Chapter 23 Use of mappings


23.1 Applying the theory.

Probably the most direct application of the theory of behavior of information is the conscious use of mappings. Because all phenomena studied by science are externalizations, becoming aware of the mappings which relate several externalizations makes it possible to transpose the knowledge of one domain to another.

To get some confidence and some feeling for the technique, I will first give a number of examples of mappings between domains we know of. The goal is to use the same mappings to extend our knowledge or at least to make some clear hypothesis for extension of our knowledge.

23.2 Human body and society.

Although our society is still in full development and unstable compared with our body, yet we can find the corresponding elements clear enough to construct a mapping between the two. The mapping can be used in both directions. It can learn something about our body using observations of society and vice versa. This mapping can for example be used to anticipate some developments in society on longer term.
When we eat and digest our food, we convert matter of the environment and use the released energy to maintain and indurate our body.
Society needs also energy to maintain its functioning. Food is required for the people, other forms of energy are used for production, heating and transport.

The conversion of food and the extraction of energy is performed in different phases. In our body, dedicated organs are taking care of each phase. e.g. Acquisition of food, acquisition of air, production of the chemicals for digestion, breaking up the food, mixing with digestive chemicals, digestion, conversion of the available energy to more universal forms of energy (glucose), transport of the prepared energy to the cells.
The conversion of the energy resources into useful energy for society is performed in different phases. In society, specialized organizations are taking care of each phase. e.g. Harvesting of food, mining and drilling for coal, oil, gas and radioactive sources, preparation of the basic products. Transformation of the energy into a more universal form which is easy to transport to the users, distribution of food and energy to the individual users.

In our body, not all cells burn the same amount of food all the time. There is a regulation mechanism allowing parts (cells and organs) which have been useful to use more energy than others which are in a more latent state. Damaged cells use more energy to restore themselves, etc.
In society, not all persons or organizations use the same amount of energy. There is a regulation mechanism allowing persons and organizations which gave been useful to spend more energy to indurate their structure. Ill people get more support from society than healthy ones.

The regulation mechanism in our body allowing individual cells and organs to spend more or less energy is very complex. The amount of energy that can be spend by a part is not only determined by the part but by the body as an organism.
In society, the amount of energy that can be spend by individual persons and organizations is regulated by a complex mechanism called economy. The amount of energy that is spend by one person or one organization is not only determined by the part itself but also, or even mainly, by the parts of society which experience benefit from that part.

When the energy regulation mechanism in our body fails, some cells or groups of cells find a way to spend more energy than they are entitled to. They grow in a way which is not in proportion to their contribution to the maintenance of the body. These are parasites or cancer structures. Our body has a complex system to detect and neutralize such structures. When the protection against these structures fails, our body can suffer a lot by the drain of energy they cause.
Some individual persons and organizations find a way around the energy regulation mechanism of our social structures and economy. They gather much more energy (e.g. money) than they are entitled to. Our society has developed structures to detect and stop such parasite behavior. When detection fails, the society can loose a lot of energy through this drain.

Our body has a brain which coordinates actions at a relatively abstract level. Actions are planned and orders are distributed to lower centers where they are converted to smaller plans and from where more elementary orders are send to our muscles, glands, etc.
Our society has developed a centralized government where activity is coordinated at more abstract level. Longer term actions are planned and orders are distributed to lower level organizations which convert the plans in more concrete actions and distribute orders to accomplish the goals of the plans.

To adapt our (individual) plans to the situation of the environment, we use an internal model of the environment (world and other persons), senses to update the internal model and a lot of knowledge about the environment stored in the model. The perfection of this system leads to an increasing success in interactions with our environment.
To bring the plans of our organizations and governments in correspondence with the environment (world and other organizations) they use a model of the economy and environment to anticipate the outcome of an action. The perfection of this system leads to an increasing success in interactions with the environment.

Although specialization of the cells goes very far in our body, there are still some very basic functions which have to be performed by every individual cell. For example, every cell has to burn it own part of the food (prepared as much as possible by specialized cells and organs). To bring the conditioned food to the individual cells and to evacuate the converted products away from the cells, a complex transport system is developed.
Although specialization goes very far in our society, there are some very basic functions which have to be performed by every individual person. For example every person has to eat. Preparation of the food is done as much as possible by specialized persons and organizations, but the eating and digesting has remained individual. To accomplish this, a complex distribution system of food and a collection system of waste is developed.

23.3 Human body and its cells.

When we eat and digest our food, we convert some matter of the environment and use the released energy to maintain and indurate our body.
Every cell in our body requires energy to maintain its activity. Because the same matter can only be transformed once, there is a permanent flow of food required to every cell and a flow of processed material away from every cell. The blood serves as transport system for these materials.

We do not eat the material from the environment as it is found. Specialized human beings and organizations select and prepare the food to make it suitable for human consumption.
Our cells do not "eat" the food as we bring it in our body. Specialized cells and organs select and prepare the food to make it suitable for cell consumption.

23.4 More mappings.

In a similar way we could go on and look for mappings between cells and molecules, molecules and atoms, atom and particles etc. At one hand, the details would become very specialized and at the other hand it is always the same which is repeated with other words. This last point can be used to consider several mappings at the same time. We can replace the specific words in the text by their abstract equivalent and then instantiate the text, map the text upon a specific domain by replacing words following a list.

For example:

Text:

When an entity gains energy, the energy is distributed over all elements. However, not all elements do receive the same amount of energy. The amount of energy an element receives is related to the contribution the element made to the success of the recent actions of the entity.

Now we can replace the underlined words by their more concrete equivalent words of specific domains:


Abstract Map,  Map 1,   Map 2,      Map 3 
entity,        society, company,    human body 
element,       humans,  employees,  cells
energy,        money,   money,      food

Result 1:

When an society gains money the money is distributed over all humans. However, not all humans do receive the same amount of money. The amount of money an human receives is related to the contribution the human made to the success of the recent actions of the society.

Result 2:

When an company gains money the money is distributed over all employees. However, not all employees do receive the same amount of money. The amount of money an employee receives is related to the contribution the employee made to the success of the recent actions of the company.

Result 3:

When an human body gains food the food is distributed over all cells. However, not all cells do receive the same amount of food. The amount of food a cell receives is related to the contribution the cell made to the success of the recent actions of the human body.

23.5 Extrapolation.

To make a hypothesis about the behavior of elements in a specific domain, we can first establish a mapping between a known area and some known parts of the domain under study. We have to stabilize the mapping first by checking as much as possible parts we know. Then we can use the mappings to transpose the knowledge of one domain to the other.

We can extend the mappings of the example above by a mapping upon the realm of molecules and atoms.

Result 4:

When a molecule gains energy, the energy is distributed over all atoms. However, not all atoms do receive the same amount of energy. The amount of energy an atom receives is related to the contribution the atom made to the success of the recent actions of the molecule.

Result 5:

When an atom gains energy, the energy is distributed over all particles. However, not all particles do receive the same amount of energy. The amount of energy a particle receives is related to the contribution the particle made to the success of the recent actions of the atom.

The statements resulting from the extrapolation above can serve as hypothesis for a study of molecules and atoms. More complex examples require a lot more investigation and careful formulation.


More in next chapter on Artificial intelligence
This is Chapter 23; Use of mappings of Behavior of Information
Author: Luc Claeys. All comments welcome, mail to claeys@innet.be
Last updated on Jan 24, 1996