Information, Influence and Dissonance: the Utility of Fakes and Errors in System Self-Propagation

Information systems, viewed from a gestalt/holistic perspective, possess many properties we might otherwise recognise as self-propagation, “emergence” or self-organisation. The presence of values attributed semantic (or logical) properties of truth or falsity at a level of cognition or language may be purely incidental.

From a Global Systems perspective, information systems autonomously pursue the optimal means of their own self-propagation through encoding and transmission as a distributed “field” of artefacts, channels and minds. Fakes, dissonance, difference and (even) ideological “Othering” are autocatalytic methods for introducing the novelty of information entropy through which those systems can reflexively evolve.

We will always see the percolation of doubt and dissonance through these systems because at a logical and material level, that is just a part of physics and how complex systems function. The wilful, directed cultivation, shaping and influence of that implicit uncertainty and entropy is a mischievous art that exists on a spectrum from charisma and interpersonal persuasion, through marketing and advertising and on into psychological and information operations at a nation-state level.

The fact that all of this exists begs a question or whether ot not we can construct logical “Faraday cages” to shield a core message from interference? It may be more useful to adaptively influence the inevitable probabilistic drift of entropy in useful ways – contexts and meanings are bound to evolve.

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