(reposting from my blog <http://s33light.org/post/31001294447>)

If I’m right, then the slogan “information wants to be free” is not just an 
intuition about social policy, but rather an insight into the ontological 
roots of information itself. To be more precise, it isn’t that information 
wants to be free, it is that it can’t want to be anything, and that 
ownership itself is predicated on want and familiarity. Information, by 
contrast, is the exact opposite of want and familiarity, it is the empty 
and generic syntax of strangers talking to strangers about anything.

I propose that information or data is inherently public such that it lacks 
the possibility of privacy. Information cannot be secret, it can only be 
kept a secret through voluntary participation in extra-informational social 
contracts. It is only the access to information that we can control - the 
i/o, we cannot become information or live *in* information or as 
information.*

Information spreads only as controlled changes in matter, not independently 
in space or non-space vacuum. Information is how stuff seems to other 
stuff. Computation exploits the universality of how many kinds of stuff 
make sense in the same basic ways. It is to make modular or ‘digital’ 
collections of objectified changes which can be inscribed on any 
sufficiently controllable substance. Not live hamsters or fog. They make 
terrible computers.

To copyright information or to encrypt it is to discourage unauthorized 
control of information access. This underscores the fact that information 
control supervenes on (requires) capacities of perception and intent rather 
than the capacities of information itself. We have to be shamed or 
frightened or tempted into agreeing to treat information as proprietary on 
behalf of the proprietor’s interests.*We can’t train information not to 
talk to strangers*.

 The data itself doesn’t care if you publish it to the world or take credit 
for writing Shakespeare’s entire catalog. This is not merely a strange 
property of information, this is the defining property of information in 
direct contradistinction to both experience and matter. I maintain however, 
that this doesn’t indicate that information is a neutral monism (singular 
ground of being from which matter, energy, and awareness emerge), but 
rather it is the neutral nihilism - the shadow, if you will, of 
sensorimotive participation divisible by spacetime. It’s a protocol that 
bridges the gaps between participants (selves, monads, agents, 
experiences), but it is not itself a participant. This is important because 
if we don’t understand this (and we are nowhere near understanding this 
yet), then we will proceed to exterminate our quality of life to a hybrid 
of Frankenstein neuro-materialism and HAL cyberfunction-idealism.

To understand why information is really not consciousness but the evacuated 
forms of consciousness, consider that matter is proprietary relative to the 
body and experience is proprietary relative to the self, but information is 
proprietary to nothing. Information, if it did exist, would be nothing but 
the essence of a-proprietary manifestation. It has no dimension of 
subjectivity (privacy, ownership, selfhood) at all. It is qualitatively 
flat. Information as a word is a mis-attribution of what is actually, 
ontologically, “formations to be interpreted” as code, to be unpacked, 
reconstituted, and reconstituted as a private experience.
 *Who and what we are is sensorimotive matter (or materialized 
participation if you prefer…there are a lot of fancy ways to describe it: 
Meta-juxtaposing afferent-efferent phenomenal realism, or private 
algebraic/public-geometric phenomenal realism, orthogonally involuted 
experiential syzygy, etc.)

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