Chapter 17 Evolution of information

17.1 Consecutive manifestations.

Information gains experience by instantiating under different circumstances. This happens at all levels of externalization. During thoughts and between instantiations, the experience of the instantiation is abstracted. The experience collected at very abstract level is the result of an innumerable amount of expressions at concrete level.

17.2 Difficulties.

Instantiation (externalization) involves the choice of a mapping. This makes the externalized information structure more restricted than the original, abstract information. When the externalized structure externalizes in its turn, the new structure is even more restricted. This makes it hard for an information structure to externalize more than a few cycles. After that, the information gets so restricted that it can hardly exhibit any activity.

This stagnation point is comparable to the point in which an information element feels too restricted in a stable organization. It is at the same time the point where the abstract being feels best the restrictions imposed by the choices made in the consecutive externalizations (instantiations).

Creations of animals exhibit some function (a bird nest), creations of man exhibit already behavior (a machine, a computer virus). The next step is the creation of living externalizations which express themselves in a way which is not programmed (mechanisms which are able to create by themselves).

17.3 New externalizations.

In the previous chapter, three reasons are described to trigger a new externalization : 1) thought of better one, 2) excess of energy and 3) destroyed body.

In this chapter we will concentrate on consecutive externalizations triggered by the first reason. The choices (mappings) used in such externalizations differ. Therefore this kind of externalizations cause the changes responsible for the evolution of information.

Once an externalization is more or less stable, it is basically the second reason which dominates and causes the "normal" propagation. This multiplication of the most useful externalizations allows to gather the bulk of the experience which is required to trigger a new externalization of the first kind.

17.4 Desire to change the mapping.

After gaining some experience with the current externalization, the abstract element can have thoughts about a different instantiation. Using the experience, it can happen that better results are anticipated in the given circumstances using a different mapping. However, changing the mapping is not possible when a external organization (organism) is based upon it. Such a change would require a profound change in the structure of the organization.

Remember the politician dreaming about starting a new party based upon the experiences gained in the current party.

Remember the engineer dreaming about starting over the project and base a new project on the experiences gained in the current project.

17.5 Ways out.

The long way out is by waiting until the externalized structures collapse. At this point, all the abstract experience gained by the externalization is gathered by the abstract information elements. After this, a next externalization of the information structure will take the experience gained by the restrictions into account right from the beginning (early choices).

Engineers hate the long way out. This should mean that they have to finish the project, let the resulting product live and only start a new concept when the product is worn out and does not longer fit the needs. They often prefer to start the whole thing over using immediately the experience gained by the current attempt.

Thoughts about other choices in the abstract elements are used to abstract the gained experience. In normal cases, their effect upon the related elements is small. Only when the limitation is felt by several related elements, it can happen that a group of elements consider the same, different mapping which is anticipated to lead to better results. This can cause the synchronization of thoughts which are not in correspondence with the nature of the structure in which the elements reside. Such fields of synchronized thoughts are harmful for the organization. When they are maintained, an insulation between the organism and the rebelling elements will grow. When there is enough energy in the insulated area, it is possible for the new group to start a new externalization while the other externalization exist.

The new externalization takes only form when tasks are assigned to elements which specialize themselves. Before that stage, many configurations are considered without externalizing them.

The politician suffers from the consequences of some unfortunate initial choices in the process of externalizing his ideas. At first, he can try to convince the rest of the party to change course but there is not much chance. The entire party is built upon these choices and they cannot be changed without destroying the political party.

In silent moments (insulation), the political leader imagines the party based upon a different set of choices and with all his experience built in the choices to start with. When the result looks attractive, the politician will come back to this idea more frequently and seek ways to insulate himself from the party to be able to enjoy this thoughts. When these thoughts grow strong enough, he will decide to maintain one day this insulation and prepare the creation of a new political party.

It is important to remark that the resign of the political leader not necessary implies the destruction of the party. The party can live its own life after the resign of the founder (in a number of cases, the party will not survive).

17.6 Simultaneous existence of externalizations.

The start of a new externalization does not destroy as such the externalized structure.

A founder of a company can decide to withdraw to create a new company while the company exist.

A founder of a political party can decide to withdraw to create a new party while the party exist.

A cell in a body can decide to insulate itself to create a new body while the body still exist.

A molecule in a cell of a body can decide to insulate to create a new cell while still belonging to a cell and while the cell is part of a body (propagation of cells within an existing body).

17.7 Levels of propagation.

Compared to normal propagation, propagation at deeper level gives rise to an externalization which differs more profoundly form the existing externalization. This is called a mutation.

The more abstract (more elementary) the level in which the propagation takes place, the larger the difference between the externalizations of the information. More fundamental choices cannot be reconsidered at an external level.

There is a difference between a company created as a daughter of a large company and a newly founded company created by a former employee of a large company.

A computer program needs regular adaptation to fit the changing needs of the users. By these improvements, new versions of the program are created. Adding new features to an existing program is sometimes difficult because the program was not designed for it; the changes do not fit in the structure of the program.

After a number of updates, the program is entirely redesigned taking all requirements into account. Although the experience gained by the first program is integrated in the new program, the new program is not a direct offspring of the first. It is not a modified version of the first but it is a new externalization of the abstract information completed by the experience abstracted from the earlier externalizations..

17.8 Use of older building material.

Early attempts of externalization stuck after a few externalization cycles. New attempts reach higher stages of externalization. Because both new and old externalization have the same origin, they are able to interact. The outermost externalizations are able to use the resulting structures of previous externalizations as building blocks to express themselves. Because of the difference in evolution, the older structures are not, or only partially aware of being used as active components in a larger plan (we come back to awareness in the next chapter). This is the situation where the controlling information is much less indurated than the controlled structures.

A production technique is very young and has almost no "mass" (collected energy) compared to information of biological life. Yet, a production technique can be taught to a worker and control the movements of the worker when applied.

17.9 Breeding grounds.

The use of older, more limited structures as components for new structures has the advantage that a lot of suitable (active) material is readily available for the new structure to express itself. The disadvantage is the restricted awareness of the components of what is going on. Only after longer (very long in our time scale) periods, the entire material base is renewed and all new elements have the awareness reached at the end of the previous externalization.

Older structures are used as breeding ground in which the newer externalizations express themselves. By this, the elements of the breeding ground do not have the same evolutionary background as the structures using them to express themselves and to gain experience.

17.10 Tree of manifestation.

Results of older attempts of externalization are used by new externalizations. By this, the older structures receive energy by their functioning in the new organism. This makes them survive long time after their initial externalization.

The use of elements which do not have the same evolutionary background to build new bodies makes it difficult to draw a tree of manifestations in which the propagations at every level are indicated.

I have no insight in this tree of manifestation. It could for example be that some subatomic particles (neutrons) are really old and primitive compared to other subatomic particles (electrons). It may also be that some atoms, or groups of atoms have a different evolutionary background than others.

A propagation at more abstract level, closer to the root of the tree of manifestations shows up at the external side as an externalization which is able to externalize itself in more levels.

\mysection{ Less indurated matter.

More in next chapter on Awareness and consciousness

This is Chapter 17; Evolution of information of Behavior of Information

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

Last updated on Nov 12, 1997