The Duhem-Quine Thesis and Underdetermination

It has been a little while since my last post. However, my readers can rest assured that I have not simply been loafing about. I have, as always, been attempting to learn. Before I launch back into my thoughts about Informationalism, I think it is appropriate to share some of my knowledge that I have acquired as of late. Perhaps it will reveal new biases that I might have acquired from my recent studies. Let us begin with my foray into the Philosophy of Science.

The Duhem-Quine thesis is an idea which undermines the idea of Falsificationism. This is a doctrine that I was quite fond of, I must admit, and so I was very sad to see it go.


This is an ideology that was espoused by noted individuals such as Karl Popper. This is the basic premise:

1. Science works by the means of modus tollens. Scientists make statments such as "If P then Q". If we know that Q is incorrect, then we know that P is incorrect by modus tollens. This is a sample rule of logic.

For example: If I go to the store, then I will buy a carrot. If I did not buy a carrot, then we know that I did not go to the store. The fact that I go to the story is supposed to be the theory, and the fact that I bought a carrot is considered evidence for this theory. Thus, if I did not buy a carrot, the theory that I went to the store has been falsified. Science then works by getting rid of all the bad theories and sticking with the ones that don't get falsified.

Duhem-Quine Thesis

The thesis underminds falisifcationism by examining the structure of the antecedent. Which in "If P then Q" P is the antecedent and Q is the consequent. According to Duhem-Quine, a theory is much more complicated than the statement "I went to the store." A theory, such as Newtonian physics, has perhaps thousands of axioms and interpreatations of empirical observations. Thus, a better way to represent this statment would be "If P, R, S, T.....n then Q". Consequently, if it turns out that Q is incorrect, then ANY ONE OF THE ANTECEDENT STATMENTS COULD BE WRONG!. P, R, S, T...n could be incorrect in many ways. In fact, one could measure it mathematically by using combinations assuming there weren't an infinite number of antecedent statements. The more complicated the theory, the larger the number of combinations that could make the theory wrong.

Here is the kicker. If it turns out that Q, which is the consequent, is incorrect then it is equally valid for the researcher to assume that any of these combinations which falisfy the theory is correct. For example, if a planet is not where it is supposed to be in the Newtonian framework, a scientists could reject one part of Newtonian physics or just throw out the entire framework. This means that the theory has been underdetermined.

How in the face of such an observation is normal science to survive? The answer will be found in Kuhn's idea of normal science, which I will elaborate upon later.


What can Duhem-Quine and Underdetermination tell us about Informationalism? One must first determine how to categorize Informationalism. Is Informationalism a scientific theory?

This is difficult for me to answer at this point. I would prefer to say that Informationalism is a value-based method. A method that values science highly nonetheless. However, Informationalism is scientific in the sense that it is not afraid to be tested. If we do our best to increase both the amount and velocity of data in a society, the hypothesis is that this society will blossom with creativity. This creativity will manifest itsself in the increased ability of the society to manipulate its environment to attain ever higher concentrations and velocities of data. That is the theory, one must then determine the best ways to accomplish this, and perhaps debate philosopically whether that is actually the highest goal of humanity or not.

Informationalism takes this as a given. The production, accumulation, and distribution of Information is the highest goal of humanity.

How do we accomplish this?

1. The reduction of the terms of copyright laws and the extent of rights to intellectual property.
2. We continue to broaden the reach of the internet and teach people how to use it.
3. We invest in scientific research and development and ensure public education.
4. We pursue common forms of metrics and communication so that language and measuring barriers are reduced (while of course respecting the potential benefits of diversity locally).
5. By enforcing the concept of transparency in national and international politics, and between businesses and governments of the people.
6. Eroding national barriers to make capital, labor, and data more mobile.
7. Investing in infrastructure to increase the volume and speed of data, capital, and labor that can be transported and the distances that they can be transported.
8. By realizing and balancing the benefits of centralization with the benefits of diversity from decentralization. A kind of separation of powers.

That is all for now.


Alpha Centauri Secret Project: The Planetary Datalinks

"As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master."
-- Commissioner Pravin Lal, "U.N. Declaration of Rights"

I stress this lines and this short video quite often. Though they are the products of mere play and imagination, they are of grave importance to Informationalism.


Creative Response

In the spirit of my new blog, I thought I might discuss how the economic concept of creative response relates to Informationalism.

Creative Response is basically when the rules have been changed to create inefficiencies in a market. For example, an industry is excessively regulated to the point that it cannot supply the demand for its good. The response: black markets!

Take the War on Drugs for another example. Creative response is a perfect reason for the failure of the war on drugs. There is, of course, a demand for drugs. Our harsh drug laws have not eliminated the demand for drugs, they have only restricted the supply. When you restrict the supply, the prices increase! Thus, by not addressing the problem of the demand for drugs and trying to destroy the supply, our government has fostered the black market creative response that has made drugs a billion dollar black market.

You may ask, how on earth does this relate to Informationalism?

As I've stated earlier, the free flow of information is a prerequisite for the establishment of perfect competition and the resulting pareto efficiency. Without Informationalism, we cannot have perfect competition and thus inefficient markets become the rule and not the exception. If we wish to remove the need for creative response which yields billion dollar black markets that cost lives and money, then Informationalism must prevail.


Fundamental Investment Launched!

Hello everyone! I hope that you have all been well in my long time away. I've been doing a lot of studying and I am more convinced of the power of Informationalism than before! Things have been changing and progressing rapidly for me in my life, so much so that I haven't had much time to blog. But, here's a short update:

1. I've launched a new blog called fundamental investment. Why? Because the free flow of information is crucial to economics. The only way we can ever hope to reach pareto efficiency is if Informationalism is fully realized! If you don't know what pareto efficiency is, I'm sure I'll talk about it in due course. As long as we keep secrets such as: patents, government contracts, high transactions cost on certain kinds of information, and insider information, our economy will continue to function at levels below the optimum. I am not saying Informationalism will solve all of our economic woes, but it will certainly make things better!

2. I've finished one short story and began a second that have Informationalism as an underlying theme. I hope to publish them someday, and perhaps I can provide links for those interested on this blog. It's science-fiction, for those of you who like the genre!

May you all be frank with your friends, enemies, and yourselves!


I spend a lot of time on here talking about Informationalism, why I think it's the future. Why I think it has the power to free the minds of every human being on this planet one day. However, today I just want to offer some music. An important part of Informationalism is being able to sit back and absorb the Information. Everyone is a teacher, but likewise is everyone a student. What can you learn from this video?

Here are the Lyrics:

No Surprises: Radiohead

A heart that's full up like a landfill,
a job that slowly kills you,
bruises that won't heal.
You look so tired-unhappy,
bring down the government,
they don't, they don't speak for us.
I'll take a quiet life,
a handshake of carbon monoxide,

with no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
Silent silent.

This is my final fit,
my final bellyache,

with no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises please.

Such a pretty house
and such a pretty garden.

No alarms and no surprises (get me outta here),
no alarms and no surprises (get me outta here),
no alarms and no surprises, please.


Informationalist Plea for Burma (Myanmar)

I will try to not make this post long-winded. However, it is something I feel quite passionately about. I wish to present the Informationalist grounds for revolution in Myanmar, and why I think they deserve their idea of freedom. First, a short history of the region, which can be found in greater detail here.

We will begin for brevity's sake with decolonization. When WWII broke out the area of Burma was under the control of the British Empire. During the war it was taken and occupied by the Japanese for a time, and then retaken by the British before the end of the War. In 1948 as part of decolonization Burma gained independence from Great Britian and a Democratic Republic was set up known as the Union of Burma. This union lasted until 1962 when a military coup placed a dictator in power who ruled under the guise of Socialism.
In 1988 due to economic hardship and frustration the people rose up in pro-democratic demonstrations. This resulted in another military coup and an organization know as The State Law and Order Restoration Council or SLORC came into power. This body renamed Burma Myanmar and promised democratic reform.
Free elections were held in 1990 with the National League for Democracy lead by Suu Kyi winning a clear majority of the vote. The elections were annulled, Suu Kyi was put in jail and thousands were killed in the suppression that followed. Kyi remains in prison and the world has been keen to let the brutal suppression continue...until this month.
Demonstrations begun by monks who practice Burma's strand a Buddhism began protests in favor of the jailed President. These demonstrations have accelerated into an all out organized movement against the SLORC. However, SLORC has one again moved to violently suppress the rebellions. In our society where Information is becoming easier to come by, they have cut Internet access and taken many unspeakable steps to make sure word of the oppression stays inside Burma.

An article on the most recent events can be found here.


As an Informationalist, I find this completely unacceptable. The SLORC is deliberately suppressing Information by violent means in order to maintain their grip on power. It is one of the most extreme examples of how the power of free Information is a dangerous to all forms of tyranny, be it over the mind, body, or both.
Also, as an Informationalist, I feel I must act in support of these people. So I implore the readers to do all you can to support this struggle. Write to your representatives, demonstrate. Gather all the data you can to bring to bear against this violent oppression. Remember, the good of the
I will be exploring ways in which action can be taken besides mere words on a Blog. I hope that you readers will join me.

All the best in this hour of human cruelty and possibility.
individual cannot be separated from the good of the group. The group for Informationalists is all of humanity regardless of genetic makeup or gender. Perhaps this even applies to every sentient being.


New Addition to Theses of Informationalism

In reading the American President Woodrow Wilson's 14 points, I found the first point to be quite profound. In my opinion, it should form the basis of how Informationalism treats diplomacy. The ultimate goal of Informationalism, of course, is the end of nationalistic governments. But the establishment of an Informationalist state would likely occur in an environment of nationalist governments like our modern governments. Thus, as Informationalists, one must have a method for dealing with such entities that is consistent with Informationalism.

This thesis is my attempt:
"Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view."

-Woodrow Wilson; Point I

Peace should always be considered the starting point for Informationalists. Only if an entity seeks to harm or destroy an Informationalist or an Informationalist state does that entity put itself at war with the Informationalist or the Informationalist state. What should follow is the peaceful dissemination of Information to Noninformationalist entities in order to change its paradigm internally.

This harks back to my post on Technique Perfection and Initiative. The action of an Informationalist entity is perfecting the technique of spreading the free flow of Information. This comes from an initiative that must arise internally. Thus while the Informationalist state seeks to perfect the Informationalist method, an individual, society, or nation must ultimately choose for itself to do the same. This is called, self determination.


A Trip Through Logic (From an Informationalist's Perspective)

I learned a little bit of philosophy humor today in regards to contradictions. After thinking about it a little bit in depth, I came to conclude that perhaps what I learned could be useful in demonstrating the necessity of Informationalism. Let us begin with the simple statement: "Everything follows from a contradiction."

What is meant by this? I was exposed to this argument:

It is raining. It is not raining. Therefore, God exists.

Now, at first glance this argument appears as nothing more than nonsense. But in most sequential logic this argument is completely valid. Meaning that if the premises are true, and the conclusion follows from the premises. Then the argument is also sound! Here is the argument spelled out in sequential logic.

P= It is raining
Q= God Exists

1. Show Q Assertion
2. ~Q Assumption (Indirect Derivation)
3. P Premise
4. ~P Premise

In order to prove the validity of this argument, you need only create a contradiction that follows from the premises if we assume the conclusion is false. We have done that, thus the argument is valid. We can derive ANY conclusion from these methods. As long as we have two contradictory statements and a conclusion, the conclusion is always a valid one.


Now, you may ask. Why on earth is this relevant? It will never been the case that at the same place and point in time it is both raining and not raining!

ABSOLUTELY! I would reply. But as an Informationalist one must look into the broader implications of this data.
What this actually says is: Someone who believes two contradictory statements at the same time must in order to be logical believe ANYTHING.


Do people do this? I'm sure you have encountered individuals, maybe even yourself, that have believed two contradictory statements at the same time. Maybe you believe that it is wrong to steal. And then in some cases you think it was reasonable for someone to steal. Maybe you believe in only one god, but at times you think it's correct to believe in multiple gods. Inconsistency.

One of the goals of Informationalism is to explore the premises and conclusions that create the thoughts in our own minds. We try and look at what the data says and determine if the conclusions are valid. But this is very difficult if one believes two contradictory statements at the same time!

So, I ask once again. Explore your reasons for believing what you believe in your mind. Do you find contradictions? If so, remember that you now have no real grounds to dismiss the truth of any statement unless you rectify the contradiction. Choose the conclusion or premise best supported by the data, and go from there.


Attack on Public Research?

I was reading this article which has to do with an attempt of private organizations blocking the ability of the findings from public research to reach a public audience. The article itself which can be found here focuses on the National Institutes of Health, which is trying to put up a government website which "has encouraged researchers to place copies of their published works at PubMed Central, and has worked with publishers to facilitate this process while avoiding copyright issues." Congress has been exploring legislation to make posting of such research papers mandatory. Stating, "the results of publicly funded research should be accessible by the public that's paid for it."
However, some publishers such as the Association of American Publishers (AAP) are lobbying against moves by the government to make posting the research mandatory. It is their assertion that mandatory posting of the research papers is "an attack on peer review itself and that government-sponsored hosting is an invitation to censorship and manipulation." Thus, they have been lobbying to block passage of the legislation.


I am of the opinion that blocking such a move is fundamentally wrong. Even from our current Uninformationalist system, research done with public money should be used for public benefit without incurring further costs. If a company wishes to produce a new technology that was discovered through publicly funded research; they should be able to charge the consumer for their production costs; but they SHOULD NOT be allowed to collect royalty charges for the technology itself.

That being said, I am still of the opinion that all research is fundamentally public property. I would prefer to see the day when there are no patents or copyrights. But that is going to require a fundamental change in how we view information. Until then, I will settle with protecting the freedom of Information that we have.


Carl Sagan Speaks

Carl Sagan is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest men in the history of the world. In all my readings rarely do I encounter an individual with such a passion for possibility. The possibility of a better life and a better world for everyone. He challenges our nationalism, our religious fervor, our own ethnocentrism in ways that to me make them seem indefensible.
When I hear him speak I a almost feel compelled to stand up and shout at that very moment: Do you not see, we are all one!
I am a firm believer in the technological ability and power of the human species to create a bright future for everyone who would embrace it. I hope those of you who read this feel the same.