Everything is signal, by which we mean correlated.
We have contrasted the universe as either noise,
that is uncorrelated chaos, or signal, God, and decided that it was impossible to distinguish between which of the two the
universe might be. Here we will muse a little upon the consequences of the Universe as Signal.
Well, we observe, that we are each part of the signal, also, with our
correlations, infinitely many, actually, (although we who imagine ourselves conscious are conscious of only a few,) and so
fit right in to the signal we are a part of. At least as long as we are alive, and some might argue, even
when we are dead. (Here is a hope for resurrection, as any finite signal, (us) must have infinitely many copies in an
infinitely long and complex signal.)
is signal. We are like fish, swimming in a sea of signal. Everything that impinges on
the senses is a signal. A message from the universe. Everything is signal. But
what does it all mean? What can it mean? What is the meaning when any two beings communicate?
The news. The weather. How I’m feeling. I see you.
Do you see me?
So here we are, simple creatures trying to
parse, or decode, an infinitely complex signal. By an infinitely complex signal, we mean a signal with
infinitely many correlations, or relationships, between its infinitely many parts. Clearly such a signal
is impossible for us to decode. We are, after all, simple, compared to something infinitely complicated,
and can only decode the simplest components of the signal. (But of course, that is a simplification.
We are actually just as complicated.)
can imagine, we each have our own secret decoder rings. Each ring is capable of decoding some of the secrets of the universe.
Some is actually a very small part. But it is usually enough to get by. Although all decoder rings
share many common abilities, each person’s decoder ring is unique.
Our efforts to decode this signal range from mere survival to science. Some
people put more into decoding the universe than others. They have better decoder rings than the rest of us. They worked very
hard at developing particular aspects of their decoder rings, according to which aspects of the universe they consider most
important to decode. These are called scientists, or mathematicians, or philosophers, or theologians.
The Universe is signal. Attempts to completely parse
that infinitely complex signal we call science. And the reason mathematics works so ridiculously well is
that it is seeing, and analyzing itself. And the reason it works at all is some parts of the signal are more important, more
significant than others. Some parts of mathematics just seem to be more relevant to our experience.
But what else would that signal be?
could give it another name. We could call it God.
Fortunately, in order to survive, we don’t have to decode the signal completely, and react to it, completely.
We just have to decode it, and react to it, adequately. Indeed, even primitive life forms do an
adequate job of it for their survival. One of the many mysteries of life, and the universe, can be phrased
as the question: Why should this be so? Why is the world of the flat worm simple enough that a creature
with just a few neurons can cope with it? Or the even simpler world of the bacterium, which is just dealing
with, and reacting to, a particular, for each bacterium, chemical stew?
So some people can decode more complicated parts of the signal than others.
Others only less complicated parts. But since everything is signal, every effort at decoding the
signal is successful. This doesn’t mean the result will be correct, merely that some signal will
be extracted by the effort. Of course, the extraction of the wrong signal could be lethal.
But every effort is correct. The
results just may not be shared, or, in the case of possible lethality, relevant. A peculiar vibration noticed
by an eccentric individual may just be unimportant to others. Consider paranoia. The
(relatively) disordered brain picks up signals which are not noticed by anyone else.
But the signals, the correlations, are there, although their true reality may not be properly understood
by the paranoid individual, who also reads into his outside, his environment, the disorder of his own mind, some of which
he may even externalize, that is project onto his environment. This transforms the signal, but does not obviate it. So
this does not deny the existence of the conspiracy, which the paranoid sees aspects of. The conspiracy
is there, since everything is correlated, so are everybody’s actions, correlated. Part of
the usual disorder, however, is the paranoid’s tendency to see the conspiracy as centered on himself, and not be able
to appreciate its universal nature. Another part of the paranoid’s disorder is his unconscious tendency to accentuate
those signals, bringing them to focus on himself because of his own eccentric actions, acting on the unconscious, and conscious
minds of others.
Of course, all our minds are disordered,
and we each read into our environment that particular disorder. Where this disorder is shared by all the
members of a culture, it is of course dangerous to the survival of that culture. For instance, a culture of paranoid individuals
becomes a paranoid culture, and a danger to other cultures, who may, in self defense, ally, ie conspire, against it.
Anyway, the normal mind
has, or develops, a certain coherence, shared by other ‘normal’ minds, which allows the shared interpretation
of signals. But it also shares the restricting to the unconscious mind, the parsing of other signals, and the disregarding
of still other signals. This is because it takes time to parse signals, and only so many can be analyzed
in any given amount of time. Those signals tend to be the easiest to analyze, a shared ground on what is
considered most important. This development is part cultural, part organic.
But, it’s all God, communicating with himself. God has to communicate within
himself somehow. Likely he uses signals. Most of this communication would likely be
pretty trite. We can’t expect all the communication within God, God talking to God, to have cosmic
importance. After all, what does God have to say to Himself, that He hasn’t already said? Well, we
can suppose it all to have cosmic significance. Or can we expect any of it to have such significance? Light
beams from here to there. Heat. Signifying…?