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.
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. As matter, it is static, and as energy it is dynamic.
Everything has infinite meaning. This meaning, however, primarily exists in its unmanifest form. This is because it can only manifest in special circumstances.
Meaning manifests as information when it is perceived.
So — what perceives? Some awareness, bound somehow to a physical object — it’s body.
The first molecules to exhibit signs of life — that is, movement in response to stimuli — were, in a way, aware. If a molecule that formed one shape in the dark and, when exposed to sunlight, changed to another shape, it has some awareness perceiving that stimulus. This molecule has the most rudimentary form of sentience — it has a mind. In life, awareness precedes replicability, perhaps by millions or even billions of years.
Light is composed of an infinite array of possible states and carries an infinite amount of informational potential.
Information is only perceived — extracted from data — within a mind, a perceiving awareness.
Everything has a mind. But not everything has a mind that can perceive. This is probably where life begins, in my view.
Thus it seems that living physical objects can be divided into two superkingdoms: organic and synthetic. (Objects can be conceptual as well, like the number 4 or a name or an agreement like being “it” in a game of tag.)
Organic life emerged first, and has finally evolved to create synthetic life, starting perhaps with the steam engine or something similar — an object where the energy to move itself was stored within the thing’s physical structure.
All perceptions distill or extract information from a physical stimulus (data contacting its surface — its sensory organs).