Sense, Essence, and Existence

A ManifesT.O.E. of the Over-Examined Life

►►MSR Executive Summary

  ► MSR Introduction  ☍ The Multisense Continuum
   ☄ Phauxton: A Post-Particle Hypothesis
   ℵ Eigenmorphism and Pansensitivity  
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Experience and Information

The universe is overflowing with experiences of privacy and of private publicity…concrete, rich aesthetic experiences. Within that ocean of experience, information is what one level of experience says about another. It is experience that is informed about experience, not information which is experienced by information.

Veritasium on information, entropy, and randomness.

The problem with viewing the universe as information, in my view, is that it overlooks the role of perception and intentional participation, so that what is left is anesthetic automatism, which is literally the opposite of the cosmos. It’s a good thing that it is the opposite though, as we can just turn everything that we understand about information around to begin to understand what we are missing, because what we are missing is everything that has ever mattered in the universe.

To conflate entropy with information, for example, fails to account for sensory modalities. I use the example of a video of a glass of ice melting into still water. The thermodynamic entropy goes up, but the video compression entropy goes down as the image of complex ice cubes melting over time is harder to compress than still water sitting stationary in a glass.

Real information is not entropy, but a meta-selection of sensory encounters for aesthetic and functional purposes. At the very least, information is derived from the the flux between entropy and negentropy, relying on a higher order analysis to remember, compare, and change information intentionally. Intention itself is not possible to derive from information, and the natural orientation of the relation would, IMO, be to see perception-participation as the fundamental cosmic principle (the meta-arche), and information as a skeletal reflection of representation embedded within.

Think of the universe as a movie about making a movie. We could imagine that each character in the arche-movie, (the director, producer, cinematographer, actors, etc who are making the nested movie) each have a tertiary movie in which they are the star. Only the arche-movie contains all of these characters and their perspectives, but the nested movie and the tertiary movies all contain signatures of each other, which are meaningful aesthetically and sometimes functionally.

The information view would be like the camera’s view of the movie, if it had a view. The photography, optics, projection, sound synchronization, etc…all of that is the informational canvas which reflects the content of all of the movies. What is not information is the movies themselves - how attention works and the aesthetic pleasure of watching for the sake of feeling and being transported into stories. This is the true arche, the irreducible fabric beneath even the character playing the Director of the arche movie. Information does not compose itself into characters for fun. It cannot tell the difference between a movie star and an extra or a stage prop from the generator and lights used for filming.

Numerological Odds and Ends

Right now I have 803 following on both this Tumblr and my Twitter. (8+0+3=11)
My last post here was my 2233rd post. I have 3996 tweets as of today.
I have also liked 2233 posts as of today.
I am following 1082 Tumblr blogs. (1+8+2 = 11)

Argument That Consciousness > God.

This is my counter-argument to the seemingly popular view that the existence of objective moral values is logical evidence of God.

In my view,

1. Consciousness is enough to provide morality.

2. Morality need not be objective to be real and significant.
3. Consciousness can be understood to transcend God as well as matter.

We can say that God exists if we want to, and that may be true, but consider that:

1. God cannot exist as an unconscious object
2. God cannot create its own consciousness.
3. Consciousness must be more primitive than God.

Also notice that we can say that God does not exist if we want to, but we cannot say that experience or consciousness does not exist. Again this does not mean that there is no God, only that there may be no logical reason that compels us to accept it. To me, this makes God more interesting, since if we choose to believe in God it requires a personal faith and courage rather than merely surrendering to a fact of nature. Even more interesting is that God would not be an objective being, but a metaphenomenal* tendency within consciousness toward significance, wholeness, understanding, love, etc. It is the anabolic property of consciousness, caring and building novelty rather than endlessly cycling.

*which includes larger, transpersonal patterns of synchronicity and meaning, archetypes, collective narratives, etc.


twisting circle

I was going to say ‘visual metaphor for the multisense diffraction of primoridial pansensitivity into spacetime realism’, but yeah twisting circle is good too.


twisting circle

I was going to say ‘visual metaphor for the multisense diffraction of primoridial pansensitivity into spacetime realism’, but yeah twisting circle is good too.

"There is no information without representation."

This is an important insight for understanding consciousness as well as physics. An even more important insight, in my view, is that “There is no representation without presentation”, meaning that representation, codes, substitution, etc can only be possible where there are more fundamental sensory phenomena. To re-present is to re-fer one sensory encounter to another. Words stand for experiences or experiences of thinking about experiences.

What he is talking about in the clip is the relation between information and existence (meaning physics), but what he is leaving out is the common denominator of sense. Both physical states and information states are states are opposite types of what could be called aesthetic encounters. The relationship is analogous to reflection. If we look at a polished marble floor in a public bathroom for instance, we might see the reflection of the overhead fluorescent lights at the same time. By focusing our attention visually, the optical focus of our eyes can be changed, bringing either the details of the marble or the details of the light bulbs into sharp focus while the opposing image blurs.

To me, this is significant metaphorically*, as there are two opposite qualities of opposition going on. The marble is the more physically “real” in the sense that stone is dense, hard, has an objective location, etc. The reflection of the light is more physically real in that it shows that the fabric of what we think we are seeing is optical phantoms. The reflection reveals the truer nature of the experience of seeing, and anchors it in a weightless, ephemeral world of subjectivity and relativity.

There is a natural antagonism between these two perspectives. Introspecting on the realism of the light makes the marble unreal by comparison - a mere trompe l’oeil or simulation…but a simulation of what? Invisible relationships of abstract data? If the brain can already read such abstract data, why have a simulation layer that is other than abstract data? Surely such an arbitrary miracle would be more evolutionarily costly to build, if it were even possible in the first place. The idea that a compression schema for data would naturally become a visual experience does not make sense, and it runs counter to our experience in which, for example, we need special instruments on our computers and cell phones which allow us to see data represented optically.

If we say instead that the marble is real, then the reflection shining on it becomes a kind of mirage. We are looking at the floor, not the ceiling, so the image of the ceiling lights on the floor is false in a sense. The image of is not ‘really there’, or really referring to the lights, but rather the incidental scattering of photons which meaninglessly retains the characteristics of the light source by default.

The fact that we can pivot between these two opposing perspectives, and understand that they are both true in a sense and false in another is, in my view, the local, human-evolved version of what I call primordial pansensitivity or sense. Rather than a one dimensional relation between information and existence, I see a fundamental aesthetic participation which hides and reveals itself by inventing dimensionality for itself through aesthetic qualities. Information and existence are separated or diffracted out of sense, like a mirror being stretched out and twisted around to reflect opposite ends of itself. The mirror participates in defining its own image. It pivots from the reality of the mirror and the reality of reflection, with the pivoting itself, and the change it brings in perception as the true nature of that which is being reflected. 

The experience that we have as human beings is so rich, so elaborate and heavy with history that we have billions of metaphors to choose from. We have literal mirrors and computers and TV screens etc to model form and content, or map and territory. We can have an understanding of particle-waves and mass-energy, or spiritual traditions which map out levels of awareness from the coarse material to the purely mystical. What they cannot do for us however, is make the connection between information and understanding. They cannot make us ‘see’ what it all means unless we are ready to consider it for ourselves honestly, rather than with an agenda to be clever.

*meta-phor is etymologically similar to ‘re-fer’, which both hinge on ‘likeness’…a sense of affinity that can be leveraged to extend sense from one aesthetic context to another.

Every color of the shroombow.

We can be free of physics in our dreams, but physics cannot be free of awareness or it is indistinguishable from nothingness.