In the beginning Life was just looking for a mathematical system of her own. Mechanics and Probability teamed up as modern Physics to provide Matter with the mathematical code to his matrix. The two mathematics merged perspectives to accurately describe the behavior of both micro and macro Matter. The results are impressive. Although the duo attempted to apply their tools to unlock the code to Life’s matrix, they missed her special features entirely – not even close.
Then along comes the Living Algorithm. Life reflects, “Not much to look at, but how she could move! Whoa! After checking out her action, I began to appreciate her elegant simplicity. The fit between the behavior of her transformations and my human behavior is uncanny. Her basic Creative Pulse modeled my creative sessions along with the impact of interruptions. The behavior of her Triple Pulse accurately reflected many sleep-related phenomena.”
I appreciated that Alga was multiplying example upon example of the many correspondences between our behaviors. But I wanted more. I wanted to understand the roots of these mathematical parallels. After all Ptolemy developed a mathematical system that was able to accurately plot planetary position relative to the Earth. However it was based upon the notion that the planets revolved around the Earth and moved in circles. These predictions regarding planetary position were so reliable that astrologers employed the mathematics for centuries to determine horoscopes. Then Copernicus suggested that the sun was the center of our planetary system rather than the earth. This notion eventually led to Newton’s theory of gravity. Gravity provided the causal mechanism explaining planetary dynamics that Ptolemy’s mathematics lacked. Was Alga another of these mathematical perspectives that mimicked behavior but lacked underlying understanding – the causal mechanism?
Alga assured me that our relationship was much deeper than that, not superficial in any way. “There is an abundance of evidence indicating that the living systems that you embody actually employ me to digest data streams.”
Startled when Alga connected these two disparate matrices, I began to laugh. “Wow! That’s an audacious claim. I know that we are both obsessed with data streams. But if a mathematics is to satisfy my intimate desires, I have strict requirements. I need a mathematics that addresses the immediacy of the moment. For instance my mathematics must weight the points in a data stream according to their proximity to the present moment.” I was happy to discover that Alga’s Predictive Cloud is able to satisfy my expectations in this regard. Having established herself as the mathematics of the moment, Alga fulfilled the first of my ordeals.
Not yet satisfied, I proposed 3 more ordeals – Relationship, Fungible Meaning, and Informed Choice. To be able to truly satisfy the cravings that were dearest to me – touch my special spot, a data stream mathematics would have to address these issues. Again, Alga easily passed my ordeals. This was not difficult for her, as these features were all part of her innate nature. Of course I was pleased to see so many similarities between us. Infused with the excitement of the moment, it seemed that the Living Algorithm could provide the method by which living systems such as myself digest data streams. Could Alga’s System actually be the data stream mathematics that will be able to satisfy my needs – the mathematics of my dreams?
Overly excited I went into a deep meditation to calm my mind. “Ommm. Alga’s behavior syncs up with my human behavior in uncanny ways. Amazingly enough, she also satisfies all of my requirements for a data stream mathematics that I could actually employ as a tool. Whoa! Could I actually employ Alga to digest data streams?” The connection of these disparate universes made me laugh again. I had been merely looking for a mathematics that would provide me with guidance and instead had perhaps found an even more intimate relationship. Alga mimics my behavior, not because she is a clever model, but because she is the mathematical tool that I continuously employ to digest environmental input.
Then up popped another objection. My Subconscious Liminals had been working overtime, as usual. Where were the causal mechanisms that linked our common behavior? It was evident that I might employ Alga to digest data, but what was the connection between us? Even if I employed Alga as my tool, why would human behavior utilize her Triple Pulse to organize sleep-related activities? Why wouldn’t I choose another of her infinite transformations to organize my existence? Why did I choose the Creative Pulse and the Triple Pulse among all the rest? These thoughts tormented me, until I met with Alga again.
Alga calmly reassured me, “One answer to all your questions. Data Stream Dynamics. This is my link with you and traditional Physics.”
Blown away, I began laughing uproariously to relieve the tension between my inertial emotions and the rapid intellect. “Physics!” I exclaimed. “But he is such a materialist. What could he possibly have to do with us?” Chuckles kept erupting, as I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “Let me get this straight. Data Stream Dynamics links Physics with us and suggests a causal mechanism? Un-be-lievable! This, I’ve got to hear.”
For the next few days I broke into spontaneous laughter every time I thought of the three of us together in anyway whatsoever. The two of them are so different. Alga incorporates informed choice for her living systems, while Physics demands automatic determinism from his material systems. These opposites are almost adversaries when it comes to me – each claiming precedence over the other. Physics even boldly asserts that he is on the verge of dominating me with his equations. “Very soon,” he boasts, “I will be able to predict your every move. Just give me your initial conditions.”
Because of my relationship with Alga I responded confidently, “Get over your self. Although you understand my material side exceedingly well, you have no appreciation of my finer features. You just view me as a sack of indestructible atoms – as you say so precisely, 98% hydrogen and oxygen. Alga on the other hand is sensitive to my nature as an information processor. I appreciate the complementary perspectives that you both provide.” But I thought to myself, “Physics is not going to like this connection with Alga.”
Physics, the more prestigious of the two, is reluctant to admit any semblance with the Living Algorithm. In fact, he almost shuns her – considering her at best some kind of mathematical oddity. He certainly doesn’t consider it possible that the Living Algorithm can do anything that he couldn’t do better. The fact that she can provide pragmatic information about my Immediacy is galling to him. In a state of denial, he claims, “Your supposed ability to make choices is an illusion. It is akin to when the ancients attributed the power of will to forces of nature. What need be said about something that doesn’t even exist?” he snorts derisively.
Imagine his chagrin, when Alga suggested that they share a common ancestor. “Preposterous!” he yelled angrily, raising his voice to hide his insecurity. “If there is any ancestor at all, it is from the superstitious era that preceded the era of real science of which I am King.” With that comment, we left the room. It is never a good idea to enter a discussion with someone who is immersed in cognitive dissonance. The internal struggle shuts down our ability to reason well.
Physics has always felt a sense of inadequacy. While he is absolute master of his material domain, my best qualities – art, music, and culture, have always stymied him. Rather than admit his shortcomings like a mature individual, he has attempted to ignore their importance. He claims that his pursuit of the illusive Unified Field Theory will eventually reveal everything – as if that will tell us anything about Beauty and Love.
I was still a bit insecure however. After all Physics is a major player in the Science game, not someone to trifle with. “Are we really related to Physics?”
Alga reassured me: “Of course. As we will see, Physics and I share a common ancestor – Dynamics. While Physics followed the Matter Branch, I followed the Information Branch. Spawned by our common obsession with change and data streams, we are also based upon similar principles – strange as it might seem. Our common foundations are the constructs of Newtonian dynamics: including space, time, matter and energy. Physics applies these constructs to matter; I apply them to information. The biological systems that you embody are both constructed of matter and digest information. Accordingly your behavior is informed by each system.
“Establishing the parallels between our dynamical structures is the purpose of this volume. With these symmetries in place, we can then propose some plausible causal mechanisms that link your behavior with mine.
“Due to the density of the material, we must take it step by careful step. To lay an adequate foundation for our discussion, it is first necessary to meet me face-to-face. In short, it is time to explore my algebra – my mathematical essences.”
Life hesitantly: “Uh. I don’t know how to say this. But I’m a little insecure with this algebra stuff. Math wasn’t really my thing in school. I was more the artist type. I move on more intuitive levels. That was one reason that Physics and I had conflicts. He spoke this technical algebraic language that sounded like gibberish to me. I appreciated what he could do, but had no idea what he was saying.”
Alga: “Before running away, this discussion of my algebra is verbal, rather than technical – no proofs or calculations. That’s located elsewhere.”
Life: “I’m not sure. Algebra and I never got along that well.”
Alga: “Don’t worry. Nothing esoteric. No mathe-magic. Just the basic operations of arithmetic.”
Life: “Whoa! I’m finally going to meet your essential self. We’ve already explored many features of your dynamic nature. This includes how the behavior of your transformations seems to reflect my human behavior. While I’ve seen you in action, I have yet to see your pretty face – your instantaneous self. You are so amazing when you move; your transformations are so beautiful. But what do you look like? What do you consist of? What are your components? I want to see you in unadulterated form, stripped of your infinity of disguises. Instead of what your transformations do, I want to know your essence. If that entails an investigation of your algebra, so be it.”
Alga: “This discussion is essential to understanding who I really am - what makes me tick. This lays the foundation for Data Stream Dynamics. To meet me face-to-face in all of my unadorned glory, read Living Algorithm Algebra."
To remain in the allegorical mode, read on.
In her search for the mathematics of her dreams, Life finally found the Living Algorithm. Initially, she had been wary of any mathematics whatsoever - maybe even a little prejudiced. This was, in part, due to the shabby way in which Probability & Physics had treated her. Their mathematics had perceived her as a collective entity or as a sack of atoms. Further, they had wanted to predict her every move, rather than help her achieve her potentials.
"They acted as if I was a billiard ball," she complained. "Rather than assisting me in my quest for Self-Actualization, they tried to squeeze me into a box. Humph! I was impressed that they uncovered the secret code to Matter's matrix. But what were they thinking when they tried to apply Matter's code to me? Have they never experienced Music, Art, Beauty or Love? When is the last time you saw molecules walking hand in hand to a musical concert with a look of contented anticipation on their faces?
I was looking for a mathematics that could unlock the secret code of my matrix. Instead, I find these jokers who ignore all my finer qualities. One is obsessed with my general attributes and ignores my particulars. The other is so preoccupied with my matter that he is blind to me as a breathing, living entity, even though I'm right in front of him. No respect!
I was so grateful when the Living Algorithm entered my picture. In our initial casual encounters we had no disagreements whatsoever. The codes to our matrices seemed very compatible, if not identical. Our symmetries were striking.
Alga seemed to unlock some of my personal code - at least with regards to the matrix associated with Human Behavior. For instance, the parallels between the behavior of her Creative Pulse and my productive sessions suggest that interruptions could thwart the potential for inspiration and integration of the experience. Additionally striking similarities between Alga’s Triple Pulse and my sleep-related behavior suggest that it is necessary to have adequate rest periods between creative sessions to maximize potentials. Could the application of these two codes (interruption and rest) assist me in my quest for self-actualization? Could it be possible that the humans I embody could experience Reality more fully, if they followed these codes?
Despite our compatibility I was still a little skeptical of Alga due to my prior experiences with other mathematical systems. Could the symmetries between our behaviors just be coincidental? To assure me of the depth of our relationship, Alga claimed there is evidence that she is my operating system. Instead of providing evidence of this intimate connection, she asked me what exactly I desire from an operating system. After a deep meditation I realized that I need a system that incorporates Immediacy, Relationship, Fungible Meaning, and Choice. Again the Living Algorithm was able to satisfy my desires."
"After Alga passed the tests required to break through my defenses, it was time to take our relationship to a new level. In our most recent encounter, I finally met the Living Algorithm in her permanent unchanging form - her Algebra. Now, it is finally time to meet her Family. To be honest I'm a little nervous. Ah, there's Alga now. I like to call her by her first name. Equation sounds a little formal."
"Greetings, fellow traveler on the path." They hug. "Before meeting my family as individuals, I would like to provide you with a little background information," stated Alga matter-of-factly. "I digest Data Streams to produce a very large family. This synergy defines my System. Without a Data Stream I am just a simple Equation - not even that interesting. I require a Data Stream to give birth to my Family - no immaculate conception here. My children need a father."
Alga continues, "As might be imagined, our children are a blend of numbers and equations. In fact, we give birth to a Family of Measures. Although consisting of a data stream of numbers like their father, the children are digested, not raw in any way. Their father, the Raw Data Stream, is a bit of a barbarian, no refinement whatsoever. The children are domesticated cultured versions of their feral father. They smooth out his rough edges. Their function is to give him meaning and purpose - just like any children. In fact there i
Just as I, the Living Algorithm, am nothing without Data Stream; Data Stream is nothing without me. In fact, Data Stream simply has no purpose, if I’m not around to give him my attention. He requires me, or something very similar, to give him form and translate his language into meaningful patterns."
"Just like you," responded Life, "I too am nothing without Data Streams. They are the food for the information processor that enables me to interact with my environment. Could you, the Living Algorithm, be the operating system (method) by which I digest the ongoing data streams that define my existence? Whoa!? Could it be that your Family of Measures translates Data Stream's unintelligible language, his noise, into a form that has meaning to the human behavior, or even the biological systems, that I embody?"
Life: "Without me to perceive Data Stream's patterns, he has no purpose. And without their patterns, I have no meaning. Could it be that we are all dependent upon each other for meaning and existence? Is it possible that I, Life, and you, the Living Algorithm, have a co-dependent relationship that includes Data Streams? Could your Family of Measures be the glue that binds us together? Is it possible that your Family provides the translation mechanism that allows me to understand Data Streams?”
Alga: “We have already seen evidence of our intimate relationship. Remember the striking correspondences between the Human Behavior you embody and my Triple Pulse. The Triple Pulse is an integral part of my Family.”
Life: “We certainly have a loving and productive relationship. Despite others saying that our cross-cultural association would be impossible, ours is a win-win partnership. Can't wait to meet your children. They sound fascinating!"
Living Algorithm: "To understand my children, my Family of Derivatives, you still need to know a little more about me. You've only become acquainted with my simplest form. To come to a deeper understanding of my inner core – what I stand for – you must see me in my general form. To move to the next level in our relationship, check out the Author's next article – Living Algorithm Family."
After completing the article, Life comments to the Living Algorithm: "Intriguing, to say the least. Just like the Author promised, the math wasn't bad - even made some kind of intuitive sense. Velocity is the first level of change, while acceleration is the second level."
"It seems that understanding the difference between the velocity and acceleration of a data stream is important for a variety of reasons. A data stream's acceleration can be employed to make a preliminary check as to whether the data stream is random or organized. It seems that a random data stream's rate of acceleration is the lower of the two. In contrast, a data stream's velocity provides no such information regarding whether a data stream is random or not."
"Attention in the Living Algorithm System doesn't want to waste valuable energy upon random data streams. Therefore Attention focuses on a data stream's acceleration to make the determination as to whether a data stream is random or not. In contrast, Attention disregards data stream velocity, as it doesn't provide this crucial information. Evidently this feature becomes very important when it comes to understanding the primacy of Attention in the Author's theory linking the Living Algorithm System with me, Life. Can't wait to read what he says about me in this regard. I love being the center of attention's focus."
"I can see from this cursory exploration how velocity and acceleration are foundational to the Data Stream Dynamics of the Living Algorithm System. Refresh my memory. What does this have to do with me?"
Living Algorithm: "Understanding the dynamics of data streams leads to an understanding of the forms of information processing. Due to the primacy of information processing in the realm of perception, the forms of information processing – the grammar – are of crucial importance in the emergence of the living systems you embody. The Creative Pulse and Triple Pulse are just a few examples of my forms or transformations. The dynamics behind my transformations links our systems."
Life: "Hmmm? You say our systems are linked through data stream dynamics? The words sound fascinating, but I require a more thorough description before I am convinced. You did say, however, that elaboration is coming in future articles. Can't wait."
"So far you've certainly exceeded my wildest expectations. The Author has provided an abundance of evidence from myriad disciplines indicating that you, the Living Algorithm, could be one of the primary methods by which my living systems process information. Who knows, you might even be a candidate for the position as the elemental cell of data processing."
Living Algorithm: "True. In fact, I do believe that the Author is devoting this series of article streams to supporting this proposition. But we're getting way ahead of ourselves. Currently the Author is attempting to link the dynamics of information and the dynamics of matter. To achieve this formidable task, he must explode the traditional constructs of Newtonian Physics. This includes the fundamental notions of space, time and matter. The Author provided a preliminary exploration of space and time. The next article explodes these primal constructs to incorporate information into a universal system of dynamics. To continue our fascinating journey, check out the next article in the series – Data Stream Space & Time.