Information (Theory)

Keit

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There is an article on SOTT that talks about some very interesting claims by a Russian scientist, professor Julia Kzhyshkowska. She said the following during a conference:

http://www.sott.net/article/298856-Information-theory-An-excess-of-useless-information-weakens-the-immune-system-making-people-prone-to-cancer
A factor in causing cancer is 'unrecognised chronic stress', participants were told. This can be the result of an uncontrolled flow of information, quite often negative, which faces people in the modern world on a daily basis.

People don't think they need to protect themselves from it as they don't see it as a threat, yet it should be seen as a factor in causing cancer alongside genetic predisposition, the effect of pathogenic organisms (viruses and bacteria) and environmental aspects.

'In fact, the influence of the information field is more dangerous than ecological factors,' said Dr Kzhyshkowska. 'We can measure and control ecological factors - but we don't know what to do with mountains of excess information that scares and disturbs us- and worries us with whatever extra possibilities it brings along.

'The information field speculates on peoples psyche and does it successfully because most of us cannot filter waste information.'

People 'don't understand how harmful it is to health.

'A person who spends a lot of time online or in front of a TV set doesn't think that a gigantic amount of information which is totally useless for that particular person still remains in his subconscious. The brain's subcortical tries to process volumes of this information but the body can't cope with it.

'It makes people act chaotically, bringing dividends to whoever first explains what is important and profitable.

'Information flows negatively influence the nervous system and through that directly impacts on people's immune system, weakening it.

'The immune and nervous systems are quite similar in structure. They create networks that actively work with each other - and, simply put, these systems 'decide' if a person gets cancer. If we work to help co-operation between the immune and nervous systems, we will significantly increase the chances for a long and healthy life.'
 
A

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Here's an excerpt from a book called Superminds by John Taylor (Chapter 4, pages 73-74):

An even more bizarre series of events happened to the lady who was thought to be responsible for the Hilton coffee spoon episode. She and her husband and three children all sat round their kitchen table concentrating on bending the metal objects in their hands. They were disconcerted when within an hour various metal objects around them on walls and shelves and in drawers became distorted. These included a towel rail, ice tongs and two forks. And, even more surprising, the objects had all been bent through the same angle of 80 degrees, and were all at about the same distance from the family group. Was it the mother of one of the children who was responsible?

The bolded part seems to suggest that an information field with a definite radius formed around the family and that the information told the metal objects to bend by 80 degrees. Perhaps information fields carry geometric information, specifically bends, folds and curves. The next excerpt is from Bringers of the dawn by Barbara Marciniak (chapter 6, pages 62-63):

The light-encoded filaments are a tool of light, a part of light, and an expression of light. These light-encoded filaments exist as millions of fine, threadlike fibers inside your cells, while counterpart light-encoded filaments exist outside your body. The light-encoded filaments carry the language of light geometry, which carries the stories of who you are. These light-encoded filament were not previously able to come onto the planet because there was a pollution created by the dark team that kept them out.

If this is the case then radio transmissions correspond to a geometric structure, that is to say that when the signal is received by the appropriate apparatus, which could be biological cells, it is constructed into a geometric form. Note that proteins have folds.
 

Keyhole

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I am finding it hard to get my head around the concept of information and its relation to energy, namely in the context of maintaining a state of healthy cellular function. Can someone with a firmer grasp on these concepts help me out?

Firstly, Bryant Shiller states the following in "Origin of Life: The 5th Option":

The process of chemical activity within living cells exhibit the expected increased entropy from the strictly energy standpoint but an unexpected decrease in entropy over space and time from the organisational and informational standpoint.
[..]
The components of cellular life comprise biological machines that depend on energy to fuel their activities. There is no question but that these cellular nano-machines are subject to the same energy rules of the universe that all other machines and their systems, whether mechanical or molecular, must obey. As such, more fuel energy is required to drive their biological processes than is realised in resultant work or biochemical energy. In this respect, living organisms are subject to the same energy losses due to entropy demanded of all systems by the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
[..]
It is within the exclusive and protective environment - where all biological reactions occur - where the 2nd law provisions of energy and information effectively split in two: the energy constraints of the 2nd law are preserved, while the information provision is freed from any 2nd law energy entropy constraints.

He then goes on to say:
...the simple expenditure of energy is not sufficient to develop and maintain order and complexity.

[..]

...it is only the intelligently directed energy that can and does support the existence of the LS in all of its complex manifestations.

[..]

It is this same intelligence component that is responsible for overcoming and eliminating randomness, which by itself accounts for the fact that the LS does, indeed, defy both the odds as well as the natural tendency towards chaos and disorder. In so doing, it circumvents important provisions of the 2nd law, as it is currently constituted. But most importantly, in the biological system of life on our planet, this occurs because information and intelligence is in place and precedes the controlled funding and application of energy as well as all of the dynamic activities characteristic of bio-life.

So the idea that information is essentially the fundamental component of the fabric of the whole universe (and everything elsewhere) makes logical sense.

However, the stumbling block I am up against is this:

While the increase in entropy in the natural world intimately connects energy loss with increased disorder, this relationship is blatantly lacking in the Living System phenomenon in particular. While the 2nd law relationship of energy loss and disorder may always hold in natural non-life systems, it definitely is not the case in biological life.

I may have misunderstood the above, but based on my (fairly limited) understanding of biology, I disagree with the above statement that energy loss is not connected with increased disorder in biological life. It actually seems to me to be the opposite.

The traditional mainstream view of cell physiology (the cell/bag of water, surrounding by a jelly-membrane which carries several blobs of goo) paints a wholly inaccurate and misleading picture, and does not take into consideration much of the research done behind the scenes this past century.

It seems more likely that cells work in an entirely different way - a way which is dependent on the energetic reserve. In short (without going into too much detail here), there is abundant evidence that the proper functioning of the cell/system/subsystems depend upon the structuring of water at the interface of the cytoskeletal architecture and fascia/connective tissue network.

Otherwise known as the "resting living state", the predominant mode of the cell is a highly ordered crystalline lattice whereby polarized multi-layers of structured water are bound with intermediate filaments and other intra-cellular proteins. Gilbert ling theorised (with strong evidence) that it was the fluctuation between this structured, highly energised, low-entropy state and a higher entropy, non-structured "active" state that was how cells performed life's activities. This work has been developed further via Mae-wan Ho and Gerald Pollack etc to incorporate the possibility of 'quantum coherence' and such.

Ultimately, the point I am highlighting here is that the cell's "high energy, low entropy state of molecular order/structure" is dependent on the energetic status of the cell. It is an ATP dependent phenomena, and with low ATP (low energy) the entropy inside the cell increases.

So within this framework of cell physiology:
High energy ---> increased cellular order and information content = lower entropy
Low energy ----> decreased cell structure/order and low information content = higher entropy

So, how to interpret Shiller's orginal statements about biological life? Am I misunderstanding something here, or is this not correct?

Secondly, my difficulty with understanding the relationship between information and energy:

It is said that information precedes energy (as Shiller and others have posited). But can energy increase information?

In the context of cellular mechanics, it seems to be the case that electrical energy increases order, structure, and coherence in the cell. Whereas a lack of energy decreases order and increases disorder. Can the former be likened to increasing information, and can the latter be likened to decreasing information?

I would appreciate any help with this, and hope my thoughts make some sense.

Added: I forgot to note that ATP's main role in Ling's hypothesis is one of facilitating the electronic induction of proteins. All in all, (according to this model) ATP harbours very little chemical energy in the so called (disproven) "high energy phosphate bond" , hence the energetic phenomenon described above is referring solely to electrical and NOT chemical energy.

Which leads me to the next question:

Is electricity somehow the interface between matter and "information field"? This is working from the basis that electronic induction increases the information in the living system, and that the interaction some how facilitates the process of life to be manifest.

Apologies for the brain-dump, these were just some thoughts that came to mind.
 

kenlee

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Keyhole said:
However, the stumbling block I am up against is this:
While the increase in entropy in the natural world intimately connects energy loss with increased disorder, this relationship is blatantly lacking in the Living System phenomenon in particular. While the 2nd law relationship of energy loss and disorder may always hold in natural non-life systems, it definitely is not the case in biological life.
I may have misunderstood the above, but based on my (fairly limited) understanding of biology, I disagree with the above statement that energy loss is not connected with increased disorder in biological life. It actually seems to me to be the opposite.

The traditional mainstream view of cell physiology (the cell/bag of water, surrounding by a jelly-membrane which carries several blobs of goo) paints a wholly inaccurate and misleading picture, and does not take into consideration much of the research done behind the scenes this past century.

It seems more likely that cells work in an entirely different way - a way which is dependent on the energetic reserve. In short (without going into too much detail here), there is abundant evidence that the proper functioning of the cell/system/subsystems depend upon the structuring of water at the interface of the cytoskeletal architecture and fascia/connective tissue network.

Otherwise known as the "resting living state", the predominant mode of the cell is a highly ordered crystalline lattice whereby polarized multi-layers of structured water are bound with intermediate filaments and other intra-cellular proteins. Gilbert ling theorised (with strong evidence) that it was the fluctuation between this structured, highly energised, low-entropy state and a higher entropy, non-structured "active" state that was how cells performed life's activities. This work has been developed further via Mae-wan Ho and Gerald Pollack etc to incorporate the possibility of 'quantum coherence' and such.

Ultimately, the point I am highlighting here is that the cell's "high energy, low entropy state of molecular order/structure" is dependent on the energetic status of the cell. It is an ATP dependent phenomena, and with low ATP (low energy) the entropy inside the cell increases.

So within this framework of cell physiology:
High energy ---> increased cellular order and information content = lower entropy
Low energy ----> decreased cell structure/order and low information content = higher entropy

So, how to interpret Shiller's orginal statements about biological life? Am I misunderstanding something here, or is this not correct?

OK, I'll give this a go although at best I'm a complete laymen when it comes to biochemistry.
In the case with living systems the "High energy" and "Low energy" that you refer to might have more to do with anabolic and catabolic transformations of energy since we are dealing with living systems such as, for example Photosynthesis and not purely mechanical systems.

Definitions:
anabolic: The phase of metabolism in which simple substances are synthesized into the complex materials of living tissue.

catabolic: the metabolic breakdown of complex molecules into simpler ones, often resulting in a release of energy.

So in living systems both types of transformations are going on at the same time so as to maintain the "coherence" of the living system such as the renewal and the building of cells, tissues, etc. So there is a balance between the two processes. In other words, imo, there's a Yin/Yang thing going on between the two processes.

I would think that the anabolic transformation is in a sense anti-entropic that goes from a lower quality energy to a higher quality to sustain and maintain the systems potential. I think catabolic transformation has more to do with the result of the two process with respect to what it does where a release of energy occurs to produce something of value such as a living cell or tissue. Entropy may be involved with the catabolic transformation but it's balanced out by the anabolic transformation to renew its "coherence." So I would think that it's not strictly entropic since it's counter balanced with the maintenance of it's inner order/structure via the anabolic transformations.

Possibly with regard to the anabolic transformations in a living system the basis of the transformation process might come from the future? Actually, I don't know but I do find it interesting to contemplate.

There is this about "negative entropy" or "negative energy."
-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luigi_Fantappi%C3%A8
In 1941 he (Luigi Fantappiè) discovered that negative energy has qualities that are associated to life: The cause of processes driven by negative energy lies in the future, exactly such as living beings work for a better day tomorrow. A process that is driven by negative energy will increase order with time, such as all forms of life tend to do. This was a very controversial view at the time and not at all accepted by his colleagues. His findings indicate that negative energy is associated to life in the same way as consciousness is. Consciousness could be a process based on negative energy. In 1942 he put forth a unified theory of physics and biology, and the syntropy concept. In 1952 he started to work on a unified physical theory called projective relativity, for which, he asserted, special relativity was a limiting case. Giuseppe Arcidiacono worked with him on this theory.

And this too:
-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negentropy
The negentropy has different meanings in information theory and theoretical biology. In a biological context, the negentropy (also negative entropy, syntropy, extropy, ectropy or entaxy[1]) of a living system is the entropy that it exports to keep its own entropy low; it lies at the intersection of entropy and life. In other words Negentropy is reverse entropy. It means things becoming more in order. By 'order' is meant organisation, structure and function: the opposite of randomness or chaos. The concept and phrase "negative entropy" was introduced by Erwin Schrödinger in his 1944 popular-science book What is Life?[2] Later, Léon Brillouin shortened the phrase to negentropy,[3][4] to express it in a more "positive" way: a living system imports negentropy and stores it.[5] In 1974, Albert Szent-Györgyi proposed replacing the term negentropy with syntropy.
 

Approaching Infinity

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I think the point he is making is more basic. If you use a machine as an analogy for biology, when you pump fuel into the machine and burn/use it, the machine makes use of that by doing what it's designed to do. But if you just continue to do that, entropy will have its way and the machine will fall apart eventually. The fact that biology doesn't just fall apart and become more primitive, but actually becomes more organized over time means there's something else going on. You could even say that the some "something else" is going on in the activity of cells. That something else is some type of informative process.

As for the exact nature of that process, that's up for debate. Is it all preprogrammed into biology from the very beginning (akin to how deism envisions a God who sets the world in motion like a clock, and then lets it do its thing)? Or is there a constant "informative process" acting at all times (like morphogenetic fields, or a Cosmic Mind that constantly interacts with nature/matter)?

The main point just being that just burning energy is an entropic process, but there is obviously more going on than just that, which implies an intelligent/rational factor in addition to the basic chemical processes. OSIT.
 

John G

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Approaching Infinity said:
As for the exact nature of that process, that's up for debate. Is it all preprogrammed into biology from the very beginning (akin to how deism envisions a God who sets the world in motion like a clock, and then lets it do its thing)? Or is there a constant "informative process" acting at all times (like morphogenetic fields, or a Cosmic Mind that constantly interacts with nature/matter)?

The main point just being that just burning energy is an entropic process, but there is obviously more going on than just that, which implies an intelligent/rational factor in addition to the basic chemical processes. OSIT.

The entropy always increases idea is just for the universe as a whole. In specific places/situations, entropy can increase or decrease. I've read (from Roger Penrose) that for the universe, black holes have almost all of the entropy and the background radiation has most all of the non-black hole entropy. Tons of flexibility for what can happen elsewhere and yes in a Thomas Nagel sense (I believe you were the one who wrote something about Nagel a while back) there is something pulling from the future that ultimately would be information at the most fundamental level (Planck scale Cosmic Mind).

Less fundamentally, our universe has (according to Penrose again) a beginning entropy which can relate to things like the cosmological constant (according to Paola Zizzi citing Penrose's entropy idea) and dark energy to dark matter to ordinary matter ratios (according to Tony Smith citing Zizzi and Penrose) aka there are ideas for getting from entropy/information to energy for our non-fundamental (aka not the Cosmic Mind) universe.

For our universe, I think Ark's conformal group gravitational physics is a good structure for having a pull from the future as well as a mechanism for dark energy (the University of Mississippi has a webpage on this dark energy idea). I think Ark's interest in Clifford algebra relates quite well to fundamental information structures (like a Cosmic Mind perhaps) and one can in general derive group theory (like Ark's conformal gravity) from Clifford algebra information.
 

luc

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Approaching Infinity said:
I think the point he is making is more basic. If you use a machine as an analogy for biology, when you pump fuel into the machine and burn/use it, the machine makes use of that by doing what it's designed to do. But if you just continue to do that, entropy will have its way and the machine will fall apart eventually. The fact that biology doesn't just fall apart and become more primitive, but actually becomes more organized over time means there's something else going on. You could even say that the some "something else" is going on in the activity of cells. That something else is some type of informative process.

As for the exact nature of that process, that's up for debate. Is it all preprogrammed into biology from the very beginning (akin to how deism envisions a God who sets the world in motion like a clock, and then lets it do its thing)? Or is there a constant "informative process" acting at all times (like morphogenetic fields, or a Cosmic Mind that constantly interacts with nature/matter)?

The main point just being that just burning energy is an entropic process, but there is obviously more going on than just that, which implies an intelligent/rational factor in addition to the basic chemical processes. OSIT.

I don't know enough about biology to answer your questions specifically, Keyhole, but I understand the basic difference between "regular systems" and the life system in a similar way as Approaching Infinity. On the most basic level, without life/the life force, things will always decay/entropy will have its way, no matter how elaborate the system you build. Complexity/structure/organization/information will always decrease. Not so with life: here, structure/complexity/organization/information will increase (i.e. evolution, including evolution à la Sheldrake's morphic fields). This is the mystery here, where the energetic laws of physics clash with what we can observe in life.

A possible source for confusion here may be that - as far as I understand - entropy as used in thermodynamics is kind of different than what is called entropy in Shannon's information theory. In thermodynamics, you have:

Entropy on Wikipedia said:
At equilibrium, each instantaneous configuration of the gas may be regarded as random. Entropy may be understood as a measure of disorder within a macroscopic system.

Here, entropy is a measure of "chaos" or lack of information. That's the state any system without life force will move towards. It decays over time, i.e. entropy increases, while information decreases.

Whereas in information theory, you have:

Entropy (information theory) on wikipedia said:
In information theory, systems are modeled by a transmitter, channel, and receiver. The transmitter produces messages that are sent through the channel. The channel modifies the message in some way. The receiver attempts to infer which message was sent. In this context, entropy (more specifically, Shannon entropy) is the expected value (mean) of the information contained in each message. 'Messages' can be modeled by any flow of information.

In a more technical sense, there are reasons (explained below) to define information as the negative of the logarithm of the probability distribution of possible events or messages. The amount of information of every event forms a random variable whose expected value, or mean, is the Shannon entropy. Units of entropy are the shannon, nat, or hartley, depending on the base of the logarithm used to define it, though the shannon is commonly referred to as a bit.

So in information theory, entropy refers to the expected value of the information - for example, if you get a random number that has no meaning for you, the entropy (i.e. information) is low. If you know however that this number refers to the next lotto numbers, entropy (information) is very high indeed! So in the context of information theory, more entropy means more information - contrary to how the word is used in thermodynamics.


Hope I got this right, fwiw.
 

Keyhole

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kenlee said:
OK, I'll give this a go although at best I'm a complete laymen when it comes to biochemistry.
In the case with living systems the "High energy" and "Low energy" that you refer to might have more to do with anabolic and catabolic transformations of energy since we are dealing with living systems such as, for example Photosynthesis and not purely mechanical systems.
Thanks for the explanation kenlee. The high and low energy I was referring to in relation to the quantity of adenosine triphosphate (NAD+ other redox agents etc) in the cell - in other words referring to the cells redox state - rather than specifically anabolism and catabolism. But I think that this also applies to anabolism and catabolism as you noted, in maintaining the state of inner coherence and balance. The concept of negative entropy is one mentioned by Albert St Gyorgi and Ling frequently, and although I find it difficult to understand, it still seems like an interesting proposal.

Also thanks luc for posting those definitions. I think I am becoming muddled up somewhere between information theory and thermodynamics.

Approaching Infinity said:
The fact that biology doesn't just fall apart and become more primitive, but actually becomes more organized over time means there's something else going on. You could even say that the some "something else" is going on in the activity of cells. That something else is some type of informative process.
...
The main point just being that just burning energy is an entropic process, but there is obviously more going on than just that, which implies an intelligent/rational factor in addition to the basic chemical processes. OSIT.
I could understand this, but one thing that confused me was trying to find out how we could practically apply this to real life physiological processes. My main purpose for posting is because I am trying to formulate a theoretical framework whereby information theory can be applied to disease-states, and likewise health. I have been able to see where energy fits into this, but still struggled with where information/how information fits in the picture in a practical way. How can we essentially *increase* the the information content, or in other words decrease the disorder of the system in illness.

I have been thinking about this puzzle for a long while, and something just *clicked* for me today while I was doing the washing up.

Much of the research I have been doing in relation to human health has consistently supported the notion that "energy increases structure/function/information", and not the other way round. Basically the proponents seem to be supporting the idea that energy is the "organizing principle" - and ultimately the determining factor in maintaining a healthy state. The focus is on energy.

But the idea is similar to the "energy+matter=organization" concept that evolution randomly erupted simply because energy was injected into the system. We know that this logic is fundamentally flawed, and neglects the role of information in the process.

So, we know that energy is vitally important for maintaining a healthy state at the cellular level. The overwhelming majority of diseases are tied to bioenergetic decline. So it should be part of the aim in approaching this to increase energy.

When it comes to increasing energy, the question is How? Does this simply mean feeding more substrate? No.

This comes back to the following quote:
...it is only the intelligently directed energy that can and does support the existence of the LS in all of its complex manifestations.

How might the concept of "intelligently directed energy" apply to the human body in practical terms?

The example that helped me understand this is Diabetes type II. In diabetes, there is essentially an energetic overload for the cell. The cell does not have the resources to process the energy, so it blocks any more energy from entering into the cell, otherwise it would soon die. So in this context, simply injecting more energy increases disorder and can make someone really sick.

In other words, there is no "intelligence/information" to process and direct the energy properly.

I will continue with this example by assuming that this case of diabetes is due to a Pyruvate Dehydrogenase deficiency (PDH) induced by long-term vitamin B1 deficiency. PDH is the enzyme needed to use carbohydrates properly, and is produced by Vitamin B1.

In the above, vitamin B1 contains certain information which allows the system to decode/process/direct the energy from carbohydrate into useable energy by the system. Without the information from B1, the body is unable to utilise the energy from carbohydrate (in this hypothetical scenario). Injecting more carbohydrate into the system will not address the initial preceding lack of information (B1), and will actually lead to a more disordered state (diabetic coma perhaps). So to increase order, it would make sense to introduce whatever information (nutrient ie vitamin/mineral) is lacking in the system, so that the energy can be "intelligently" utilised.

In this context, increasing energy IS important. But what must ultimately PRECEDE the injection of energy is the INFORMATION (nutrient or other factor) to direct/utilise that energy properly. When this information is lacking, bioenergetic decline results and we see disease.

So it is clear that food provides both energy and information.

The information content of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients etc allow system to decode and process the energy provided by macromolecules (fat, carbohydrate). Hence why eating nutient-poor/junk food is a great way to make yourself really sick.

This probably seems obvious to some people, and I have said before that food and other stuff contains information. But just spelling it out in this way really made sense to me and helped me to understand information relation to energy (on a nuts-and-bolts nutrition level).

Hope that makes sense.
 

Joe

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Approaching Infinity said:
I think the point he is making is more basic. If you use a machine as an analogy for biology, when you pump fuel into the machine and burn/use it, the machine makes use of that by doing what it's designed to do. But if you just continue to do that, entropy will have its way and the machine will fall apart eventually. The fact that biology doesn't just fall apart and become more primitive, but actually becomes more organized over time means there's something else going on. You could even say that the some "something else" is going on in the activity of cells. That something else is some type of informative process.

That was my take when reading those excerpts (and reading that part of the book). His point is that the LS uses the energy expenditure of cells from single celled creatures to complex organisms to overcome the effects of entropy on the LS system itself because overall, the LS increases and expands rather than decreases and collapses. Death and decay and rebirth and growth are all around us every moment, but overall the 'big picture' system only grows.
 

Joe

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Keyhole said:
I could understand this, but one thing that confused me was trying to find out how we could practically apply this to real life physiological processes. My main purpose for posting is because I am trying to formulate a theoretical framework whereby information theory can be applied to disease-states, and likewise health. I have been able to see where energy fits into this, but still struggled with where information/how information fits in the picture in a practical way. How can we essentially *increase* the the information content, or in other words decrease the disorder of the system in illness.

I have been thinking about this puzzle for a long while, and something just *clicked* for me today while I was doing the washing up.

Much of the research I have been doing in relation to human health has consistently supported the notion that "energy increases structure/function/information", and not the other way round. Basically the proponents seem to be supporting the idea that energy is the "organizing principle" - and ultimately the determining factor in maintaining a healthy state. The focus is on energy.

But the idea is similar to the "energy+matter=organization" concept that evolution randomly erupted simply because energy was injected into the system. We know that this logic is fundamentally flawed, and neglects the role of information in the process.

So, we know that energy is vitally important for maintaining a healthy state at the cellular level. The overwhelming majority of diseases are tied to bioenergetic decline. So it should be part of the aim in approaching this to increase energy.

When it comes to increasing energy, the question is How? Does this simply mean feeding more substrate? No.

This comes back to the following quote:
...it is only the intelligently directed energy that can and does support the existence of the LS in all of its complex manifestations.

How might the concept of "intelligently directed energy" apply to the human body in practical terms?

The example that helped me understand this is Diabetes type II. In diabetes, there is essentially an energetic overload for the cell. The cell does not have the resources to process the energy, so it blocks any more energy from entering into the cell, otherwise it would soon die. So in this context, simply injecting more energy increases disorder and can make someone really sick.

In other words, there is no "intelligence/information" to process and direct the energy properly.

I will continue with this example by assuming that this case of diabetes is due to a Pyruvate Dehydrogenase deficiency (PDH) induced by long-term vitamin B1 deficiency. PDH is the enzyme needed to use carbohydrates properly, and is produced by Vitamin B1.

In the above, vitamin B1 contains certain information which allows the system to decode/process/direct the energy from carbohydrate into useable energy by the system. Without the information from B1, the body is unable to utilise the energy from carbohydrate (in this hypothetical scenario). Injecting more carbohydrate into the system will not address the initial preceding lack of information (B1), and will actually lead to a more disordered state (diabetic coma perhaps). So to increase order, it would make sense to introduce whatever information (nutrient ie vitamin/mineral) is lacking in the system, so that the energy can be "intelligently" utilised.

In this context, increasing energy IS important. But what must ultimately PRECEDE the injection of energy is the INFORMATION (nutrient or other factor) to direct/utilise that energy properly. When this information is lacking, bioenergetic decline results and we see disease.

So it is clear that food provides both energy and information.

The information content of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients etc allow system to decode and process the energy provided by macromolecules (fat, carbohydrate). Hence why eating nutient-poor/junk food is a great way to make yourself really sick.

This probably seems obvious to some people, and I have said before that food and other stuff contains information. But just spelling it out in this way really made sense to me and helped me to understand information relation to energy (on a nuts-and-bolts nutrition level).

Hope that makes sense.

And don't forget the "intelligently directed energy" (albeit indirect) that comes from the person themselves in deciding what food to ingest or not ingest.
 

Approaching Infinity

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Keyhole said:
I could understand this, but one thing that confused me was trying to find out how we could practically apply this to real life physiological processes. My main purpose for posting is because I am trying to formulate a theoretical framework whereby information theory can be applied to disease-states, and likewise health. I have been able to see where energy fits into this, but still struggled with where information/how information fits in the picture in a practical way. How can we essentially *increase* the the information content, or in other words decrease the disorder of the system in illness.

I think it's highly possible that compared to the processes actually going on in the day-to-day running of our bodies, we are pretty dumb. But one thing we can do to "inform" our biology is to replace burnt-out parts with the best quality replacements, and good fuel (to continue the vehicle analogy). That is an "informative" process, because we are seeing the disorder, and bringing more order to it by keeping things running well and maintaining the physical integrity of the machine.

How might the concept of "intelligently directed energy" apply to the human body in practical terms?

In this context, I think he was just speaking of the inter-cellular processes of using energy. It is not random; it is intelligently designed to fulfill a very specific purposes (or multiple purposes). I think your diabetes example might be a good one. Basically, look for the ways in which energy is utilized to serve a specific purpose that results in maintaining and even increasing the organization of the body (e.g. maintaining health, healing illness), and the ways in which those processes break down.

In this context, increasing energy IS important. But what must ultimately PRECEDE the injection of energy is the INFORMATION (nutrient or other factor) to direct/utilise that energy properly. When this information is lacking, bioenergetic decline results and we see disease.

Yeah, I think that works. Everything you eat is information: stuff with particular shapes/frequencies interact and combine with other shapes/frequencies, to be utilized in various ways in various processes. Some food is more information dense, some has "typos", and some is closer to "nonsense", disrupting the orderly function of the machine. Maybe it's not too much of a stretch to see vitamins as periods or commas in written language. Without them, you lose meaning (information), and things start to go wrong. It's like trying to make the same level of sense after losing the use of 2 or 3 keys on your keyboard.
 

Laura

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Keyhole said:
So the idea that information is essentially the fundamental component of the fabric of the whole universe (and everything elsewhere) makes logical sense.

However, the stumbling block I am up against is this:

While the increase in entropy in the natural world intimately connects energy loss with increased disorder, this relationship is blatantly lacking in the Living System phenomenon in particular. While the 2nd law relationship of energy loss and disorder may always hold in natural non-life systems, it definitely is not the case in biological life.

I may have misunderstood the above, but based on my (fairly limited) understanding of biology, I disagree with the above statement that energy loss is not connected with increased disorder in biological life. It actually seems to me to be the opposite.

I think the problem is the scale. The author appears to be talking about "biological life" as the Living System in toto, not individual living things.
 

whitecoast

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[quote author=Knelee]I would think that the anabolic transformation is in a sense anti-entropic that goes from a lower quality energy to a higher quality to sustain and maintain the systems potential. I think catabolic transformation has more to do with the result of the two process with respect to what it does where a release of energy occurs to produce something of value such as a living cell or tissue. Entropy may be involved with the catabolic transformation but it's balanced out by the anabolic transformation to renew its "coherence." So I would think that it's not strictly entropic since it's counter balanced with the maintenance of it's inner order/structure via the anabolic transformations.[/quote]

The connection between lower entropy and anabolisis is even simpler. Anabolisis is characterized by the combining of multiple, smaller units of matter into fewer, larger units. The building of glycogen polysaccharide from individual glucose molecules is a simple example of this. When you have one object floating randomly, its movement is easy to predict. You could do it with one formula, even. If you have two objects, predicting the position of each is much harder; you can't just use two independent formulas since there's the possibility of them colliding. A glycogen molecule consisting of 100 units of glucose is less entropic than a simple aqueous solution of those same 100 glucose molecules bouncing off one another in random ways.

The creation of structured water around biomolecules, in fact, could also be interpreted as an anabolic effect. Exclusion zone water is created by the formation of hydrogen bonds between water molecules, at the costs of emitting hydrogen ions into the unstructured water as a "waste product". So the entropy isn't really reduced as much as it is shuttled elsewhere (more on that below).

[quote author=Keyhole]
I may have misunderstood the above, but based on my (fairly limited) understanding of biology, I disagree with the above statement that energy loss is not connected with increased disorder in biological life. It actually seems to me to be the opposite.
[/quote]

I think is the loss of certain particular energies/materials that determines whether entropy increases or decreases in life. The loss of carbon dioxide, ammonia, unstructured water, and excess heat increases the order in a cell; whereas the loss of ATP, structured water, and DNA would certainly increase the disorder. So the generalization "energy increases/decreases entropy in a cell" is IMO just that - a generalization.

[quote author=Keyhole]Much of the research I have been doing in relation to human health has consistently supported the notion that "energy increases structure/function/information", and not the other way round. Basically the proponents seem to be supporting the idea that energy is the "organizing principle" - and ultimately the determining factor in maintaining a healthy state. The focus is on energy.[/quote]

If energy is so standalone important, then a person who is thrown into a volcano is the healthiest person alive because of how much energy their body has. Obviously what is important is that the energy can be used by the intelligence of the organism for its own purpose of maintaining homeostasis and reproducing. If it cannot be used, then it is entropy. Information is energy/matter that can be used by the organism to fulfill an intelligent purpose. Entropy is energy/matter that cannot be used by the organism as its functioning currently stands. Humans can't use 430nm and 660nm light to generate sugars the way plants can, meaning that 430nm and 660nm light contributes far less significantly to the intelligent organization of the human organism than it does to the plant organism. Deprive a human of those wavelengths, they'll probably be fine... at least compared to a plant, which would probably die.

Nutrients are information, and toxins are entropy. But whether something is a nutrient or toxin is contingent on the information that already exists within the organism. There is an information "ecosystem," if you will. Chocolate goes well with the human body, and harmonizes with it. For dogs however, it is highly incompatible, because the information and intelligence that is the canine organism cannot use it in any way that is beneficial to its own homeostasis (certainly not in the way humans can).

What I find interesting is how to work into this understanding what Gurdjieff taught about how different food, breathing, and impressions nourish our organism in different ways, and can contribute to the growth of an entirely new body. I see overlap with the challenges Laura discusses in the Wave as well, on how the arrival of this quantum jump will infuse a lot more information and energy into the cosmos. Those who can metabolize it effectively and use it to their advantage will be nourished by its arrival, while those who cannot will just feel like they've been thrown into a volcano.

This is the mystery here, where the energetic laws of physics clash with what we can observe in life.

Life's behavior actually doesn't clash with the second law. Life can only reduce entropy within itself, which increases the entropy of the surrounding environment. Life does not violate the second law of thermodynamics because life relies on an abundant source of energy: the sun. Some organisms are chemotrophic and use chemical energy, but the same thermodynamic principles hold. A living organism can only shear off a small percentage of the energy the sun emits, because the organism has a limited amount of ways to convert that energy into a stored form that can be directed by its intelligent, living processes. In that same vein an organism can never use 100% of the energy it receives, and so it dissipates what it cannot use as heat or extrection/elimination of metabolic biproducts. So the environmental entropy increases, while the organism's entropy still remains low, keeping in line with the second law's statement that the entropy of the universe always increases.

I'll also add that just because life doesn't clash with the second law doesn't mean that thermodynamically interesting things are not happening in living systems. Over time the living system compensates for the energy/entropy dissipation of its organisms by recruiting other organisms that are adapted to transform that unused energy into information, in an attempt to minimize waste. Of course these additional ecological niches can never reduce entropy emission to zero, but that just ensures that there will (like Joe said) always be expansion, even when not being done for the purpose of adapting to some other environmental or community changes. :)
 

kenlee

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Keyhole said:
The high and low energy I was referring to in relation to the quantity of adenosine triphosphate (NAD+ other redox agents etc) in the cell - in other words referring to the cells redox state - rather than specifically anabolism and catabolism. But I think that this also applies to anabolism and catabolism as you noted, in maintaining the state of inner coherence and balance. The concept of negative entropy is one mentioned by Albert St Gyorgi and Ling frequently, and although I find it difficult to understand, it still seems like an interesting proposal.

Also thanks luc for posting those definitions. I think I am becoming muddled up somewhere between information theory and thermodynamics.

It might be that although you are referring to an individual cell that can be perceived with a microscope there may be an aspect to all this that cannot be perceived with any kind of instrument. It might be that this other aspect cannot truly be seen in detail with any instrument and at best we can only infer the reality of some invisible organizing influence that comes from "above." We can see the cell and how it's constructed and ordered/structured and what it does in time all within factual terms, but can we see the organizing influences, the unseen "organization" that allows it to grow and reproduce so as to be part of a larger living system? I think the latter is "timeless" in a sense, having more of an aesthetic quality, maybe even a para-physical or para-aesthetic quality in a some way.

In other words we can see and study how the cell is ordered but can't study in the same way the organizing influences and patterns which connects it to a larger system that it's part of (such as tissues.) We can also study the tissues in factual terms but I think the organizing influences/patterns that's behind it all is basically invisible, qualitative (and emergent) as if the organizational pattern exists in some higher space.

So it may be that there are unseen influences "from above" that influence the cell to grow and be part of some larger organized system and there are influences "from below" to disorganize it in some way but it may be that it's the unseen force from above (the will-to-live?) which allows the upper and downward influences to play in harmony so that the system coherence takes on an actual factual form that can be studied, all modeling itself after the higher pattern/influences and all playing out into an existing framework that's possible for it (for better or for worse) in the existing world that we can perceive. (Harmony, I think, is a good word here since the Gurdjieff work talks about "music" with the terms octaves, intervals, and points of harmonic stabilization (points of reality) in the ray of creation).

H. H. Price theorizes about this psychic ether that might be the realm from where these patterns and influences come from "from above" as it were.

From -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._H._Price
Psychic ether

Linking his afterlife hypothesis with the concept of place memories Price proposed another hypothesis called the "psychic ether" hypothesis. He wrote that this hypothesis would explain where the memories would be stored for hauntings as well as for clairvoyance, ghosts and other paranormal phenomena. Price proposed that a universal psychic ether coexisting dimension exists as an intermediary between the mental and ordinary matter. According to Price the psychic ether consists of images and ideas. Price wrote that apparitions are actually memories from people and that under the right conditions they can be seen as hallucinations. Price believed that the dreamlike world of the afterlife exists in the psychic ether. According to (Ellwood, 2001) the psychic ether of Price is "a posited level of reality consisting of persisting, dynamic images created by the mind and capable of being perceived by certain persons."
Fwiw.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
[quote author=whitecoast]
What I find interesting is how to work into this understanding what Gurdjieff taught about how different food, breathing, and impressions nourish our organism in different ways, and can contribute to the growth of an entirely new body.[/quote]

Hi Whitecoast,

In case you are interested, JG Bennett's Energies - Material-Vital-Cosmic is a work that expands on Gurdjieff's hints.


Hi Keyhole,

Applying the traditional thermodynamic concept of entropy to living organisms creates confusion. It is perhaps a case where a computational concept which was found useful to describe certain macroscopic phenomena in well specified boundary conditions is over-extended to an extent where it no longer provides useful insight. Traditional thermodynamic entropy (2nd law) is valid for isolated systems in thermal equilibrium. Living systems at various scales are neither isolated nor generally in thermal equilibrium. Living systems are more like nested Russian dolls in dynamic equilibrium at different time scales (pico-seconds to days or years) and at different spatial scales (nano meters to meters or more). This nested interconnected nature of living systems which are in dynamic equilibrium with the environment results in the "scale problem" and makes traditional thermodynamic analysis both problematic and confusing.

The question about the relationship between information and energy straddles the boundaries between physics and metaphysics. From the "information is physical" perspective, energy and information are closely tied together. The famous Maxwell's demon is expected to spend energy to obtain information about fast/slow moving molecules in order to separate them out and generate energy (or capacity to do work). Processes in biological systems have their in-built "Maxwell's demon". As you mentioned, structured water is a promising candidate for being such a Maxwell's demon at certain scales. At lower spatial scales, we find the chemical bonds, the energy of which is much higher than the thermal energies at equilibrium state. The structures which house the chemical bonds contain "stored energy" which can be mobilized and transformed as needed in different life processes. When we say "food contains information" or even "food is information", we are likely referring to the structure and the energy in the chemical bonds which maintain the structure. At this level of analysis, the energy concept is perhaps inextricably tied to the information concept.

If we come to the metaphysical level, then Gurdjieff's concept of "table of hydrogens" which Bennett elaborated and developed further in the book linked above is one candidate for a framework of explanation. In that framework, "hydrogen" can be treated as a metaphysical structure (in-formation) which is characterized and described by the term energy. No essential separation of information/energy exists in this metaphysical framework as far as I understand at present - which is consistent with Gurdjieff's claim of "materialism".

Now, there are other frameworks where information is treated as primary. The probabilistic (uncertain) nature of reality lends credence to the primacy of information. From the 4th Way perspective, Bennett tackled the uncertainty in his work on "hazard" (discussed here), but I am not aware of a work tying it to information. Quantum computing is a developing field where some scientists support the primacy of information in the bigger scheme of things - but I do not know much about it.

Not sure if this helps - so fwiw.
 
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