The Uncertainty Zeitgeist

Media and communications systems are distributed entities as subject to the principles of logic, mathematics and physics as are all information (or energy) processing systems. Global information and communications systems, having attained a sufficient degree of sophistication [logical abstraction], complexity [technological integration] and “mass-density” [networked interdependence] undergo structural metamorphoses and functional phase transitions such as that which we are currently experiencing.

Undirected semantic drift (via implicit uncertainty or errors in replication) is a core function of cultural evolution. When considered agnostically as a pure information-systems problem-space, errors in replication and their associated inaccuracies can be interpreted not as “bugs” but as key “features” of this process. Similarly – genetic drift inflates (and exploits) the patterns-selection, adaptive contexts and gestalt ecologies of biological evolution.

Simplistic, meaningless (or willfully inaccurate) statements acquire economic value and cultural gravity by virtue of the extent of their successful self-propagation through a distributed, networked medium of minds and material artifacts. Accuracy or truth has become a secondary value to a primary function and probability of pattern replication. The semantic, cultural and ideological turbulence incurred by an uncertainty of truth-value conditions is also a method of information-pattern self-replication; uncertainty and dissonance creates attention which itself creates further pattern self-replication.

The “Truth values” of cultural and media information systems have been subsumed by the runaway imperative of these systems to semi-autonomously “seek” their own self-propagation. Substantive, meaningful content in our shared information spaces is suffering from an information-systems evolutionary selection mechanism that is implicitly biased towards continuity over coherence.

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Some related links:

If news is dying, who will safeguard democracy?

New AI Fake News generator is too dangerous to release, say its creators

 

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