Aside: Non-Physical Risks and Resources

Resources are not limited to physical things like air, water and food.

If we give someone a biscuit, we will have one less biscuit; however, if we tell someone a story, we do not lose the story.  The biscuit is physical, whereas, the story is neither spatial nor measurable.  The story can be duplicated while remaining with us, as it shall with the one we told.

We can reject physical resources at our boundaries, but it is more difficult to reject influences that saturate our environment.  For instance, most of us are bathed in man-made radiation, as well as a toxic soup of chemical molecules, and we seldom take notice of either.  Because these conditions are relatively new risks for us, we humans have not yet evolved sensory triggers to warn of their dangers.  Our toxic overload may be recognized only after a critical point is reached, when it is quite difficult to reverse the cumulative damage.

Data overload is another kind of stressor.  Relatively speaking, healthy people eat, drink, breathe and rest in response to signals triggered by the body to help that person maintain physical homeostasis; whereas, triggers that would help us moderate the intake of data are sometimes less heeded.  A ceaseless flow of omnipresent data from our environment seeps into our unguarded consciousness.  Vast volumes of data are processed by every part of our bodies, from cells to systems, mostly without even the slightest sensation.  If any of the processed data warrants action by the collective organism, signals from the nether regions of the subconscious arise as urges, cravings, symptoms, intuitions, etc.  Otherwise, information processing drones on as background noise, where subliminally it may deleteriously influence the manners with which we cope, cooperate and create.

God and the New Physics, by Paul Davies, page 107:

The wave aspect corresponds to software, or mind, or information, for the quantum wave is not like any other sort of wave anybody has ever encountered.  It is not a wave of any substance or physical stuff, but a wave of knowledge or information.  It is a wave that tells us what can be known about the atom, not a wave of the atom itself.  Nobody is suggesting that an atom can ever spread itself around as an undulation.  But what can spread itself around is what an observer can know about the atom.  We are all familiar with crime waves; not waves of any substance but waves of probability.  Where the crime wave is most intense, there is the greatest likelihood of a felony.

And on pg. 112:

[A] wave … encodes the information (software) about what an observer is likely to find the particle [hardware] doing when he observes it. 
The wave (not the particle), “can spread itself around”.  The wave is “what an observer can know about the atom”.  The wave “encodes” the probability of what a particle will be doing when observed. 

The above-mentioned wave is what Quadernity calls the INformative aspect of something not yet singled-out in space-time.

Waves of knowledge and streams of serial data points are not physically present somewhere in space, yet they have real effects.  As sub-empirical data they can be ignored as background noise, even as they subliminally influence — for better or worse — the ways we cope, cooperate and create.

Quoted from Information: The New Language of Science, by Hans Christian von Baeyer:

In 1961 [Rolf] Landauer succeeded in locating the precise point in any computation in which energy is converted to heat and carried away as waste.  In sharp contrast to received wisdom, he found that the manipulation and transmission of a bit of information does not necessarily entail dissipation of energy, or, as a computer designer might put it, a thermodynamic cost.  His discovery has since been called Landauer’s Principle: the only step that involves an unavoidable expenditure of an atom of waste is the destruction of a bit of information by erasure or by the resetting of a register.  For example, if a computer stores a 3 somewhere, and adds a 5 to it, these two digits will be erased and an 8 put in the place of the original 3.  If an infinite memory were available, and you never had to clear a file to make room for new information, the computer could operate at zero cost; but a finite memory, or a finite magnetic tape, has to be erased before the next computation can commence.  The energy wasted in that seemingly innocuous cleaning operation is the cost of forgetting.

It costs nothing of an entity to allow resources to flow through it; it costs only to disrupt the flow.  One bears the cost of inhibition (closing the boundaries) when anticipating vulnerability to exploitation or endangerment.

Retaining, redirecting or curtailing the flow is costly.

Information flows freely.  Going with the flow is free.  It is the meaning we make of data that makes it risky or resourceful.

What costs us (all who have limited storage capacity) is the compression of data, which requires that we forget an entire multiplex of sensory stimulations and in their place store only the meaning we personally deem worthy of recall.

Here is an interesting article from Quantum Magazine: To Pay Attention, the Brain Uses Filters, not a Spotlight.

Although we can misfile a memory making it hard to retrieve, forgetting something on purpose is nearly impossible.

It is a false assumption that, as a general rule, we will better survive if we recoil our boundaries* to resist what is unknown.

*Currently, spring of 2019, a debate rages about whether it makes sense to “build a wall” at the border between U.S. and Mexico.

Behaviors that withhold, contract, confine or constrain resources actually deplete resources.  Such efforts may be protective in the short run; however, if persistently practiced or automated, the efforts made on behalf of self-preservation will ironically lead instead to self-destruction.

The struggle against the way it is is a futile comedy of errors.  Eventually, we will have to let go and allow ourselves to both receive and extend into all that is.  This is the truth that shall set us free.

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