Afterthought 2004: Two of the giants of quantum math, Schrödinger and Dirac, both spent time at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Dublin. Schrödinger, in fact, wrote his most important nonmathemetical book there -- What Is Life? [1948], in which he defined life as a function of negative entropy. This thought seemed so radical and far-out that nobody began to grasp it until Wiener and Shannon showed that information also behaves like negative entropy. Information = that part of a message you didn't expect; the unpredictable part.

Or as Wiener once said, great poetry contains high information and political speeches contain virtually none.

And therefore Life = negative entropy = high information = surprise and initial confusion = tuning-in the previously not-tuned-in.....

Got it?

**The Celtic Roots of Quantum Theory** By Robert Anton Wilson


"The main plots throughout these books are many. One follows Markoff Chaney, a midget, and his pranks played on the world that continuously screws him over. Most of his pranks are played on Dr. Dashwood, of Orgasm Research. However, the most important plot line follows the path of one Hugh Crane which may or may not be this Universe's Hagbard Celine; a character that is an obvious representation of Wilson himself.

Another follows an "Ithyphallic Eidolon", a penis removed from a transsexual woman named Epicene (post-surgery, Mary Margaret) Wildebloode. She puts it on display on her mantelpiece, and it gets stolen. It passes through the vicinity of almost every character in the series at least once. There are dozens of conspiracy theories, strange loops, satire and paranoia included within those pages. In addition, there are numerous references to other works and occasional outright appropriation of characters from them (including cameos by Captain Ahab and Lemuel Gulliver, among others).



"In this formulation,
information begins to appear as structurally similar to
Schrödinger's onto theological concept of life,
which also comes to our attention through the mediation of a
code-script."--Steve Garlick

Code-Scripting the Body: Sex and the Onto-Theology of Bioinformatics by Steve Garlick, seems to me to be a 'gem' hiding away somewhere in the vast virtual academic library waiting for a search engine to strike up 'Claude Shannon' and 'Norbert Wiener' and ;Schroedinger'.

I personally never heard of Steve Garlick before this article, I am attracted to his name though as a near anagram of Agarick without the 'L' and so here I realigned his fine words, with the upmost respect, and re-present compressed 'illuminated highlights' from the essay I highly recommend.

Code-Scripting the Body: Sex and the Onto-Theology of Bioinformatics by Steve Garlick

Remixed and annotated by Steve 'fly agaric 23' Pratt. For ETTT.

"onto-theological" from Heidegger,
who uses it to refer to the essential character of
metaphysical thinking
insofar as it represents beings in terms of both
"the ground that is common to all beings as such" (onto-logic) and
"with respect to the highest being which accounts for everything" (theo-logic).

In this new physics of life, Schrödinger's influential contribution
is the idea of a "code-script,"
which he likens to an "all-penetrating mind"
that always already knows
the future development of the organism.

The term "code" implies that there is an underlying
systematicity to nature, or a technic that is fundamental to
life itself. Yet a code is also something that conjures up

Presumably, the secret possessed by a genetic
code-script concerns the origin
of the natural order that sustains the life of the organism
as it battles thermodynamic entropy.

"It seems neither adequate nor possible
to dissect into discrete 'properties' the pattern of an organism
which is essentially a unity, a 'whole'"--Schroedinger.

Schrödinger's conclusion is as follows:
...I in the widest meaning of the word,
that is to say, every conscious mind who has ever said
or felt "I"-am the person, if any, who controls the
"motion of the atoms" according to the
Laws of Nature.

Within a cultural milieu where certain conceptions . . .
have been limited and specialized, it is daring to give this conclusion
the simple wording that it requires. In Christian terminology to say:
"Hence I am God Almighty" sounds both blasphemous
and lunatic.

But please
disregard these connotations for the moment
and consider whether the above inference is
not the closest a biologist can get
to proving God and immortality
at one stroke.

The conscious mind may be that which allows us
to recognize our identity, but it is not the essence of life itself.
Indeed, Schrödinger never explicitly defines life in his

It appears as a somewhat mysterious, natural force
that organizes thermodynamically open systems, and which
evades the tendency towards
maximum entropy.
Schrödinger, then, introduces into genetic science
the metaphor of the code of life
with implicit and interrelated connections to both
onto-theology and (hetero)sexual difference.

The way in which this was to be picked up in the
emergent discipline of molecular biology
depended to a large extent, however, upon the
resonance that readers of What is Life? found with two other
major intellectual tributaries of the
mid-twentieth century:
information theory and

At that time, (1940's) Schrödinger was posing the question of life,
and of its code-script, in a way that complemented and fed into
two other influential contemporary approaches to problems concerning
the communication of information and the
control of bodies (both mechanical and living):
Claude Shannon's information theory, and
Norbert Wiener's cybernetic theory.

In this formulation,
information begins to appear as structurally similar to
Schrödinger's onto theological concept of life,
which also comes to our attention through the mediation of a

The convergence becomes all the more apparent when we
consider that, for Shannon and Weaver, the measure of
information is defined in relation to entropy,
while for Schrödinger (and for the biological tradition more generally),
life is defined through an antagonistic relation to the dissipating
forces of death.

Thus, in a sense, information theory
makes apparent something that was
implicit in biological discourse all along.
In both cases, the freedom that belongs to
information or to life is a product of the entropic disorder t
hat sustains-through its opposition-the organization and order
to be maintained.

The concept of a
(secret) code
enables the reproduction and development of life,
or the transmission of information,
to take place within a context of overall

The rejection of meaning
as a relevant aspect of information theory
is a key feature here.

The transmission and reception of a message
are conceptualized simply as an engineering problem.
Shannon and Weaver insist that,
"information must not be confused
with meaning.
In fact, two messages, one of which is heavily loaded
with meaning and the other of which is pure
nonsense, can be exactly equivalent,
from the present viewpoint,
as regards information"

Yet insofar as the transmission of biological information
comes to be taken as analogous to the reproduction of life,
information theory
implies a new role for sex
within genetic science-one that has proven difficult to reconcile
with the onto-theological commitments of earlier
biological thought.

He was especially concerned with the role of
feedback processes
in enabling a system to adapt to new circumstances
through time.

whether technological, social, or biological,
which incorporate
hold the potential for adjusting themselves
to deal with changing situations.

Crucially for Wiener, to be effective as
the information content of a message must be
resolutely defended against attacks of

Like Schrödinger,
he was interested in the implications of quantum
theory for the understanding of life,
especially in the lack of absolute
determinacy that it implies, and for the
possibilities it holds for explaining the
maintenance of homeostasis.

Rather than the immortality offered by a code-script
withdrawn from the thermodynamic flux,
however, Wiener believes
that the stability of the organism is wholly dependent
upon its acquisition and use of
reliable information
from the
around it.

Where Shannon and Weaver
associate information value
with entropy,
Wiener opposes the two.

This divergence in definition is more apparent
than decisive for the import of the two theories.
The crucial difference actually lies in Wiener's extension
of the concept of information in such a way that
reintroduces the meaningful content of the message.

While Shannon and Weaver measure information
in terms of the freedom of choice among
potential messages within the communicative
situation as whole,
Wiener is not prepared to accept
such a narrow definition of information.
Most notably, by removing the bracketing of
meaning from the message, and by
information with
organization, Wiener opens up the
communicative system to a return of the

Just as Schrödinger's
is the expression of God at the basis
of life, Wiener's concept of
information evokes a divine origin for organized

Again, in the battle of life and death, of order
and entropy, we discover the underlying
dynamic that shapes the situation of
the natural organism or
communicative system.

Wiener advocates a new conception
of quantum physics that will address the element of
chance and contingency in the fabric of the universe.

About this element of chance he writes:
"For this random element, this
organic incompleteness, is one which without
too violent a figure of speech we may consider evil; the
negative evil which St Augustine characterizes
as incompleteness, rather than the positive
malicious evil of the Manichaeans".

Entropy-the tendency towards
disorganization and
disorder-is the manifestation of evil;
it threatens life with a slow descent into
total chaos.

Information resists this evil, and therefore is on the
side of the good, and, as per Wiener's reference
to St Augustine,
on the side of God.

Cybernetics is the study
of messages that organize and are,
at bottom,
of divine origin.

"A truly singular,
unprecedented phenomenon would in some sense make
no sense-we would lack the
tools of signification
necessary to read or interpret it"

By bringing the meaning
of the message back into
the equation, Wiener may be said to
expose the unthought thought of information theory,
and we find that this is the
secret of a divine origin.

The question is:
from whence would the message with the highest
possible information value arise?

What is the name that we may give to
the source
of order and organization, which first
informs matter and energy?

Wiener's implicit invocation of
God in this place of origin is reflected in the fact that,
for him, information and life are identified
with meaning:
"In control and communication we are always
fighting nature's tendency to degrade the organized
and to destroy the meaningful".

The fight against evil is one in which
the meaning and natural order of life
are clearly at stake.

Whereas for Shannon and Weaver
the freedom associated with information is sustained by
entropy and disorder,
Wiener gives voice to the other side of the tension
meaning and
information insofar as he
posits that entropy or freedom is a threat
to life.

Might this unconscious
connection between sex and the
hormonal feedback mechanism that coordinates
affective messages be a sign of some greater force
or purpose in life?

The concept of genetic information
was formalized in 1958 when
Francis Crick laid out what was to become the
key tenet of molecular biology:
the Central Dogma.

This is the idea of a unidirectional flow of
information from DNA to RNA to proteins
as the fundamental chain lying at the
basis of life.

The Central Dogma rejects the cybernetic notion of
in favor of an emphasis on the delivery of a
message carefully composed at the origin of a
causal chain.

In Crick's formulation,
which was quickly to become accepted truth, genetic
information is self-contained, inviolable,
and holds the key to life.

we find that information discourse is identified here
as a dematerializing force that cannot comprehend
the plenitude of nature's

"fundamental reprogramming
of the rhetorical
software of
Concepts of (hetero)sexual difference provide
a resolution (however unstable)
to the problem of the paradoxical freedom of nature
by distributing the divergent desires for control
of nature and a subordination to a divine or
natural order into separate ontological dimensions
of life, implicitly coded as masculine and feminine,

While cyberscience marshals an informatic discourse
that implicitly throws the meaning and
stability of natural order into question, the resulting anxiety is
repeatedly alleviated by the reaffirmation of
(hetero)sexual difference, which functions to
ensure the reproduction of order, authority,
and the biological knowledge of nature."

--Steve Garlick is Assistant Professor of sociology at the University of Victoria. His research interests focus on gender, sexuality, and the sociology of knowledge. He is the author of “Organizing Nature: Sex, Philosophy, and the Biological,” forthcoming in Philosophy and Social Criticism, and of “Mendel’s Generation: Molecular Sex and the Informatic Body,” in Body and Society 12.4 (2006): 53-71.

////What Is Life?////

"He continues to explain, in chapter V, that true solids, which are also permanent, are crystals. The stability of molecules and crystals is due to the same principles and a molecule might be called "the germ of a solid." On the other hand an amorphous solid, without crystalline structure, should be regarded as a liquid with a very high viscosity. Schrödinger believes the heredity material to be a molecule, which unlike a crystal does not repeat itself. He calls this an aperiodic crystal. The aperiodic nature allows to encode an almost infinite number of possibilities with a small number of atoms. He finally compares this picture with the known facts and finds it in accordance with them.
In chapter VI Schrödinger states:

  • matter, while not eluding the "laws of physics" as established up to date, is likely to involve "other laws of physics" hitherto unknown, which however, once they have been revealed, will form just as integral a part of science as the former.

He knows that this statement is open to misconception and tries to clarify it. The main principle involved with "order-from-disorder" is the second law of thermodynamics, according to which entropy only increases. Schrödinger explains that living matter evades the decay to thermodynamical equilibrium by feeding on negative entropy.


As Weiner wrote, great poems contain high information, Political speeches contain little.--RAW, Recorsi

To continue I would like to add some reminders of why Schroedinger, Shannon and Weiner are important in the context of RAW, and 'the tale of the tribe'. RAW seemed to me to be contemplating and writing on Schroedinger, Shannon and Weiner, in both his fiction and non-fiction since the late 1950's, some hard motherfucking science, is what I'm saying.

"What underlies the accelerations noted by Henry Adams and Korzybski is nowadays known as the selection of negentropy out of stochastic processes. Our understanding of this is chiefly due to almost-simultaneous discoveries (1946-48) by quantum physicist Erwin Schrodinger, mathematician Norbert Weiner and an electronics-communication expert at Bell Laboratories, Claude Shannon. --Robert Anton Wilson, Prometheus Rising, page 110.

"There is clear relevance between all these notions, and they all contribute to our understanding of socio-economic change. The Adamses on migration and acceleration, Douglas on increment of association, Korzybski on “time-binding,” Fuller on synergy, Schrödinger on life as an anti-entropic process, Shannon and Weiner on information as negative entropy, and Leary on neuro-genetics, all illustrate part of what we mean by Information Increase.--Robert Anton Wilson, Human Intelligence Increase.

"lastly but mostly, in her genesic field it is all game and no gammon; she is ladylike in everything she does and plays the gentleman's part every time. Let us auspice it! --James Joyce, FW, pg. 112

Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned.--Marshall McLuhan, //Understanding Media//, 1964.

  1. 30 seals
  2. RAW360
  3. aleister crowley
  4. alfred korzybski
  5. amsterdam
  6. audio
  7. c.g jung
  8. cantos
  9. claude shannon
  10. coldcut
  11. collaborative fiction
  12. cosmic trigger
  13. coursework
  14. cybernetics
  15. decentralized and rotational
  16. dodecahedron
  17. email to the tribe
  18. ernest fenollosa
  19. erwin schroedinger
  20. eternal return
  21. ettt
  22. ezra pound
  23. f for fake
  24. finnegans wake
  25. fly agaric 23
  26. flyagaric23
  27. friederich nietzsche
  28. giambattista vico
  29. giordano bruno
  30. global village
  31. hermetic style
  32. hologramic prose
  33. hyperintelligence
  34. icosahedron
  35. ideogramic method
  36. illuminati
  37. illuminatus! trilogy
  38. internet
  39. interview
  40. jack sarfatti
  41. james joyce
  42. john coltrane
  43. john lilly
  44. john sinclair
  45. john von neumann
  46. ken campbell
  47. konnakol
  48. lull wheels
  49. lulu
  50. magick
  51. maps
  52. marshall mcluhan
  53. maybe logic
  54. maybe logic academy
  55. maybe logic quarterly
  56. nlp
  57. norbert wiener
  58. novel
  59. ontology
  60. open source history
  61. orson welles
  62. osh
  63. palm springs
  64. pentagram
  65. philip k dick
  66. planetary sociology
  67. plush
  68. poetry
  69. prophets conference
  70. r. buckminster fuller
  71. recorso
  72. redundancy of information
  73. robert anton wilson
  74. saul paul sirag
  75. schroedinger's cat trilogy
  76. screenplay
  77. sex
  78. sixty
  79. steve fly
  80. steven pratt
  81. syllabic pyramid
  82. synchronicity
  83. tailors
  84. tales
  85. teachings
  86. television
  87. terence mckenna
  88. tetrad of media effects
  89. textation
  90. the tale of the tribe
  91. timothy leary
  92. tribetable
  93. ttott
  94. turntable method
  95. ulysses
  96. wikileaks
  97. wilhelm reich
  98. william butler yeats
  99. william s burroughs
  100. youtube