Alien Anthropology

Online Success and (its) Information Famine

Integrated and distributed information and energy processing systems are biased by physical principles towards the minimisation of uncertainty.

It has not taken an inordinate amount of time for me to realise that the one way to success in information and communications transmission is actually to copy everyone else. Being quite resolutely unprepared to do this, I expect to remain out here on the unacknowledged periphery, indefinitely. While this is hardly of interest to anyone other than myself, the reason for this situation is actually quite interesting.

Integrated and distributed information and energy processing systems are biased by physical principles towards the minimisation of uncertainty. In terms of physics and information theory – this uncertainty is both that entropy by which systemic continuity and structured order is (inevitably) disassembled and is also that element of surprise by which information is recognisable and measurable in the endless streams of symbols and data within which we are all embedded.

Note that for all the overwhelming tsunami of information content that surrounds us, most of this is actually predictably patterned and sanitised cyclical or repetitive narrative. If information is defined (as per information theory) as the improbable and the unexpected, there is actually very little actual, admissible stochastic or random information percolating up through the global media and communucations systems. Even where novelty arises, it is generally sanitised cognitively into predictable contexts and recycled narratives or taxonomies.

So, with a little mimicry, some randomly recycled narrative bullshit (try sport or politics, these tend to memetically self-replicate quite well) and a touch of unpredictable luck, you too can be popular and successful; perhaps also start one of those YouTube channels where people copy other people and end up randomly rich for no good reason other than that they were subject to blind luck. The trick is to recycle the existing narratives with just enough novelty to differentiate yourself from the pack without having so much authentic information content as to represent a psychological, ideological or organisational threat.

As for me: I quite enjoy the view from out here on the periphery. I would rather know how the world works than be constantly water-boarded by superficial and meaningless tribal narratives. There is probably no genuine escape from the gravitational mass of whatever this writhing, seething information Zeitgeist is but at least from out here I can see beyond the individual trees to get a vague intuition as to the shape of the forest. Have a nice day.

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