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NerdyKeith's avatar

What are your thoughts on the Enformationism Theory?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5479points) April 23rd, 2016

There is quite a bit of extensive information about it on this website

What are your thoughts on this?

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13 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

It is a terribly designed website. I did not proceed any further.

SavoirFaire's avatar

In general, it is better to explain what you want us to discuss than just provide a link. In any case, let’s look at just the welcome page.

From the site:
“This website is a place to explore the meaning and ramifications of a new philosophical and scientific hypothesis that I have chosen to call Enformationism.”

Also from the site:
“This informal thesis does not present any new scientific evidence, or novel philosophical analysis.”

And then:
“I am neither a scientist, nor a philosopher.”

So if I may summarize the introduction in my own words, it basically says:
“I am going to present a new theory based on no new information or analysis that crosses the boundaries of two disciplines I don’t know anything about.”

Sounds promising. ~

Looking a bit further on, “enformationism” couldn’t possibly be the successor to the “19th century paradigm of materialism.” For one, materialism is a 17th century paradigm (19th century materialism is a whole other theory, and not an ontological one). For another, 17th century materialism already has a successor in the form of 20th century physicalism. And lastly, “enformationism” is clearly more closely related to 18th century idealism than it could ever be to materialism or physicalism.

Furthermore, the entire project is based on the misconception that there is not already a project underway to investigate the phenomenon (the author mistakenly says “pattern” here) in which “enformationism” is interested. As it turns out, the author simply doesn’t know where to look. Linguists, information scientists, and philosophers of both mind and language have all been looking at the phenomenon of information for rather a long time (and probably not just them; those are just the areas I have personally studied that connect to the phenomenon).

All in all, every aspect of the project seems to be grounded in ignorance. Rather than try to make it sensible, it would be better to just burn it to the ground and start again with a better grasp on the work that has already been done. Even if one were to ultimately reject all current theories in the end, an alternative is bound to be better formulated when it is crafted from a place of knowledge rather than from a place of ignorance.

Also, I am inherently distrustful of anyone who gives their own theory a fanciful name. In general, theory names grow out of the discourse that surrounds their development. Naming one’s own theory is an act of ego, not intellect.

Seek's avatar

It sounds distinctly like something that isn’t a word.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Seek It’s not. The author was disappointed that “informationism” was already taken, so he changed the first letter to “e” to get “enformationism.”

stanleybmanly's avatar

I can’t seem to open it from this phone. I saw the green page with all the categories. What exactly is it about?

Seek's avatar

OH DEAR GOD that website is straight from the 1998 junior high, “I’m skipping school in the library because I don’t have internet at home”, Angelfire free site builder.

Seek's avatar

It even force-plays MIDI music at you.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Information Theory is a valid science which is most useful when applied to many other sciences.

It’s unfortunate that web site presents the concept with such amateurmysticalism.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Scientists and Philosophers are always on the lookout for significant patterns in Nature from which they can extract specific meanings.

Those who understand information theory do not. Meaning cannot be extracted from a pattern. Meaning can be authored about a pattern. But patterns cannot transmit messages.

Those extracted pieces of meaning are then labeled generically as information.

No. The “ation” denotes information as a process… not a thing. Information is the process of forming the unformed. A thought has no form. It must be encoded into a physical reality. Information is the act forming the formless.

But how that “information” came to be encoded in the material of nature is not often questioned by scientists.

There are many different kinds of scientists. Those who study information theory understand that all codes can ultimately be traced back to a sentient author who in-formed a formless thought into a physical code which represents the original thought. Those who study personality disorders don’t concern themselves with such things any more than an Information Theorist cares about narcissism.

That’s not considered to be a practical project, so it’s left to impractical amateur philosophers to speculate on the origins of information: e.g. which came first, the informer or the information——the sculptor or the sculpture?

It is not “left to impractical amateur philosophers”. It is hijacked by them, misunderstood, miscommunicated, and puked back out upon the internet as some kind of false gospel to be believed by the tasteless.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies The website is not about information theory. In fact, the author laments that the term “information theory” was already taken and refers to something different than what he wants to discuss.

Of course, we might be less than keen on taking the author’s word for it given his lack of understanding with regard to the other theories he mentions. But the statement of his actual thesis makes it plain that he is not talking about information theory. He is making a claim about ontology.

Gnomon's avatar

Hey NK!
I was transferring the 10 year old Enformationism website to a new host, and in the process stumbled on your question in Google. Although the theory has been thoroughly discussed on PD, it’s interesting to me to see how those not inclined toward Deism view the idea . . . and its amateurish presentation. I’m not surprised that some found the website cluttered, technical, and unconventional, since it was my first attempt. I apologize for imposing my taste in music upon casual browsers, but the rationale was that music is one of the many forms of Information.

It’s also not surprising that some, who do know about Information Theory, found Enformationism Theory to be misinformed and unscientific. However, as RealEyes said, “it’s not about Information Theory”, but about some philosophical implications of that theory. Enformationism is not about Science and Physics, but about Philosophy and Metaphysics; it’s not about Computer Science, but about Ontology. At the time, I was so enthusiastic about my pet theory that I crammed-in a lot of relevant information, in order to cover all bases. In later writings I take this website as a reference document, so I don’t need to go into so much technical detail.

To sum-up the website, here’s a quote from the footnote on Information Science : “Some of us are generally familiar with the technical concept of Information Theory. But few of us, including the majority of scientists, have grasped the broad philosophical implications of the discovery that information is the substance of reality. . . . Most of those areas of study are still in the theoretical and hypothetical -– hence, philosophical -– stage of science. But I predict that, by the end of the 21st century, they will be considered established fields with practical applications. Science evolves, new paradigms emerge, and old fields of study fragment into sub-fields. But I believe that Information Science (the arithmetic of reality) promises to re-unite all fields of human understanding: Philosophy, Religion, and Science.”

One implication of the trending notion that the material world ultimately consists of immaterial Information (e.g. Mathematics or Binary Code) is that it could be something like an idea in a divine mind, as proposed by Plato. I took that concept and developed a personal worldview from it. Hence, the Enformationism thesis is based on the un-provable axiom of a godlike entity similar to the reason-based god-model of Deism. I don’t expect many people to share that neither-religion-nor-science worldview, but it serves my purposes as an open-minded Agnostic, who hopes to answer the old conundrum : “why is there something, instead of nothing”. Perhaps the potential for actual reality is immaterial and eternal, like Mathematics (abstract information). Potential : the power to be.

Anyway, I’d like to know what you think of the Enformationism thesis . . . apart from the overdone presentation. Is it a reasonable alternative to the prevailing worldview of Materialism, which is baffled by the paradoxes of Quantum Theory? Does it make sense as a rationale for the fringe religious philosophy of Deism, in which the deity (the Enformer) is not an invisible humanoid, but an eternal principle equivalent to Logic and Mathematics?

PS__The website was created before cell phones became ubiquitous, so some functions may not work. For example, the portal in the center of the index page doesn’t indicate a “Click Here” when you point with a finger instead of a mouse. But it will take you to the Welcome page if you touch it.

Gnomon's avatar

NK
For your information, Enformationism is a non-binary (BothAnd) worldview, which could potentially offend or alienate the 90% of people with Either/Or attitudes. In that sense, it’s like homosexuality. Modern science is learning that gender is not binary, but a Bell Curve with most people in the middle, and a few on the tails that don’t conform to the norm. See Scientific American, September 2017. Likewise most people can’t wrap their minds around a concept that attempts to reconcile scientific and religious beliefs, based on the recent discovery that Matter & Energy & Minds are various forms of Generic Information.

Enformationism, as a personal philosophy of Life, the Universe, & God, is a blend of Science & Religion, Materialism & Spiritualism, and Conservative & Liberal beliefs. So only a select few will find it understandable and believable. That’s why I don’t proselytize, but merely invite criticism in order to help me refine my own understanding of how the world works. Those who are happy with their Black & White (us versus them) worldviews won’t find wishy-washy Enformationism palatable. Anyway, like Darwinism, it’s just a theory.

Gnomon

PS___FYI, Quantum computers are non-binary and all-inclusive, so it’s not just about sex.

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