Alien Anthropology

Information, Knowledge and Entropy

Information increases constantly – as a corollary and parallel (energy-processing) thread to the form and flow of natural, physical phenomena and thermodynamic diffusion.  We might even call that part of the world that avails itself of observation and description – and which is for that reason usefully or operationally defined or described and deployed – as knowledge.

Curiously, while knowledge is a sub-set (in this sense) of information, and information is a sub-set of thermodynamic complexity, thermodynamic complexity and material, energetic diffusion (in as much as it is observable, predictable or measurable – i.e. useful) is a process and material bias that is itself a product of knowledge.

Further, information entropy as a measure and manifestation of surprise, novelty or innovation is always a sub-set of thermodynamic entropy. The significance of the discovery and technical fact of thermodynamics itself being an instance of (historical, scientific) information entropy.  These circles are never fully closed or even plausibly subject to successful or logical closure.

The kernel of philosophy in this is that the endemic incompleteness and proliferating complexity of information and energy-processing systems is the natural state of the world. Technology aspires to this.

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