On 9/6/2012 1:39 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

(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.)

Dear Craig,

Could it be that what you are considering is a novel way of thinking of the "principle of least action" for information exchange? If we define information as "a difference between two that makes a difference to a third" and add your considerations, what we are considering is something like minimizing theCoaseCost <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transaction_cost> of exchanging information or, in combinatorial topology terms: minimizing the length of the path of transformation between a state of mind that can be consistently represented as a false version of the information and a true version of the information. It is important to note that in the topological picture there will be the equivalent of "some people ya just can't reach...". Only on simply connected manifolds of genus zero (or isomorphs) does this not occur. Anyone see why? Hint: some paths cannot be smoothly connected to others.




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