2003 12 14
Do you like blondes or redheads?
We rapidly process the macroinformation from that answer. Speaker two likes blonds and redheads: without any immediate preference for either over the other. Implicitly, speaker two may well also like “brunettes” and any other synecdoche for women you could throw at him.
Note: that’s a lot of information to think of as conveyed by a data string only three characters long: y, e, s.
Macroinformation has no data: not initially. New data, as for example here at Macroinformation, must be specially made for it. The summary “Wow” is nowhere in the score of any Beethoven symphony.
The air in the concert hall vibrates. That’s where the data is.
The music (the macroinformation) is silent
and, like the mind, has no location.
The relevant information — the meaning, the aura, the gestalt … — is not in the “y” or the “e” or the “s”: or the word Yes.
Or, let me state that truth differently. The relevant information is not emergent merely from the immediate data context but as well from the context of all of the relevant data sets together: including the information in the speaker’s genes, in the ecology in which he lives …
How much information one processes under any stimulus
is more directly proportional to how much information is already
in one’s information banks than to how much data is in the artifact.
(If the speaker were a lesbian, or a radical Christian, or perhaps a Jainist … the gender of all of my pronouns may be reversed.)
High-level information, like truth, isn’t so trivial as to be literal.
In any case, the relevant information, the macroinformation, emerges from all of the ambient data: including vast amounts of invisible data.
(Washo may also like blonds and redheads whether or not the words “evolution” or “sex” have been added to her signing vocabulary.)
The kid taunts another kid: nyah nyah.
It’s done, world over, without training, in a sing-song.
Nyah nyah, nyah nyah
Nyah nyah-nyah nyah nyah nyah
In his Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard , Leonard Bernstein imitated that taunt on the piano. G E, G E, G G E A, G E. It’s a C chord: sung without the Root (C) being stated. The iteration of the Vth and the IIIrd gets bluesy as the VI gets added: the VI being a hair short of the overtone not on the piano, the note somewhere between A and Bb: a natural overtone.
The Root is of some importance in a chord, is it not? Yet here (as in so many solos) it remains unstated.
No one, not birds, maybe not plants, needs macroinformation to be explained to them to hear music. Yet I insist that music is pure macroinformation. Notes are data; key signatures are data; Common Time is data … But the music is information: full information: macroinformation.
Music: coherent in many dimensions
Robert Anton Wilson
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