Sunday, April 16, 2006

Black Holes and High Intelligence

Black holes. Heart of the Galaxy. Superpower of destruction.

And the human brain, part of a small, fertile species, overcrowding our beautiful Blue Earth, causing the next Super-Extinction.

What do they have in common?

Both destroy information. Black holes destroy it by destroying “kind”, by destroying characteristics and attributes capable of creating identity, of being measured, therefore reducing the differentiation of states needed for the identifiability of information – while high intelligence hides the states, therefore preventing the repeatability needed for information.

Imagine communication. Communication = information processing.

Each time, communication fails, information is not processed. But destroyed?

Not each time. But there is a typical failure of communication, which may indicate that information is jeopardized or already destroyed – in case both communicating parties want to communicate, so both really try to adjust interfaces. What does that mean?

Information is repeatable and identifiable process, characterized by well defined series of well defined states. Information processing depends on that. It’s knowledge is all about memorizing the states and their interconnections. Passive processing does this by storing the knowledge about states and relations in fixed “bodies” like DNA or relational databases, active processing does this by detecting and measuring the attributes of the states and storing attributes with values – like brains or XML.

The great advantage of active over passive processing is, that active processing is able to learn, can add more and more and more intertwined states in its memory, the great disadvantage is, that this memory is perfectly and absolutely individual, perfectly unique in the whole universe.

Not a problem?

Think of the repeatability of information: each time, the initial state is entered, the same end state has to follow, that’s information. To be precise: the identical end state has to follow. That allows information processing systems to “foresee” the future, if they are able to detect informational patterns in kind and time in the linked states of their memories. Then they can “use the information”, meaning that they are able to predict the end state of the current process to decide and act based on that knowledge.

They use information – and act. They absorb energy as physical action and emit energy as physical action. And as any other transformation of energy it might result in “heat”, usually seen as “loss” because of its randomized, chaotic (aka useless) nature. Likewise the emitted physical action might no longer be information, because even the high intelligence may not be able to reproduce the decision/action. Why? Because memories of active intelligence are dynamical models of the world outside. Each new experience offers new states and new relations and therefore may force the active processing system to revise the model, to “re-calibrate” the stored “web” of links. So even when a perfectly identical event will occur, the active processing system will – after some time of learning (= absorbing new states and relations) – detect other informational patterns in kind and time in the linked states of its memory, so it will “complete” the incoming state with another part of its knowledge to another “initial state” of its own decisions and actions: Despite the fact, that the event was the same, it will decide and act otherwise. No longer the same result regarding the external event, no longer foreseeability: The same event leads to different outcomes – no more information.

High intelligence destroys information like a black hole.

And that is something which makes communication nearly impossible. Because to process information you have to guarantee, that the states of the transported information are fully communicated/given from one “speaker” to the other: One state in one memory has to be the same in the other, then the series of states, representing the information, is “copied” (mapped, processed) properly. But if there are big differences in experiences, this may not be possible even for simple communication acts.

Btw: That’s why language is so important and allowed us to become the most powerful species on our beautiful Blue Earth: a progress in communicating information between humans to protect information.


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