LifeOS: exploring the system that executes DNA

May 30, 2008

The Holoverse

Filed under: Ch 06 Holoverse — Tags: , , , — insomniac @ 3:51 am

We are getting close to our universal structure, the thing that holds it all together. From atoms to giant stars, everything produces an electromagnetic field. It is the electromagnetic field that holds atoms together, gives matter its solidity and light its direction. Electromagnetic energy is a fundamental force. We can be certain that the structure that holds the Universe together involves electromagnetic energy and its associated fields of force. We are immersed in uncounted nested and overlapping electromagnetic fields that exhibit varying degrees of synchronization, or coherence. I’m calling this interlocking field of fields, the Holoverse. It is the informational component of reality. It is the spiritual world, the separate reality, the ethereal version of physical reality. It doesn’t mean that the Universe is imaginary, but that the Universe has an imagination.

Although it can be broken down into some smaller parts, from a holographic systems standpoint, we will consider the atom is the basic unit of matter. The atom is a bundle of energy that creates a weak electromagnetic field around itself. This field has a frequency, a signature signal, that it broadcasts incessantly. It may be the sound of electrons racing around a nucleus at breakneck speed, or vibrating at a comparable frequency or pattern of frequencies, but the signal is the buzz created by its internal dynamic. Every other atom of the same material is broadcasting the same identical signal. When those signals are in perfect synchronization with each other, they form what is known as a coherent electromagnetic field.

A coherent electromagnetic field creates a situation where time and space are irrelevant. That doesn’t mean that time and space don’t exist, they are ignored inside the field. Time and space are still fully functional outside the field. Without time and space, there would be no matter to generate the coherent electromagnetic field, in the first place. Without the field, there would be no place to store the information necessary for matter to exist. The coherent electromagnetic field is the informational component of matter. As information, not stored exactly, but present in an active memory, where time and space are irrelevant; a situation that sounds very much like consciousness.

Coherent is a good description of this kind of a synchronized electromagnetic field, as this appears to be fundamental to the process of awareness.

Holographic Model

What this holographic model indicates is that every unit has a context within this system. All objects have a place, a position, an address within the coherent electromagnetic field. When the Universe moves, it does so while maintaining relationships between fields. The fields all record all changes in their relationship with other fields, plus the holographic information available from their membership in larger coherent electromagnetic fields. Within the Whole, each separate field records its local contribution to the Holoverse. This forms an ongoing memory of the changing dynamic structure.

Since all of this movement, from galaxies down to atoms, occurs in repeating cycles, this dynamic memory is recording reoccurring interference patterns that represent the full range of activity for each holographic unit. The history thus stored contains all of the information necessary to project the dynamic into the future. The Universe contains the entire memory of how it got to the present and how the System intends to complete each and every cycle in the future.

The key to the whole thing is to realize that ALL IS MEMORY!

The Holoverse is an electromagnetic mirror image of the matter currently making up the Universe. It is a dynamic hologram generated by atomic frequencies. Matter is the memory of past Holoverse, like a print out of progress, but it continues to update forever.

The Holoverse is like a real time index of all matter in the Universe. All matter has this informational aspect that works like a relational database, connecting all bits of matter to all other bits of matter. Unlike a database, which must follow a path to the information, in holographic memory there is no distance between memories, the information is everywhere at once. In theory then, a point of awareness, functioning within the Holoverse, could traverse the information of the entire universe without moving.

Time/space is only relevant to matter. In the Holoverse, like our own imagination, time and space are only guideposts relating to reality and not constraints on movement. Since past and future are projections, without a material presence, neither the past nor future is directly accessible from the present. Past and future are only accessible through an awareness of memory by some sort of consciousness.

May 29, 2008

Holographic Memory

Filed under: Ch 06 Holoverse — Tags: , , , , — insomniac @ 9:45 am

Advances in computer memory have increased capacities to amazing levels and forced engineers to look for new technologies for data storage. One of the most promising is using holographic principles.
Holographic Memory

This is very much like the process used in holographic photography, at least the schematic is almost identical. In both a beam of light is converted to laser light by passing through a crystal. The internal structure of the crystal organizes the light into patterns that give laser light special properties. One way to think of it is that the crystal is full of tiny mirrored facets that line up the photons and shoot them out in lockstep.

The laser beam is then split in two by passing through glass that reflects a percentage of the light toward a mirror. The mirror reflects the beam at the medium. The unreflected light continues through the object, and on to the medium. There it intersects the other beam and forms an interference pattern. The object has altered the main beam, while the mirrored beam is still pure.

I think you could say that the interference patterns represent the difference between the structure of the two beams.

In holographic photography, the interference pattern is recorded on light sensitive film. Where this system is different is that it records the interference patterns “inside” the crystal or photopolymer medium. The laser interference patterns are recorded by altering the internal structure of the medium. This eliminates the possibility of errors from surface scratches or dust.

For binary data storage we can use an object that is a fine grid, with units the width of a wavelength of this laser light. Each cell of the grid represents a binary bit, either letting light thru or blocking it. A square centimeter of this grid will hold a lot of binary data.

Another separate hologram can be recorded in the same media, by slightly changing the angle between the media and beam. Still more information can be stored by changing wave length or phase of the laser. If we rotate the medium and make our laser light variable, we can cram a lot of data into a very small space.

Besides being able to store a lot of data, retrieval is in huge chunks of binary bits at a time rather than a linear stream. This technology has the potential to be the next big deal in computer data storage.

What is really the key here is that holographic memory records interference patterns by “altering the internal structure of the medium”. The fact that interference patterns can do this needs to be looked into further.

May 27, 2008

Wave Function Detour

Filed under: Life OS News — Tags: , , , , , , , — insomniac @ 7:09 am

Writing a manuscript always takes some twists and turns. As the story develops it often surprises the author. I’ve come upon one of those interesting forks in the road that any journey is bound to provide. Part of the thrill of a journey is the unexpected.

It all came about because of Wikipedia and a discussion about the wavefunction page. If you’ve been following along you know that i’m painting in broad strokes here, and am not about to get bogged down in details. These folks are all about details and are trying to get this page right. The discussion ranges from whether wavefunction should be two words all the way up to the relevance of certain equations. I have no way of judging who is right or wrong, but i can surely see that the term means different things to different folks. A wavefunction is one thing to a mathematician and another to a physicist. It means something a little different in fluid dynamics. Even in physics, it means something different in classic physics from quantum mechanics.

What drew me to study the term was that it represents the information about the state of a wave system. What i’m looking for is the common ground, concepts that are common to all these views. Although factions disagree on the details of that information and whether or not it represents information only in the mind of the observer or information actually contained within the structure of the wave, they agree that the wave function describes a particular wave and its component parts.

That’s the scientific term for what i’ve been talking about here, the information present in all matter. The wave function is a static formula attempting to describe a dynamic situation. In the reading of the wavefunction discussion, i was taken by just how pivitol this concept is to the LifeOS model. The more i thought about it the more i could see that i needed to rewrite some earier installments to include the concept of wave function.

What brought me to wave function was the several paradoxes involving waves and particles, including measurment and the observer, and such. These paradoxes show problems with perception rather than some malfunction of the Universe. The theory of everything should not have these flaws in perception. Well, the LifeOS model pretty much erases these seeming pardoxes.

So, i’m backing off on the manuscript for a few days while i sort this out. Meanwhile, i’m willing to talk about it. Here is the crux…

In LifeOS, the Whole System, all matter is the memory of the Universe. It operates in much the same way as RAM memory in that the data is stored in the “state” of the recording medium, in this case a binary switch. This is how any recording device works, by changing the state of the recording medium.

Ok, in LifeOS the recording medium is matter and it remembers by altering the state of the medium. Holographic memory works like this. So in this model, holographic information is stored in matter at the quantum level, by altering the state of the medium.

In a binary computer sytem, it is the state of the binary switch that holds the data. The state of one switch tells you very little; it is only one bit. It takes eight bits to make one byte, the basic unit of data. It takes a lot of bits to make useful information.

If you could get inside the crystal structure that holds the switches in a modern computer, and tried to measure the state of one of those transistors, you would most probably cause the state of the switch to change. The charges that hold those switches in their state are so tiny that just touching them could switch their state.

That is the same problem encountered in quantum physics. When they try to measure the state of subatomic particles, the state changes. If matter is a memory medium, as this model contends, then this odd behavior of subatomic particles is just as expected.

In this holgraphic memory system, it is the state of particles that holds the information. The state of one particle doesn’t tell us much, but the combined states of all the particles within a system projects its holographic image, which equals the current reality of that system.


May 24, 2008

Universal Dimensions

Filed under: Ch 06 Holoverse — Tags: , , — insomniac @ 6:11 am

Just how is this Universe put together? We have been exploring the concept of structure, looking for ways to describe this very dynamic reality we live in. We have identified all kinds of structures, real and imagined. We can classify them by their dimensions.

The first dimension is linear. It is a list, a stream of information, a string of code or a beam of light. It is not the universal structure we seek, it is far too “one dimensional” for us.

We know that this structure is too simple to describe the Universe, but it is a convenient tool we use all the time to help us focus on details. It can be very helpful to strip away all the other dimensions and focus on a single aspect. However, to ignore the other dimensions can lead to unrealistic conclusions.

The second dimension is when that linear dimension branches. It introduces options to the path. You begin to have a pattern on a single plane, like 2D. This level of structure is exemplified by the outline, branching tree and the chain of command. Again, this is a very handy structure that we use to organize our activities, but it has the same shortcomings as does the linear dimension; it is incomplete.

Add volume to the structure and we have a 3D object. By the third dimension we have something with shape, a certain rigidity and permanence. Architecture is a language of the third dimension. The objects we manufacture, our art and scrap heaps are all evidence of our mastery of 3D concepts and languages.

We add a timeline and we have our fourth dimension. Now our object can move and change. Not only can our object move, but the rules that govern its internal structural relationships can also change over time. In the fourth dimension we can have dynamic structures, like our flock of birds. In fact, once we add a timeline, all structures become dynamic to some degree. The materials that make up our most rigid structures are subject to constant molecular change. They expand and contract with changes in temperature, oxidation and other erosive processes alter their internal structure. Time changes everything.

So we have four dimensions we can use to describe objects that occupy our universal structure, but we need something more to make them real. We need a fifth dimension.

In the fourth dimension we have an object that is fully described by measurements, but is still just a description. It can describe a real object, but in order for it to actually be a real object it has to made of real atoms. Real atoms possess the four dimensions, plus they possess some other attributes not present in our stripped down model. First, they spin or vibrate or buzz or otherwise produce a measurable frequency, unique to their atomic structure. Secondly, atoms don’t exist by themselves, they are clumped together as molecules. In turn, these molecules are in relationships with all of the other molecules in their immediate neighborhood, and through them, to the rest of the Whole.

So, a real object has context within the Whole and produces a signal that identifies it. This gives every atom a specific location and identity within the Universal Matrix. Besides four physical dimensions, a real object needs an informational dimension to give it validation within the System.

May 23, 2008

Holographic Properties

Filed under: Ch 06 Holoverse — Tags: , , , — insomniac @ 9:47 am

It all starts with the properties of laser light.

Of course you know how a laser is created. Ordinary light is beamed through a crystal. After bouncing around the internal structure of the crystal, the light comes out in a highly organized beam. That’s not the only way to create laser light. LASER actually stands for, “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”. Besides crystals laser can be produced by stimulating some molecules until they emit laser light.

The properties of laser light are still being explored, but those already discovered have revolutionized modern technology. One of the concepts illuminated by laser light is that of holography.

What makes a hologram work is that the two beams of laser light that illuminate the object are not only the same type, but in perfect synchronization. This is accomplished by passing the light through glass that reflects half of the light, thus splitting the beam in two. The main beam is then directed at the object, while the reflected one is directed at the photographic film from an angle. Where the reflected and direct laser light intersect, interference patterns are created that are recorded on the surface of the film.

The resulting pattern is meaningless when seen in ordinary light, but when illuminated by the original laser, it produces a 3D image of the original object.

The interference patterns captured on film are not focused by a lens and therefore the information thus recorded is evenly distributed over the recording surface. If you cut the original film in half, each part will still produce the whole image, when illuminated by the laser. If you cut the film in quarters, or eighths or sixtyfourths, each part will still produce the whole image when lit by the laser, although detail is lost with the decrease in total information.

Quoted from, “The Holographic Universe”, by Michael Talbot

The “whole in every part” nature of a hologram provides us with an entirely new way of understanding organization and order. For most of its history, Western science has labored under the bias that the best way to understand a physical phenomenon, whether a frog or an atom, is to dissect it and study its respective parts.

A hologram teaches us that some things in the universe may not lend themselves to this approach. If we try to take apart something constructed holographically, we will not get the pieces of which it is made, we will only get smaller wholes.”
-end quote-

Not only that, but if the Universe is indeed constructed holographically, breaking things into smaller and smaller parts will eventually get us to a point where the the structural integrity that generates the hologram is broken. At that point, the particles that result no longer have a holographic context. They no longer exist within the system. You no longer get “smaller wholes”, but pieces that no longer contain anything of the whole, at all.

In other words, when the fundamental structure is damaged or otherwise changed beyond a certain point, the energy dissipates and nothing is left. It is the structure which contains the holographic information that makes matter what it is. The structure defines how the energy will function in the System. Since all elements are built out of light energy, it is the structure that differentiates between one element and another. From this vantage point, matter being energy organized by information, fractured atoms are useless to study, as they are no longer a functional part of the System.

A Coherent Electromagnetic Field

What the laser does in holography is bath the object in synchronized light, producing a coherent electromagnetic field. This special type of electromagnetic field has some interesting properties. The most important one may be that, input into a coherent electromagnetic field is received simultaneously throughout the entire field. This phenomenon is related to a thing called “entanglement”, confirmed by recent experiments. Particles that are in perfect synch seem to act as one across time/space.

Conversely, the information regarding the internal dynamic of the field is available as output at the outer boundary of the field. This is what is happening when a photon bounces off of the electromagnetic field generated by molecules. At the boundary layer of the molecule’s electromagnetic field, the photon collects the holographic information regarding its composition and carries it wherever it goes.

This is related to the phenomenon that makes it impossible to locate exactly where an electron is going to be in orbit around a nucleus. To the coherent electromagnetic field that holds the atom together, electrons are everywhere in their orbit at once.

The properties of this highly synchronized electromagnetic phenomenon border on the magical and give us a sound explanation for many of our most persistent mysteries, and certainly many of the “anomalies” of science. However, understanding this phenomenon also reveals some of our shortcomings as participants in a healthy environment.

Holographic Memory

In theoretical terms the holographic model fits right in with information processing systems we’ve been looking at. One of the important properties of holography is the ability to store large amounts of information in a small space.

More from Michael Talbot:

“Similarly, it has been discovered that in addition to their other capabilities, holograms possess an astounding capacity for information storage–simply by changing the angle at which the two lasers strike a piece of photographic film, it is possible to record many different images on the same surface. It has been demonstrated that one cubic centimeter of film can hold as many as 10 billion bits of information.”
-end quote-

Besides the angle, changing the wavelength or phase of the laser makes it possible to store even even more data. When we experiment with holograms we uncover a fundamental part of the living process. These holographic principles were discovered by laboratory experiments, but the same principles are found to be active in biological systems.

According to Bohm, holographic principles are in operation at the Quantum level of matter. In his view, these principles are fundamental to the relationship between light and matter.

This is not the only way to create a hologram. The same effect can be created by the synchronized firing of neurons, for example. According to Pribram, these principles play a part in the process that produces our own thought or consciousness.

This concept gives us, “an entirely new way of understanding organization and order.” This applies all the way up and down the scale from Quantum Physics to Astronomy.

May 22, 2008

Light Matters

Filed under: Ch 06 Holoverse — Tags: , , , — insomniac @ 7:17 am

Lets’s take a look at what modern quantum physics is telling us. There is really a lot of disagreement in that field, these days. There are several theories around, but they all agree on one point: matter is not solid, but made up of light/energy.

The evidence being that when they break apart matter into smaller and smaller chunks, they get to a point when the resulting pieces have no dimensions and no mass, but energy has been released.

Scientists tell us that the distances between solid chunks inside the atom are comparable to the distances between Planets in our Solar System. All matter is made up mostly of space. They tell us that it is the electromagnetic field created by the atomic structure that gives matter its appearance of solidity.

Matter is made up of energy. Einstein told us that, right? But that doesn’t mean that matter is an illusion. Solid is solid, for all practical purposes. That energy is wound in there tightly and it takes a major event to break it loose.

Everything is made of light. Well, isn’t that just what the mystic tradition has been saying for thousands of years? How about some credit where credit is due? It seems significant to me that one of the core beliefs in many religions and nearly everything occult has now been confirmed by science. Science doesn’t think so. In fact, science still doesn’t grasp the significance of their own discovery. They treat this news as if it were merely the source for a good trivia question and certainly nothing like the “core belief” in their model of reality.

Whether it exists as light or matter, the hallmark of this energy is that it is highly organized. This organization is the structure that keeps everything in its proper place. When this structure is broken, like when an atom is smashed, light/energy is released. In both states, enormous amounts of information are present. A beam of light carries its origin in its wavelengths. Astronomers use this information to tell a great deal about the stars, for example. To find the composition of a material, the CSI folks on TV burn a sample in a spectrograph to analyze the light. The wavelengths released by the burning object carry the information of what the object is made of.

And what happens when light floods a room? The light collects information from everything it bounces off of. It registers the color, texture, reflectivity, shape, and so on, and fills the room with that information. That information can be accessed by a proper light sensitive device, an eye for example, placed anywhere in the room. Slight changes in the room are instantly updated for all viewers.

So, given that matter is not really solid, what is that light bouncing off of? It must be bouncing off of electromagnetic fields, right? What we see is how the light scatters as it bounces off of nothing, but somehow it picks up all that information about color, texture, shape and broadcasts it. At the level of photons flooding a room, how is that information conveyed? Photons are surely small enough to pass between the wide gaps presented by matter, but they don’t, except when encountering transparent objects.

So light hits the electromagnetic field of the outer layer of molecules. The molecules are broadcasting their structure by the combined signal produced by all the atoms and their internal relationship. The light gathers this information and scatters it in all directions. The light that ends up in our eyeballs is carrying information, not from bouncing off of a shiny surface, but from encountering an electromagnetic field that broadcasts the notion of a shiny surface.

You have probably heard of water referred to as the universal solvent. Light is like the universal solvent for information. When that light is in sync, like a laser, its information capabilities become even more remarkable.

May 20, 2008

Shared Myths

Filed under: Drafts — Tags: , , , , , — insomniac @ 6:55 am

As you might know by now, i’m neither a scientist nor a theologian. Although i’ve studied both world views in some depth, i don’t think either has presented an acceptable model of reality. Both groups have fashioned their model of reality upon myths meant to subjugate human minds and bodies to their will.

Looking at human society as a cybernetic system, groups of people behave according to their beliefs. Beliefs are the protocols that set the parameters for human behavior. The beliefs fostered by both religion and science are what leaders use to influence the behavior of their followers. Those beliefs are taught to citizens by an elaborate system of churches, schools and peer guidance, that operates as if it were being directed by conspirators, or some other method of system-wide management. The rules that the individuals follow benefit the group that makes the rules. It doesn’t matter which way the information flows, there is a definite connection between micro and the macro. Just how that happens is not as important as the realization that such feedback loops exist.

The primary myth, perpetuated by both religion and science, is that the Universe is organized as a hierarchal pyramid structure with either a god or the human intellect at its peak and the environment just below the bottom. In this model, the information trickles down from the top.

So, please don’t put me in either camp. If you must locate me in relation to the debate between religion and science, place me firmly in the leftover territory; that of magic, the occult, shamanism and all the forces of Nature. Where i live, the information is supplied by the System, and the information travels in all directions. It loops back on itself in an endless flow, circulating information just as surely as it circulates energy and building material in any living organism. Denial of the information flow present in biological systems severely hampers one’s access to that information.

May 19, 2008

Bias Towards Established Behavior

Systemic Inertia

The current body of scientific knowledge exists primarily in the minds of the active participants. It is much like the current information held in RAM on your computer; both are invisible. You might think that knowledge is stored in books and reports, and it is, but the archived knowledge is only a fragment of the active knowledge stored in the memory banks of individuals. And like the programs currently operational in RAM, they are different from the version stored on the hard drive in that they have interacted with other programs, the operating system and the user to produce a unique synergy of accumulated data and its organizational structure. Just like the information stored in RAM, the active version of knowledge is dynamic, invisible and subject to rapid reorganization.

It has taken centuries for millions of participants to build the current body of active knowledge. The very structure that holds that block of collective consciousness together was built from a human centric, ego based, point of view. That’s not bad, just limited. Because of this structure, the system of science reacts as one, defending its collective view of reality. For example…

A bunch of revolutionary thinkers in science come up with a new class of theories with a common thread. All of these theories involve taking a holistic approach to understanding the world around us. They agree that we need to look more closely at the “wholes” instead of being so caught up in the details. Another commonality is that these theories apply to all types of organization; mechanical, biological and social. They therefore apply to the organization of science itself.

There was a lot of excitement during the 1970s when it was assumed that this overall perspective would put us on the threshold of a grand new understanding of life. Many of us thought there would be a new “interdisciplinary” approach that would unite many diverse fields of study and produce a much better understanding of what makes the Universe go. If these new fields of study would unite with existing disciplines, a true scientific revolution would take place. It didn’t happen.

Instead, the bureaucracy of science immediately moved in the opposite direction. The holistic view, the cornerstone of the new theories, was ignored. Instead of uniting the new theories, or forming some new truly interdisciplinary department that would take a broader view, they immediately fragmented the existing groups. Since the late 1940s, when the basic concepts underpinning these new theories started to take hold, science has divided these four, (system theory, cybernetics, information theory and Gaia theory) up into dozens of sub-disciplines. Instead of embracing this new concept, science has swept it under the rug and continues to break everything into smaller and smaller parts, while ignoring the larger picture. They call it interdisciplinary when ANY collaboration is done.

The Structure of Scientific Bureaucracy

If we apply these system concepts to the bureaucracy of science, we can see that it doesn’t function very efficiently as a system. Each discipline works in relative isolation, functioning more like a separate unit than part of the same system. The information flows up and down hierarchically organized departments with little or no horizontal exchange.

In all of science there is no one discipline that attempts to integrate the many other disciplines into a meaningful whole. Instead science continues inventing new disciplines. Each of these disciplines has its own jargon and methods that often make little sense to scientists from other disciplines, let alone to the rest of the world. Science is so compartmentalized that important discoveries in one discipline are often unknown to researchers in other fields.

From a systems standpoint you could say that the scientific bureaucracy is organized in such a way as to facilitate control and management of results. Its design and structure work to impede the free flow of information, while making it easy for a few well placed individuals to manage research and therefore, control the output. The output of science being ideas and concepts that impact society. In a perfect world, all the ideas and concepts brought forth by science would lead to a better understanding of the Natural World and our place within it. However, in the real world, the discoveries of science are geared primarily towards maximum profit for industry.

The internet is slowly tearing down some of the barriers created by the scientific bureaucracy, as well as letting the rest of us in on the discussion. Eventually, this will lead to a common language that more accurately describes reality. The interconnected structure of the internet and the way it distributes information is undermining the old pyramid structure that supports our university system. Universities essentially make their living by holding information hostage and charging big bucks to run students through a giant maze where the gems of knowledge are secreted. Today it is easy for anyone to log on and search for the gems on their own.

Global Warming

Global warming is evidence that our present day science has had a poor understanding of the Natural World and how human beings fit into it. It wasn’t the ignorance and superstition of uneducated masses that brought us to this uneasy situation, but industry turning scientific discoveries into profit. We were led into the industrial revolution and its attendant degradation of the environment by science. It is science our culture depends on to warn us when we are on a dangerous course. In this regard, science has failed us. Environmentalists, indigenous peoples and old hippies have been warning us for years that disregard for the system that supports us would lead to trouble.

The ideas coming from science today on how to deal with Global Warming show that they still don’t have a clue on how to “belong” to our environment. Most of the solutions presented so far, involve escalating the war on the environment already under way.

You know the war i mean, the one where we exercise our dominion over the Natural world; the one that has brought us to this critical crossroads. Instead of retreat and an admission that the aggression against our environment is unwarranted, ill-advised and dangerous, science goes on the attack with bigger and better weapons. They think they are bound to come up with some new technology that will supposedly bring Nature to heel, but will only create a new set of problems that require a new round of inappropriate technologies, producing still more profit for the companies that created the problems in the first place.

Don’t get me wrong, i’m not blaming “Science” for our current problems, just telling it like i see it. Science has done part of its job well; they’ve gotten us to this point of discovery. However, there comes a time when the old ways of perceiving are no longer adequate to explain new discoveries, and change is inevitable.

The Status Quo

One of the repeated patterns we can see in adaptive complex systems is that there exists be a bias towards established behavior. This gives a solid baseline from which to introduce change. The challenge is for the system to maintain stability, while at the same time retain the ability to adapt rapidly to environmental variation.

Resistance to new ideas is not bad, it helps protect the status quo. In a System where everything is infinitely adjustable, it can’t be too easy to make adjustments, especially in areas fundamental to homeostasis. Since it is all interconnected, even minor adjustments in one area can affect all others. The status quo has to have a strong bias to maintain systemic stability. Any adaptive system relies on what has been successful in the past as a baseline to plan the future.

The inertia of established order is hard enough to overcome, but when the new ideas threaten the very economic foundation of our society, they are hard to sell. Don’t count on contemporary science and their corporate sponsors to bail us out of this one. They will continue to profit from their exploitation of the environment, for as long as they can get away with it.

Although the industrial revolution could be blamed for our dilemma, it all boils down human behavior. That should make it easy. After all, our behavior is really the only thing that you and i have the power to change.

May 17, 2008


Filed under: Ch 05 Cyber Systems — Tags: , , , — insomniac @ 6:17 pm

I’m surely not the first to suggest applying systems analysis in biology. Microbiologist Lynn Margulis and chemist James Lovelock formulated the Gaia Hypothesis in the 1970s. They reached their conclusions by viewing the biosphere as a single system, made up of subsystems in self-regulating feedback relationships.

“The Gaia hypothesis is an ecological hypothesis that proposes that living and nonliving parts of the earth are a complex interacting system that can be thought of as a single organism. Named after the Greek earth goddess, this hypothesis postulates that all living things have a regulatory effect on the Earth’s environment that promotes life overall.”
–Quoted from Wikipedia:

According to Lovelock and Margulis:
“Evolution cannot be explained by the adaptation of organisms to local environments, because a network of living systems is also shaping the environment.”

Makes sense to me. If everything is interconnected, what manages all those relationships? The dynamic environment we experience constantly changes, yet it maintains overall stability. The system view recognizes that the overall stability of a dynamic system requires constant readjustment of subsystems. Scientists call this process evolution.

Looking at natural selection from an individual perspective, it is a very important issue, like life or death. Who cares about the system at a time like that? But when viewed as a system, the evolutionary process is a balancing act between codependant subsystems that require they be constantly monitored and adjusted. The overall efficiency of the evolutionary process infers that these feedback loops indeed exist. Unless, we are going to believe in magic.

The path of evolutionary change is definitely in the direction of adaptation. When we consider that all adaptations are adapting to other adaptations controlled by the same process, and that some of these adapting subsystems appear not to have changed in millions of years, whereas others have changed significantly, almost overnight, it would seem obvious that there is an overall information processing system that manages evolution.

More from Lovelock and Margulis:
“…the whole Earth behaves like one self-regulating organism wherein all of the geologic, hydrologic, and biologic cycles of the planet mutually self-regulate the conditions on the surface of the Earth so as to perpetuate life.”
–Quoted from available)

In a system, behavior is controlled by information. If something behaves in a certain way, it does so because of the information it processes. Gaia acts as if it had an overall system of controls and protocols that manages all this “mutual self-regulation”.

Gaia has recently been upgraded to a “theory”, but hardly accepted by mainstream science as originally proposed. No matter how much science tries to adjust and amend Gaia to fit in with the tenets of neodarwinism, it just won’t work.

Neodarwinism is based on the individual point of view; the one that considers particles the second most important objects in the Universe, right behind the human brain. The structure used to organize evolutionary theory is the familiar hierarchial branching tree. When they get to mapping evolution using shared genetic information the resulting computer readouts are more like a field full of bushes than a tree. There is some sort of nonlinear process going on here.

The problem is that our present day scientists can’t get their heads out of their particle accelerators and microscopes long enough to really look at the systems approach. It is sort of like the left-brain, right brain test where you see either a vase or two human faces depending on how you look at it. Looking at biological life from the systems point of view gives us a very different picture. For some mind sets, “seeing” this version of reality takes more effort than they are willing to put out. Diehard reductionists are literally blind to this view of reality.

May 16, 2008

What’s the Difference?

Filed under: Ch 05 Cyber Systems — Tags: , , , — insomniac @ 5:03 pm

Along with Systems Theory and Cybernetics, there was another basic concept necessary for the design of computer networks. Pioneered by folks like Gregory Bateson, this conceptual territory deals with mathematical theories of information management. One important aspect identified by this line of thinking was the task of identifying discreet information in raw data. Bateson called it, “The difference that makes a difference.” In a dynamic system, everything is in a constant state of change, so it is the deviation from the dynamic pattern that registers as the difference that matters.

In order for accurate predictions to be made for a dynamic system, past performance must be known and plotted through time. It is deviation from the past dynamic action that differentiates between normal cyclical variation and meaningful change. To identify the deviation, one must be able to identify the difference that makes a difference. To spot this deviation is a very sophisticated undertaking, and yet routine for biological systems.

Imagine you are running to catch a ball. The information coming in to the brain from the eyes is constantly changing. Everything in your line of sight is moving as you run. Your brain identifies the ball as moving against the background movement, the difference that makes a difference. From that information, your brain calculates a trajectory. It tells your body how to get to a point where you can intercept the ball. All of this is done by analyzing information brought in by the senses. Our human biological systems would not function without processing information. Not only is information processing essential for internal brain functioning, it is fundamental to the physical universe as well.

In an information processing system, everything within the system is seen as information. Diehard materialists will insist that this is not the case, but we can soften their argument by saying that all matter has an information component. The information component is whatever it takes to organize light energy into matter. It is the rules or laws that trap light energy into atomic structure.

We are going to let others argue about the details of those laws. At this point, it doesn’t matter to us whether the Earth sucks or the heavens blow, we care that there exists a set of invisible laws that govern the operation and interaction of matter, energy, time and space. These laws are invisible to the naked eye, but are defined in the universal structure we seek.

Tree Rings

Everything we see around us is information. Tree rings are a good example of matter as information. The structure of the tree is a result of the interaction between its DNA and the environment, over time. The rhythm of the environment is captured along with samples of available minerals from the ground and gases from the atmosphere. The moisture cycles are recorded as surely as if it was being done by a weather station graphing pen. We have multiple levels of information stored in the same location. A tree is a living logbook of the activities of billions of cells doing their thing. Even when the tree dies, much of the information stays intact. Even when the tree is petrified, the tree rings still hold on to their information.

If we take a look at the tree rings of a lot of different trees in the forest, we can see that the patterns recorded in the rings can be synchronized with trees of different ages. In this way scientists can produce a continuous record of environmental cycles.

Since we know a lot about the chemistry of trees and how they process light, we can look back in time and learn a great deal about how weather conditions fluctuate over time. We can learn these things by deciphering the information stored in matter.

Information is All

Some folks want to make a distinction between information and noise, or biological or non-biological sources, or transmitters and receivers, but all transmissions of energy and all bits of matter carry information.

When we look at all matter and energy as information we get another bonus. It easily explains how so many diverse viewpoints can all be true: as information, both matter and energy can be viewed in an infinite number of accurate, though incomplete, representations. Like a database can be viewed in different ways to gain perspective on the relationships involved, so reality can be looked at from different perspectives. Any view that doesn’t include the “Whole” is incomplete, and therefore not really accurate, yet viewing the Whole at once provides no useful information.

Cause and Effect

Linear concepts are handy tools for focusing on details, but can’t be used to accurately describe reality. It can be convenient to think of cause and effect relationships as isolated sequences that follow set patterns. We can modify steps and change the outcome, but as a process within a system, the causative factors are really found in the system protocols which apply equally to all elements. The true causation exists on a higher level than the events themselves. For example, the cause of the tree falling in the forest was far more than just the ax and lumberjack. It was caused by a web of influence that expands to include the financial forces that put the lumberjack in the forest, as well as the history of the relationship between trees and human beings.

The key to being able to deal with relationships between phenomena is to be able to isolate them from other relationships. We just need to remember that the isolation is an illusion, it’s sort of a “what if” used for convenience of mind, but not the reality of the situation. The truth is that every event is connected to every other event. Like our tree falling in the forest, nothing falls alone.

It is all in how you look at it. That’s the idea here; take a look from this perspective, as if all Matter and Energy are the expression of Information. You don’t have to believe it to look at it from this angle. All you need is an open mind and a fearless heart.

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