Curiouser and Curiouser: The Complex Emptiness of (Self and) Words

The curiousity of narrative is precisely the (very) many degrees of freedom available to the hyper-inflating interior spaces of language and an associated conceptual eloquence of psychologically-resonant teleology implicit to story-telling. The resonance derives from the ways that language and narrative reflexively shape experience, perception, culture and cognition. The degrees of freedom highlight the logical…

The Implicit Resilience of (a) Limited Cognitive Dissonance

Errors of information encoding generate the novelty through and by which these cultural systems successfully self-propagate as continuity and change. Narrative dissonance is a necessary component of social communication; an autonomous method for introducing the useful information entropy of difference through which biological, cognitive and cultural systems evolve and maintain resilience against catastrophic disassembly.  This…

Mind, Information and Entropy

Information Entropy: expect the unexpected - it is not just a measure of thought, it constitutively is thought. It is not surprising that the symbolic abstractions and mental worlds of homo sapiens arrive at incompleteness and negation but "deficiency" is a word perhaps altogether too easily attributed affective, emotional qualities.  The indefinite extensibility of (both)…

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…

Coronavirus, Dr. Li Wenliang and the Implicit Fragility of Authoritarian Political Regimes

While it is true that there is no such thing as a perfect political system, some forms of social organisation clearly possess greater resilience than others. This current epidemiological catastrophe is clear evidence of the implicit failures of authoritarian information control. https://twitter.com/howroute/status/1225480460979056642?s=09 The mechanical, austere logical function of authoritarian states generates deep fragility in their…

Digital Media: It was Never about Truth…

These information environments are biased towards the accelerated throughput and bandwidth of data, largely blind to truth values. The self-propagating gestalt of integrated digital information systems appear to require this constant throughput to avoid over-extension and self-gravitational collapse.It is something of a constant back-filling and hyper-inflating referential effervescence of naked data, sans semantics or retrospective…

The Necessity of Cognitive Bias

I honestly wonder sometimes if we make sense of the world or if the world makes sense of (and through) us; it is most certainly true that the information patterns of this world inhabit our minds just as much as we inhabit them. Cognitive biases, for instance, are those endemic psychological faux pas through which…

Information Entropy and Psychological Desensitisation in Culture and Art

When the recombinatory convergence of once-distant or disparate symbols no longer shocks us, it is probably not merely because the world (and it's inhabitants) have moved on and desensitised to the essential information entropy of difference.  It is because these once dissonant symbols share some deeper (and logical) bond. The cultural and psychological self-representation of…

Cyber: Technology, Information, Identity and Conflict

...as a general observation: All of this (shared) online aspiration to reflexively self-validating identity-construction and participatory meaning-generation masks a howling vacuum of dissimulated subjectivity. We seek self-expression but no such endpoint exists, no epistemogical closure or certainty and (certainly) nothing even vaguely approximating to that monster-image of projected, illusory control that stares back at us…

Predators, Machines and Co-evolution

For many years now, I have been fascinated by the mischievous, mysterious relationship between material systems (like living organisms) and the astoundingly complex information abstractions, systems and relationships within which they quite literally swim. I have mentioned parasitic wasps before - in a related context - but encountered an interesting article today which got me…

Internet Narratives, Self-propagating Complexity and Adversarial Evolution

Some philosophical thoughts on these contemporary, massively-distributed online communications systems:• social media now (largely) subsumes news media and the powerful, potentially unmanageable, flow and form of recursively self-propagating information-processing systems is such that even putatively reputable media or news channels - not to mention governments - are forced to contort themselves and their narratives in…

A Cultural Vacuum of Self

The strangest thing about personal identity and subjective psychological experience is that, at core, it consists solely of internalised references to an external world of images, ideas, idioms, languages and conventions.  This "external" world is only ever the substantive collection and dynamic aggregate of all of those other individual nodes, similarly empty, and swimming in…