Information: Mass & Self-Gravitation


        Information storage is delayed communication.  The capability to reliably record information creates a repository into which the simultaneously recursive and reflexive functions of language and communication can refer.  Language is an incomplete logical system of self-reference and it is in the activity of storage of information that a pool for reference and internal system-extension manifests itself. This is fundamentally a system of self-reference and recursion when considered globally or holistically.  In any system considered as a whole, there is no outside of the system, all activities and information/energy flows are internal to the system.

        The speed and acceleration of cultural, technological change is a function of the available mass-density of storage resources, media and artefacts.  Every act of reference back into the storage pool has the potential to create more material, more mass-density of information from which to reference and this in turn enriches the array of all available resources and data from which to reference.  When information is stored in artefacts, digital media, storage devices after (or through) communication, it adds to the mass-density of information.  As all this communication is being considered as internal to a global and holistic system of communications, all of this self-reference and increasing mass-density of stored information resources represents a self-gravitating acceleration of the system as a whole.  This self-gravitating acceleration is a mechanism or process which illustrates not only how cultures and their associated technologies as a whole tend to accelerate and become more complex over time (here we are notionally dealing with language and communication), but also why this happens.

        Minds, mental life and memories are part of the self-gravitating system of information accumulation and complexity aggregation but represent special cases.  In fact, this is where we need to introduce the concept of sub-component or notional sub-system.  A sub-system of a globally considered communications system of language and information transfer can be considered to possess boundaries or limits.  If the membrane defining the edge of one sub-system is not permeable, the system has become isolated.  Unless this isolation is reversed at some point, the sub-system will tend towards developmental deceleration, stasis and atrophy.  As an aside, any non-isolated individual sub-system of a globally networked communications system is just as much the environment to the larger system as is the larger system to it: this is a purely logical (not causative)  relationship.  X is environment to system Y as Y is environment to system X, regardless of size or scale.  A mind is in precisely this kind of relationship to the culture (or whatever other arbitrary system we choose to define) in which it exists – there is a symmetry of interdependence.

        Message delivery clearly becomes more difficult where the information being conveyed is of non-trivial complexity.  Storage systems allow for functional delays, temporary breaks in communication which can allow previous information to be fully absorbed.  I honestly think by this stage no one will have read any of these Communication blog posts but that is besides the point.  This is information storage for my own reference as much as it is for the communication of any specific message.


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