[Fis] "the mother of information"

Karl Javorszky karl.javorszky at gmail.com
Tue Jan 22 11:34:49 CET 2019

Conscious, subconscious and unconscious

There are different denotations to these terms in different professional
contexts. For a psychologist, the opposites are conscious – unconscious,
but this delineates at the same time the metier of psychologists from that
of neurology and psychiatry.

The basic question appears to be whether the organism is living or not. The
differentiation into conscious and subconscious is a discussion on very
finely printed details, which are actually of no relevance in professional
eyes. Any person can pretend to be more idiotic than he is, as opposed to
the other way of disguise, one pretending to be more clever than he is in
reality, which pretence is not that easy to maintain.

In the classical case of a hysteric having problems with sausages,
cucumbers, carrots and chimneys it is irrelevant if the person knows or not
of what these forms remind them. After relaxation, they will have no
problem censuring the inner movie. The border being fluid between no-no
pretension and oy-wey suffering, in practice one may say that the net
benefits from pretending to be different and being different are really
exchangeable in quantity (otherwise it would not be necessary or would be
impossible to change the memory filing system). Acceptance of one’s
so-called “negative identity” ends the need to keep up lies envers one’s
self. If I don’t shame myself for myself, there is no need to lie to
myself. The obsessive occupation with unseen, hidden, mysterious parts of
oneself, which one declines to identify with, is either a sign of
overdemanding authority figures in childhood (“internalised repressive
introject”), or of unsolved curiosity of the secrets of the parents.
Neither of the variants are a big deal, clinically. The key tools are
self-exploration by asking oneself: What do I hide before myself, and Which
kind of curiosity do I entertain which I believe I should not entertain?
and similar rhetorical half-steps.

Much more interesting is the phenomenon of life itself. There is reason to
believe that the term “life” refers to a cybernetic feedback loop, where
the temporarily transversal – momentary, contemporaneous – state of the
collection (organism) exerts a running constraint on the alternatives the
same organism possesses in its process along the temporally transversal
mental axis. This process has been discussed in the FIS chatroom several
times in the last 10-15 years. The last time the interaction has been
presented in this chatroom, the analogy was with a battalion of soldiers
being fed beans and the non-synchronicity of the resulting physiological
processes. The fact that food is being digested and the resulting feeling
of hunger causes the organism to seek food again is a nice example of
momentarily existing states (full -> hunger) influencing the future
activity (lazy -> goes hunting).

As this august assembly has not yet found time, interest and courage to
address the interdependence between sequences and mixtures, a deeper
discussion has to wait to such days as participants realise that “now” is
different to “earlier” and “later”, but both can be transformed in a way
that shows how these perspectives may produce differing pictures, although
the underlying mental creation is one and the same. (Cf the tale of blind
people describing an elephant to each other.)

*Feedback loops* is the *general chapter*, *electrical discharges*
resulting from non-continuable states of collections is the *section*,
patterns of electrical discharges* resulting from non-continuable states of
collections that can be evoked without the state of the collection being
non-continuable is the *paragraph *in the rational description of a living

Am Mo., 21. Jan. 2019 um 22:05 Uhr schrieb Krassimir Markov <
markov en foibg.com>:

> Dear Pedro, Jose Luis and FIS colleagues,
> Now in Sofia we finish the students’ exams and I have a little time to
> analyze the posts.
> First of all, I agree with Pedro that “consciousness may well be
> considered as "the mother of information" “!
> At the second place, I want to comment the case with open and closed eyes:
> “ ... the entropy associated with subjects closing their eyes is lower
> than that calculated with eyes open.
> Obviously, one is equally conscious with eyes open or closed (unless one
> is sleeping!).
> Thus, what does this mean? “
> There are several hypothesizes about this phenomenon.
> I prefer the hypothesis about combination of the incoming sensors’ signals
> with signals coming from the long and short term memory.
> Schematically, Jeff Hawkins  in his book “On Intelligence” (
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Intelligence)
> [image: image]
> presented this by following scheme:
> [image: image]
> In other words, by closing eyes, one eliminates the need of combination
> and comparison of incoming signals with ones that are coming from the
> memory.
> If the incoming signals are ignored anyway, the process continue with
> combination  and comparison of sequences of sets (gestalts) of signals
> from memory which are more organized than incoming ones.
> So,  in sensor areas, as result from comparison of both kinds of signals
> one assumes that given set (gestalt) of signals is information or not.
> In General Information Theory (GIT) (
> http://www.foibg.com/ijita/vol14/ijita14-1-p01.pdf),  the incoming set
> (gestalt) of signals from the sensors is called “reflection” and the set
> of signals (gestalt) coming from the memory is called “information
> expectation”.
> Friendly greetings
> Krassimir
> ------
> Krassimir Markov, PhD
> Honorary professor
> University of Telecommunications and Post
> Sofia, Bulgaria
> president en ithea.org
> *From:* Pedro C. Marijuan <pcmarijuan.iacs en aragon.es>
> *Sent:* Monday, January 21, 2019 7:43 PM
> *To:* fis en listas.unizar.es
> *Subject:* Re: [Fis] Fwd: Further comments
> Dear All,
> Thanks to Xueshan for his preview of the next discussion session he will
> lead. I would ask him and the other parties who have just responded to wait
> a little. Our "tradition" of the New Year Lecture is that it lasts until
> the end of January. During the rest of the current Lecture we can do
> something that can be of interest: to air the way each one's views on
> information relate to consciousness. For instance, in my own case I left
> that crucial aspect in complete obscurity, in the underground, when I
> referred to the ten principles of information science.
> More related to the present discussion, I have always following the ideas
> drafted by Kenneth Paul Collins (1989) in his unpublished manuscript: "On
> the Automation of Knowledge within Central Nervous Systems". In my comment
> on Jose Luis' stuff, I made a mix with the ideas of both sides (but I had
> misunderstood the Figure on the entropy variation). Collins' key idea was
> the definition of a neurodynamic entropy based on the summation of
> excitation/inhibition ratios in the topographically distributed areas of
> the CNS. Then, variations of entropy corresponded with the development of
> adaptive behavior (and synaptic encoding), with very nice insights by
> Kenneth to map basic behaviors such as aggression, sadness, curiosity,
> high-level thought, etc. Reformulating these topodynamic insights in terms
> of the new achievement on connectomics, network science, criticality, and
> ideas such as those of Jose Luis and Ramon --couldn't it be a timely
> enterprise? Naturalizing the study of consciousness so that we see
> reflected our most important behavioral drives has general importance
> beyond the neurosciences themselves.
> But the above refers somehow to a few basic dynamics of correlates, and
> lacks a series of "engines" that keep the conscious going on according to
> the inside and the outside, the sensory and the motor, the low level and
> the high level, the emotional and the rational. As a result the enigmatic
> consciousness is carrying the possibility to alter in a fluid way the focus
> of contemplation of the world. So it provides "de gratis" properties that
> we assign or share with the most general notions of information, in
> particular those associated to "meaning". It may reduce the complexity of
> the surroundings in an astonishing way, so that we may see tiniest details
> together with highly integrative drives of other agents. It provides space,
> time, and a myriad of different adaptive percepts/acts or "cognits" for
> Joaquin Fuster (2009), and all the intricacies around our social lives
> (narratives)... In my view, consciousness may well be considered as "the
> mother of information." But before descending into this underground, a lot
> of work has to be done in the surface, co-ordinating the different
> approaches, as I have postulated around the life cycle.
> Anyhow, let us risk some exercising around the conscious, even only for
> ten days...
> Best--Pedro
> It is true that the current discussion  El 10/01/2019 a las 13:07, jose
> luis perez velazquez escribió:
> ---------- Forwarded message ---------
> From: jose luis perez velazquez <jlpvjlpv en gmail.com>
> Date: Wed, Jan 9, 2019 at 12:51 PM
> Subject: Further comments
> To: <fis-request en listas.unizar.es>
>       Colleagues, thank you all for your comments to our New Year's
> digital seminar. I will try to answer some things in those comments
> received so far in a more or less compact manner.
>       *Francesco R*. points out different notions of consciousness, and
> also of entropy. Let us clarify some things that, perhaps because of the
> word limitations, were not made apparent in the “talk” and of course more
> details can be found in the two PRE papers listed in the references.
> Nonetheless, let me say for now that we deal with *conscious awareness*,
> we prefer not to delve into the diverse connotations of consciousness
> (Edelman’s primary consciousness, higher-order etc.), rather our study
> deals in fact more with *optimality of sensory awareness* than with
> consciousness itself (even though these two are absolutely related, of
> course). Let me explain why because that was something we could not
> describe in the text due to the space limit.
>      Briefly, as can be seen in our PRE 2016 paper, the entropy associated
> with subjects closing their eyes is lower than that calculated with eyes
> open. Obviously, one is equally conscious with eyes open or closed (unless
> one is sleeping!). Thus, what does this mean? In animals like us that
> depend almost totally in visual input, stopping visual stimuli to the brain
> causes remarkable changes in brain dynamics. To wit, the appearance of very
> rhythmic oscillation, the alpha rhythm, in parieto-occipital cortex (but it
> can be recorded as well in frontal and temporal areas). Some studies have
> found that brain complexity is lower and its structure more organised with
> eyes closed (I don’t exactly remember but I think they used graph theory or
> similar), not too surprising after we see the very periodic and beautiful
> alpha; hence, not surprising either that this “more organised brain” is
> manifested in our study showing lower entropy. For these reasons, we tend
> to think that our entropy reflects more *optimality of sensory
> manipulations* rather than “pure” consciousness (for visual animals like
> us, being blind is not optimal at all!).
>      And this brings us to Francesco’s comment on the diverse entropies
> (which I will call from now on S for short… my fingers are getting tired of
> typing). There are indeed different notions of S and this is why it is
> important to specify what S is being computed. In our case it is the S
> associated with the *number of configurations of connected
> signals/networks.* *Pedro C.M*., in two of his points, refers to entropy,
> for instance: “ if the inner processes ring some alarm, that entropy
> would escalate enormously”. This in fact cannot occur in our case,
> because the S has a maximum value for certain number of configurations of
> connections, namely, when the number of connected signals are the same as
> the not connected. This is why the S graphs in the papers (and in my
> cartoon in the talk) are inverted Us, a Gaussian basically – the maximum S
> is at the top of the curve, it cannot increase any further. Many of the S
> values we see in awake-eyes open are close to this top, hence almost
> maximal.  It is important to emphasise again that we are evaluating the
> number of configurations of connections, the fact we go one step further
> and obtain an S adds very little in terms of concept but makes the wording
> and data presentation easier. That is, in awake-eyes open we have near
> maximal number of possible configurations (our microstates), and the
> macrostate is represented by all those configurations. For those into
> chemistry, this is akin to chemical equilibrium: equilibrium is found at
> the top of the Gaussian where the quantity of the two molecules of a
> chemical reaction (for the sake of simplicity let’s assume it is a reaction
> involving 2 molecules) is the same, and far from equilibrium we have lots
> of one molecule and little of the other. Sorry for this digression into
> chemistry, but I am a biochemist after all.
>         So this is our S, but if we were to consider the S applied to
> other aspects, say, ions/molecules, it would be different. Just extract the
> brain of a mouse and homogeneize it (a common biochemical technique to make
> neuronal milk shake). The S of molecules has increased vastly, complete
> disorder of ions and molecules. But this is not the S we are talking about
> here. That molecular mess cannot process any information/sensory input
> because there is no organization of cell networks, connections and all
> that.  Can our S capture brain dynamics, as *Pedro* asks? To some extent,
> but only in its global character, this is then reason for the second PRE
> paper, “Consciousness as a *global property* of brain dynamic activity”, where
> we used LZC which allowed us to capture the “microscopic” dynamics, the
> fluctuations in the configurations of connections that our S cannot
> capture. By the way, Pedro, when you say “All the brain areas relatively
> silent in the left side of your figure, when transiently connected with
> some portion of the central cluster of the conscious space”  I am not
> sure you understood the figure, the x-axis does not represent “silence”, or
> activity, in brain areas, it is number of synchronous channels:  in the
> left the number of synchronised networks is lower, but those nets may be
> very active, just not synchronised. Higher activity does not always lead to
> more synchrony, to wit, right at the start of epileptic seizures, when the
> cellular activity begins to grow, there is normally a decrease in synchrony
> (which then increases during the ictal event).
> *      Loet L.,* *Joseph B., *and *Francesco *have related points
> mentioning Prigiogine’s order through fluctuations and emergence. My
> opinion is that S is a concept humans created to characterise/understand
> phenomena, but I would not claim it is the cause of processes (like H.
> Haken thought as well, in his “Information and self-organization” book). It
> is for this reason we normally use the terms “S associated with…” in our
> papers. It is hard, in open, complex systems, to talk about cause and
> effect. As *Joseph B*. mentions, the emergent entity being actualized is
> not totally separate from states from which it emerged. Remember Haken’s
> enslaving principle.  The “control mechanisms” (Loet’s words) that may
> exist operating in neural feedback loops are hard to disentangle, because,
> due to the enslaving, one microscopic aspect may become a macroscopic
> “force” at some level. *Alexander F*. mentions their theory about the
> nested hierarchy of brain processes and talks about causal relations. But
> as for our study,  we don’t know. All we can say is that awareness is
> associated with larger number of possible configurations of connections
> among brain areas that may be needed for the integration and segregation of
> sensory-motor activities. We are now, as an extension of our work, trying
> to come up with an evolution law, something that will allow us to make some
> predictions about what can be found in certain brain states. This evolution
> equation may be related to the probability of connections, but we are not
> sure yet… this is something for another talk.
>        Let me mention too that fluctuations are fundamental for pattern
> formation, and in the nervous system we talk about fluctuations in
> synchrony that, perhaps via dynamical bifurcations (the existence of
> bifurcations in brain activity, at least in epilepsy, has been obtained *in
> vivo: ‘*Dynamical regimes underlying epileptiform events: role of
> instabilities and bifurcations in brain activity’  Perez Velazquez et
> al.,  *Physica D*, 186, 205-220, 2003), create patterns of organised
> neuronal activity. It is this organised activity pattern that is the
> fundamental for a proper, healthy brain information processing. In seizures
> you find lot of synchrony with not enough variability in the configurations
> of connections, hence not good for sensorimotor processing, thus loss of
> awareness is common during seizures. There is an extensive literature
> suggesting that variability in brain activity is associated with good
> health -- not only in neurophysiology, but also in cardiac activity,
> hormonal concentrations etc… Variability makes you healthy!).
>      Sorry we missed, in our papers, to mention some parallels of our
> results with* Alexander F’s *Operational Architectonics*, *above all that
> phenomenal consciousness refers to a higher level of organization in the
> brain. We will take note of this for future publications.
>    And finally, let me mention that I tend to agree with Pierre Gloor in
> his view of consciousness that he expounded in ‘Consciousness as a
> neurological concept in epileptology: a* c*ritical review' (*Epilepsia *27
> (Suppl. 2): S14-S26, 1986): “Consciousness cannot therefore be external to
> itself; it cannot be an “object, out there”; it thus cannot be observed. If
> I may be allowed to use the metaphor of describing consciousness as the
> *only* window through which we can look at the world, then it follows
> that when looking through this window we cannot see the window itself, even
> though it, too, is part of the world. Consciousness thus conceived is not
> an objectively verifiable datum; it therefore cannot be defined, and its
> very nature is not accessible to any form of objective analysis”.
> Like Gloor, I do not want to search for strict definitions of
> consciousness, rather for properties of it, which can be investigated, e.g.
> memory, self-awareness, motor actions etc.  To me, consciousness, like
> life, can be best defined by enumerating properties rather than by a strict
> sentence.
>    This is all for now. My colleague Ramon, I am sure, will have more
> things to add and comment.
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> --
> -------------------------------------------------
> Pedro C. Marijuán
> Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
> pcmarijuan.iacs en aragon.eshttp://sites.google.com/site/pedrocmarijuan/
> -------------------------------------------------
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