Vimarsh Shah
Vimarsh Shah

Vimarsh Shah

Information, Bandwidth, and Trust

Vimarsh Shah's photo
Vimarsh Shah
·May 30, 2022·

5 min read

Subscribe to my newsletter and never miss my upcoming articles

Table of contents

  • Premise
  • Tech and Humans
  • 📈📈 Bandwidth
  • Trust
  • So...

A thought experiment on knowledge, our communication systems and what the future will hold with brain-machine-brain interfaces like Neuralink.

Cover from book - Godel, Escher, Bach \ Showing how the real thing when presented from different sides shows different information \ The process of piecing together this information is Knowledge In today's increasingly connected world, there arises a big question of whether all these developments are hampering Human creativity or not. So, does these advancements and constant pursuit for more information and dependence on technology hamper our creativity?

Premise

I truly believe that what we are limited by is not constraints of resources (although in the short term – yes) but rather by our ability to become more knowledgeable species. This post “Are we running out of resources?” gives a great logical justification on why, even if we are – our knowledge and skills will greatly improve using those resources.

Resources are not limited. Only human knowledge is limited. Should any particular resource begin to run short, our creativity will bring into being the knowledge of how to replace that resource from either some other source or by using some other means to accomplish what that resource did.

With shortage of coal / petroleum we are coming up with better greener energy sources. With production of cement being more and more resource intensive; new materials and designs are in making for constructing buildings in a greener & safer way.

The now is the future

We always think the next year, decade, century is the most important for deciding our future. People predicted the collapse of modern society as coal will run out; the worry for the rebuild after world war to fail. The people in 17-1800s thought their time to be crutial in defining the future of modern world based on science and experiments. The Greeks thought how significant their philosophy was to define the future and so on. In fact, the current state of humanity is not due to one such advancement, but a compounding effect of all of them.

This is about knowledge. It's the 'truth' now how it is shared and conveyed is what I call “Information”. The process of piecing together this information is Knowledge.

Information flowing through fiber optics cables

Me stating that tomorrow will be a rainy day is a piece of information. It's not knowledge – it is the condensed form of knowledge used to determine that condition. And most of the time that information is more than sufficient.

  • The problems occur when that information is taken as enlightened knowledge and further drained / condensed.

Tech and Humans

It's known that technology widely influences human behavior and culture. AI has been shown to make its own interpretation of culture from its learning, and that is being passed on to us. Chess players have for the last couple of years used engines to find out new ideas about playing chess – new patterns/openings/insights never known before.

All the advancements in language modelling seem worrying, but are a new phase of the age of information. Image generation models like DALLE2 & imagen will be groundbreaking when polished a little more in giving the ability to people to condense information in a single glimpse-able data point (aka a picture).

We as humans should be taking advantage of these technologies to communicate with each other in better ways. The power of language, communication & collaboration is what made us (humans), come such a far way. This will enhance it.

Vastly connected world - sky view of a city at night with lights in buildings and vehicles buzzing around

📈📈 Bandwidth

The age of information according to me started when we were able to communicate with each other. First via paintings and emotion—slowly via the use of a common language. We had wheels to help move around faster – coordinate faster, build weapons, machinery faster. Then came trains, automobile, telegraph, planes, and the internet. With each advancement (however miniscule it may seem) there was an apparent increase in bandwidth of spreading information.

This 'bandwidth' soon will increase to an extent of being together (with AR/VR) while using the power of highly advanced art designing tools, coding tools and more. Human-brain interfaces will be the pinnacle of it when we are able to communicate faster than what we can speak at. We will directly able to share thoughts at an insane speed.

Trust

The foundation that all these systems rely on is trust. Trusting the party who is sharing with you the information, trusting the source, and your own tools receiving it. When information is in highly condensed form, there is no knowledge about its original truth. And when that information is blasted to us on our screens, our eyes, our brains it will be extremely trivial to understand the real knowledge rather than just those few frames we are flashed with.

Sometimes the flow of information deliberately needs to be slow. There needs to be space for interpretation.

So...

These were just some random thoughts I had on how we have evolved our information game and more importantly why sometimes not relying just on information is super important. With every form of transmission, we are losing a bit of information; so our focus should be on gaining knowledge rather than just sharing information.

This is Truth -- showing a cylinder-- \ also true --showing a shadow of circle and rectangle--

 
Share this