what’s in a story?

more french pipes, this time with a modern bagad style band. oddly enough, even though france has a tremendous variety of pipes, the bagad is a recent copy of the Scottish model for a pipe band. it’s always interesting how history does loops around itself, and makes the influenced become the influencing.

to close up the recent series, i’ll provide a simple test to falsify what i wrote about information representation. if brains are information machine based on projective spaces, then we can imagine a test: provide people with texts with information they know, but write them in a language they don’t know. i postulate that if the mutual information between the test subjects’ knowledge and the information used to represent the remaining information is the determining factor of transmission. it is not what is contained in the transmission, but whether the people reading it understand the language it is written on. and the worse they are at it, the worse they will understand it. this is equivalent to testing different coordinates in the language space, and the ones that are perpendicular (like me and zulu language) will cause complete absence of understanding despite the topic. this is a simple test that makes clear that it’s not the content determining understanding, instead, the determining factor is the mutual information that allows for the communication itself. if i think of other tests i’ll post them.

but today i’m focusing on a different topic. if we accepted the model described so far, there are some consequences i want to discuss. the main one is that distinct narratives carry more information than a single narrative. unless we are to compare a mindspace to reality, which is an objectively measurable task, we have no way of differentiating between different mindspaces in a quantitative way. to put it simply i’ll illustrate with an example. we’ll do it with a simple miniverse with symbols {a,b,c,d}. these are the symbols available to brains in this miniverse. two brains emerge, one that, through experience and so on, contains the mindspace {a,b}, and another that contains the mindspace {c,d}. now, according to information theory, is it better to have two observers with {a,b} or one with {a,b} and one with {c,d}? in the first case, we are dealing with two arrangements of two letters, so the information is 2 bits. in the second case, we are dealing with two arrangements of four letters, so the information is 4 bits. the math is very simple in this case (please correct it), and the results show something obvious: there is more information in different representations of reality than in the same.

remember that we are dealing with mindspaces, not the full data. this means that people might have different expansions of their mindspace, but the mindspace can be the same. for example, two english speaking individuals can write different sentences, but their mindspace is english, meaning they will be both working on the same mindspace. this is a simplification, but it is used for clarity.

this is where my writing will begin to lose neutrality. i defend that information should be maximized as the biggest universal value. i will explore the consequences of defining it as the value on which everything is based soon. for now, it is important to understand that, in its simplest formulation, this guarantees that personal subjective stories are more valuable when they are unique, versus several copies of the same information. this is the seed for an objective formulation for the preservation of subjectivity.