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🏗 Under construction.

Towards a general theory of communication

Claude Shannon’s vision was clear, and incomplete.

In a 1948 paper, A mathematical theory of communication (which I have not read), Shannon clearly defined the boundaries and central precepts of a mathematical form of communication, the fundamental principles of the transfer of a message from source14 to destination15:

writing live:

In this theory, individual conceptual objects of meaning — symbols — units of information and fragments of other informational or conceptual entities — bits, discrete in the virtual space, can be transferred or sent and received, perceived and interpreted. Its simplicity was surpassed only by its brilliance: largely due to the accuracy of Shannon’s descriptions of this phenomenon, information technologies have exploded in sophistication, utility and use across the world. …


Orienting ourselves in times of transition

We stand at a precipice. The next 40 years will decide the fate of the human race — of life on Earth — like no century, or even millennium, before. Our actions now, conscious or otherwise, are piling up like so many twigs to form the foundation on which will rest the institutions that govern an interplanetary species.

Aware of this, I wonder: what is our outlook? What are the risks — and where are the greatest opportunities to shore up critical structures so they form to protect and promote human dignity, and the enduring sustainability of our existence? These questions consume me, serve as the pole orienting the compass by which I guide myself. I understand that for each person, the answer will be different, unique to their perspective and worldview. …


The informational domain plays by its own rules.

  1. The failure to share information with someone who would benefit from it. (And, flipped, capturing the value of open information at the expense of its creators.)

2. The abuse of a public channel’s openness, rendering it unusable for others.

3. Not admitting to a security breach from embarrassment or due to reputational cost.

To be continued …


The Garden of Eden is in front of us, not behind us.

The garden as a place in which all living beings co-exist in harmony. No violence, no need for violence. Abundance. Scarcity needs are met and belonging needs can be freely pursued. Harmonious, sustainable living.

Context

  • This reality — Eden — never existed, except perhaps as truly inert matter. Since molecules developed agency, violence — action without the consent of that being acted upon — has saturated the interactions of communities of living beings. (A side note — if the receiver has no consent to give, is it wrong? What is consent and at what point does it emerge?)
  • As awareness evolved, our capacity to perceive the consequences of our actions developed. This gave rise to intent — consideration of action. …

Towards a general theory of communication

Value is a measure of a quality of an object.

All objects have many (infinite?) qualities. We experience these when we interact with the object.

Qualities are transferred through space and time, borne on data, which contains information about its source — the qualities of the object from which it was emitted or reflected. All data is analogue. Information can be analogue or digital.

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From Pexels.

Information is ubiquitous in the ether. It is infinite — at every point in space.

Data manifests in the ether, though the origins are unclear. Material manifestation — mass, ie. energy and matter — can all be considered data. …


A path to sustainability in the early 21st century

The drive for economic growth often sits in tension with the moral impulse to preserve environmental health. Economic value can be created by extracting and exploiting physical resources, and cost savings can be realized by degrading public goods. In the 21st century, however, emerging technologies are creating the opportunity to realign incentives so they point towards both economic and environmental goals.

Our protocol, here presented as an investment framework, focuses on two key technological domains which each represent profitable opportunities in their own right and, when combined, create an unprecedented opportunity to understand behavior and redesign individual and organizational incentive structures at a local, regional and global scale to promote decarbonization and sustainability. …


Programmable incentivization and its implications for self governance

govern: to exercise continuous sovereign authority over (Merriam Webster 2019)

sovereign: one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere (Merriam Webster 2019)

self-governance: government under the control and direction of the inhabitants of a political unit rather than by an outside authority (Merriam Webster 2019)

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Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Self-sovereign identities put the user in control of their data and financial assets. If governing can be thought of decision-making regarding the aggregation and allocation of resources, how could self-sovereign identities and smart contracts offer new opportunities for self governance? Opt-in mechanisms of incentivization based on the conditional provision or restriction of access to financial or informational assets could provide individuals with an enforceable mechanism of self-regulation, to encourage intentional behavior. …


Consensus networks in international law for a globally coordinated demos

Governance emerges when communities of sentient individuals interact. The tools and conventions of governance — rules, laws, traditions, morals, agreements and the like — serve to harmonize behavior and enable the stable functioning of the community.

These rules work by manipulating incentive structures to encourage individual actors to behave in ways that are more conducive to the successful functioning of the whole. Without governance, violence is the most effective form of control, and the most violent actors are often the most successful. Rule of violence denies individuals the rights to life and equality of opportunity we have come to understand as fundamental to human existence. …


The laws of conceptual reality: questions, not answers

I am struck by a missing link in my understanding of how the world works, one that I am coming to realize is fundamental to a complete and coherent worldview, inclusive of the informational domain.

Communication is the transfer of meaning between informational entities. Claude Shannon (1948) formalized a mathematical theory of communication, based on digital data. However, not all communication is mathematical in nature. While Shannon’s definition of a “message” is useful in his context, it is obviously only partial. …

About

Juvenalis

Homo integralis.

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