Life, the Universe and Nothing New Under the Sun?

Although I’ve not being doing much original writing recently – very busy at work, home & garden, and learning some semantic-web programming(!) – I’m still following the panpsychism traffic via twitter and via hits on the blog. I still owe Tim Bollands a considered review – he’s in good company with my “close but no cigar” verdict. He’s really looking for understanding rather than agreement so he deserves at least that. (Update, review done.) However, some old blog links getting hits the last two days, that joined-up some dots in my evolving evolutionary information thesis. Spooky, as I used to say.

A piece that intrigued me way back in 2002 – like the “e to the i pi =-1” (Euler’s Identity) linking 3 irrational “numbers” – a thought that linked quanta, information and life. (Not to forget that same identity is very close to the integration of singularities in turbulent flow – Navier-Stokes – at all scales.) Anyway, Apoorva Patel’s first piece linked above was Quantum Algorithms and the Genetic Code. On a re-read today, as well as that initial “Wow!” at the linking of quantum mechanics, DNA and information processing, it is fascinating in its own right on evolution as an information processing algorithm. Something that has since become central to all of my thinking.

Despite all the consciousness “hard problem” and “zombie” distractions with David Chalmers work, or other people’s interactions with it, recalling in 2005 that his important book on the topic “The Conscious Mind – In Search of a Fundamental Theory” actually made a big impression on me in terms of the fundamental nature of information. A name-check to David Deutsch in the same piece. All roads lead to IIT, EES and Universal Constructionism (UC). I suspect Bolland’s Universal Life (UL) may in fact be close to UC, despite quite different philosophical gestation, since ultimately his definition of life is about living things “making themselves” (not just reproduction and sustenance but assembling from increasingly “atomic” but equally living components. The distraction for me in all these things is choosing baggage-laden words like living and conscious, to describe the “lower” levels).

David Lavery’s (2004) “Evil Genius” time-travel narrative idea to explore different philosophical metaphysical views of consciousness, especially the Cartesian turn where it went off the rails into scientism and objective dualism. A story which strangely links to this other book idea of my own which started here as “Ishmael’s Daughter”. (I have quite well-developed off-line versions of this project as a bio-travel chautauqua in the manner of a Pirsigian but watery US “buddy-movie / road trip” – Lila meets Zen and the Art?Oh, wait, Pirsig already did that.)

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