# Information (Theory)

Archaea said:
According to the book Chaos by James Gleick in the late 1970's and early 1980's there was a group which operated in Santa Cruz called the dynamical systems collective. This group published a paper called "Strange attractors, chaotic behaviour and information theory." The idea as I understand it is that information which can be carried as a series of bits, can be periodic, for example 100 100 100 ect, which would contain less information, or it can be chaotic, where the next section of the series can't be predicted from the previous section, not even approximately, and would contain more information.

The idea presented in the book is that when the data is chaotic it contains a lot more information that when the data is periodic. another idea that is presented is that a chaotic stream of data can be produced by following the boundary of something called a strange attractor, which is fractal... If I remember correctly.

Interesting. I have to say that the idea that chaos carries more information than order is counter-intuitive to me, but I think I can see why they say that. It is more information because simply there is a larger amount of - or rather a larger variation - of 'bits'.

But it feels counter-intuitive because too much chaotic information becomes noise and lacks meaning. Too much order would also result in very little or no meaning. So a balance between the two would be optimal. For example, a language has semantics, grammar, vocabulary, exceptions, pronunciation, etc., all of which are the order of the message. But they are flexible enough to allow for a wide range of combinations of the above (the 'chaos' part) that results in a message. Without language rules there is no message; without the possibility of playing around with the elements determined by those rules there is also no message.

So again, I suppose we come back to the point made earlier on this thread that information on its own is not enough; there needs to be meaning, which implies consciousness. You could say that the books in the fictional library described by Borges are all information. But 99.99% of them are useless, meaningless information, i.e. pure chaos. Only those that are 'arranged by a truth', as the Cs say, or which are ordered, 'become consciousness', which is perhaps what makes meaning meaningful.

The biggest source of entropy/information by far in the universe are black holes. The biggest source of non-black hole entropy/information in the universe is the cosmic microwave background radiation. Entropy/information is thus kind of a way to see how close the system is to a stable equilibrium. It's kind of the STS destination and default universe evolution.

Via things previously said here and elsewhere in the forum, the more STO path might include getting our conscious state objectively aligned with the way the universe works in some way thus allowing jumps that don't have to go to equilibrium. Information/entropy can kind of describe the playing field and default movements on that field but perhaps you don't have to do the default movements.

Approaching Infinity said:
To use one example, DNA has a large information-carrying capacity. The exact sequence of one protein-coding sequence of DNA (or several, since genes/proteins only work in groups) is so improbable that it's practically impossible to generate by chance. There's a 'gap' between what nature allows as possibilities (e.g., 'this amino-acid sequence will produce a functional folded protein'), and what she can achieve using 'mechanical' physical laws (e.g., 'this amino acid will bond with that one in these conditions). The gap is 'probability space'. Nature needs to 'know' what possibilities (i.e., protein sequences in this example) are viable, and which are not, and then actively inform a physical substrate to actualize one of those possibilities. But those possibilities need to exist 'somewhere'. Nature needs foresight, and the freedom to choose between possibilities.

'Meaning' may not be intrinsic to information (e.g., DNA is an arbitrary language), but that doesn't mean it isn't intrinsic to the cosmos. In other words, the 'meaning' of the DNA sequence (i.e., the functional protein it represents) need to exist in some way as real possibilities. But where do they exist if the universe hasn't yet produced a living form? I'd say they must exist in some form of mind, or information field. I think any good information theory needs an information substrate (i.e., a physical 'stuff' that can be arbitrarily and freely arranged in a variety of sequences, e.g., sounds, DNA, ink on a page), ideas or meanings to be represented in terms of that substrate, and a free mind to choose between possibilities and thus actualize the possibilities. In those terms, I think we can see everything as information, from the behavior of subatomic particles, to the choices and actions we make everyday.

There is an interesting video presenting scientific view on classical and quantum information in DNA. The presenter Elisabeth Rieper starts from explaining the basics about those two kinds of information (the differences are significant) and then moves to Biology. She is a physicist, so she poses more questions than gives answers when she moves to discussing DNA, but the basics are there and the questions themselves are quite interesting. The main point being that there IS quantum information stored in DNA which we can't access.

A word of caution - there are a few mistakes in the subtitles. For example, it should be psi when she mentions a wave function, not "sign"; when you see 'indistinct' about 12:40, she relates to Landauer's principle. But overall, it's good to have the subtitles since with her accent it is sometimes difficult to understand what she's saying.

Chaos in mathematics doesn't mean randomness. It depicts a definite behavior that bifurcates unexpectedly because the underlying nonlinear dynamics are very sensitive to initial conditions and/or small perturbations to the system. It carries more information because it is unpredictable (it carries novelty, which means learning in a certain way). The two extremes of noise and redundant signals are predictable on the other hand and thus do not carry much information.

I think that rather than falling into either the anthropocentrism or the reductionism most of the literature on Information theory seem to divide into, using such concepts as those of consciousness densities and the "Gurdjieffian" cosmology might help to build a more complete image, at least intuitively, of how Information manifests at different levels of existence, at least those to which we have access at our level of existence.

The vague idea I have so far is that of Information cycling within itself in order to transform through different experiences within. We, as inseparable units within reality are multilevel self-organized Information that interacts with Information under different forms and supposed to carry up a certain role in the whole Information economy of the universe. OSIT

Edit: Corrected "Gurdjieffian"

Windmill knight said:
Interesting. I have to say that the idea that chaos carries more information than order is counter-intuitive to me, but I think I can see why they say that. It is more information because simply there is a larger amount of - or rather a larger variation - of 'bits'.

But it feels counter-intuitive because too much chaotic information becomes noise and lacks meaning.

From what I remember of James Gleick's book Chaos, I think the term chaos as the mathemeticians use it in chaos theory differs from the popular sense of the term as meaning complete disorder or randomness.

I think there was a chapter early in the book on the Butterfly Effect, where a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil causes e.g. flooding in Pakistan, or if a lizard eats the butterfly before it can flap its wings, that results instead in drought in Pakistan. So the idea is that tiny changes in the inputs result in greatly different outputs, in a non-linear way. (A linear example by contrast would be putting 1 kg weight on the scales causes the needle to move to 1kg, whereas putting 1.2 kg on the scales causes it to move to 1.2kg.)

The book also had illustrations of complex fractal patterns produced by relatively simple but chaotic equations. In the fractal patterns, the overall pattern repeats itself at different sizes within the pattern. Again a small change in the variables of the initial equation can produce completely different patterns.

So I think "chaos theory" is describing complex kinds of order, rather than "pure chaos".

mkrnhr said:
using such concepts as those of consciousness densities and the Cardigan cosmology might help to build a more complete image

Can you provide some sources for those two concepts? I haven't heard of them.

mkrnhr said:
Chaos in mathematics doesn't mean randomness. It depicts a definite behavior that bifurcates unexpectedly because the underlying nonlinear dynamics are very sensitive to initial conditions and/or small perturbations to the system. It carries more information because it is unpredictable (it carries novelty, which means learning in a certain way). The two extremes of noise and redundant signals are predictable on the other hand and thus do not carry much information.

Mal7 said:
The book also had illustrations of complex fractal patterns produced by relatively simple but chaotic equations. In the fractal patterns, the overall pattern repeats itself at different sizes within the pattern. Again a small change in the variables of the initial equation can produce completely different patterns.

So I think "chaos theory" is describing complex kinds of order, rather than "pure chaos".

Ok, that makes sense, thanks.

Approaching Infinity said:
mkrnhr said:
using such concepts as those of consciousness densities and the Cardigan cosmology might help to build a more complete image

Can you provide some sources for those two concepts? I haven't heard of them.

Damn! What is "Cardigan" anyway??? I meant Gurdjieffian LOL
What I meant was that Information manifests through all levels of creation. The Information manifested/observed/organized at the first density 1D is part of a more complex phenomenon at 2D and so on. There are levels of complexity (mineral-animal-human) that might correspond to different levels of Information to be perceived at different levels of existence. Information/Consciousness may be infinite and through the "short wave cycle" it experiences different levels of limitations (hence the Gurdjieffian reference, especially regarding the laws (moon, earth, all planets, sun, all suns, etc.)). In order to comprehend and use a certain quality of information, a certain level of complexity must be achieved, and that level of complexity is achieved through the proper acquisition and use of Information (learning), hence the reference to leaning the lessons of each density experience in order to "graduate" to the next density where another kind/quality of information may be accessible.
Hope I didn't do a salad of words (noise signal with no information to be extracted from).

mkrnhr said:
Damn! What is "Cardigan" anyway??? I meant Gurdjieffian LOL

Who knows, maybe this is the ultimate symbol of the universe:

What I meant was that Information manifests through all levels of creation. The Information manifested/observed/organized at the first density 1D is part of a more complex phenomenon at 2D and so on. There are levels of complexity (mineral-animal-human) that might correspond to different levels of Information to be perceived at different levels of existence. Information/Consciousness may be infinite and through the "short wave cycle" it experiences different levels of limitations (hence the Gurdjieffian reference, especially regarding the laws (moon, earth, all planets, sun, all suns, etc.)). In order to comprehend and use a certain quality of information, a certain level of complexity must be achieved, and that level of complexity is achieved through the proper acquisition and use of Information (learning), hence the reference to leaning the lessons of each density experience in order to "graduate" to the next density where another kind/quality of information may be accessible.

Thanks, that's pretty much the way I look at it at the moment, too.

mkrnhr said:
What I meant was that Information manifests through all levels of creation. The Information manifested/observed/organized at the first density 1D is part of a more complex phenomenon at 2D and so on. There are levels of complexity (mineral-animal-human) that might correspond to different levels of Information to be perceived at different levels of existence. Information/Consciousness may be infinite and through the "short wave cycle" it experiences different levels of limitations (hence the Gurdjieffian reference, especially regarding the laws (moon, earth, all planets, sun, all suns, etc.)).

This does make sense to me especially your point about information manifesting
(or transmitted through?) all levels of creation. What may be the factor which transmits information from one (higher) world to a lower world (speaking in terms of the Gurdjieffian cosmology) is energy which then passes this information through these levels so as to be received by each subsequent level or 'world' and be processed at that level, such as, for example, the Sun transmitting it's light (information?) and then this energy passing through organic life (acting as a transducer) to be received by the surface of the earth. So perhaps there is a deep fundamental connection between information, energy, and matter, maybe all three being the same thing and united at a higher level of reality but then when more laws are involved in the lower worlds they kinda separate into that triad but still they (information, matter, energy) are in their fundamental essence still 'information' and what is information at one level can become energy at another and also be matter at another, all three still being information or something like that.

SeekinTruth said:
Just for the record, Gurdjieff's teaching says there are three types of food:

1. physical food we eat
2. air we breathe
3. impressions

Impressions are the highest, most subtle food in the teaching.

Ah, ok... whoops. So maybe when a person has an impression which is not truthful then it affects their information field in a similar way (in some sense) to how a bad diet affects the body.

Q: (L) Next question on the list: How do consciousness, information, and matter relate to each other?

A: Different concentrations of truth.

So I've been wondering why the C's used the word "truth," and how "truth" relates to an information field mentioned in this snippet:

Q: (Ark) Okay, so my question is whether there is a particular part of the virus that has the property that is not just described by normal quantum physics or quantum chemistry and so on, or its the whole organization of virus that has this property?

A: Yes. Information field aggregates matter.

What I think so far is that an information field which contains truth has a fractal shape, which means it's self-similar and looks roughly the same at all scales. An information field of truth would come from the environment and would be acquired through lessons OSIT. So a piece of objective information would be a sparklingly complex and intricate fractal shape which the mind can either encompass completely, which would be a complete understanding, or can skirt the edges, maybe because the information field is too large for the mind to encompass.

This then lead me again to thinking about why the C's used the word truth and how it could relate to society and particularly language. I think it's impossible to convey an information field of truth completely through language, because it's fundamental information is too complex. I think all that's possible is to convey the basic outline of the shape, then the other person has to fill in the rest of the shape, if they so choose, through thought and contemplation and whatever.

So when someone communicates the truth clearly and accurately, what they might be doing is using the language to carve the shape of an information field from the information fields in their mind like a master craftsman, which they then give to others to work on. And when someone tells a lie, what they're doing is mismatching information shapes in an attempt to create one which looks like a truthful information field, and which the other person, through thought and contemplation, can fill in the blanks. If the other person believes the lie, however, a bug might enter into their information field and start to destroy bits and pieces of the sparklingly complex and intricate shape of the truth in their being.

Anyways, I ran a google search for "information field" and something called information field theory came up, here's a website (http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/ift/) I haven't looked at much of it, but there's this which I thought might be relevant here:

Information field theory (IFT) is information theory, the logic of reasoning under uncertainty, applied to fields. A field can be any quantity defined over some space, e.g. the air temperature over Europe, the magnetic field strength in the Milky Way, or the matter density in the Universe. IFT describes how data and knowledge can be used to infer field properties. Mathematically it is a statistical field theory and exploits many of the tools developed for such. Practically, it is a framework for signal processing and image reconstruction.

IFT is fully Bayesian. How else can infinitely many field degrees of freedom be constrained by finite data?
It can be used without the knowledge of Feynman diagrams. There is a full toolbox of methods.
It reproduces many known well working algorithms. This should be reassuring.
And, there were certainly previous works in a similar spirit. See below for IFT publications and previous works.
Anyhow, in many cases IFT provides novel rigorous ways to extract information from data.

So I think if it's possible to somehow map an information field to space-time, then that could help us build replicators and teleporters.

So I think if it's possible to somehow map an information field to space-time, then that could help us build replicators and teleporters.

You continue to amaze me Archaea, the way you'll go through an entire post on understanding truth, and end up off in the weeds of escapism, as if you didn't think through what you said at all.

What do you want to escape from?

Gimpy said:
So I think if it's possible to somehow map an information field to space-time, then that could help us build replicators and teleporters.

You continue to amaze me Archaea, the way you'll go through an entire post on understanding truth, and end up off in the weeds of escapism, as if you didn't think through what you said at all.

What do you want to escape from?

There is such a thing as doing things to help you to be around to help and learn in the future and there are positive dissociation ways to "escape" but having as a main goal the ability to shut out your life as it unfolds sounds like a bad idea.

Probably one key part of an information field that tends to be left out by most is that it includes information from our possible futures. Gurdjieff's Law of 3 and Food - Air - Impressions does for me relate to information math like quaternionic imaginaries and Triality and to spacetime/particle physics like X-Y-Z space and R-G-B quarks/antiquarks and spacetime-matter-antimatter.

Gimpy said:
So I think if it's possible to somehow map an information field to space-time, then that could help us build replicators and teleporters.

You continue to amaze me Archaea, the way you'll go through an entire post on understanding truth, and end up off in the weeds of escapism, as if you didn't think through what you said at all.

What do you want to escape from?

Well I'm an amazing person.

I've been thinking about your question for a bit now. I was half joking, they have teleporters and replicators in STAR TREK and it seems to me to be extremely convenient. This makes me think that what I'm trying to escape from is my job. I have to do my job in order to live, but if there were teleporters and replicators my job and the need to do it would become redundant, leaving me to do the things which I personally value.

Bluelamp said:
Probably one key part of an information field that tends to be left out by most is that it includes information from our possible futures. Gurdjieff's Law of 3 and Food - Air - Impressions does for me relate to information math like quaternionic imaginaries and Triality and to spacetime/particle physics like X-Y-Z space and R-G-B quarks/antiquarks and spacetime-matter-antimatter.

I've been thinking about how information and space may be related, and how it might work with regards to what Ark said in one of the snippets in Shijing's first post:

(Ark) Information is something which gives the form. The form when it does things, you consider it as a matter. But information shapes the form. It's not matter. It's the shaping principle. So, your question about relation between information and electric charge is like asking what is the relation between painting and the picture? Painting is the process, and picture is the result of the process, right?

So, if information is what describes a shape, does the description require space within which to exist? and if so, could this be the information field? So, for example, what's the best way to describe a square? Is it to say SQ:50, where SQ means square and 50 is the length of a side, or is it better just to have a square with a side length of 50?

I hope it's clear what I mean, my thinking is that an information field in objective reality exists in such a way that it can't be reduced at all without losing some of the information that it contains. And since matter forms around information fields, according to Seth and the C's, then the material world exists in such a way that it can't be described any better than it exists now.

Of course, the problem here is that if objective information fields are fractals, then they can be described completely in the form of a few simple rules. So maybe that fractal nature comes from a basic information field which has the capacity to reproduce itself and then connect to its "otherselves" in some way. Then maybe this would produce more intricate arrays of information fields, but they could all still be described elementarily from a basic information field which takes up less space... Or something.

Anyways, Thinking about truth and fractals got me thinking about crop circles. I think maybe crop circles which have a somewhat fractal structure are the basic outlines of information fields of messages of truth. So, they would be a language, but their shapes would correspond to the actual information fields of the concepts which they are intended to convey. So in order to decipher the fractal style crop circles, maybe what we should do is try and figure out what the most basic shape is which can be used to create the crop circle and then figure out what the shape is and how it fits in with physical, mental and emotional reality. Easy.

Archaea said:
I've been thinking about your question for a bit now. I was half joking, they have teleporters and replicators in STAR TREK and it seems to me to be extremely convenient. This makes me think that what I'm trying to escape from is my job. I have to do my job in order to live, but if there were teleporters and replicators my job and the need to do it would become redundant, leaving me to do the things which I personally value.

Hi Archaea,

If you dislike your work what could you do now to make things better and do the things you actually value ?