The overall theme of this blog is human knowledge: I am driven by a dissatisfaction with the way human knowledge is currently organized and want to get all the fundamental things right.
Where does knowledge start? With philosophy? With logic? With
psychology? With mathematics?
The thoughts on this blog can usually be
seen as belonging to one of these subjects. I do not care very much which subject I am dealing with but merely want to get the
fundamentals of knowledge right.
So how should knowledge be organized? One could answer that one
should organize knowledge so that it fits ones needs. Another answer is
that one should follow the organization that knowledge has by its very
nature, that one should not keep knowledge in a messy, confusing form, and this is what is most relevant here: I want to clear up mess.
Before you can get to know that something is one way or the other, you need to get to know the thing itself, and this blog is actually more about "things" than about "the way things are". Here are some ideas about things/objects which are central to this blog:
1. With computers, objects always seem to be closely related to information, and I have taken this a step further by standardly defining objects in such a way that they become nothing but information. (With the reservation that the word "information" is itself vague. I do not normally use it, but instead I speak of alternatives/possibilities: n bits of information corresponds to 2^n alternatives/possibilities and vice versa.)
2. An object can be "part of" another object. Here I need to warn you that I am using the expression "part of" in a technical way: Object A is part of object B just in case the information that makes up object A is part of the information that makes up object B (just think of how an object that is used by a computer can be part of another object that is used by the computer). I may also say that object A can be "extracted from" object B, that "object A is given when object B is given", or that "once you have object B you also have object A".
3. An object may be a "special case" of another object, where the second object is perhaps better described as an "idea". For example, a 3-dimensional space is a special case of an n-dimensional space. It is easy to make sense of this in terms of information.
4. As information is destroyed, part of the information that made up an object may be destroyed. In such cases you can say that the object has been destroyed, but it may be more accurate to say that the object has been "partially destroyed". Moreover, the destruction of information may also mean that two different objects become one and the same object as the information that used to distinguish the two objects has been destroyed. In general, creation means that more objects can be distinguished/discerned while destruction means that fewer objects can be distinguished/discerned.
5. Any object can function as an "idea", as a template for other objects. For example, any circle can serve as a template for other circles.
6. Information (which is related to objects, see 1.) is inextricably related to "computation", to the transfer/transformation of information, and the latter is closely related to "causality". A piece of information, by its very nature, suggests ways in which it might be extended into a larger piece of information as well as other ways in which it could be replaced by related pieces of information. Moreover, if you look inside a big piece of information that has been transformed you can see how its parts have been transformed, and as you do so you will often find that a part has "been left untransformed except that it is now in a new place", or in other words, that "information transfer" has taken place. I am inclined to think of this as being about the same thing as "causality": Where you have causes and effects you have information transfer/transformation, and where you have information transfer you have causes and effects.
The observations in 6. brings us back to the subject of "knowledge". Things/beings that have knowledge (such as humans, fictive but human-like beings, or knowledge-gathering computer programs) are unthinkable without causality: They obtain knowledge about objects by interacting with them (which involves causality), they think/compute (two things that involve causality) in order to further their knowledge, and they may also further their knowledge by relying on computations (causality once again) they have not performed themselves. In this blog I will try to make these activities transparent.