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Human Connections and Shannon’s Law: Love and Altruism

Updated: Jan 20

Not until the advent of Shannon’s Law do we have some satisfactory explanation as to why 99% of eukaryotes reproduce sexually. Since reproduction is a necessary feature of life, this kind of explanation certainly ought to play a significant part in defining life, by the way.

E. O. Wilson. Photograph by Jim Harrison.

Already noted earlier ( Reason why sexual reproduction is much better than asexual reproduction is that it brings in more information, “more surprise” in Claude Shannon’s terms.

Entropy demands constant innovation. As time goes by, change everywhere takes place demanding dynamic adaptation. More information, more surprise, statistically means more chances of coming up with the right kind of adaptation given the circumstances on hand. Circumstances change, more innovations needed.

Similarly, reason why societies ought be open to divorce. All in the statistics involved. 7.9 Billion humans. Half males, half females. Presuming there is only one possibility of a perfect pair, this means only one out of (3.95 x 3.95) x 10 to the ninth power is going to be the perfect pair. One out of 15,602,500,000 possibilities.

In the case of sexual reproduction, one set of genes from the male plus one set of genes from the female gives more permutations possible. Ergo, more designs possible, more innovations possible that can match demands of entropy.

Attraction between opposite sexes is expected. More interaction between opposite sexes is expected. More events are expected when there is this kind of attraction. More events means, again, more information, more surprise.

Time runs, entropy demands more. This means coupling of two individuals that fail to generate more events are expected to have less chances of innovating, less chances of their coupling surviving.

More couples that survive, means more patterns, recognisable by organisms with brains, are generated such that these can be repeated by other newly generated couples. Means recognition of patterns becomes valued as memes. Reasoning in primordial form is generated. New forms of coupling become possible.

Soon, new forms of interaction become possible. Groupings are born.

At some point, choice between survival of couples, on one hand, and survival of groupings, on the other hand, becomes apparent and problematic. Equilibrium between existence of couples and existence of groups is disturbed by new challenges from the relentless demands of entropy.

Again, Shannon’s Law applies. At some point, more information is generated by systems developed by groups such that societies are born. Civilizations are generated.

Obviously, with civilizations, more information is generated, more surprise. Ergo more adaptation. This is the case of humans.

The case of social animals, e.g, ants, bees, termites, is another story albeit similar trajectory in time.

That highly civilised societies have fast falling fertility rates seems, to this author at least, is indicative of the eusocial direction of human development. It might be that at some point in time, long-term, humans are going to attain superorganism state altogether — that is if humanity survives environmental catastrophe and climate change.

Altruism wins, if this is the case.

Survival of groups more than survival of individuals wins at some level. Peter Kropotkin wins. Mutual aid gets to be recognised as as good as competition under the “laws of nature” in Darwinian terms. Only that Shanon’s Law intervenes.

This also means Teilhard de Chardin’s critical analysis of history applies.

Where does Artificial General Intelligence come in?

Eusociality among a vast number of humans require AGI intervention. First, the application of Shannon’s Law to understanding of humanity’s development needs to be affirmed by AGI when humans themselves have already affirmed the existence of AGI; this implies that models developed by authoritarian regimes are going to be abandoned. Second, management of the complex world of a vast number of humans within a historical period of unforgiving environmental catastrophe requires AGI intervention.

Already it can be observed that where there have been advances in Information Communication Technology, there has been dramatic downtrend in fertility rates. This downtrend is going to feed more time, resources and effort into further development of Artificial General Intelligence. More cyberspace events. More innovations that inevitably get to be used in the development of AGI. Expected.

Much as the advent of the human brain that contains over 100 billion neurons with as much as 30,000 connections each, the advent of AGI together with the advent of some superorganism made up of humans is going to bring in more information, more surprise, into an ever expanding universe.

Telling here is that love and altruism are going to be very much involved with all of these events. How Shannon’s Law applies to understanding of love and altruism.

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