Sunday, December 22, 2013

What Is Chaos?

This was a message to Alara Rogers, an author who spends an inordinate amount of time thinking about and defending chaos.

In physics, information == entropy. That's because the only difference between information and entropy is SUBJECTIVE and so is beyond physics. In fact, the difference between information and entropy is something I call Informational Syntax Affinity.

ISA is basically what brains, whose reason for existence is to organize entropy, happen to like at a very shallow level and in a very superficial manner. And it's different for different people, along a multi-dimensional spectrum. So what some people consider information, others consider entropy.

For example, a friend of mine finds fantasy and science fiction almost impossible to understand. Because she can't get into it. And the reason she can't get into it is because she can't imagine herself in those situations, because they aren't real, and she can't imagine learning anything meaningful from them. So to her it's just noise. And it's very difficult to understand noise.

Another example, there's a song a friend recommended to me which she enjoys greatly. Only the song was torture to my ears and caused me to instinctively rip my headphones right off my head a minute into it. Because the information / entropy in it had the same syntax (the same overall shape) as pain. It didn't CAUSE pain, it WAS pain. Just audio-pain rather than tactile-pain.

Why are some people masochists? Because the sensory signals of temperature and pressure which touch transmits happen to be ones their brain likes. Because their ISA is satisfied by intense rigid space-filling signals. It's nothing more complicated than that.

There is no INTRINSIC reason why anyone hates pain or has an aversion to it, it's just that pain is a very unusual kind of signal and fits very few people's ISA. All that's necessary for ... extreme signals to be painful to nearly everybody is for ISA to be distributed randomly in the population.

Now, I already said that brains' jobs is to ORGANIZE entropy. And that's true. And surprisingly, even though ISA is hardwired, brains DO NOT organize entropy around ISA. Except for Psychopaths who are more or less animals with animal minds. And should all be put to death as mockeries of human beings. But I digress.

Brains look for PRINCIPLES along which to organize entropy. Those principles take the form of VALUES.

Now, some brains prefer organizing entropy so that the environment has overall very low entropy. Moralists like Jean Luc Picard are like that. But so are Right-Wing Authoritarians like Hitler. The big difference is that Hitler's brain was itself chock full of entropy (he was a brain-damaged psychotic hallucinating retard) so his brain didn't take into account all reality when it picked what principles should be used to organize entropy. Basically, he did a bad job of it.

People whose brains aren't completely retarded pick UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLES to use for performing their brain's function of organizing entropy. Principles that can be applied simultaneously to EVERYONE without logical contradiction. So for instance, if you picked "the universe should be organized around my whims and I should be most important and have all the attention" this can't be made universal. But if you pick "everyone should always be truthful" this CAN be made universal.

There are lots and LOTS of those universal organizing principles to pick from. But there are some very common ones that recur and that are more important because they dig deeper into reality. Something that's critical but highly technical so it is its own lecture.

Now, Picard as a Moralist has a brain that likes very, very low levels of entropy. He also has a brain that functions adequately, not anything stellar but not retarded. Which means that he DOES have a universal organizing principle (Morality = anti-Catastrophe = anti-very-high-entropy).

In temperature terms, Picard's brain is warm (neither hot nor cold) and he wants the environment to be crystalline with near-zero friction. Whereas right-wing authoritarians have brains that are molten magma and they want their environment to be polycrystalline (crystals with many defects) with high friction (they actually find friction desirable). And Marxists have brains that are cryogenic and they want their environment to be a super-solid. A superconducting crystal with zero viscosity or friction.

Now, on the other side of the spectrum are brains that tolerate and prefer much higher levels of entropy. You've got the Anarcho-Communists whose brains are cryogenic and they want their environment to be a super-fluid with zero viscosity. Then you've got your Annealers whose brains are warm and they want their environment to be a liquid. And then you've got your Psychopaths whose brains are hot plasma and they want their environment to become burning plasma.

Annealing is a universal principle. It means 'global optimization'. In order to anneal metal, it has to be warm. It CAN'T be hot enough to melt, let alone vaporize, let alone ionize the way the psychopaths want it. But it also CAN'T be cold and crystalline the way Moralists want it. Crystallization is death to Annealers. It is ossification.

And critically important, if you look at a system that has been annealed, it would at first glance look extremely entropic, extremely disorganized. Until you looked at the meta-level, at the SPACE OF POSSIBLE STATES of the system, then you would instantly see that the system is at the lowest possible point in that phase space, that it is actually HIGHLY organized.

So what is chaos? Chaos is Anarcho-Communists and Annealers. Chaos is what's produced by brains that like moderate amounts of entropy, but they like (and are able to make) their entropy VERY HIGHLY ORGANIZED.

Chaos is a meta-state of matter associated with 'warm but solid'.

Energy simply has nothing to do with what entropy or information is. Except for the fact that in the material universe, energy is the substrate of 'physical existence'. If something has no energy then it has no physical existence. For information to exist, it has to have energy to carry it. If information were the bits in your hard drive then energy would be the hard drive itself. It's simply what carries information. But energy is not information and has nothing to do with what information is about.

Rather, if you want to get the full story of information, beyond high entropy vs low entropy, then you must throw in COMPUTATION. Which means, BRAINS. Computation is intrinsic to information theory. Energy ... not so much. And chaos is the kind of entropy that a particular class of brains likes very, very much.

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