abstract popup indicator so that it changes when you hover over it, to indicate that a click will cause an action. It doesn't turn blue, like a hyperlink, it merely fades, like a Cheshire Cat. :joke:
    http://bothandblog6.enformationism.info/page82.html

    PS___In the Information-Consciousness-Reality book, I just came across a line, in his abstract of all chapters, that is relevant to your thesis : "Self-organization appears like a fundamental force guiding cosmic evolution". That's essentially what I call EnFormAction in my own thesis. He also has a chapter entitled : A Universe Built of Information , which is what the Enformationism thesis is all about.

    If you are interested, there is a free PDF download available, and the Kindle version is Free on Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/Information-Consciousness-Reality-Understanding-Questions-Existence-Collection-ebook/dp/B07QLN9X14/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Information-Consciousness-Reality&link_code=qs&qid=1614303194&sourceid=Mozilla-search&sr=8-1&tag=mozilla-20
  • Pop
    602
    Thanks I'll check it out. The pop-up is working properly for me now.
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