Complexity, Entropy & Paradigms

Published Categorized as Insights

Further to the theme of creatively seeking greatness, I think I’ve been lucky to make some more insights. This carries on from the notes of the conversation between Karl Friston and Sean Carroll about ‘Free energy principle’, whereby we aim to minimise uncertainty but also seek out some uncertainty (novelty). It’s a curious paradox but evidently necessary. The answer lay in Sean Carroll’s book which is next to me on my bookshelf (but of course, that’s far too obvious), I had to stumble across it elsewhere, through some convoluted journey of chance. 

Essentially, the story starts with Per Bak insight’s into mounds of sand (in e.g. an egg timer). At a certain point the mound collapses. It can no longer support itself: One grain causes the entire structure to break. However, what’s happened is that through the collapse, the basis of a new potential structure has been afforded, from which a new and potentially larger mound can form.

In order for things to complexify, entropy is required to break the system so that something new (more complex) can emerge. 
It seems it is the same with human brain and our beliefs.
In order for us break our belief systems and create new intricate and complex belief systems we need some entropy to enter the system.
Evidently, according to this Free energy principle we are pre-disposed to seeking out this novelty which will potentially allow some entropy to enter. We need to be able to have some kind of recursive way to allow belief systems to be updated, since we cannot be absolutely sure about our belief systems.

(NB: Too much entropy is undesirable in case it breaks too much of the existing system for a new system to emerge. What’s needed is a fine balance)

What’s more, from a physics point of view, entropy and complexity are sort of symbiotic. 

I was also lucky enough to attend a fabulous talk yesterday about African divining practices. From what I understood, there seem to be deliberate practices to encourage entropy, in order to develop higher or more divine insights. So that’s given me lots to think about.