Prelapsaria, Paradise Lost and the Rise of Babylon| Chapter 2| Complexity, Information Theory and the Nature of Symbolic systems: The Death of the Gods and the Revolt Against Reason

Into the Wild

It was a memorable few months for John Krakauer. Author of Into the Wild and Into thin Air. Krakauer, always stepping into something it seems. Krakauer, at first not finding much success as a writer. He came onto the scene with, at first, one minor bestseller: Into the wild. That was before his next book about the biggest disaster in Everest history: Into thin air. It became a major bestseller, turning Into the Wild into a cultural phenomenon.

Almost disturbingly so, the book was later adapted into a movie by Sean Penn. A movie so compelling that a bunch of dorks would go visit the site of Chris McCandless’ death in an Alaskan bus. Their visit was In lieu of having their own experience with the wild which was the original point of Chris McCandless.

In the book, McCandless recently graduated from college. He became increasingly disinterested with the consumer society in 1992. McCandless would go on a journey which would eventually see him into the wild, not before tramping all over the continental United States and before making his way to Alaska.

There are few places on earth, as untouched by man as Alaska. Alaska, the 49th state in the union. Is in a lot of ways, the most disconnected part of America. Its location, admittedly, is awkward. Purchased from Russia, Alaska shares no border with any other American state. Although geographically closer than Hawaii. Alaska is still (as of writing) wild wild country. The internet connection in Alaska being so poor, DVDs are still in use.

“In coming to Alaska, McCandless yearned to wander uncharted country, to find a blank spot on the map. In 1992, however, there were no more blank spots on the map—not in Alaska, not anywhere. But Chris, with his idiosyncratic logic, came up with an elegant solution to this dilemma: He simply got rid of the map. In his own mind, if nowhere else, the terra would thereby remain incognita.”

Into the Wild, John Kraukauer

But McCandles did end up going with a map. A book, to be more precise. A book about edible plants in the Alaskan wilderness. A point seemingly too esoteric for the movie. That portrays McCandless as dying following a dose of poisonous mushroom. McCandless died, however, eating poisonous seeds of an edible wild yam plant. Not an idiot after all.

There was no mention of not eating the poisonous seeds in a book about edible plants in the Alaskan wilderness. In fact, there was no mention of seeds at all. Exactly the original sin. Confusing the map of reality for reality itself, imagination from actuality. Chris McCandless, everyone else for that matter looked for a place in space to escape a place in mind.

Prelapsarian Fallacy

Chris got to go into the wild. But the truth about the wild is that we left it for a reason. People have a false view of nature. Take the cordycep mushroom, for example, which grows by paralyzing bugs with an airborne fungus before growing inside it and then outside it by using the biomass of the bug as fuel. Most things do not want to be eaten. In fact, the term to distinguish this is known as hormesis.

Most of the people, alive today, would not survive in the wild. The fallacy of an abundant nature without thorne. Perhaps, the person with the greatest misunderstanding of nature in the history of the human race is Karl Marx.

When justifying his theory of everything known as Marxism. Marx told us that humans used to hunt communally. Not understanding, in hunter gatherer societies those, too weak to survive, are killed by their fellow tribesmen. So there’s that. Once the hunt is complete, the alpha gets the liver before the next gets the next most desirable part in turn. It was never each according to his means but each according to his end. Marxism, and its other derivative ideologies, are imbecilic from first principles.

Prometheus-The Greek Paradise Lost

To the Greeks, it’s not the discovery of one’s genitals that characterizes the fall from Eden but rather Prometheus giving man fire. The ability to leave the stone age for the age of bronze. The time of the Trojan War is better described as the First World War-the War of the Aegean.

On the other hand, it’s important to understand the Bible in an information theoretic context. The Creation Story of one civilization which was then adaptable to others. It seems that many cultures are pointing to the same societal inflection point: the moment that man stopped believing himself just an animal.

In terms of the order of production, fire is the first stage. An order of production in economics is something that is needed before something else can be made. In the case of metallurgy, fire is needed before metal can be smelted. Fire is the ability to establish an order of production, such as food, material. Cities, or consistent living locations can then be formed.

Babylon Rising

Babylon, the first great city of antiquity. Where the spoils of war show the decadence of the empire. Conquest of people was necessary for Babylon’s success. The Jews, one of the conquered people, considered Babylon the concentration of evil in the Old Testament. Years later, let me tell you, they have a point.

Away from the big city
Where a man cannot be free
Of all of the evils of this town
And of himself, and those around
Oh, and I guess that I just don’t know

Because when the smack begins to flow
I really don’t care anymore
About all the Jim-Jim’s in this town
And all the politicians makin’ crazy sounds
And everybody puttin’ everybody else down

Heroine, The Velvet Underground

Since then, the fight against Babylon has been taken up by the rest of the Rastafarins but in a metaphorical sense. People, do not seem to understand that the problem is with the city itself.

Big city life
Me try fi get by
Pressure nah ease up no matter how hard me try
Big city life
Here my heart have no base
And right now Babylon de pon me case

Big City Life, Matafix

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost-one of the greats works of English canon. One of the best works, of Western civilization. It’s, one of the best things everyone has ever written ever. After all Milton, had an audacious goal-a prequel to the Bible. And unlike George Lucas, he did not disappoint.

Paradise Lost starts out with the aftermath of an epic war between God and Satan. God wins but the devil is alive. Satan addresses his disciples.

All is not lost the unconquerable will. And the study of revenge, emotional hate, and courage, never to submit or yield, and what itself that is not to be overcome.  
The mind itself, it's its own place at the mind its own place and itself can make a hell of heaven, heaven and hell.

I told you this book was good.

What is a book?

We’ve established in chapter one that people think in terms of stories. Stories are the most information dense manner of communication. In an information theoretic sense, this is Milton’s attempt to explain good and evil. So instead of calling his book Good and Evil, and addressing this dichotomy point by point, Milton wrote an epic poem. As narrative is the most dense information medium (as established in chapter one). Nietzsche realizes this eventually. That is why his magnum opus-thus spoke Zarathustra is an epic poem.

Our interpretation of what Nietzsche or Milton wrote is independent of what they meant to say . Therefore, the only common definition of reality, can only be what we agree on. The formalization of this process is the scientific method. The extent that something is part of a culture is directly correlated to the extent of how many people agree that it is real. But, in a constructivist sense, it is correlated to the extent that shared information is self similar. If a new writer of a comic book diverges from its readers, the readers will refuse the redefinition.

The Fall of Eden

After Adam stole the forbidden fruit because Eve told him so. Adam, when confronted by God, Adam told God: I am naked. People, interpreted this as the birth of consciousness. But in actuality, it’s the birth of self-consciousness. The model of self is now formed- the ego is born.

The ego

Ego, is the delineating boundary between people. The final parameter in the model of self. It represents the point, in information theoretic terms, when there is greater information communication within a person than between people. The ego is the renormalization group that formalizes consciousness.

The Eastern Paradise Lost

Meditation

In information theoretical terms, meditation is the methodology of the science of awareness. A definition of attention is the information our mind focuses on.

The Secrets of the golden flower

Lao Tzu, the chief Taoist, while on his way to the Himalayas to die, was forced to write out some of his teachings by an overzealous border guard. Specifically, much of Taoist thought revolves around the notion of a person becoming a golden flower. The golden flower, a metaphor for enlightenment.

Lao Tzu recorded to the guard that one cannot write out the secrets to the golden flower. As the act of writing is antithetical to the golden flower. One cannot symbolise how to become the golden flower. In information theoretical terms, what Lao Tzu is trying to tell the border guard is that there is a difference between a map of reality and reality. Because to become the golden flower you need to recognize the difference between the map of reality and reality itself.

Mindfulness

In information theoretic terms, the eastern paradise lost is the remedy and the result of the previous two paradises lost discussed  earlier. In the sense that the Greek paradise lost represents fundamentally a change in the economic complexity of society. Forcing humans to compete on more of an intellectual battlefield. While the paradise lost of the old testament was the birth of self consciousness. The foundation myth of an Abrahamic society (Judaism) laments the renormalization in information communication, that is, where there is greater information communication between oneself than between people and reality.

The eastern remedy to this, is to meditate ‘mindfully’. It is to establish greater external communication. Meditation is when you pay more attention to reality than you do to yourself. You are not attending to our shared reality externalized through variable images (the map of reality), but to what is in front of you (actuality).