The Self Organisation of Information Systems, Imaginationland, and the nature of symbolic systems|Chapter 1|The Death of the Gods and the Revolt Against Reason

On the self organisatin of information systems

The most fundamental question, that religion can ask- Is God, or are the Gods subject to chaos?Chaos, is the non redcurrence of phenomena. Things are happening, but the same thing does not keep happening. In order, for you to have planets and stars to then have people and cheesburgers. You need a consistent structure of reality, to scale over. Said another way. Is God, or are the gods a function of the universe. Or is he/they the universe.

For the Greeks the answer was simple. Before anything, there was chaos. After chaos, there was the Gods. But these, are not the Gods as as you know them. Ther names lack capitilisation due to their lack of complexity. It is not until the earth and the sky came together to produce time (Chronos) did gaia become Gaia to the Greeks. Time, as the iteration of the changes in space, fits nicely with the Greeks. As you need changes in space, to get time. If everything is chaotic, and reality has no structure. How can anything happen, for you to then have something to register its iteration.

Imagination Land

Jung-The subconcious mind

The subconscious, is the map of reality itself or in information theoretical terms. the combination of code and hardware which allows human beings to perceive reality.

Biological motivation for the fantasical

The biological motivation for the fantastical, is the case against reality. It is evolutionary less expensive to imagine, than to perceive. Imagination, is used to fill in the gap in our perception. Humans see the part of the electromagnetic spectrum, most condusive to their survival. Other animals, see a part condusive to theirs. No animal sees everything.

Before living things occupied their exact physical dimension in space (bacteria) through touch, then occupied more space with their other senses (animals), and then their existential dimension in space (humans). The level of that existentialism, depends on the minds ability to conceptualise information. The ability to do so, is known as imagination.


Information systems as the mapping of chaos, with minimum energy expenditure. Humans think the way they do, because it is the least energy-consuming way to move through a physical universe. As, the human brain needs less energy than a supercomputer to navigate the same domain.

In the language of computer science, your nervous system responds in a binary. Did this human action satiate my felt unease? If yes, repeat, if not then avoid. The nervous system acts as a compressor of information in order to map onto the high-dimensional nature of reality. Compression, a term that originated in the computer science literature but belongs squarely in the discipline of evolutionary biology. How many thoughts I can have per calorie essentially. As it is important to remember, that the energy a gorilla uses to lift a car is equivalent to the energy you use to watch that Netflix show.

The goal of compression is to try to reduce a set of data points by understanding the general behavior of the system. For example, if I have the coordinates of all the planets in the orbit of the sun, I could then compress this information by producing the equation which predicts the motion of the object.

On the nature of symbolic systems

On the symbolic mapping of objects

Imagination, previously calibrated to local patterns of nature can be externalised. Symbols, increase the complexity of which the brain can interface with reality. Storing and creating, outside of baseline levels. After a certain level of complexity, symbolic systems are necessary to organise society. And can be shared among people to homogenize social coordination.

A symbolic system is a set of rules which dictate the behaviour of variable images. Variable images being the codification of relevant phenomena. The extarnalisation of imagination, given the biological motivation for the fantastical.

Language as a symbolic system

Alphabetical symbols

The maping of variable images onto phoenetics. Allows, for comon information communication over a geographic area. The rules governing, the symbolic system of language is known as grammar.

Human beings navigate this high-dimensional nature, not by mapping their reality to a set of 1s and 0s but with words and images. It is less computationally expensive to tell a human being “the sky is blue” than it is to run a machine learning algorithm that determines the sky is blue. Specifically, I only need 8 bytes of information (the amount of information needed to store the ASCII keyboard) to tell a human almost everything I need to know about his universe. However, to a computer, the sentence “the sky is blue” means nothing other than the 1s and 0s that it needs to retrieve to generate that sentence on the screen. Needless to say, it takes several hundred orders of magnitude to run a machine-learning algorithm to understand there is such a thing as a sky and that it is blue.

Jungian archetypes

the gods as the symbolic mapping of different natural phenone. Religion, fundamentaly a reflection of environment. the Mesototamians, flanked by the violently erupting Tigirs and the Euphrates viewed their gods as capricious and vengeful. The Egyptians, with the gently fludding Nile, viewed themselves as a favored civilization.

Religion as a symbolic system

These gods and their stories represent ergodic habit formation. the habits that we use to survive across time. With the best habits, being propagated accross time. As those, with improper habbits would perish with time.

Mathematics as a symbolic system (technical)

The fundamental rule, which undermine the symbolic sytsem of mathematics. Or, the interaction between mathmatecial symbols are the laws of arithmatic.

A Number System

Numbers, fundamentally, are for counting things. Different types of numbers can count different things. We use complex numbers in fluid dynamics. Because no matter how small the linear scaling of a natural number is. There are places on the number line that it can bever get to.

The most fundamental type of numbers are known as the natural numbers. Fundamentally derived from the Hindu-Arabic Number system. Where pictorial patterns are used to label each succession of I.

A symbol meant to represent a numeric quantity. As prior to this a three was III. If I wanted to count to ten I would need ten I (IIIIIIIIII). Each number system, with its corresponding base. Decimal is of base ten, binary base two. Otherwise, we would need a new symbol for each succesive digit of ones till forever. The idea of a number base, allows you to extend the codification numbers within the same set of symbols.

The variable image revolution

The Matrix

Jean Baudrillard’s Simulacra and Simulation, The intellectual inspiration for the Matrix franchise. The Matrix, a unique point of philosophy in its own respect. Departs from the book, in many ways. The first Matrix film, reflecting the versatility of filmmaking as an information medium. With Hong Kong style kung fu. The other films, a poor imitation of the first.

Baudrillard, postulates that people get their information not through actual reality but our shared imagination. This shared imagination, externalised through increasingly sophisticated information technologies. With increasingly salient variabe images. The book starts off with a map of reality. A map so accurate, that it’s confused for the real one. Anybody that’s followed the Google Maps down a bad the road, knows the equivalents of this. It is this confusion between this externalised imagination and fundamental reality is the Matrix.

A symbol is fundamtally a subset of an image. It justnot shared images, but shared symbols which help humans make sense of reality.

The Evolution of variable image technologies

Our ability to produce in addition to the complexity of these variable images, has increased through time . Eventually, we will learn how to automate the process of vatiable image creation through the printing press. And, be able to send these symbols without having to walk with the telegraph

The inflection point in variable image technology, is the postmodern era with the introduction of the television. The television can be thought as a one way variable image machine. The shift from satellite to cable, representing a fundamental shift in the cost structure of the content wars. The means of transporting, these valuable images shifted from broadcasting via electromagnetic waves via satellite. To sending the very same information, via fibre optic cables.

The personal computer, two way variable image machine. As instead of just being able to receive the variable images. One can also create them. Two way variable image was mass commercialised with 1984 is Apple Macintosh. Giving people the greatest externalising imagination machine in human history overtaking pen and paper. As the Macintosh allows users the use of visualise representation associated with computer objects. The iPhone, represents an explosion in the ubquity of variable images. Allowing, users to view and create variable images at an unprecedented rate.

Video games, canbe considered dynamic images. In the sense, that the images change based on user action.