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Concepts of the general theory of information

Stanislav YANKOVSKY

Chapter 1. General notion of information

Chapter 3. Information evolution

2. Information evolution

Let us consider now possible development of information interaction of an object with medium depending on development level of the object proper.

2.1. Lifeless forms

All objects in the nature consist of elementary particles combined into more or less complex structures. That is why all interactions among objects are reduced to interaction of elementary particles and follow microcosm physics laws. These elementary interactions are completely symmetrical. Strictly speaking, it is these elementary interactions that lead to formation of various more or less stable structures based on elementary particles. Starting from a certain stability level, it is already possible for these structures to be considered as self-dependent objects.

Interaction of these objects among themselves is formed of a great number of interactions among the particles constituting them. Properties of these summary interactions are determined by a totality of properties of the particles constituting them and the structure they are combined into.

It is possible to say that the portion of particle interactions that serves maintaining stability of an object as a structure determines it as "the thing in itself". The other portion that manifests itself in interactions of an object, as a whole with other objects determines it as "the thing for others". Thus, the laws of interactions among objects result from the laws of their particle interactions. However, the larger the number of particles, the more they diverse and the more complex their interaction in object structure, the more difficult the derivation of general interaction laws from particular ones. In this case, an ever-increasing role is played by statistical laws of large numbers that ensure increasing stability of object interaction laws as a whole. Starting from a certain stability level these laws can already be considered independent which do not take into account the laws of every individual particle interaction. This is how laws of interactions among atoms, molecules etc. up to laws of macrocosm and social laws, well known to us, result from elementary particle interaction laws. Interaction laws of higher level objects are based on statistical integration of interaction laws of lower level objects constituting them. By the way, social interaction laws are not so stable because the number of components constituting interacting sociums is not large enough for stable work of the large number laws.

The idea of universe laws formulated neither prove, nor disprove the existence of God for it answers the question "how" rather than "way".

Let us get back to non-symmetrical interactions among objects and, in particular, information interactions. It should be reminded once again that these, as such, are possible only as a complex of symmetrical interactions of which the combination results in extraction of a certain substance as a self-dependent unit that we call information. We shall be considering the substance properties going from information interactions of simpler types to more complex.

Primitive types of information interactions can already be singled out in lifeless nature. For instance, catalytic interaction is just the case. It consists in that one object called catalyst changes chemical reaction rate inside a group of other objects called reagents; after that the catalyst itself remains unchanged in terms of all its properties. This process can be conceived as a primitive information interaction between a catalyst and reagents when the latter ones receive from the former one some information which they realize in the form of changing their own interaction.

This primitive type of information interaction is interesting because, on the one hand, it is a complex of symmetrical interactions not too much complicated and can be derived from them in a comparatively easy manner. For example, this interaction may consist of a simple succession of symmetrical interactions between a catalyst and individual reagents during which the catalyst redistributes matter and energy among them and thus organizes interactions among them although it finally remains in its former state. On the other hand, basic factors inherent to information interaction manifest themselves in a primitive form already in this interaction.

First. Information interaction based incorporates as a component of its basis a complex of symmetrical interactions and thus information is transmitted between objects via matter or energy exchange.

Forms of matter or energy that information is transmitted by will be called Information Codes or, in short, Codes.

Second. Information interaction may occur provided there is a certain mutual agreement in properties of objects. Thus, in every catalytic interaction, these are the only objects with a set of properties required for a given interaction that are able to participate in it. Perception of information based on the codes received is determined through ability to realize it in conformity with properties of a receiving object. In the long run, what information it can accept depends on its properties while receiving a concrete set of codes.

A set of object properties allowing it to perceive the codes received as a certain information will be called Apparatus for Information Code Interpretation or, in short, Interpretation Apparatus.

Third. Information is realized in a receiving object through certain change in the object condition (internal and external properties) related to the information. In so doing, this change is also possible without receiving information but, in this case, it will be less probable. Information facilitates transition of the object receiving it to one of the conditions potentially inherent to it; i.e. it is conformable to its properties. In the simplest case considered, conformity of information to a receiving object is governed to a substantial extent by the availability proper of an interpretation apparatus with the receiving object since both of them are based on the same properties of the object. Nevertheless, we shall run here the risk of developing a statement on conformity and to formulate its strengthening.

In the broad sense, it is possible to say that the information received by an object is necessarily expedient to it.

So, by means of a simplest example of information interaction we have shown three principle factors necessary for its running. These are availability of codes transferring information, availability with a receiving object of a code interpretation apparatus and, finally, mandatory expediency of information for an object receiving it. One can say that information interaction is one of the types of interactions related to passing over from objective to subjective. It is interactions with phenomena existing independently of an object wherein it participates as "a thing for others" but the result of which is perceived by it as "a thing in itself". Now we shall try to run down the development of these factors and information exchange properties as objects participating in it and types of their interaction are getting more complicated.

2.2. Simplest forms of life

The first condition distinguishing live form from lifeless is its potentiality to reproduce other forms similar to its own form in terms of inner structure and types of interaction with environment. For the purpose of realizing this potentiality, an alive form gets matter and energy from environment and converts them inside itself producing replicas of its components and organizing them into a structure wherein they will interact among themselves the way they interacted while in initial form. These actions mean continuous change in internal condition of a live form while properties of its interaction with environment are preserved. By the way, continuous internal changes is the main cause of that an alive form existing at every next moment differs from itself existed at a previous moment and finally its properties change to such an extent that it proper stops being existent and disintegrates. Alive forms are not as long-lived as lifeless in which internal changes are directly conditioned by symmetrical interactions with environment.

Let us consider a simplest form of life, i.e. a virus, as an object. Its interaction with habitat is reduced to nutrition (consumption of matter), consumption of energy, secretion of waste (in the form of matter and energy), reproduction (construction of its replica) and dying (disintegration to individual chemical molecules).

A virus consists of a nucleic acid molecule and albumen capsule preventing each other from disintegration. This is a basic purpose of their internal interaction. Nucleic acid plays a principle role in reproduction of another similar virus provided consistent environment conditions are available.

We are aware of viruses able to reproduce in medium of live cells alone. But it does not mean they cannot exist in other media. More than that a virus being a form simpler than a live cell had come into existence as a species yet before unicellular live forms did.

The virus reproduction mechanism is reduced to that on getting to a certain medium it changes a complex of chemical interactions occurring among its objects in such a way that they result in synthesis of mature virus particles, i.e. virions wherefrom other similar viruses are formed under certain conditions. This type of the virus-to-environment interaction is similar to catalytic interaction but at a much higher level of complexity. Reagents of this interaction are no more simple chemical molecules but more complex high-molecular compounds. The codes transferring information are no more simple physical objects and elementary acts of energy influence but their complexes much more complicated in composition and structure. The code interpretation apparatus functioning is based here on complexes of chemical law actions so complicated that very often it does not already seem possible to derive a strict dependence from one another. In this interaction, biological laws already start revealing as being higher than chemical from the standpoint of complexity level.

The information expediency principle exists as before in the sense that all the totality of reactions resulting in appearance of a new virus may as well occur without participation of such a virus. However, a coincidence of complex circumstances required for this event is much less probable than for reagents of catalytic interaction, i.e. it may occur very seldom. Still, this seems likely to happen. From time to time, a high-molecular compound medium produces its new viruses by itself.

The virus-to-environment information interaction has one more principal qualitative distinction in terms of catalytic interaction. In the latter case, the reaction result has nothing to do with a catalyst. As to the result of a virus information influence on medium it is significant to the virus because it ensures keeping its existence as a species. Here, the fourth factor of information exchange already manifests itself although in a most primitive manner. It may be called Information Transmission Orientation or, in a broader sense, Purposefulness.

Purposefulness of information interaction is a factor of its significance for existence of a concrete object transmitting information or for existence of its species.

2.3. Cellular form of life

A principal distinction of a cellular form of life from virus is that all the components of which interaction ensures reproduction of another similar form are combined in it as in a single structure. It goes without saying that to ensure such internal interaction of cell components there should be a possibility for a cell as a whole to interact with environment. The only what a cell directly needs to exist and reproduce is symmetrical interactions in the course of which it receives from environment the matter and energy maintaining interaction of its components..

The internal mechanism of cell reproduction is development of the virus reproduction mechanism. Inside a cell, there is a basic component of which purposeful information influence on other components leads to construction of another similar component. However, this does not exhaust its functions yet. A component enters into such information interactions with the rest of cell components that direct their interactions to creating a whole complex of cell components. Thus, one can say that this basic cell component acting like a virus in the direction of self-reproduction, organizes reproduction of an environment wherein its own reproduction becomes possible as well.

This basic component of a cell represents a nucleic acid molecule variety, namely, the deoxyribonucleic acid molecule (DNA). Investigation into DNA structure and mechanisms of its interaction with the rest of cell components is a subject for Genetics. It should be merely pointed out that DNA consists of components called nucleotides of which individual groups organize certain stages of the cell reproduction process through participation in various information interactions and, in total, organize the whole process.

The primary coming of a cell into being as a live form happened because it could take place under certain, although hardly probable, situations of virus-to-environment interaction. At some moment, functioning of a certain virus lead to that a molecule of its DNA and objects which it entered into interaction with happened to be inside one capsule. At this, any of them was able to come into being as realization of virus information interaction with other objects. Coincidence of all these circumstances might occur so seldom during the whole history of life development on our planet that only very few cases have probably happened to form cells stable enough to exist and reproduce themselves as a species. In so doing, the stability did not turn out to be complete enough (the law of large numbers was not realized to a sufficient extent) so that in every case, cell reproduction should lead to forming a complete replica of a parent cell. At this point, new cells started appearing; the most stable of them were preserved as a species. This has just served as a basis for a large variety of currently existing live forms to come into being.

An interesting point about a live cell is that it is about a closed environment from the viewpoint of internal information interactions occurring in it. Their number is sufficiently limited that allows studying everyone of them individually and their complete interrelated structure as a whole. This is certainly a separate task, we shall consider but some properties of these interactions important from the viewpoint of their importance development in more complex information processes.

Information interaction of DNA with a cell component goes through intermediate interactions with some other components rather than through direct symmetrical interactions among them. These are several types of ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules in a cell. While interacting with DNA they acquire properties that in the course of their further interaction with other cell components result in transmitting them some information to be realized directly in the processes of life maintaining and cell reproduction. Thus, the codes through which information is transmitted from DNA do not coincide with the codes used for receiving information. The intermediate step of information interaction may be extended in time and the moment the information is transmitted does not coincide with the time the information is received. Availability of this time interval and information re-encoding create preconditions for information distortions (among those a possibility of its loss too) in the course of its passing over from one object to another. For an object, distortion of information results in decreased expediency of information changes occurring in it in the course of the information realization. As to a cell, this is fraught with failure in general stability of its vital functions and destruction.

With the aim of preserving a cell as a species during a long period of time there should exist a mechanism for protecting information owing to distortions occurring from time to time. Such a mechanism may be of different nature but the most important is that it should be inherent to properties of the information proper to be transmitted.

Information redundancy is such a property. (This is not its single role useful in the course of information interaction.) Redundancy may realize through simple repetition of codes or in a more complicated manner, i.e. through self-restoring codes. Code self-restoration is based on that it is not only codes directly transferring information that participate in its transmission but also supplementary codes by which correctness of basic codes is checked while it is received. If necessary and possible, information is realized in the same way as if the codes were not distorted. Strictly speaking, it is not the codes proper that undergo restoration but the information carried by them is preserved within permissible limits of distortions and losses. Differentiation of codes into basic and supplementary is rather conventional. Genetic studies demonstrate that the same information can be transmitted by different portions of one DNA and should any of them be excluded this will not lead to distortion of DNA functions. A possibility of using the information redundancy property naturally requires that object receiving information should have consistent properties.

The number of nucleotide groups in DNA molecules is larger than that necessary for normal functioning of a cell. At the same time, the share of excess groups grows against the share of basic groups as functions of a self-dependent cell or an organism of which the cell is a component get more complicated. Respectively, the number of codes involved in transmitting information from DNA is larger than actually needed. This seems to be just what provides primary protection of information from distortions and losses during its exchange inside a cell.

One more factor manifests itself in intracellular exchange of information, which should be taken into account for considering this process. It is present in the process of virus interaction with cell components. The cell that a virus gets in is an environment for it. On starting information exchange with cell components the virus changes their interaction in a purposeful manner and by that makes them to create another similar virus. Such interaction results in distortion of internal information interactions in the cell. If information distortions occurring in this case become significant the cell loses its ability to maintain its own existence and disintegrates. A cell is able to fight against some information distortions, it cannot do this against others whereas the third ones may happen to be neutral or even able to facilitate its existence.

Judging by a virus structure based on either DNA or RNA molecule, viruses have several possibilities to interfere in intracellular information exchange. These are either to distort information in the course of its transmission by changing condition of a cellular RNA or to transmit information by entering into direct interaction with certain cell components instead of a corresponding RNA. Another possible option is when a virus DNA molecule interferes in structure a cell DNA molecule and starts sending information primarily distorted.

The factor of purposeful information transmission from one object to another in situation when its realization is found to be expedient for the former and inexpedient for the latter we shall call misinformation.

In general, notions of Information and Misinformation define the same substance but refer to different ethical categories. They correlate with each other just like notions of spy and intelligent agent do. These notions, considered in terms of their conformity to different purposes, transform from one to the other.

Using a live cell as an example, it is possible to analyze one more type of information interactions. In a cell, DNA not only sends information to other cell components but also receives information from them. If the above information as transmitted is called control information, the latter can be defined monitoring information. This information is transmitted by RNAs (the same ones or others participating in transmission of monitoring information). The information received by DNA is realized in it via changing its condition and thus governs formation of control information. As a result, changes in controlling the processes occurring in a cell are realized in accordance with variations in conditions of its existence. In particular, realization of monitoring information may go through a complex of control information interactions of DNA with other cell components realized by them via the process of its self-reproduction just at the moment that a cell as a whole is ready for it.

Monitoring information plays one more important role in ensuring cell existence stability. Interaction of a cell, as an object, with environment results in changing condition of its individual components, and corresponding information comes to DNA. Realization of such information via changing effects of control information interactions makes the cell as a whole to pass to a condition most adequate for its preservation under given conditions of interaction with environment. Every live cell has such abilities within certain limits simply because those that did not have them terminated their existence as a species. Here is realized the well-known Hegel's thesis saying, "Everything existing is reasonable".

Adequate response of a cell to environment condition represents realization of information received from environment. Mechanism of this realization is based on changes in component interactions inside a cell including information interactions. The cell-to-environment information interaction significance consists in purposeful changing of such an exchange running in a direction most advantageous for existence of a cell as a unit or a species as a whole rather than in results of matter-with- energy exchanges.

Every individual component of a cell is extremely unstable. Its existence consists in regular renovation of a major portion of its sub-components involved by it and energy make-up of their interactions. A relative stability is attained through a complex of interactions of all the cell components for matter and energy exchange of which the primary source is interaction of a cell with environment. Coordination of internal interactions related to exchange of matter and energy is attained through a complex of monitoring and control information interactions of which the central component is DNA molecule. It is interesting that among the processes controlled by these information interactions there is a complex of catalytic processes realized by a certain group of cell components, i.e. biocatalysts. As has already been shown above, catalytic process is a process of most primitive information interaction. Thus, we can see that information interaction may have a hierarchic structure which combines together different interactions levels in a coordinated manner.

Even under most ideal conditions of cell-with-environment external interaction (which, in general, does not exist) instability of separate cell components results in instability of their internal interactions, including information ones. Distortion of the latter is especially important because it affects coordination of all other processes due to losing their significance for each other. This, in its turn, affects internal information interactions and starting from a certain moment the process of their distortion becomes irreversible, cell is getting older, loses its ability to ensure existence of its components and dies.

Unicellular organisms as objects of information interaction with environment differ from viruses, first of all, in that the latter are, mainly, a transmitting side whereas unicellular organisms, on the contrary, are a receiving side. In conformity with the above, the apparatus with unicellular organisms intended for interpretation of information codes through which they receive information and realize it in their actions is developed better. (Truly, we, in general, know nothing like that with viruses). The apparatus of information code interpretation available with cells is of unconditioned and direct character. Its unconditioned character means that the identical code combinations are always perceived by a concrete cell as one and the same information realized by the same actions. Direct character of the apparatus action means that the information is realized about immediately. A cell is not able to store an information received for whatever time, no matter how short it is, and to realize it in a while. The steps of information code interpretation and realizing the information received are not practically divided inside a cell.

By way of a simplest example it is possible to cite reception and interpretation of information received from environment by unicellular organisms such as bacteria in the course of their search for nutrition.

For bacteria, the event of receiving nutrition as such is simultaneously an event of receiving information on nutrition availability. This information is realized via changing the length of their single movements (direction is always casual). The more frequent nutrition, the shorter run. Thus, the probability that bacteria will stay in a rich nutrient medium for a time longer than the time they will stay in a poor nutrient medium is getting higher. This is the most primitive manner in which a live form realizes information during its interaction with environment by way of controlling its own actions (control as a choice of actions out of alternative possibilities available).

The apparatus for interpretation of information received by a cell from environment is completely and unambiguously governed by DNA molecule structure (since it is this structure that controls the apparatus construction) and is transmitted from a parent cell to a daughter one through DNA replica. It does not change during the whole life of a cell and is identical with all cells of one species.

2.4. Multicellular forms of life

Colonial unicellular organisms became a precondition for multicellular live forms to come into existence. On reproducing, their daughter cells do not separate from a mother cell and exist in immediate contact. Like all unicellular organisms, daughter cells being mainly a receiving side in information interactions are the only ones being able to come into mutual information exchanges of most primitive types related, for instance, to information on their physical contact. External information is received from environment and realized by each member of colony in a self-dependent manner. Their joint activity is limited by the factor as such of creating a single body, which have vitality higher, in terms of its physical parameters, than vitality of the components constituting it.

In this respect, it is interesting to cite an example of behavior of amebas, which although not being colonial organisms are still able to create temporary colonies. While in hungry state, they release some substance (one of DNA components), this is perceived by others as information making them to get closer and create groups. A kind of integer mucus (something similar to a colonial organism) is created. Under influence of environment, this mucus is able to move in space for distances much longer than individual amebas. At that, amebas proper do not spend their energy for movement and, therefore, they live for longer time under energy deficit. On achieving nutrient medium, mucus disintegrates into individual amebas and they act as self-dependent objects again.

Multicellular organisms differ from colonial by, first of all, differentiation of functions of certain groups of cells in the course of their interaction with environment. Their common feature is that a multicellular organism like a unicellular colony grows up from one mother cell. Differentiation of cell functions during their mutual activities as a whole requires their actions to be coordinated with each other. This coordination is attained through a complex of control and monitoring information interactions occurring. In a multicellular organism appear cells capable of entering into information interactions with other cells as a transmitting side.

In all other respect, a cell in a multicellular organism interacts with other cells in a manner that, in principle, is the same as a unicellular organism interacts with components of its environment. The only principle distinction manifests itself in the course of cell self-reproduction. It is not a usual case that a cell becomes a complete replica of its mother cell. The process of cell self-reproduction is affected by its information interaction with surrounding cells and environment of an organism. A daughter cell DNA is a complete replica of its mother cell DNA whereas a complex of other components may differ substantially.

Thus, the central element in information control of cell component interactions is the same in every cell; however, it performs but the portion of its functions that corresponds to interaction with other components available in a cell.

In an organism, cells different in their structure perform different functions. As a complex, they ensure interaction of an organism with its environment that should finally maintain existence of every individual cell. To do that, it is necessary for different cell actions to be coordinated via their information interactions (monitoring and control). Such information interactions with simplest multicellular organisms are put into effect by the same cells that maintain matter and energy exchange with environment. However, at a rather early stage of multicellular form development accompanied by a growing complexity of environment interaction complex necessary for their existence (Coelenterata organisms), there already come into being the cells specialized in organizing information interaction among the rest of cells. Such cells are called neurons.

Neuron structure of all multicellular organisms has common specific features, i.e. it has several short appendages (dendrites) and a long one (axon or nerve fiber, or, in popular language, nerve). Dendrites serve the purpose of information interaction with neighboring cells whereas axons serve information interactions with cells located at a substantial distance (their length may reach more than a meter). From about the very beginning, functional differentiation of neurons comes into being as well with regard to participation in monitoring and control internal information interactions (in biology, corresponding functions are called sensory and motor).

In a simplest case, organism-to-environment information interaction based on neuron participation is organized through nerve (reflex) arcs. A nerve arc begins with cells-receptors that come into symmetrical interactions with environment and change their internal conditions. Changing their conditions results in changing their interaction with a sensory neuron. This interaction is already an information interaction. A neuron receives information codes from a receptor, interprets them absolutely and directly through changing its own condition and realizes them by transmitting its own codes to another neuron. This, in its turn, transmits its own information codes to motor cells that change their condition already in a direct manner and by that organize a responding-to-environment interaction expedient to an organism as a whole under current circumstances.

The sequence of information interactions among different cells occurring in a nerve arc constitutes an information interaction act of a higher level where a receiving side is already an organism proper. Such an act is, to a high extent, of the same character as an information interaction act between a unicellular organism and environment. The information code interpretation apparatus (based on strict sequence of neuron actions) used in it is unambiguous and direct like in the case of unicellular organism. The difference is present in terms of growing complexity and diversity of information codes received as yet and in more complex and diverse actions realizing the information as it is received, respectively.

Higher complexity of multicellular organisms resulting from their evolution is accompanied by processes with growing complexity in their interaction with environment in conformity with the need to maintain a large spectrum of their symmetrical interactions with environment. This ensures the existence of an organism as a whole rather than existence of every cell.

The growing complexity of information exchange with environment is ensured inside organism by increasing complexity of the apparatus intended for interpretation of information codes received. Its functioning is still based on actions of neurons but already interacting among themselves in more complicated structures: nerve-knots, nerve centers and, finally, in cerebrum and medulla. A complex act of an organism information interaction with environment occurs on the basis of hierarchic structure of simple acts. Monitoring information comes from different points to knots, from them to centers and then to cerebrum. From cerebrum, control information is distributed over different hierarchic lines, through appropriate centers and knots to organs realizing it via corresponding actions.

Hierarchic structure of individual simple steps of information interactions ensures qualitative transformation of monitoring information from the type it was received from environment to the type on the basis of which its realization is initiated. This means transformation to the type that leads to generation of control information in the centers directly organizing organism's response expedient under current environment conditions.

Qualitative conversion of information as it passes from lower hierarchic levels of its processing to upper ones consists in its generalization.

Information generalization is transformation of information on availability of a set of simple specific events into information on availability of some higher-level event incorporating the above specific events as its individual components.

A need for generalization is, first of all, related to that at any individual step of information exchange there is a principle limit for number and diversity of information codes possible for interpretation apparatus of an object receiving information at a given step to work with. Information generalization consists in replacing information on concrete particular events with information on an event, which consists in their mutual manifestation. This information is transmitted by a number of codes smaller than a summary number of codes required for transmitting information on all particular events.

It goes without saying, that, in this case, losses of details in reflection of a situation are inevitable, however, this allows its coordinated realization via transmission of a command information adequate to a given situation as a whole. Generalization enables getting at least some expediency in realization of information interactions different in details but similar as a whole under conditions of limited possibilities for accounting specific features of every one of them. Realization of generalized information consists in generation by an object of such actions that must be expedient under conditions of a whole complex of particular events available rather than every one of them in separate.

For the purpose of final realization, command information passes through corresponding centers and knots in inverse direction wherein it is worked out in detail via embranchments leading to concrete organs that perform elementary actions constituting adequate behavior of an organism as a whole with regard to external situation. A lot of different concrete situations is reflected in the same generalized information and realized via the same actions of an organism, respectively. If these actions lead to nearly the same result useful to an organism then generalization of information is lawful.

Generalization of information received by a multicellular organism is realized through its passing from different points to nerve-knots that change their condition parameters corresponding to each particular portion of the information. At a certain combination of these parameter values nerve-knots initiate sending information to a higher level nerve center informing it about the event of this combination availability.

A simplest mechanism of generalization may be of an unconditional character. In other words, identical combinations of information codes coming from different points to a nerve-knot, center or cerebrum are interpreted in it in a deterministic manner according to its abilities remaining constant during the whole period of its existence. Correspondingly, the same generalized information based on these codes comes into existence.

An apparatus of information conventional interpretation appeared with multicellular organisms and started developing as their evolution proceeded. This apparatus was able to realize but at a level of a sufficiently developed cerebrum in which millions and billions of neurons are interacting. This interpretation apparatus functioning seems to consist in that on receiving and realization of information, neurons do not immediately return to a condition completely equivalent to that existed prior to their participation in the information interaction but keep its traces in themselves for a while. Besides, there should exist other neurons receiving generalized information on condition of the former and maintaining the condition of their own components dependent on this information. Such neurons do not take direct part in the basic information interaction chains although they are able to interfere in them by simulating conditions of certain neurons in the presence of combinations of conditions of other neurons found together with the them sufficiently often. In consequence, it turns out that a complex of information interactions is going on as if some information was taking part in it although the information has not yet come by a given moment.

In result, organism implements the action consistent with the situation that was to take place but it has not yet manifested itself for the organism in its information interaction with environment. Such actions Pavlov called conditioned reflexes. Successive development of an ability for conventional interpretation of information codes which is running during the whole life of a concrete organism means adjustment of its inherent interpretation apparatus for concrete conditions of existence.

In order to get a possibility for conventional interpretation of information codes it is necessary for several important factors to be available simultaneously. The first of them is memory.

Memory of an object is changes which occur in its information code interpretation apparatus as a result of the object individual information interaction acts and which are kept for a while on completion of these acts.

Memory proper is useless for an object if it cannot be used by the object in the course of changing its information interaction with environment on the lines ensuring increased expediency of interactions with environment organized by it. An interpretation apparatus having the property of memory is able to realize it by simulating information on an event not yet received by the apparatus but should possibly be received proceeding from partial information received heretofore and its interrelation with admission of other portions of the information in the past. Such action of the interpretation apparatus represents a forecast.

Forecast is simulation of receiving new information on the basis of information being received at a current moment and its comparison with the scope of information received previously.

The memory of what was in the past is used in the course of forecasting what will be in the future. For the purpose of providing this opportunity an object must enter into such information interactions with environment from which it receives not only the information to be directly realized at the present moment but also the information which is presently useless for it. The higher internal organization of an object and the more complicated the complex of its interactions with environment, the more information presently useless should be received to accumulate in its memory. A need for it follows from the uncertainty of what specific interactions may take place later on and what current information will be realized in them.

Memory, ability to generalize and forecast available in total represent a precondition for developing what is called abstract thinking. It consists in that information related to phenomena that may have never existed and will never exist is simulated and processed.

An object memory is always limited and the major portion of the information being received remains unclaimed. At that, its total body (in terms of information codes transmitting it) undoubtedly exceeds the abilities to remember it completely. In order to prevent memory from overfilling and, consequently, from losing ability of normal functioning there should necessarily exist a mechanism to clear it up (to forget) thereby enabling the same memory components to remember new information.

The memory clearing mechanism can be realized, first, on the basis of instability in preserving memory component active condition by which information is fixed. They are gradually self-restored while in passive state, and the more rare the information bringing them to a corresponding active state, the higher rate of their self-restoration.

In a more complicated case, an active state restoration may be conditioned in the course of application of the information remembered that proves its usefulness rather than in the course of its reception.

One more possibility of clearing memory out is transformation of a set of individual but interrelated parameters relevant to condition of memory component groups into a generalized form and storing the information already generalized by changing condition of other component parameters rather than a complete erasing of information traces. This requires less memory resources although involves losses of details.

As mentioned above, a multicellular organism grows up from one embryo cell formed by mother organism. The main part of this cell is DNA molecule of which control information is realized in the cell development, its subsequent multiple fission and then in development and fission of its daughter cells. Daughter cell component composition and properties and, consequently, functions as well are affected by what cells were formed earlier. Invariable with all cells remains but composition and structure of DNA molecule.

A DNA structure represents two linear chains of nucleotides. Nucleotides of one chain and nucleotides of the other chain are connected by pairs. Both chains form a double spiral. Out of four possible nucleotide types but one can be located at every position of a chain. Self-reproduction of a cell begins with separation of these two chains and formation for each of them of a similar forming-a-pair chain the same as the one existed before. For unicellular organisms this process is terminated with coming into being of a second cell identical to the first one, for multicellular organisms this, as mentioned above, is not a usual case. Every cell has a limited number of functions governed by information influence of individual portions of its DNA on other components. This influence is unambiguously determined by combination of nucleotide pair types involved into a given portion.

In unicellular organisms, one DNA involves from 1 up to 10 millions of such pairs. So long as in multicellular organisms identical DNA molecules control quite different cells, the number of nucleotide pairs required for it gets even higher. This number already makes from 100 millions with animalcules and up to 3.3 billions with a human being (this number is even higher with amphibia although not clear why). At that, the share of redundancy of these pairs mentioned above increases together with increase in their number. The share of control sections with a human being comes up to 3% out of the total number of pairs. The redundancy provides protection for the inherent information code interpretation apparatus being transmitted from cell to cell via DNA and protection for control information generated by DNA. The more complicated information interactions, the more protection is required for DNA proper and the information transmitted by it.

Variability of cells is conditioned by that DNA structure distortion still happens during its reproduction. Small distortions lead to insignificant individual changes in cell properties, substantial changes occurring extremely rarely lead to coming into being of their new species if they turn out to be viable. Occurrence of new species produces material for natural selection and, thus, results in evolution of live forms. Individual changes are important for preservation of a species because they ensure a possibility of coming into being for groups of its individual organisms adapted to current changes in environment. Individual variability is even stimulated by many species of multicellular organisms via the process of sexual reproduction during which a DNA embryo molecule is formed from molecules of two parent organisms and without coinciding with either of them has its own potential for information interactions.

In the course of evolution, processes of information processing get more complicated and acquire new qualities in multicellular organisms. However, in this case, the presence of all former simpler processes (up to catalytic) acting either in individual information interactions in a self-dependent manner or involved into more complicated processes as their components, are still preserved as well. Everything complex is built of simple and by acquiring new qualities maintains previous ones to a high extent. New qualities while developing condition the coming into existing of even more complicated new qualities.

The ability to enter into information interactions with environment not only as an object receiving information but also as an object transmitting it in a purposeful manner emerged with multicellular organisms as a new quality. This created preconditions for development of information interaction among organisms with the purpose of coordinating their actions leading to increasing stability in existence of any of them. Social formations able to act as self-dependent with respect to environment started emerging. They realize their interaction with environment via a complex of specific actions of its individual members related via internal information interactions.

The principle distinction of social formations from evolution of live forms consists in that it ensues from gradual development of potentialities of information interactions among members of these formations rather than casual factors related to changes in DNA. Natural selection of most viable options is a common factor for evolutions of both types. Properly speaking, the second type of evolution does not substitute the first; it is running against background of the first but within the framework defined by it.

2.5. Social formations

Existence of any socium implies coordinated actions of its members, firstly, on the lines of ensuring existence of a socium proper and, secondly, on the lines of ensuring existence of its individual members.

Coordination of actions is achieved by means of information exchange processes inside a socium. Nothing new occurs in the structure of these processes as compared to similar ones in multicellular organisms. There are recipients of initial information. Flows of monitoring information begin with them, then join together in intermediate knots and reach the main center. The center generates control information channeling off via knots to the implements that eventually realize the initial information through summation of their actions in a direction expedient to the socium. Some chains of information flows may not pass through the center but move aside in intermediate knots. Such chains are also present with multicellular organisms. The principle body of monitoring and control information flows with organisms and in sociums is related to the need of mutual ensuring vital functions of the components constituting them.

This means that the major portion of information processes run so that the "thing in itself" is able to exist. Both sociums and organisms may manifest themselves as the "thing for others" in interactions with external objects, including interactions with different sociums. Lastly, sociums may be involved into more complicated sociums as components.

Crowd represents a most primitive socium. Objects integrate into a crowd to achieve some single purpose. A crowd is characterized by an extremely low interaction level of its members that determines a primitive level of actions of a crowd as a whole although everyone of its members may, in separate, posses a strong potential for diverse actions. A crowd is not long-lived, it disintegrates on achieving the purpose it was based on or if a purpose disappeared due to other reasons.

Basic distinctions of a socium from an organism is that socium comes into being in a way different from multiple successive fission of one component and each component of a socium is, to a certain extent, able to exist separately out of it. These distinctions, like others less valuable, are not significant at all with regard to consideration of information interaction mechanisms occurring in them. There is a principle distinction but in composition, properties and possibility of changing the means applied to organize information interactions. With most developed sociums such a means is represented by language as a sign system determining rules for constructing information codes and a set of these code carriers that ensure their durable existence in time and transmission over large distances in space.

Evolution of sociums is related with the development of information interaction means of its members, namely, and, especially, of the means used for construction and use of their cumulative memory. The rate of this evolution is much higher than that of organism evolution. This is related to that information interaction means used by socium may incorporate not only the means organically inherent to its members but also the means introduced to it from outside. Highly developed sociums are able to develop, in a purposeful manner, external information interaction means used by them. The means that a socium is not able to live without can already be considered as components organically inherent to it.

Second chapter resume

The previous portions of the present paper showed a common character of principles of information interactions occurring among objects at different levels of natural phenomena organization. The common character enables us to fill the gaps in studying information processes of one level with the use of knowledge on analogous processes of another level.

Eventually, knowledge of general principles allows approaching organization of such internal and external information interactions of an object that will support purposes of its existence to the best advantage.

Chapter 3. Information properties and laws of its conversion

Date of the publication:

February 27, 2001

Electronic version:

© NiT. Current publications, 1997