The Complexity of Complexity

In the first volume of our work, reason and natural philosophy have appropriately laid waste to the claims of imbeciles and nihilists by virtue of an inarguable demonstration that the most fundamental rules of ethics are implicit in the very nature of ethical actors themselves, insofar as an examination the ontology of volition itself clearly carries forth these implications.

In the following chapters of this volume, we shall construct a further objective extension to these core ethical principles by addressing the implications of information theory and the study of complexity. In particular, we shall demonstrate the principle that more complex systems are superior to simpler systems – or, rather, that systems whose dynamic properties require more bits to describe are more meritorious, thus more deserving of existence, than those describable in fewer bits.

Destruction, in this paradigm, goes against ethics because it randomizes the system destroyed. (Although a random system requires many bits to describe precisely, its dynamic behavior can be simply expressed as “random”.) Final erasure of information is, of course, worst of all.

To such extent as this may seem simple, it is not. While it is trivial to assert the superior merit, in isolation, of a porcelain tea-set over a pile of fragments, consider, for example, the question of homogeneity. Naively, one might consider a large homogeneous system of little worth, inasmuch as it takes little more information to describe a thousand identical items than a single one, and the resources consumed by the others could be used to instantiate diversity; but this ignores the question of the complexity of their interactions in the larger system – from which the great value we place on ecosystems, which contain many near-identical components, is derived.

In theory, while we speak airily of a system, in reality, there can be no such isolation. Any given situation is inhabited by a complex fractal embedding of multiple conceptual systems on many scales, all of which have their own informational content and complexity, and all of which must be taken into account.

– Ianna Quendocius, Scientific Ethics, introduction to Vol. II

Gay marriage: the database engineering perspective

Y’know, I don’t believe I’ve mentioned this article on here before, and I really should have.

Because – as a simple matter of contract law – marriage in the Empire and other Societies of Consent does, in fact, permit all the difficult concepts mentioned here and a few more besides, including all of reflexive self-marriage (mostly pointless as it is), really complicated notions of “sex” and “gender”, polygamy, people being simultaneously involved in multiple distinct marriages, the marriage of non-natural persons which can potentially include marriages marrying each other as a distinct concept from multiple marriages merging, intransitive marriages, double-marriages, and asymmetric marriage. Welcome to the bleeding-edge postsophont universe, although for the good of everyone’s sanity, most people stick to the simple options and don’t try and make use of all of these at the same time…

But it gives you an idea of just how eye-wateringly difficult the job of the DBAs over at the Central Office of Records and Archives can be, sometimes.