3 Ways the Information Model Goes Wrong, and Why it’s Still Important

by Mike Sententia on May 26, 2011

For the past week, I’ve been reading about the Information Model of magick. I tried addressing it last post, but as I learned more about it, I realized the real model is deeper than I’d initially thought.

But it still didn’t feel right. 17 years modelling magick trains you to feel models, and the Information Model feels…off. And knowing something’s wrong, but not being able to explain what, drives me crazy.

Summary

Models are useful for different tasks. Quantum physics isn’t very good for modeling your liver, and cellular osmosis is terrible for understanding billiard balls. You can make a systematic model that covers everything, but it will be incredibly complex.

That’s my focus: A systematic model of all of magick. It is, in fact, quite complex, and the full model is definitely not beginner-friendly.

The Information Model is a poor basis for a systematic model of how all magick works. I’ll explain why in this post.

But it’s a great way to focus people on a part of magick they’re maybe ignoring. And it’s much easier to learn than a systematic explanation of everything. Which makes it an important tool. I’ll explain that in this post, too.

Review of the Information Model

This section is for anyone not familiar with the Information Model of magick. Feel free to skip.

Simple version: Everything is information. There is no energy. What you describe as energy is better described as sending information to the thing you want to affect.

I first encountered this on Patrick Dunn’s site, the Information Model was a main topic of discussion between Jason, Patrick, AIT, the Scribbler, Ananael and others. They were nice enough to explain it to me in their comments. Here are the quotes that most helped me understand it:

From Patrick:

Let me describe how magic behaves: I wish something to occur. I take a symbol of that thing, in one of several complex or simple symbol systems, and I express that symbol in an aesthetically satisfying manner, often in a state of consciousness in which my attention is focused on that thing. For what part of that is “energy” more appropriate than “information?”

If you propose, as I do, that material reality is a kind of consciousness, there’s no black box: information affects consciousness naturally.

In my experience magic does not work as if it is something even remotely similar to “energy.” It works by manipulating symbols, which are ways of organizing information, in our consciousness, which is a means of manipulating information. Why, then, one doesn’t want to use “information” to describe this thing that is very clearly and obviously an act of communication foremost… [Energy] does *not* match [my experience], as a metaphor, not at all. The preconceptions are not more or less in line with how magic works — they ignore the entire process of manipulating symbols and changing consciousness.

From Ananael:

As an example, let’s say you want to heat up a rock. In the Information Model what you need to do is transmit the idea of “hotness” from your mind to the field of consciousness pervading the rock. If your transmission is successful, the rock heats up because its field of consciousness now contains the information corresponding to “hotness” and the field then influences the behavior of the matter it permeates.

For more, read this, this and this.

Bloggers: If I’ve misstated anything, my apologies. Please let me know.

3 Ways the Information Model Goes Wrong

Here, I’m focused on using the Information Model myself, as a mage who systematically models every part of magick, including steps that most mages leave to the unconscious, to spirits, and to channeled forces.

It’s not the right tool for me for 3 reasons:

1. Saying “Everything is Conscious” Doesn’t Explain Anything

Patrick says everything is conscious. Rocks, trees, my table, everything. That’s why they interact with information.

The standard-English definition of conscious is something like “Has a mental model of the world that includes itself and its awareness.” That doesn’t make sense for rocks, and I don’t think Patrick intends that meaning.

Instead, I think he means “Has the property of interacting with information,” and he’s using “Conscious” as a metaphor for that. Which is totally fine. I do that so much, my blog has a glossary. (Patrick, sorry for putting words in your mouth here, tell me if I’m wrong about this).

Let’s replace “Conscious” with it’s definition:
Material reality is conscious has the property of interacting with information, so information affects reality naturally.

Nothing wrong with saying that, but it doesn’t really explain anything. We still don’t understand the process by which symbols affect the physical world. The word “Conscious” made it sound like we had explained something, but it was really just a curiosity-stopper.

Which brings us to the real problem with “Everything is conscious”: It sounds too good. I want to viscerally know when I don’t understand a step. I want it to bother me. I want to pick at it, model it, and test it. And when the words sound good, I might not.

For more on this, see these posts on Less Wrong, my favorite philosophy of science blog.

2. “All Magick is Information” Ignores a Natural Joint

A good model splits reality at its natural joints. If you have one kind of thing, that behaves in one way, a good model will give it one name. If you have two kinds of things, that behave in two different ways, your model should give each of them different names.

If you’re describing a car, you’d want one term for the wheels and another for the engine. You wouldn’t want a term for half a wheel (why make the split?) or for “wheels + spark plugs but nothing else” (why connect those?).

There are 2 main types of magick I know:

  • Send instructions to an external force, which handles the magick. Think psychics channeling information; some force translating ritual actions into summoning a spirit (or whatever); or turning on the energy when you do Reiki. I call those forces “systems.” They will read ideas, concepts or symbols from your mind and do magick for you. Instructing a system is kind of like using a computer program.
  • Directly altering individual energy signatures, pathways, and other magickal structures. I connect to a structure, activate it, change its signature, and move on. It feels like wiring a circuit board together, not issuing commands to a program. I call this “direct magick.”

The instructions you give to systems are sentences, and it feels natural to call them “Information.”

Also, systems are universal and conceptually big. Individual objects (rocks, trees, etc) don’t have systems. If you know object-oriented computer programming, systems are god-objects, not encapsulated objects.

The signatures and other properties I use in direct magick feel fundamentally different, and behave fundamentally differently than systems (“system” in the technical sense of “force that helps you do magick,” not the general sense of “way of seeing the world.”) (More on this below).

A model of how to instruct systems won’t help you understand how energy paths work, any more than knowing how to use Powerpoint will help you construct a computer. And vice versa.

It doesn’t feel natural to use the same term — “Information” — for the thing you send to systems and also the thing you use to interact with energy pathways. It suggests a connection that doesn’t exist, and might lead me to apply my model of systems to energy pathways, which would cloud my understanding.

A Favor

Most mages don’t do direct magick. Traditional styles of energy work — Reiki, Qigong, etc — are what I call “direct magick lite.” They work with energy and existing pathways, but they don’t create new pathways, re-route pathways in your mind or explore small connections between energy and physical cells.

I know how easy it is to assume that, because you haven’t seen something like “constructing the circuit board,” it’s just me misunderstanding something you have seen. I promise you, it’s not. If you’d like to read more about direct magick and learn to alter circuit boards yourself, this series is a great place to start.

And I’ll try to keep in mind that, just because I don’t have a concept of “Sending a command to a rock” doesn’t mean that Patrick hasn’t found something I haven’t seen.

3. Signatures Aren’t Information

Every time I read something an information mage (if I can invent that term) said, I would think “Signature = Information, it’s just a terms difference.” I call this the “Lesser Information Model.”

But then I would do magick, thinking “Signature = Information,” and it would just feel off. A dozen tries later, I know why:

When I connect to something — say a person’s tendon that I’m healing — I sense the signatures of their energy and the pathways it follows. After looking around a while, I figure out what’s going on, and then those sensations (pathways and signatures) become information in my mind.

It’s like seeing a painting. The colors are wavelengths of light until your retina and visual cortext turn them into information.

I know, this sounds like hair-splitting, like inventing a distinction to make an argument. I assure you, it’s not. This distinction has subtle but important effects on how I think:

Imagine you say the paint’s color is information, and the light’s color is information, and then that information goes into your mind. That sounds more natural and simpler than “Paint absorbs white light, emits light with particular wavelengths, which excite nerves in my retina, and so on.”

But notice what just happened: We obfuscated the process of turning that light into mental information. The retena, the visual cortex, a lot of complex steps, don’t seem necessary anymore, because the explanation sounds so natural. Which makes it harder to explore how the brain works.

“Information” also obfuscates how light implements color. (Wavelength). If we only care about color, that doesn’t matter. But you need wavelengths to develop lasers, microwaves, the 2-slit experiment in quantum physics, and a bunch of other useful inventions.

By obfuscating the real mechanics, we robbed ourselves of the discomfort of knowing we don’t understand, which robs us of discoveries.

Same with magick. Saying “energy has information” obfuscates how we interpret that information and how that that information is implemented. Which makes it less likely we’ll discover:

Sensory Connections

When you sense energy signatures and pathways, there are more-detailed and less-detailed ways to do it. Like the naked eye vs magnifying glass vs microscope.

I do a lot of work with improving sensory connections so I can see more details of how magick works. But the first step is realizing that sensing these structures is a process, so you can explore how each step works, so you can improve them.

Saying “light has blue information that goes into your mind” obfuscates the visual process. If I described energy signatures as information, I don’t think I would have modeled how my mind interprets them. Even just writing that sentence, my words kept tangling up on themselves, saying things like “my mind turns that information into information.”

Signature Mixing

When a spirit drains your energy, the main source of the headache isn’t a lack of energy. Instead, it’s because your signature doesn’t match the spirits, so you wind up with:

Final energy signature = (your natural energy signature) – (fraction) x (spirit’s energy signature)

The fraction is because it won’t drain 100% of the energy in its signature.

Could you model this with information? I’m sure you could. But subtracting ideas (rather than colors or wavelengths) feels awkward. I don’t think I would have seen it.

Signature Scale

A full signature is made of smaller signatures, like how a rock is made of molecules which are made of atoms, and so on. Working at a smaller signature scale lets you:

  • See signatures and small-scale paths more accurately. (Part of sensory connections).
  • Bypass shielding. If you work at a smaller scale than the shielder, you will find holes they can’t even see.
  • Make your signature match a system’s signature, which lets you command that system, even if you’re not initiated into its style of magick. (I call this hacking a system).

Could you model this as “information scale,” where a top-level information is made of smaller information-units, and talk about matching information-units? Sure. But again, it doesn’t feel natural. We’re not breaking a sentence into its words, we’re breaking a concept into its…I don’t know what concepts break down into.

Signatures, to me, are a feeling, not a meaning you can express as a sentence. I like using a relatively empty concept (“signature”) rather than something already I already feel like I know (information, concepts, etc). I don’t think I would have come up with “information scale” as easily as “signature scale.”

This is also why I prefer “signature” to “vibration”: Signature is an empty concept, whereas vibration suggests a certain physical implementation.

“But I Can Explain All That With Information”

I’m sure you can. You can stretch a model to explain a lot of things. That’s not the real metric, though.

The real question is: If I didn’t know the answer, would this model help me find it?

For me, the information model obfuscates more than it helps. It takes away the pain of not understanding, which makes exploring magick harder.

What the Information Model Gets Right

Patrick explains:

From the information model perspective, [if your magick didn't work], you’d be more inclined to look at how you conveyed the desire.  Were you clear?  Was the channel clear?

And I love Ananael’s metaphor:

Energy practitioners who work exclusively on signal intensity [rather than information content] could be seen as akin to the ignorant tourist who believes he or she can make a foreigner who speaks a different language understand English by shouting.

I think that was Patrick’s original intent. (Again, just a guess). He saw people focusing on “more energy,” and realized that’s the wrong way to fix the problem. And he’s absolutely right.

Models are useful for different tasks. I don’t think the Information Model is the right tool for a systematic explanation of all magick. But as a way to get people to stop thinking “more energy” and start thinking “clearer messages,” it’s fabulous.

Next

My previous post may be more useful now. It’s a technical explanation of how the energy model relates to the information model. Summary: Information that you send to systems is implemented as energy signatures of your mind.

If you’d like more on the moving parts that make direct magick work — what to do when you’re not using systems, and how systems fit into all of it — see this series.

And this coming Monday, I’ll post a guide to using those parts to get better results from ritual and system-based magick.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Patrick May 26, 2011 at 10:09 AM

1. I don’t say that all matter is conscious. I specifically say that all matter is consciousness: it is the stuff that deals with information. I don’t understand how that doesn’t explain anything. It explains exactly this: how manipulating symbols on pieces of paper can change reality, how saying words can make things happen, how we can know things through divination, and how spirits can exist without a body. Energy explains exactly none of that, other than by handwaving.
2. I don’t understand what you mean by “joint.” I think you’re suggesting that the information model is wrong because it’s monistic: it doesn’t argue that there are two different kinds of reality; it stresses that the material reality is a subset of the metaphysical reality, that physics is under metaphysics. That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.
3. I don’t understand this point because there is no such thing as an “energy signature.” The term is obfuscating whatever it is you’re dealing with, because there’s no such thing as an “energy signature” in the metaphoric model. The source of this metaphor, energy, does not have anything that maps, as far as I can see, to energy signature.
You complain that the theory makes you feel too comfortable, and then you complain that the theory makes you too uncomfortable. I don’t mind which theory you adopt to explain your magic. I can’t argue with your intuitions or your feelings. It is a bit unfair to call the information model obfuscatory, when it is the energy model that handwaves away the entire mechanism of magic. But I also don’t mind if you wish to be unfair. I’m frankly tired of arguing the issue right now; I obviously cannot make myself clearly understood.

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Patrick May 26, 2011 at 10:12 AM

One last, important thing. While I’d love to be lauded as the creator of the information model, it was Frater U.D. who first proposed it as a possible model of magic. I expanded it and use it. Also, it has existed in some form well before the energy model; most renaissance magicians had some form of it, and it appears in neoplatonic theurgy. The energy model, on the other hand, only begins to appear in western occultism after the 18th century.

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Mike Sententia May 26, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Patrick, thanks for taking the time to read the post and reply. I know how frustrating it can be to have someone come in, not quite understand what you’re saying, and disagree with what they think you said. So, thanks for being so patient in explaining. And if you’re tired, I’ll stop arguing, too.

About the Energy Model: From your reply, I realized that I’m borrowing terms from the Energy Model, but not really using that model, either. Really, I’m creating a new systematic model of magick, and borrowing metaphors from a few places. From your descriptions of the energy model, I agree with a lot of your complaints about it, particularly that it doesn’t really explain the moving parts (my first point could equally apply to a model that says “All matter is energy, therefore energy affects matter”). Also, some other points apply as well — in addition to energy, you need structures that the energy activates. So I’m definitely not saying “Energy model > Information model.”

I’ve corrected the “created by” section, and added some clarification on the natural joints section. Thanks for the feedback on that.

In all, it sounds like you’re done, so let me just thank you for an educational and enjoyable exchange. I hope it’s been helpful for you, as well.

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Patrick May 26, 2011 at 11:32 AM

I appreciate how very polite and reasonable you’ve been during this entire conversation, and I’m sorry if I came off frustrated or annoyed with you in that last comment. That wasn’t my intention. I am really quite frustrated with myself, that I cannot make something clear that is, to me, now almost a self-evident revelation about the nature of reality. But I do like this kind of discussion because it challenges my ideas and helps me to refine them. I’ll keep trying — once I finish this other, boring project that is eating my summer.

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Mike Sententia May 26, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Awesome! I’d love to pick this up again when you’re ready.

The thing I’d find most helpful in understanding your model is a step-by-step on what happens between “I think this thing” and “This change happens in the world.” What are the moving pieces? What do they do? Doesn’t have to be now, but when you have time, I’d love to read it.

Best wishes on your boring project :)

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Mike Sententia May 29, 2011 at 9:55 AM

If you’re interested in this this, be sure to follow our discussion on Patrick’s blog:
http://pomomagic.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/step-by-step/
and
http://pomomagic.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/definition-of-information/

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Dark Arckana April 1, 2012 at 10:46 AM

Patrick, might I say, it’s a pleasure to see you posting. I have been a fan of your book “Post Modern Magic” for a while. It was one of the first books I picked up. I have learned much from it, however I would have to concur with Mike on a few things. Personally, I find that “energy” is not the right term. I think the word “matter” is more appropriate for things that Psionic Pracitioners do. “Energy”, by definition is the capacity of something to perform work. It refers to a quality of things not a thing in and of itself.

In your book, you said that there are claims of Qi-Gong Masters breaking from across a room need to be demonstrated in a well-lit room with the lights on. This actually has been done. Furthermore, I, myself once canalized the ability at a gym I was working out in. It was spontaneous, but it happened. I threw a Ki based punch at full force and it hit the punching bag. I have done similar things prior to, but not to the same degree. I’ve always have trouble separating Magikal Matter (as I call it) from my body. It seems to weaken in intensity that way.

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John W. A. May 17, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Love this. Really great; this was incredibly helpful.

Although, I’m not entirely sure you “get” the Information Model, Mike.

I may be using a different variant of the Information Model myself, but many of the problems mentioned here do seem a bit different from what I’ve experienced.

Also, many of the metaphors and comparisons here seem to mention problems that can be easily fixed by using a varying model. The problem doesn’t seem to be the general idea behind the model, but the (bad) habits of (some of) the mage who uses the general model.

I’m probably going to try to write down what model I use. Maybe it might help me understand and compare it to this blog post, and (hopefully) it can help others. n.n

Great post. Love it.

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Mike Sententia May 17, 2013 at 10:34 PM

I might not get the info model. I don’t use it — I don’t use any of the standard models of magick (info, energy, spirit, whatever the other one is). Every time I read about them, they feel like they’re solving a different problem than I’m trying to solve, like they’re trying to find some simple way to think about magick, rather than trying to model how magick works under the hood.

I think your post put it rather well, actually:

A Model of Magick are pre-assumed beliefs or concepts that represent how you understand or operate magick. These are not indicative of what magick really is; think of them as rough metaphors, or pieces of a much larger (and complex) puzzle that mages have been trying to fully assemble for generations and ages.

A mage who could assemble a complete model would, in theory, be able to understand how magick works, what’s important (and what’s not) in what affects your spells, how to make them work, what magick can do (and what it can’t do), what are it’s theoretical limits, and so forth. He’d thus be able to use magick with a much greater understanding, possibly being able to create much more advanced spells with a higher degree of precision and/or chance of success.

In other words, the standard models are there to help mages conceptualize magick, and yet we all acknowledge there’s some underlying something going on; the models simplify that underlying something.

Except I don’t want to simplify that underlying something. I want to understand it. And giving a simplified answer helps me stop feeling curious, it lets my brain stop picking at a problem. And, while I can see the appeal of quieting that gnawing curiosity, I don’t want that curiosity to stop. That’s why I’ve never gone in for simplified models.

So, thanks, I think this conversation has helped me understand the disconnect I feel between my work and the standard models of magick.

Incidentally, this is also why direct magick takes a while to get your arms around: It’s designed to avoid simplifications, and to access that underlying mechanics. It’s not designed to be easy to grasp, or to seem like something that ought to be obviously true.

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John W. A. May 18, 2013 at 12:41 AM

The other model is the psychological one.

I know you don’t understand or “get” the Information Model. However, perhaps it’s because that model is explained in an unintuitive way, most often.

I think I could explain it in such a way that it could be much more intuitive. Since I’m starting my own blog series about models of magick, including the model I use, I think that might help (and others too).

For example, here’s how I understand the Information Model:

Think of any Fantasy or SciFi book you’ve ever read. Think of any Wikipedia page about a fictional world, or a Wikipedia page about a country. Maybe even think of any book that teaches something (like science, math, physics, geography, programming languages, etc).

Now, consider this; imagine that those books were written by this god-like being, and what he wrote became reality. His words became reality; his words make the world, and if he changes the words, the reality he made changed accordingly, as per what he wrote. This god-like writer-creator guy intends to write something, writes it, and so it is.

So… how does that relate to the Information Model? Easy; words are information. But, perhaps “information” or “data” are too raw and simplified. Perhaps “meaning”, “significance”, or “symbolism” works better; words have a specific meaning to them.

(So, let’s take a The Hobbit page on some fan-based Wiki. Say it’s the only one for the purpose of this example, and that Tolkien were creating it on a web page today – I know this is a strech, but just go with it. In this example, he’d be making a Wiki to represent his world, and contain the information inside it. If he added some paragraphs into a bit of a chapter, he could change something to make a new event happen. He could delete some paragraphs to keep something from happening. Rewrite some paragraphs. Etc.

In such a fictional world as in this example, we know this is a fictional world. And, as such, his words are truth for that fictional world, because it’s a world of ideas. If the example were a science book, rewriting the content of the book wouldn’t change real-world physics. But, since we’re using the example of a god-like writer-creator guy, you could interpret it in the same way the Wiki example works. That world exists in his head, and in it said world is real. If we’re in such a world, what if we could rewrite this world? That’s the mage who uses said “Linguistic Information Model”, albeit with varying degrees of power and/or skill.)

Maybe you’ve been thinking about the Information Model more like binary memory values in RAM, instead of something more tangible and familiar. If you think of the Information Model as words in a book, rather than 0s and 1s in a RAM stick on a computer, it may help.

Using this “Linguistic Information Model”, you’d give the world instructions. You’d be trying to rewrite the world as per your intentions. If you succeed, some words are rewritten. Maybe you’re changing something that will happen a few paragraphs up ahead, changing the probability of something in the future.

Using this to represent the present, you could (in theory) allow physical manifestation to happen (which is something I worked on in the past and achieved some degree of success, but I haven’t worked on it lately).

Thus, in this model you would have to be clear, like the Information Model. But, rewriting what already exists is very difficult; it would be akin to climbing a mountain, or etching words in a stone tablet using a cooper chisel (which is hard). You’d need to put a lot of effort into it, or use more effective tools (like paper and pen, or a clay tablet and an iron-tipped quill) in order to make it easier.

In order to properly put the maximum amount of effort (or “power”) into your spell, you’d have to align many different aspects of yourself (ego, superego, id, emotions, intentions, desires, and all those whatnots and doodads). Meaning a deep understanding of self would be necessary; much akin to how you use your “mental muscles”, except this would be more towards getting your mind in the right place, without visualizing energy or visualizing the external world. You’d visualize the end result, build up will/willpower, desire, and all the bells and whistles until you reached your peak, release it, and forget about it (so the spell can do it’s thing without interference from yourself).

In this model, you wouldn’t have to visualize energy. “Energy” would be more akin to a mental sensation and mental posture you use, instead of a “luminous gas” that has “colors/scents/feelings/etc that represent the vibration”. So, say you’re angry; that could be a type of “energy” you could use, but it would be more fruitful in this model to use said Intention/Desire/Objective/whatever to help power your spell and make it work.

Thus, no visualization (or imagination) of an interface would be required. You’d simply send out your Intentions/Desires/whatever into the world, and let it act.

(Although this is a simplification, this is my model, but I’ll expand upon this later.)

__________

For me, I don’t use Direct Magick as you present it, because energy is still an interface. This is what I call the ITA-Gap, or the Interface-to-Action Gap. If one were able to observe this gap directly, they’d be able to see how magick affects the physical directly, seeing how quantum particles, molecules, atoms, or whatever are affected by it. Unfortunately, we can’t do that – no mage has ever been able to, to my knowledgde, otherwise magick would be a recognized science (because we’d be able to prove it exists, observe it, replicate it, and use it for whatever purposes we felt like).

Direct Magick uses an interface, in the form of energy visualization. This is not direct – a middleman, even one as good as energy visualization is still a middleman. “A rose by any other name.” I do think you’re on to something, but it’s because of the ITA-Gap that I don’t like the idea of using middlemen in my magick. Until the ITA-Gap is crossed or observed, I don’t want to speculate on what I cannot prove or know yet. For me, I think I’ll have a better grasp of how magick works (on it’s side of the ITA-Gap, not ours) by understanding more Models of Magick, how they work, so I can put the pieces together better.

If I can understand how to best operate magick by understanding various Models of Magick, I’m pretty sure I would have a better chance of being able to create scenarios where I could observe the ITA-Gap, and I’d become a better mage. I stopped using the combination of Spirit Model + Energy Model (which, in fact, is incredibly similar to the model you use right now) because I was tired of speculating on what I couldn’t directly observe, prove, disprove, etc. The ITA-Gap was there, no matter what I did. I could astral project to see it, but I couldn’t prove it. And improving my Model didn’t make me a better mage, not really.

When I started trying to understand myself better, and started learning more Models of Magick, that helped a LOT. I was less focused on the ITA-Gap, and more interested in seeing how all the Models of Magick (that worked well) were able to work; because that would help me understand magick better, and myself. The end justified the means in this case, although vice versa is also true.

When I looked back, I was always facing the ITA-Gap. There was no escaping it. I could invent any explanation I wanted, I could visualize a lot, but the answers were always changing, because I was changing. I couldn’t figure out the answer, and I couldn’t prove it for anyone else – but not being able to prove it to myself really killed me. In the end, why bother I figured? Focus on what will help you in the “here and now” the most, because that’s what’s important. I didn’t want to be an armchair theorist anymore. I had written several books about magick that were about models and theories about an Energy + Spirit Model, and it did help cast spells better and understand magick better. But it only helped so much, and the self-delusion of pretending to know what I couldn’t verify, test or prove in any conclusive way was just a bad feeling. The self-delusion was the worst effect.

Later, when I refreshed my studies with new Models, I was able to correct the problem, by taking a much more objective, practical, and “here and now” approach to things; those things being my mundane life, my path as a mage (and my understanding of magick), who I wanted to be (which is reflected by my actions), who I am, how I understood myself and the world, and more.

The end result helped a lot. I’ll make a more elaborate and detailed post later. But, I hope this helps ya understand how the Information Model can be practical and easy to understand.

(Sorry for the uber-long post. X.X )

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Mike Sententia May 18, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Hi John, that’s a lot to reply to. In the future, you can post long things like that to your blog, and just leave a note here linking to it. That way, your readers can get to your stuff more easily.

On the “Writing in a book” model: It’s an interesting idea, but it doesn’t seem to correspond to the actual world we live in. If the only things it predicts are that the future is easier to change than the past, well, we already knew that, right?

On the gap: There will always be some space between the map and the territory. A map cannot be infinitely detailed, and we cannot mentally simulate the trillions of quantum particles that make up a single cell. But there are maps that correspond well to the territory, and maps that correspond poorly, and we can all agree that a smaller gap is better than a larger gap.

To quote Asimov: When people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together.

In other words, I’m after a better map of the territory. Not a perfect one, because we can never get there. But my goal is accuracy, rather than simplicity, intuitiveness, or ease-of-learning. (Which are all worthy goals, just not mine.)

So, I encourage you to leave short replies here, and long replies on your blog with a link here. I’ll reply to what I can. Thanks, and good luck.

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John W. A. May 18, 2013 at 12:43 AM

(Sorry, this comment is just for me to subscribe to this post.)

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