Chapter 14 Information as organizing force

14.1 Organizing effect of information.

Information has to express itself in the environment to indurate and to gain experience. The multiple expressions of information have an organizing effect on the environment.

All structure, all organizations and organisms are the result of the activity (deployment) of information.

Our body is a complex organization of parts (organs) which interact in a well organized way. This complex organization is the deployment of the hereditary information.

The interactions between thought centers as described above is similar to the interaction between elements in any organism.

The organization of a company is based on a lot of experience regarding company management. This knowledge is information which deploys itself when a company develops.

The very complex molecules upon which biological life is based are complex organizations by their own. They are organized under catalytic influence of hereditary information.

A planetary system is a well organized system. It is the deployment of a number of very stable laws of physics (gravity, inertia, relativity, and many others).

The organization of our entire cosmos is a deployment of the laws of nature. This deployment started by a so called big bang and is still in progress. The essence of these laws is "inherited" as the result of abstracted experience from many other cosmos.

14.2 Externalization.

The organized result of the activity of information is an instantiation of that information. It is the expression of some aspects of the organizing information. Aspects of the information causing the organization can be recognized in the organized environment. Because this mechanism makes the structure of the information visible in a larger structure, it is called externalization.

Human organizations, such as countries, societies and companies communicate between each other as entities. It is clear that the communication is mainly based on existing communication skills of the elements (human beings). For example, the communication between companies is an externalization of the communication between man.

Our society is making increasingly use of (mathematical) models of the society, models of the economy and models of the environment to support the direction of the actions as society. The development of models is an externalization of our mental ability to construct models and use them to support our behavior.

There is communication between the cells of our body. This communication is based on the communication abilities of biological molecules.

14.3 Recurrent externalization.

The externalization of information is also information. Therefore, the externalization will externalize in its term. Because an externalization is an instantiation, the externalized information is more restricted for further externalization. After a few externalization cycles, the expression becomes so restricted that it cannot longer express itself and the process blocks. What happens after this is described in chapter 17.

14.4 Need for externalization.

It is vital for each aspect of the externalizing information to express itself in the new organism. An aspect which does not succeed to make itself useful in the new organism will not gain energy and cannot survive (remember the energy required for induration and the limited life time of information).

In the dark underground, eyes of a mole are of no use. The abstract information giving rise to the development of the eyes looses gradually energy and the expression of it (the eyes) becomes weaker. If the abstract information cannot give rise to something useful, it does not gain energy and the energy it had to start with (from earlier expressions) expires in time.

14.5 Balanced opposites.

To maintain its structure, an abstract element must express all aspects of itself. Each elementary aspect has to express itself in two opposite ways. Only by making useful the difference between the extremities, the abstract aspect can be maintained. When the difference between the extremities is not useful, it will reduce and the aspect will cease to exist. Therefore it is not possible to maintain one pole without the other.

It is not possible to love everything without causing damage to these things. Imagine you attempt to love everything, including opposite things. By this, you cause a coherence between opposites and brings the opposites closer to each other. This causes a reduction of the internal insulation of these structures leading to the destruction of the things.

14.6 Features of the new organism.

Each feature of the new organism is a combination of (poles of) several abstract aspects. The externalization is defined by the choice of these combinations.

The human eye is not only the externalization of some abstract ability to sense light. Very different abilities such as the ability to move (muscles) are integrated in the same organ.

The contact with the environment forces the abstract aspects to polarize themselves relative to these external elements. An abstract aspect cannot remain neutral relative to all external elements.

A young politician full of bright ideas starts a new political party based on his ideas. As soon he makes his ideas public, he is obliged to choose color in a number of matters. He has to make choices of how to map his ideas in these particular areas. Because the public does not like politicians changing their mind every day, the expressed choices must be taken into account for future statements.

14.7 Interaction of abstract elements.

Each aspect of the new organism results from a combination of several more abstract features of the elements. Each of this more abstract elements is the result of a combination of even more abstract elements and so on.

This fine blending of abstract aspects allows them to interact with each other. Only very special sets of abstract elements allow such deep mixture without causing internal conflicts. The evolution of information has given rise to such special sets (matter is the most indurated example).

When a combination causes conflicts, the loss of energy is experienced by the abstract element. This condition is memorized as experience. The experience is used when choosing combinations of abstract aspects for new externalizations.

The basic laws of nature are tuned (by abstraction of experience used for evolution) to have the ability to be combined in stable structures. Without this mutual adaptation, combinations would conflict and no structures could be stable.

By the operations of the political party, the party and the politician are gaining experience. This experience may include that some choices made at the foundation of the party where not completely in correspondence with each other and are causing now some internal inconsistencies (tensions).

14.8 Instantiation is externalization.

The way abstract elements seek to express themselves in a more concrete context has been described as the instantiation of the abstract element. The mechanism of instantiation is externalization.

There is no other way for abstract information to express itself (instantiate) than to make itself useful in a more concrete situation. This is externalization.

The way abstract elements gain experience by instantiating themselves in different ways corresponds with the gain of experience of elements by externalizing themselves in larger structures.

The human ability to communicate instantiates in the ability of companies to communicate.

Because externalization and instantiation is the same thing, we know that externalization has a stabilizing effect on the initial choices (stabilizing effect of applications).

The politician has experienced restrictions caused by the initial choices made when founding his party. Now he is not able to change these choices without causing damage to the party.

14.9 Entity.

Each feature of an externalization is a combination of several abstract elements. The functioning of the feature, and thus the success of each of the abstract elements, depends on the cooperation of the abstract elements in the feature. This mutual dependency binds the abstract elements together. A set of abstract elements bound together by an externalization becomes inseparable, the externalization is an entity holding an instantiation of the abstract elements.

We have described an information being as an inseparable information set, as an entity. We used the example of an element of a theory which was of no use separated from the theory. Now we have discovered that the force holding the set together is a mutual dependency caused by an externalization.

After having learned a theory of information and a computer programming technique, we can propagate each technique separately. Suppose we make an application in which both techniques are applied. This application binds the two theories. The application is the externalization of a specific combination of the two techniques. When the application propagates, both theories are propagated in an instantiated, inseparable form. The instantiation of both techniques has become an entity.

When noticing that an information set holds different aspects which cannot be separated without loosing information, we can conclude that the information set is an externalization.

14.10 Mapping.

The choice of the combination of abstract features forming more concrete externalizations is what we have called mapping.

The aspects of the abstract being are mapped on more concrete elements. This mapping is the combination of several abstract aspects into a number of combined features. The choice of what abstract elements will be combined, their polarity and their relative importance defines the externalization (mapping).

14.11 Gaining experience.

Experience is the memory of the outcome of a combination of instantiations of several abstract elements (mapping) of an information being. From the point of view of externalization, experience is the memory of the outcome of a specific combination of abstract elements into more concrete, externalized features.

Experience resulting from several externalizations is more abstract and helps to anticipate the outcome of a new externalization based upon similar combinations of abstract elements.

14.12 Thoughts.

Elements in an organism are still able to insulate themselves from the organism for a short time. During such elapse of time, the behavior of the elements is not restricted by the externalization. The change in status of the element during such period corresponds with the change of the status in a thought center when it is insulated form its environment.

In thoughts, the element is less restricted by the environment and by this follows more its own abstract nature. After such time of insulation, the thought center synchronizes itself with the environment. This synchronization pulls the element closer to the situation in the environment and pulls the environment closer to the nature of the information which governed the thoughts.

The influence of thoughts is of course limited by the structure of the organization in which the element resides.

An employee in a company is able to insulate himself and consider some situations which do not correspond with the restrictions of his place in the company. After such moment of thought, the interactions with the rest of the company resume and the internal state is synchronized again. The act of synchronization of the thoughts after such moment influences the environment.

14.13 Deep integration.

Successes and restrictions in the externalization are experienced as joy or pain of the elements attempting to express themselves. These reactions are memorized as experience.

During moments of insulation (thoughts), the experience is brought in relation with the set of choices upon which the organization is based. Although these choices cannot be changed once the organization exist, the abstract element can consider other choices when insulated and relate its experience to this set of choices. The relation between the experienced restrictions and the set of abstract choices is abstract experience flowing back from the externalized organism to the abstract elements. This is the base for abstraction of experience. It is a deep integration of the experience gained by externalizations. New externalizations will use this experience to make the new choices, the new mapping.

Biological molecules useful in biological cells gain energy by their effect. The experience gained in a the cell (larger structure) is integrated in the molecules (smaller structures).

14.14 Organizing elements by grasping them.

Instantiation has been described as the information being grasping elements of the environment to express itself. Knowing that instantiation is externalization, we can describe this grasping more accurately as intensifying the communication between the abstract elements of the information being which is grasping and external elements. The purpose of this intensified communication is to influence external thought centers to bring them in synchronization with internal thoughts.

For better understanding, we can consider first the simple case in which one thought center is alternatively in communication with two other thought centers and succeeds to synchronize the thoughts in both external elements. When the thoughts are synchronized, the difference between the external elements is reduced. From outside, this is experienced as attraction between the two elements.

Similarly, a thought center can cause the synchronization of two external elements with the opposite aspects of some abstract information. This causes repulsion between the external elements. This illustrates how communication between elements really causes mechanical forces between the elements. This shows that the image of physical grasping of elements to instantiate is accurate. At the same time we see how the information expresses itself by organizing insulation between elements.

In normal situations, the communication is much more complex and there are many aspects in the mutual influence. In stead of resulting is a simple attraction or repulsion, it results in a complex relation between the elements by means of which attraction and repulsion will depend on the circumstances.

The communication between information elements can be compared with communication between man. The communication does not cause simple attraction or repulsion but only a slight difference in affinity in one aspect of the relation between man or between man and surrounding (information).

14.15 Restriction of abstract possibilities.

The application of abstract information involves choices. The very existence of the externalization (instantiation) makes it harder to change these choices. Remember the examples of the stabilizing effect of applications. Applications are of course externalizations. When the externalization (application) is successful, energy is gained and elements in the organization can only gain their share of this energy by cooperating in this scheme. This limits the flexibility of an abstract element to express itself.

Remember the politician not longer able to change the choices made upon the foundation of the political party. The choices are externalized in the structure and the behavior of the party. A change of these choices would involve a change of the structure of the party and this requires an enormous amount of energy.

More in next chapter on Externalization of an organism

This is Chapter 14; Information as organizing force of Behavior of Information

Author: Luc Claeys. All comments welcome, mail to lcl at this site:

Last updated on Nov 12, 1997