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Philosophy

Information is a Material Presence and a Logical Absence

We inhabit the material of manifest corporeality and in equal measure – abstract patterns of information inhabit us. Which is more fundamental? There is no base, no anchor, no foundation; the imaginary spaces of information and autonomously self-propagating computational resonance are the contours through which matter and energy travels; the embodied (and reflexive, in our case – sentient) instances of living matter are the bearers of information. It is a subtle, fluttering dance and musical, plausibly contrapuntal interplay between matter and information; the non-linearity and non-binary logic of the gestalt and holistic system represents an intractably unprovable theorem for our procedural, narrative thought patterns and constrained psychological aptitude.

Information is, as in many ways are we, defined by difference and the conceptual or referential distance between concepts (and material facts). If the concrete, spatially and temporally-extended entities and systems of our experience are the material facts, the abstract numerical and complex symmetrical relationships between these facts represent information. Information is real in consequence but abstract in substance – even the physical artefacts by which we record and retain information are only rendered significant in regards to the ways and the degrees by which they are referentially related. We inhabit a world infused by information but the abstract significance of that information exists in something of a parallel, imaginary or conceptual space that exists as an embedded property of, and logical vacuum in, the extended world of our experience.

4 replies on “Information is a Material Presence and a Logical Absence”

Your post was elegantly written. There were many pearls of insights to be gleaned. What I don’t understand is the connection of your title to your content: how is information an absence? In my mind, just because it is imaginary doesn’t mean it’s absent.

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Physicist Rolf Landauer defined the material reality of information when working at IBM. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landauer%27s_principle

Time as a measure of the proliferating degrees of freedom of a system always already orients information (pattern) transmission towards cascading dissemination, propagation. There is a logical loophole and bootstrap which is poorly-understood, difficult to conceptualise.

Entity, artefact or network node and edge accumulation is additive, but system extensibility is logically subtractive. These are non-binary, discontinuous and globally-distributed ontological taxonomies of self-inflected (gestalt) system extensibility.

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The reply to your question constitutes a life’s work and passion. I will consider how best to answer; it is a work in progress and most of my wordy vignettes are just dips into the turbulent entropy and ocean of a pattern that is still forming around an insight, intuition and symmetry derived years ago.

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