A widely held view amongst the scientific community, especially in the broad cognitive discipline, is that biology reigns supreme in terms of living behavior. Are physiological processes really the sole determiner of our behavior? Or is something missing?
Could there be an immaterial component that also plays a part? Could our interactive relationship with information be the missing ingredient? Is it possible that living matter has an immaterial component based upon our relationship with information? Could it be that material biology, immaterial information, and their interaction, all play a part in determining living behavior?
Organisms of all sizes must digest food in order to survive. Could it be that living systems also digest information? Could our method of digesting information play a significant role in our behavior? Just as mathematics reveals the workings of the biology, is it possible that the language of mathematics could also reveal the working of our information digestion system?
We suggest an affirmative answer to each of the preceding questions. Indeed one aim of this work is to convince the Reader that Living Behavior is a function of the interaction between Biology and Information. Data Stream Our Information Digestion Model provides a plausible justification for this stance. Dynamics provides the mathematical language behind our relationship with information. In the following pages, we hope to convince you of the validity of both the mathematical language and the model.
Living Behavior = Biology x Information
As an introduction to our ID system and its components, let us examine some of its suppositions. Living systems consist of at least two synergistic systems – one biological and the other relating to information. Both systems are necessary for survival. The interaction of these two synergies, i.e. material and immaterial, enables us to fulfill our potentials, whether it be survival or writing a book.
The function of the Biological Synergy is to attend to Body’s needs. The function of the Information Synergy is to attend to Mind’s information needs. The black and white dots in the above diagram indicate that the two synergies interact to achieve their respective ends. Rather than a duality, they form a mutually interdependent whole, whose sole purpose is to serve the needs of the organism.
The Bio Synergy consists of the combined operation of organs, muscles, nerves and such. The interactive operations can be broken into multiple physiological systems, e.g. respiratory and reproduction.
The Info Synergy consists of the combined operation of Feelings, Intention, Attention, an Executive, and the Living Algorithm. We have deemed this package our Information Digestion system. A major function of our ID System centers around enhancing the probability of fulfilling potentials, including survival, via informed Choice.
The Information Digestion System’s purpose is to deal with incoming data streams. Each of the five components has a different function with regard to these streams of information.
Our Feelings or Emotions assign relative value to incoming data streams. On the most fundamental level, does the data stream indicate food for sustenance? Driven by Feelings, Intention guides Attention by shifting or sustaining focus on particular data streams. Attention invests mental energy into appropriate data streams, i.e. ones that Feelings have deemed important. As soon as Attention focuses upon a data stream, the Living Algorithm begins digesting it, i.e. providing the ongoing derivatives. Mind as Executive evaluates both the information (the content) contained in the data stream and its ongoing derivatives (the spin) to make decisions.
Both the Bio Synergy of the Body and the Info Synergy of the Mind have a digestive system that converts raw materials into a useable form. One digests Food that consists of organic material, while the other digests Information coming in the form of data streams. Body employs the digested Food to create biological energy that acts to sustain the organism. Mind the Executive employs the digested Information to make choices that will also sustain the organism.
Food -> Nutrition -> Body
Data Streams -> Information -> Mind
Our information digestion system has many parallels with our Body’s digestion system. Just as the stomach requires food in the form of raw materials for physical sustenance, the mind, according to our model, requires information in the form of data streams for mental sustenance. Just as the stomach requires downtime to digest incoming food, we, our mind, also requires downtime to digest the day’s information. Just as our appetite for food ebbs and flow so does our appetite for information. Just as we become full/satiated of food, we also become full/satiated of information.
Just as the stomach and intestines are key components of our biological digestive system, the Living Algorithm is a key component of our information digestion system. Just as the stomach and intestines digest food, the LA digests data streams. Indeed this is the LA’s sole mathematical purpose. We deem the LA’s computational process ‘digestion’, rather than processing, because of its many parallels with our digestive system.
Our stomach and intestines transform food into a form that nourishes our Body. The LA transforms information into a form that nourishes our Mind. Body utilizes digested food to provide biological energy, while Mind utilizes digested information to make better choices.
By employing the LA’s ongoing computational process, Life’s Information Synergy is able to both extract and assimilate the information that is relevant to fulfilling potentials. More specifically, the Executive utilizes the digested Info to make choices that increase the odds of satisfying the desires generated by Feelings.
Although they are part of the same mutually interdependent system (the organism), Body’s physiological systems and the ID System with its Synergy that includes Mind and Attention obey different rules and have different components. They even operate in a different dimension of time, have different mathematics and even belong to different logical systems.
We hope that this brief overview has provided the reader with some familiarity with the components and function of our ID system, the primary topic of this Notebook.