Information System Self-Propagation

Context: Social media has remarkably small impact on Americans’ beliefs

This may appear unnecessarily hyperbolic, however – observe how the successful self-propagation of a message or article (and – reflexively in this analytical context – of an unacknowledged meta-narrative) is positively reinforced by the information entropy incurred by questionable truth-value properties.

In this abstract sense, the information entity successfully incurs self-replication by drawing attention to itself, agnostic of substantive truth value. Dubious conclusions and transparent rhetorical fallacies possess more or less equivalent information content of “surprise” or entropy (in an Information Theory sense) as do legitimate, verifiable facts. Social and psychological amplification is another issue.

This particular article is successfully parasitic upon the context of its own semantic content – it is (now) also a member of the Set of all social media content and acquires in this an implicit contextual influence or “gravity”. This exhibits or instances an emergent, adaptive recursive strategy of self-propagation that also provides an aperture of visibility into an underlying (perhaps “genetic”, systems-theoretical) logic of semi-autonomous memetic information systems self-propagation.

Information systems interpreted as emergent, Complex Adaptive Systems need not be considered as directed or (human) agency driven. They are naturally-arising phenomena in an integrated, distributed information and communications context, just as algorithmically optimal patterns of information- and energy-processing emerge from material (i.e. physical) states and configurations of matter. The referenced article (above) is not wilfully deploying methods of Machiavellian medium self-propagation – it is naturally and inevitably aligned to such a bias in a dynamic system that autonomously selects for such “evolutionary” advantage and environmental tenure.

Going with the (information) flow.

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