In the previous chapters, we have used several times the word energy. There is energy required to change some indurated information and energy is required to build insulation. We have suggested that the strength of indurated information is in relation to the amount of energy spend in the construction of the element.
The notion of the energy in all these discussions is very close to the general notion of energy we have from physics.
Information elements interact by the very nature of their being. The speed of the interaction depends on the induration of the information elements and the insulation between the elements. Ongoing induration protects the information from being destroyed by internal and external interactions. A way to protect the information is to built an insulation shield around the information. This is like increasing the distance between the information and the interacting information. However, an increased insulation shield reduces at the same time the possibilities for the information to interact with the surrounding information and by this it limits the possibility to gain energy and to gain experience.
When energy is spend to built an external insulation shield to protect an information set, it causes:
Protecting the market of a country by protectionist measures causes a reduction of the destructive effect of international competition. However, it reduces also the possibilities to gain experience from these interactions. It inhibits also the possibilities to gain money (energy) by international business.
When energy is spend for induration of an information set, it causes:
Strengthening the economy of a country by investing a lot of energy protects it from damage caused by competition and increases the possibilities to interact with the economy of other countries. However, when the strengthening means a strong confirmation of all existing structures, the economy will loose all flexibility.
Both ways of spending energy results in a protection of the information. There is not a good way and a bad way of doing it. Nature uses these two ways of protection in different phases of development of the information. Young information is not yet able to cope with external competition and must be protected by external insulation. Gradually, the information develops, the external insulation is reduced and energy is spend for the induration of the internal structures.
A developing body must be protected from external influences. As the body becomes stronger, the insulation from the external world is reduced (birth) and energy is spend for the induration of the body. It would make no sense to maintain the external insulation because it would inhibit the possibilities to gain experience and energy by interaction with the external world.
This way of spending energy is especially important in the early phase of life of an information being. The insulation from external influences is necessary to protect the developing information.
A country spending a lot of energy on defense demonstrates the fact that its internal structures are under development and cannot yet withstand the exposure to outside influences. By this it is very natural for developing countries to spend a relative large part of their budget on defense. Without this insulation the country would loose its individuality and the resources would be used by countries which have already indurated structures.
This way of spending energy causes a conversion of energy into external insulation.
The second way to spend energy for the survival of information is to indurate the internal structure of the information itself. Although the induration starts from the very beginning of the development of information, a relatively larger part of the available energy is spend on induration when the external insulation is reduced.
The internal structure of the information is an arrangement of a number of smaller (usually very stable) elements. The arrangement of these elements is obtained by an arrangement of insulation between these elements. To indurate this internal structure, the arrangement of the insulation between these elements must be emphasized. Elements which are insulated from each other must become more insulated and elements close together must become closer.
From this point of view, the way energy is spend for induration of information is also used for the construction of insulation.
The internal structure of an organization is indurated by emphasizing the pathways of communication between the elements. Communication between direct hierarchical layers is improved (decrease of insulation) and the insulation between the elements on the same layer is increased (the last form of insulation is required to allow specialization and by this increase of efficiency).
This description demonstrates also that induration decreases the flexibility of the organization. When the function of the organization remains exactly the same, its efficiency increases permanently as it indurates. However when the external conditions change, the lack of flexibility due to the induration can become fatal for a structure.
Imagine a young developing company working in one single large room. At this stage, every person is aware of all what happens. Every engineer hears every commercial call and every salesman is involved in every technical discussion. As the company develops, more internal insulation is required to allow specialization.
There is a third way of spending energy. Once most of the external insulation is dissolved and the internal structures are stable successful structures can still have an excess of energy. This energy will be spend on efforts to propagate.
Once a biological body fully interacts with the external world, there is normally an excess of energy. This excess of energy is the impulse for propagation.
A few hundred years ago, social and religious structures where considered as quite stable in Europe. The excess of energy was spend in attempts to missionize and colonize other parts of the world.
An employee in a well developed and indurated company can suffer from an excess of energy which cannot be expressed in the rigid structure of the indurated company. This excess of energy is the impulse for the person to start a new company.
A theory or technique which has been developed and successfully applied in one branch of science will undertake attempts to apply itself in other branches of science (propagate).
In the previous chapter we have seen how energy can be used to create a pair of opposites. The poles are related to external elements by a mapping. When the external conditions change and the external elements upon which the poles are mapped become close to each other, the internal insulation between the poles will collapse and the energy will be released.
The released energy can be used by other information structures to indurate their structures. In fact this mechanism is the base for all gain of energy by interacting with the environment.
A more indurated pair of opposites, or a more indurated information structure in general, has an effect on longer range than a less indurated pair of opposites. Having an effect on longer range means that the effect can overcome more external insulation. The relation between the range or intensity of the effect and the internal insulation can be comprehended intuitively by the following image.
Let us compare the information pair of opposites with an electric charge. A neutral element (no charge) can be separated into a positive and a negative charge insulated from each other.
When the insulation is very thin and the charges are very close to each other, we have to come very close to feel an electric charge. By increasing the distance (increasing the insulation) between the two charges, the effect felt from the same distance becomes more intense. The increase of the distance between the charges requires of course some energy.
There is a close relation between insulation and time. On the point of interaction, insulation slows down the interaction, we can say that time overcomes insulation. At the other hand, all insulation degrades in time. The only way to maintain an insulation is by further induration.
As a result of this, information which does not obtain further induration expires and collapses when the internal insulation cannot longer separate the used pairs of opposites.
The analogy with the separated electric charges can still be used to illustrate this point. When no other forces maintain the separation of two opposite charges any more, they will approach each other and finally neutralize each other.
The energy which was used to construct the separation will be released while the charges approach and is radiated in the environment.
In many cases, we can see that opposite poles attract each other. I prefer to describe this attraction as the natural decay of the insulation (separation). This is not just an other way of describing it, I think it is more complete.
The attraction of two opposite electric charges can be described as the decay of the space which separates the charges. From this point of view, it is interesting to remark that the radiated energy does not originates from the charges but it originates from the dissolving insulation (space).
There are also many examples illustrating that opposites or differences do not always attract each other.
When saying "birds of the same feather flock together", we accept it as normal that elements of the same kind attract each other and elements of different different kinds separate from each other (the flock separates itself from another flock of other birds).
Whether opposites attract each other or tend to separate depends on the stage of the evolution of the information difference that makes the two poles different.
As long the information differentiating the two poles is useful, it can apply itself and the insulation between the opposites is maintained (grows) by the induration mechanism. from outside this separation looks like a repulsion.
When a political group develops ideas which are different from the main party they belong to, they feel restricted in their development by the party. Because they consider it as useful to develop these new ideas, they separate from the main party and form a smaller political party. This is an illustration of opposites separating. The separation is possible (and even necessary) by the new ideas which are in full induration phase and would not be able to gain experience without the insulation from the main party.
When environmental conditions change and the information distinguishing the two poles is not longer useful, the information cannot be applied and it does not further indurate (remember the effect of the environment on induration). As soon the induration stops or is reduced below some level, the natural decay of insulation gets the upper hand and the insulation gets reduced. From outside, this reduction looks like an attraction.
A change in environmental conditions can cause an increase of the speed of decay of insulation. A reduced insulation increases the deterioration of the insulation, a chain reaction is triggered and the insulation collapses. Such collapse results in a sudden release of energy.
Information exists because there is an internal insulation separating different aspects. This internal insulation has a natural decay. The information can only be maintained by gaining some energy to compensate the decay or, if there is an excess of energy, to indurate the internal insulation.
The energy required for the maintenance and induration of the internal structures must be gained from the environment. When the interaction of the information with the environment triggers the collapse of other structures, the released energy can be absorbed by the information causing the collapse through the mapping.
So: An information being has to eat to survive. Eating is the acquisition of energy by the conversion of information in the environment. This energy is needed for the maintenance of the internal structure.
When our mind gets deprived from some information, some parts cannot develop or some developed parts will decay.
Information beings must eat like all forms of life. This is another parallel between information life and biological life.
The energy released by collapsing structures can be used for the induration of other information. When no other information was mapped on the collapsing structure, the energy is radiated in the environment. However, if there is another information structure mapped on the collapsing structure, it can receive most of the energy released by the collapse.
The information structure is usually not mapped by accident on the collapsing structure. Information elements are seeking to map themselves on structures which can be brought into the start position for collapse. Each information element becomes specialized in a specific conversion. It becomes experienced in detecting structures which are close to collapse. The information being will spend a part of the own energy to bring the external structure closer to the collapse state. When no collapse follows, the information has lost some energy in the useless preparation.
The interaction between information involves always a exchange of energy. When an information element gets indurated by the interaction with some other information, it means that the other information must loose some energy.
A new theory which combines two theories in a simpler structure will indurate fast when the transformation of the two theories causes the dissolving of some insulation which has become unnecessary by the new theory.
Information which can transform other information which is abundantly available in the environment is very successful. The success of the information causes a fast transformation of the information in the environment. There will come a point where the environment is transformed to a point where the necessary food is not longer available and the transformation ceases. From this point, the information will loose energy by natural decay and by failing attempts to cause the transition. By this the information structure will finally collapse.
Because there will probably be many copies of this information structure which have become useless, other information structures can become specialized in triggering the collapse of these structures to gain the stored energy.
A forest fire causes a transformation which is very successful. There is plenty of food for the fire. The intensity of the fire causes a fast transformation of the fuel. There will be a point where the fire runs out of fuel and dies out.
A star transforms hydrogen atoms into helium atoms. The amount of hydrogen available in a star is so large that the "fire" in the star seems endless. However, we know that every star will run out of hydrogen one day. This will cause the collapse of the star.
The lifetime of different elements of information is very different.
Information transforming other, abundantly available information of the environment is very successful. We tend to test received information on the information we have in ourselves. We consider it as true when it indurates by this test.
The theory above illustrates the relativity of such truth. The induration (and by this our classification in true or not true) depends on the information environment in which the new information arrives. The information which we consider as true converts the environment in a way that the same information will become not true one day.
Remark that even this remark on truth can only indurate in some environments.
Abstract information mistakenly mapped upon a concrete situation looses energy very quickly. To stop the loss of energy in a situation where the abstract information is not in coherence with the environment, the abstract information insulates itself (vertically) and reconsiders the mapping.
Without this vertical insulation, the abstract information would be affected too hard by the last experience.
More in next chapter on Information and Matter
This is Chapter 9; Energy of Behavior
Author: Luc Claeys. All comments welcome, mail to lcl at this site: nanohome.be
Last updated on Nov 12, 1997