Chapter 3.0

In addition to actions, Gita also suggests a ritualistic approach to thinking - `Dhayan`. This ritual deals with two faculties of the mind - `Mana` - the curious consumer of information ; and `Chitta` - the elegant designer of the action plan.

Information

Information is something that can be consumed by the senses. Something that could be communicated or literally speaking - something that could be "Informed". When conscious agents try to consume information, they get a narrative (README) and the manifestation. When you buy a car , you get , well a car and a manual. The manual may give you a little idea as to what could be the internals of the car ; but trust me, you wont even be able to change the fluids. I may go to the extent that manual alone can't even teach you how to fill up the gas. Driving the car is whole lot different conversation.

In a way manifestation is a woven mesh in which knowledge is held. The consumer can only get the mesh, she needs to fill it up with her own decrypted knowledge. Other way to look at it is that information is the configuration of the apparatus in which knowledge is held.

Information can be personified

The very idea that information can be perceived by senses; means that senses should be able to interact with it as an entity. We will talk about the development of interface and tools to consume the information down the line. Suffice to know here that our senses are pretty similar to a key board, a mouse or a track pad.

Information is verifiable.

It should also be able to withstand reconfirmation tests by senses. For example you hear something and then see it to reconfirm. Imagine a situation that you heard a dog but when you turned the eyes you see , you see a lion standing there. What a glitch ..

Just like weather you navigate through touch interface or a mouse , you should land up at the same page if you pressed the right buttons. If touch interface takes you to a different place, then information is broken.

Information can be misleading.

Since the primary purpose of information is to make it palatable to consumers. Lesser details help . As Steve Jobs used to say - "It just works" -:) No manual needed. No readme. But as the interface improves, the consumer will have absolutely no idea of the underlying knowledge. Which means that the information is totally detached from the knowledge. A billion people can use iPhone without even knowing the coding language the iOS uses. Or the chips and electronics below the shining interface. In case of iPhone, the purpose may be good (debatable) but this means that information can be a trap.

Information is Mutable

As they say, beauty lies in the eyes of beholder, manifestations can mean different things to different observers. Some one can be inspired to learn driving from the car. Other person can use it as a status symbol - a Ferrari is lot more than a driving machine. Thus the information changes based on who is observing. This is what I mean when I say information is mutable.

Republicans can view a policy very differently from democrats. They can both think that an article favors their respective point of view. I think there was a study done that says Stephen Colbert is as popular among republicans as he is with the democrats. Both see him as rooting for their cause ..

This mutability, makes information less reliable. Other than inspiration, it has very little value. In fact, it can be counterproductive to base your decisions on information. They should be based on solid practice based knowledge.

Information is Extensible

Continuing with our metaphor of the car; it has an engine, gear box, fuel tank and thousands of other underlying manifestations. Each created with the rigor of engineering and technology through a vast array of practice. Each holds very specific knowledge from thermodynamics to motion. But the consumer of the "car" could care less.

Each small piece of decrypted knowledge kinda fits at a specific place in a three dimensional mesh to create the manifestation. There are no hooks so to say. There is no frame. Just as in the example in previous chapter, the shape of a jigsaw piece itself acts as the frame and the hook. It is thus easy to visualize the manifestation as mesh. A network. This network by definition can be connected with other networks because there are open ports where pieces from other networks could fit in. Millions of them to create complex manifestations. As this three dimensional mesh becomes more complex , more beautiful , more palatable it becomes more and more difficult to decrypt the knowledge. In other words, knowledge becomes hards to crack - more encrypted. Instagram is such manifestation. Aeroplane is another.

Language is the best example of extensibility of information. Each word holds a tiny piece of knowledge - built over thousands of years of collective rigor but we use language to form the sentences on the fly. We write paragraphs - to communicate different things with the same set of words. With a little rigor of our own, we can write books - The help manuals , the traps as well as the route to Exit - Gita.

Language is such a powerful use case of "Information" that we normally consider the manifestations of language itself ( spoken or written) as the information. The truth is, everything that we can consume with senses - cars, aeroplanes , mountains , wind , sand - everything is information. The only thing that we can't perceive with senses is the "Knowledge" - that revels itself in the actions - one tiny bit at a time.

Dhyana - Ritual of thinking

The process of separating the right information from the wrong is called Dhyana - The Ritual of thinking. Dhayana is a tedious process that is the reason , there are two faculties of mind dedicated to Dhayana. Tedious because information is cheap , there is always an overload of information and second , as we saw above , information is mutable and extensible- it can mean different things in different contexts. Killing an enemy in a war is an honorable task. Same task in civilian life is a punishable offence.

Two faculties of mind to enable Dhayana.

We will dive deep on these when we talk about the "Conscious Agent" . Suffice to know here that - Mana drives the curiosity. And Chitta drives the intelligence. Before we get there - let us first look at Intelligence and Curiosity ..