Information Communication Cooperation: The Unifying Force of Human Progress

9781514672747: Information Communication Cooperation: The Unifying Force of Human Progress

This book comes to some surprising conclusions: Cooperation is much more important than competition and conflict. Cooperation is everywhere. The whole world runs on cooperation. Cooperation is fundamental to all life. Cooperation is increasing, and will continue to increase. Our societies could not exist without cooperation. Cooperation means working together and when two or more people are working together to do something they must communicate information. So information, communication, and cooperation are intimately connected. Cooperation is a fundamental principle of evolution which increases information creation and communication. It‘s the glue that brings and holds simpler things together to create more complex higher order things like us. While the concept of information and the inseparable ideas of communication and cooperation are fundamentally important, most of us don’t see this. We seem to be surrounded by conflict, violence, crime, fighting, war, killings, disorder, anarchy, selfishness, greed, the strong taking from the weak, suffering and misery. Why is this? It’s partly because these exceptions to cooperation frighten and remind us of our own individual vulnerability. Or it may be that we over emphasize conflict, violence, greed and so on because our ideologies say these are fundamental to our human nature and the basis of our social existence. They are not. Our human nature evolves. We are immersed in cooperation as fish are in water. And cooperation is increasing. Early on in this book I describe what information is. Most discussions of information don’t actually say what information is. They may give a few examples and that’s it. Then they get mathematical. We will start from a dictionary definition and describe information and analyze it every which way with numerous examples. Then we will use and develop these ideas of information and the inseparable ideas of communication and cooperation over and over throughout this book to describe ourselves, our cultures and our world. In this way we will come to understand, without mathematics, what information is. In terms of information, communication, and cooperation we will discuss: genes, memes, biological evolution, cultural evolution, environmental evolution, human nature, the brain and body, emotions, feelings, thinking, learning, memories, motivations, other human psychology, human groups, human organizations, systems, competition, human institutions including the family, property, religion, the law, money, business, science, art and entertainment, government. Also we will discuss education, secrecy, privacy, artificial intelligence, big data, economics, progress, the human necessities, and humanity. Here are a few important and surprising conclusions that follow from understanding what information is: Information cannot be understood by itself. It is inseparably connected to communication and cooperation. The same information can be many different places at the same time. It can be created, stored, destroyed, copied, transformed, moved from place to place. Information is used by someone or something to do something. Information is in or on something physical. Information is understandable, meaningful, useable only in the context of other information. New information is made from already existing information. Knowledge is a particular kind of information. Communication is transfer of information. Cooperation requires exchange of information among those cooperating. Competition is a form of cooperation but not the only form of cooperation. Competition is not conflict. Information, communication, and cooperation are increasing and together produce human progress.

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