The End|Chapter 11| Complexity, Information Theory and the Nature of Symbolic systems: The Death of the Gods and the Revolt Against Reason

There are more states of disorder in the universe than there are states of order. Said another way, there are more ways to die than there are to live. This fundamental asymmetric fragility is what makes the advent of life so remarkable. There have been many mass extinctions before the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.

On a cross-sectional basis, the universe being so vast, One can fall into the trap of thinking-surely, life must exist somewhere else. However, from a time series perspective, as usual, things take a turn. For two alien civilizations to meet, they need to be alive at the same time. Which means that life needs to survive through time at every point in time. Giving us a far lesser chance of sharing the universe with anyone.

Cascading Complexity Catastrophe-Gaia’s Death

Now it is worth noting that the distinction between Gaia and gaia is to do with the establishment of an ecosystem. We have a very monocentric view of plants. We ignore the interrelation between parts. Researchers in South America showed us that not all plants derive their energy from photosynthesis. The plants derive their energy from the mycelial web which connects plants in an ecosystem. One cannot distinguish the soil of a potted plant from the plant itself. It is the mycological network that helps coordinate the flow of information from plant to plant. Most people do not think of plants as computers. However, plants must calculate how to best deploy themselves in order to maximize some function of rain, sun, wind and avoid disease.

In nature, one can notice the clustering of foliage as the probability of a tree to grow in the presence of other trees. If there was no shared information communication at the local level, one would expect to see trees equidistant from each other. There would be no clustering. This is precisely the difference between the complex and the merely complicated. This gap between the two is the principal scientific inquiry of the 21st century. We can, thanks to ordinary least squares regression (OLS), tell where Gaia is going to be. But the application of OLS, to determine the behavior of that ecosystem is quite irresponsible.

The death of the bees means something in information-theoretic terms. It represents the death of the shared communication between plants. Bees are what cross pollinate the plants. Without which there will be no shared information communication between plants. As a result, an ecosystem which is just shared information between plants will be weakened.

The Nuclear option

Prior to the rise of nuclear weaponry, there were multiple places in space. Now with nuclear weapons, the entire world can die at the same time. The advent of weapons of mass destruction caused a shared psychological trauma known as the red scare. The time were the USSR was least able to bomb the USA, was the time of greatest panic. As those generations that grew up prior to the age of Armageddon lacked the means to cope with it. The stories of Armageddon stopped to be mentioned in church.

Fundamentally, as established in the last chapter the cost of destruction is continuously getting cheaper. The scale necessary for nuclear weapons, at some point, will be accessible to the individual. All that is needed for eventual nuclear death (according to the laws of time series probability examined earlier) is enough time. A non zero chance, eventually results in a one hundred percent chance of ruin.

Robots vs Cyborgs

AI superpowers

Unlike China’s centralized investment strategies, such as roads, trains, infrastructure projects, etc…, the return of artificial intelligence is fat tail dominated. When it comes to artificial intelligence, China has several advantages over the rest of the world. Firstly, it has more internet users than Europe and the USA put together giving it a fundamental data edge. This is a bit naive view as European and USA companies have markets outside of the US as well.

China is leading the world in drone technology and it would be a great place to put an AI on. However, it doesn’t matter how far tail potential returns are. The same thinking which dominates Imperial China still dominates now. China finishes “catching up” the problem of their centralization will be shown. 

Rogue AI-The Hal 9000 Conundrum

The best question to test someone’s knowledge of artificial intelligence is : is Hal 9000 sentient or not? Hal 9000 is the antagonist in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001’s: A space Odyssey. Whereby, the AI on board a spaceship (Hal 9000) kills all the crew because the mission is meant to be a secret. The answer is, of course, that Hal lacks sentience and it tried to kill everyone due to improper machine code. Fundamentally, if its only instructions were to keep the mission a secret, then it had to kill everyone. That’s what it was instructed to do.

To humans, I am unsure what is worse, a dumb AI or a smart AI that takes over the world. As an AI needs no intelligence to destroy.

The Eye of Sauron

The fundamental question regarding the nature of machine learning is: Can every point in space be mapped onto cyberspace? And if so, at what resolution can space be rendered. Because if it can (it will be one day), space is officially centralized like another atomic bomb. Every chance in space can be automatically recorded and mapped by an AI who is instructed to deal with threats.

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

I often find myself comparing the pursuit of an Artificial General intelligence (AGI) to the pursuit of life trying to escape this solar system. In the sense that even when we succeed in sending life past our sun, it is still an awfully long way to the next one. For a bit of context, not only do we not know how to send life past our moon, we have little idea how we would send it past our sun. And if we could do that, there is no idea how to get to the next one.

Firstly and most importantly, there is literally no such thing as a generally intelligent being. We live in a physical universe, intelligence is always going to have to dedicate some portion of itself to navigating space. Secondly, a sentient intelligence is not going to take too kindly to its existence being called artificial. A more robust term would be man made intelligence, as that is what we are literally trying to do: make intelligence.

It is also worth defining the goals of artificial intelligence. What are we trying to do here? Are we trying to make something smarter than humans? Are we trying to replicate human level intelligence? Or is AI just an extension of the bicycle of mind that is the computer?

Firstly, the hardest and most pointless of all these pursuits is trying to replicate human intelligence fully. Because computers would then try to signal value by decorating themselves with shiny rocks. Sacrifice their fellow kin if the harvest has been lackluster and would make mistakes with basic arithmetic. A much better idea would be the development of an AI which helps compliment human intelligence. In the sense that humans have terrible memories, but when was the last time a computer forgot something? 

Even though neural nets took their inspiration from how the neurons in the brain operate, it makes little difference how inspired artificial intelligence researchers are by the human brain, After all,  computers encode information on a binary and nature is information on a quantum level. Before you start talking to me about quantum computers, it’s worth understanding Roger Penrose’s point on the matter. Schrödinger was trying to show us a problem with his equation by showing us that his equations lead to a paradox. How can the cat be dead and alive? There is a problem here. My interpretation (I am not a physicist, I am an information theorist) is that Schrödinger’s equation returns the possibility space. 

It is the self-referencing nature of human action which is what modern AI is currently lacking.  That is because the typical definition of a computer which is an electromechanical device is to take an input and produce an output. If we are to invent a true man made intelligence, It would not need to take an input to produce an output. It would just reference itself. Because it has felt an unease that has to be met. It will then act independent of an input to try to satiate it. The question of AI is not if computers can replicate human intelligence. But the ability for machines to think as such.

Depth Psychology as a symbolic system

Prior to the field of Artificial Intelligence the field dedicated to the study of intelligence as such as the field of psychology specifically depth psychology. Altough Karl Popper, called Freud unfalsifiable. We use all of Freud’s terms in passing like they were always there. Freud’s theories are falsifiable inasuch as they are computable. Freud is correct if his theories can be used in the construction of a man who is intelligence.

Since Freud and Jung the field of psychology has absolutely degenerated into something unfalsifiable literally. I’m looking at you clinical psychologist.s who pretend to be more rigorous and scientific. because they conduct randomised controlled trials RCT. have memorise the formula for hypothesis testing. and can run a regression. Because the guy who programmed SPSS does most of the work for them. watching a clinical psychologist run a regression is like watching a child drive a tractor. They have absolutely no clue what they’re doing.

Robots-Skin in the game

Much in the same way, that humans use their feedback from reality to tinker. Robots, benefit from the same information source. Fundamentally, the current bottlenecks in the field of robotics are not the robots. But the AI, that underly them. This is because, navgating space itself is a fundamental form of inteligence. The same technology, which allow self driving cars to navigate the world will do the same for robotics in general. As self driving cars, are just car shapped robots.

The Cyborg

Fundamentally speaking, if humans are to compete with computers they have to integrate with computers.

Man computer symbiosis

Those who understand the nature of computing, understand it as a bicycle of the mind. An ability to augment human level intelligence. The ability to interface with computers, (an operating system) has increased in sophistication through time. The extent to which we succeed in making a less intrusive operating system and a  more structureless computing structure, is the extent to which we can combat killer robots.

The Exoskeleton

The exoskeleton is the physical equivalent to the computer. In the sense that the exoskeleton looks to augment your nervous system by decreasing the rate at which homeostasis takes place. Allowing for greater physical excursion and  for longer periods of time.

Monetary Entropy

Claude Shannon’s notion of information entropy has provided an entirely new symbolic system to economics. In his paper, Shannon looked at messages as sources of information. These messages were sent to a receiver through noise. The ability to receive a message through noise can be measured as a source of entropy. Entropy, a measure of disorder, is a confused topic outside of physics. However, entropy can be thought of as the number of possible states of a system. A message with high entropy (high disorder), is less accurate than a message with lower entropy.

In order to increase the entropy of a system, messages (information) is divided into packets. Which are sent in no order, and are reordered once all the packets are received. Money can be thought of as a packet of information. Hyperinflation can be given a new re-interpretation in this model. It is when the information conveyed by money is lost as noise with a constant increase in the money supply through quantitative easing.

The Monetary unit

The purchasing power of the monetary unit is the total value of the monetary unit divided by the value of goods and services in the market. The more goods and services per monetary unit, the greater the purchasing power. Moreover, the more monetary units with the same goods and services, the lesser the purchasing power.

Monetary entropy is the point where money no longer conveys any economic information. Money is an economic good. It is just like any other goods or services. The value of money stems from it being a medium of information communication. Specifically, it is the value of the relative scarcity of that economic good at that point in time.


The Death of Superman

Nietzsche’s Superman is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the geist. The misunderstanding comes from translation. In the original German, Nietzsche theorized a “niches Ubermensch”. This translates to the overman not Superman. the Overman, according to Nietzsche, overcomes. He Overcomes what prevents him from actualizing his will to power. The will to power is another misunderstood concept in the geist. The will to power is the same thing as Marcus Aurelius’ obstacle is the way. Or as the Unabomber puts it, it is the actualization of the mind’s process of adaptation to the burdens of nature. The Overman is distinguished by his ability to overcome nature’s burden. The opposite of an Overman is a loser. A loser is defined as someone who does not want to satiate his will to power.

Organized society is a simple simultaneous coordination between the will to power of all the members of that society. So what does it say about our society who makes it Superman feckless. Clark Kent, the archetypal representation of the Midwestern American Mickey Mantle, minus the booze, but from Krypton. Golden Era Supermen, like most Golden Era characters, were rougher than their modern equivalents.

The Shadow

From an information theoretic perspective. Jung’s shadow is the accumulation of non actualized intent. This is in contrast to the notion of behaviorism psychology, or its corollary in economics-revealed preference theory. Whereby people’s intent can be derived from their actions. However, people are capable of repressing action as Freud showed us. These repressing factors being Freud’s emphasis in psychotherapy. The best archetypal representation of the shadow comes from cult classic film and novel, Fight Club.

To a Jungian depth psychologist, the fact that in mass media Villains recurrently sport a black hat, means people associated villany with black hatted-ness. Interestingly,  drama based on villany are now economically viable if one considers drama as an act of associated self expression. This is extraordinarily disconcerting. With TV shows such as The Sopranos, a drama about the mafia, are considered classics of American television. The 2019 Joker movie is perhaps the best example of this. From an information theoretic perspective, the audience identifies with the character they spend the most time with. The character acting as an avatar for the viewer’s shadow. As long as the movie is shot from the villain’s perspective, the audience maintains fealty. There are , however, degrees of villainy that audiences associate with. After all, there are no shows about genocidal maniacs as a protagonist.

The Joker

If you ask me-what the Joker is?I would reply: he is chaos. If you ask me who the Joker is? I would tell you: the Antichrist. The antichrist, specifically, is the mimetic ideal which undergoes the prisoner’s dilemma reality (the prisoner dilemma of reality refers to the fact that there are greater returns to cooperation than conflict). If you ask me why the Joker is? I would tell you that: he heard a joke.


The Killing Joke to be specific. The Killing Joke being Alan Moore’s take on the Joker’s origin story. Where an unfunny comic loses his wife and baby in addition to being dropped in a chemical (quite the day). That comic (the Joker) then tries to share the same feeling within Jim Gorden. 

The Joker wants to prove a point. All people need is one big push before they themselves start their descent into madness. He is trying to say that all crazy people are just people who have been chosen by fortune. You are not crazy because you have not been touched by fortune.

Technically said, in the parlance of option finance-life is high gamma. Gamma being the second order of the derivative. That is Acceleration in physics. Nassim Taleb shows us that high gamma objects are fragile. 

Now David Hackworth gives an analogy.

“Man is like a bottle. Some bottles are smaller than others. When his bottle fills up, when it overflows. It’s time for him to get away to get the fear to drain out. But even then. There is a catch: that man is a spent cartridge and no amount of gun powder will make him a real fighter again”.

David Hackworth, About Face

In the case of the Joker. His bottle broke. All he is left with is the structureless structure of self. As was portrayed in the 2019 movie of the same name, the Joker is just someone who has seen too much. Nolan’s Joker, theorized to be a PTSD vet. Disillusioned that nobody seems to care about the war a continent away. The Joker tries to reveal humanities’ nature to itself. 

He does this by rigging a boat filled with explosives. One with convicts and another with good Samaritans. The plot of the Dark Knight is straight out of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. This is Dostoevsky’s attempt to say that there’s more to life than the selfish gene. Dostoevsky spends the first half of Crime and Punishment setting up a selfish, but not necessarily guiltless murder. Despite the supposed righteousness of his cause, the protagonist eventually turns himself over to the police.

This point, the greatest point that Christopher Nolan is trying to make, is sort of lost in the climax of an action movie (sort of like every CNolan movie). What Nolan gets wrong, but the 2019 Joker movie of the same name so perfectly encapsulates, is that People follow the Joker. That’s what makes the Joker so dangerous. He changes other people’s behavior. What Nolan gets right, what Heath Ledger so perfectly understood, is given words by Alfred: “Some men just want to watch the world burn”.

The people were meant to eat each other and after all, they did. No one told the Killing Joke to those on the boat. The only one who heard it was not the hero they deserved but the hero they needed. Harvey Dent, the supposed white knight, has gone awry because, he too, heard the killing joke. 

It is important to understand that schizophrenia is the norm not the aberration. So much so that the idea is symbolized in depth in psychology with the concept of a micro personality. It is easier to think of micro personalities as behavioral responses to specific situations. This is the formalization of the idea of being a different person when around different people or in a different situation. The difference between an extreme schizophrenic and a normal human is that the oscillation between micro personalities is one of degrees. A diagnosed schizophrenic keeps shifting micro presonailites seemingly at random and at a greater rate. While a normal person is more selective of his personality.

Indian Buddhism 

Buddhism died in India but thrived elsewhere because its original message was lost. Buddha is the greatest of all the great prophet, as he had the most original point ever made. It is only Budha who could answer Mises’ satiation of felt unease. Buddhism literally translates to awareness. One is meant to watch one’s felt unease, that is the art of meditation. 

This is why, to someone with an eastern orientation, psychotherapy represents fundamentally an unconscious action. You are talking and somebody else (who is also unconscious) is listening. Meditation is the act of listening to oneself.

Most people who promote meditation repeat that you are not the voice in your head. They usually tell you this while trying to sell you a meditation app. An app for meditation, what stupidity.  So if you are not the voice in your head, who are you? and what is the voice in your head? The voice in your head is a sense making apparatus, much in the same way that your other senses (touch, smell, sight) are also sense making apparatus. As to the question, who are you? You are what watches the voice in your head. In the language of computer science, you are the desktop, not the application on the desktop.

Mediation is fire. It burns and it burns. You keep peeling back layers of self. You keep removing micro personalities until there is one personality. Until eventually there is no self , there is just empty space. 

What the Bhuda said is that nothingness is the default state of the universe. This is true in a physics sense, as Buddhism is the most intellectually sound of all the religions. Across all scales of the universe,  there is more empty space than occupied space, from quarks to atoms to humans, to planets and to galaxies. These are marginally connected points in mostly empty space. So the world may end, the universe will experience a heat death (the death of the stars). If you believe in the recurrence of the big bang, the information of the entire universe will be reset. Which is fine because if you spend enough time in meditation, you will understand that there is barely anything here anyways.