On Recursive Feedback between Mind and Information

Open Access
Author:
Mishra, Vidur
Area of Honors:
Information Sciences and Technology
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr. Richard Matthew Doyle, Thesis Supervisor
  • Steven Raymond Haynes, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Information
  • Mind
  • Recursion
  • Self-Reference
  • Feedback Loops
  • Meditation
  • Attention
  • Consciousness
  • Reality
Abstract:
In this cybernetic age, there is a growing body of scientists and philosophers who have started to think that “information” is as fundamental to our understanding of the world as particles and fields. The project explores a recursive relationship between mind and feedback loops of semantic information through the careful analysis of literature from history, philosophy, and technologies of information in the vast scientific and philosophical literature. While exploring this feedback relationship, the project explores the effect of overconsumption of information on our states of consciousness in this digital age of information abundance. The overabundance of information is correlated to an inflation of the “self-referential” egoic activity in our minds. The most profound and fruitful solution to this problem lies in the meditative practices of eastern philosophical traditions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. The aspects of the eastern philosophy of mind, along with western theories of consciousness such as integrated information theory and strange loop, provide for a much more complete understanding of the consciousness than they each do separately. The project argues that the “self” or “ego” is a virtual illusion that arises due to the self-referential movement of recursive semantic information. In contrast to illusory self, consciousness is argued to be intrinsically and fundamentally real.