Sunday, August 26, 2012


Information can be thought of as an indiscernible fluid.  We measure information flow by the ‘diff’ in the mind.  That is to say, the information that flowed is the difference between what was in the mind before and what is in the mind after.  Indiscernible, in that, this fluid is not a real physical substance but the dynamics of information are fluid like.
Fact – a fragment of material reality.
Concept – any derived virtual reconstitute of fact formed in the mind of an intelligent agent.
Consciousness – the set of concepts an individual intelligent agent is aware of at any given moment in time.
Information – the fluid of conception.
For this thesis we will assume that there exists a reality comprised of facts and there exist intelligent agents who are able to derive concepts based on the facts of reality.  These concepts have a dynamic flow.  They flow within the consciousness of the individual and, more importantly, they flow between and among the collective consciousness.  They can readily evaporate (leave the conscious mind), condense (form in the conscious mind), or stream (transition into a separate concept).  Let me give a simple example of this flow.
Suppose Tyqado is a member of a primitive community, Smallville, and has the duty of scout.  Tyqado is to seek out and report on the presence of intruders.  All of a sudden, Tyqado spots some intruders.  Now, there are many things that Tyqado could report about these intruders but we will limit it in this example to the size of the party.  Fact, there are, what we know as, seven, that’s ‘7’, individuals in this party of intruders.  In order for Tyqado to report on this fact to Smallville, Tyqado must be able to conceptualize the fact.  Fortunately,  Tyqado has acquired an internal ordered number system and is familiar with the concept ‘7’.  If Tyqado would have been from, Mayberry, the community down the road, then Tyqado’s number system would have been more simple.  Mayberry’s number system is {one, two, two and one, two twos, many}.  In that case, the conceptualization, ‘many’, would have been less precise and arguably less accurate.  Regardless, Tyqado forms the concept ‘intruders = seven’.
At this point Tyqado is probably feeling pretty good.  There are, however, a number of issues Tyqado has only begun to deal with.  How close Tyqado’s concept (7) is to the real number of intruders must be stirring about in Tyqado’s mind along with a myriad of other concepts.  Tyqado must figure out a way to get the concept ‘7 = intruders’ home safely to Smallville and then come up with a way to communicate it to the tribe.
Tyqado could attempt to record the concept in some way.  This way Tyqado could allow the concept to evaporate and recall it latter.  The trouble is that the concept is not real.  Tyqado can’t record a non-material object on a material medium {chemical neural circuits, pen and paper, computer circuitry, stone and chisel}.  The concept is not a fragment of reality; it is an apparition of reality which could evaporate or stream at any moment.  Tyqado’s idea is to use a proxy material fact to securely inform Smallville.  Tyqado writes the numeral ‘7’ on a piece of parchment.
This ‘7’ is a character on a page.  It is a fact just like the seven intruders.  Tyqado will use it to reduce (abstract) the fact of the actual living and breathing seven intruders with names and families of their own to the fact of a digit written on a page that can represent the quantity of intruders and eliminate the other characteristics of the brutes.  Now, when Tyqado sees the ‘7’ it references the concept of seven intruders condenses it in Tyqado’s mind.  How does it work?  I don’t know, but, I believe that both the concept of making the reference and the concept of seven intruders are not material in any way.  If the concepts themselves are material, then the entire package inside Tyqado’s brian is mechanical.  In that case Tyqado merely reacts and cannot think.  Tyqado is then a zombie; a la David Chalmers.  There would be no Tyqado, just a bag of chemicals with a label on it that reads “Tyqado”.  If no Tyqado, then I do not exist.  Since I know I exist, then concepts themselves are not material.
We now have a glimpse of the information inside Tyqado’s mind.  These concepts are derived by Tyqado from facts and can be triggered by abstractions.  Tyqado will now use another abstraction in an attempt to communicate “intruders = seven” to the tribe.
Tyqado arrives back at Smallville and is asked:  “How many intruders did you find?”  Tyqado forms the word and then speaks “seven” into the air.  What happens next is truly astounding.  The concept ‘intruders = seven’ never leaves Tyqado’s mind.  The fact of sound waves carrying the word ‘seven’ was created by Tyqado.  The concept must be derived in each individual mind that receives the signal through hearing.  The concept does not live in the sound waves any more than it lives in the ‘7’ on the page.  The abstraction forming the concept is made in the mind and stays in the mind.
 The tribe at Smallville experienced the ‘diff’, became aware, was informed, of the seven intruders as information flowed from Tyqado’s original sighting of the seven, threw the abstraction ‘7’, and finally in the concept formed in the minds of the villagers from Tyqado’s sound waves.   
 “But where can wisdom be found?  And where is the place of understanding?  Man does not know its value, Nor is it found in the land of the living.  The deep says, ‘It is not in me’; And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’ It cannot be purchased for gold, Nor can silver be weighed for its price.  It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir, In precious onyx or sapphire.  Neither gold nor crystal can equal it, Nor can it be exchanged for jewelry of fine gold.  No mention shall be made of coral or quartz, For the price of wisdom is above rubies.  The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it, Nor can it be valued in pure gold.  “From where then does wisdom come?  And where is the place of understanding?  It is hidden from the eyes of all living, And concealed from the birds of the air.  Destruction and Death say, ‘We have heard a report about it with our ears.’  God understands its way, And He knows its place.  For He looks to the ends of the earth, And sees under the whole heavens, To establish a weight for the wind, And apportion the waters by measure.  When He made a law for the rain, And a path for the thunderbolt, Then He saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out.  And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’” – Job 28: 12 - 28

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