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Anthropic Principle of Sense

The connection between self-organization and decreasing entropy – which I’ve considered dozens of times before, today gave me an interesting insight which connects self-organization and sense, which I hope could contribute to a mathematical appreciation of sense.

It goes like this: If you can discern increased entropy from decreased entropy, then there is a greater probability that eventually that sensitivity will inspire some effect resulting in decreased entropy, compared with a system in which absolutely no sensitivity is possible. This would only be true, however, if said inspiration by sensory affect had a potential for motive effect.

If we wanted to derive an anthropic principle for sense, we could say that only the universe in which sense and motive happen to exist and relate to each other in a sensible, motivating way*  will allow the possibility of any decreasing entropy at all. Without that statistical probability shaking out to at least one physical actuality, every universe would maximize its entropy instantaneously (if we assume that a universe without sense could even exist, which I do not).

What I’m trying to say is that a sensory-motor capacity is the minimum possible ingredient for any realizable universe – not just because intuitively the idea of an unsensed universe cannot withstand serious inspection, but now, with this equivalence of sense-motive and the possibility of negentropy, it can be understood from a stochastic perspective. Sense is the only capacity which can shift the odds of absolute instant entropy from 100% to 100%-ae, where ae is the qualitative depth of the private sensitivity (a) times the magnitude of its public effectiveness, (e). The more sensitive a system is to the difference between increasing and decreasing entropy, the more its efforts will end up decreasing entropy, even if some sensitivities lead to pathologically pursue entropy increase. An entity which selectively destroys order is still more orderly on balance than a non-entity, since its very selectivity leaves an unintentional trail of coherence.

  1. Universes with no sense
  2. Universes with impotent sense (affect without effect)
  3. Universes with sense but unrelated affect and effect (effect orphaned from affect is no better than chance, so causes no entropy decrease).
  4. Universes with minimally sensible sense (affect overlaps effect, but only under rare conditions)
  5. Universes where strong sensory-motivation (nested consciousness) is possible.

It seems like there is a cutoff between 3 and below and 4 and above, where the former has no chance to lead to the universe we find ourselves living in, and the latter has no chance of not leading to 5 eventually.

*i.e., a universe in which care and significance are married to intention and physical power

  1. August 19, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Right! A universe which could never “learn” would have no ability to detect signal from noise and would remain in a permanent state of “static” – meaningless and senseless.

    This is why I don’t like the “fine-tuning” argument that theists tend to endorse. It’s inelegant. The “highly tuned” constants were neither dictated by God in an act of willful creation (theist), nor a mere lucky outcome of chance (existentialist), nor a necessary contingent reality in a multiverse of infinite other but real universes with different constants (materialist). Instead these highly specific constant values were literally “discovered” by consciousness as it learned how to evolve. Though it discovered them as experiences of a certain sort, not abstract number values; that’s only how we perceive then from our human reference frame.

    • August 19, 2013 at 1:33 am

      It seems like the main thing that needs to happen is for us to flip our assumptions about our own human reference frame. Both the scientific and pre-scientific views are rooted in the assumption of a universe of human exceptional, but for the wrong reason. The fact that we are conscious may be the least unique aspect about us, but it seems like the most…which is how consciousness would have to work in order to achieve the desired effect of nested eternities of privacy.

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