Information vs. misinformation

This is a post in my organizing “between and beyond” series. Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to explore Bohm’s and Peat’s notions of information and misinformation in Science, Order, and Creativity.1 Here is my review of the book.

Science, Order, and Creativity by Bohm & Peat

Active information
Active information is important in explaining the ideas of order.2 The basic idea is that form directs a greater energy.3 An example is in the causal interpretation of the quantum theory, where the quantum wave carries information that is active when and where it enters into the energy of an elementary particle.4 This means that an elementary particle has a complex and subtle inner structure.5 A significant feature of the causal interpretation is that Newtonian mechanics is a limiting case of quantum mechanics.6 Quantum field theory implies that empty space contains an immense “zero point energy.” Matter is a “small ripple” on this ocean of energy. We don’t see this since we are constituted of matter.7

Misinformation is a form of inappropriate generative information, rather than simply incorrect facts.8 It can be seen as a kind of “pollution.”9 General assumptions may, for example, pervade a whole culture, but most people may not be aware of it. And there is always a tendency for misinformation to defend itself.10 Free exchange of information and free play of ideas is of fundamental importance for freeing a culture of misinformation.11 Misinformation deep in the generative order may have extremely negative consequences and may result in general destructiveness and fragmentation. A clearing up of misinformation is therefore needed.12 There is both individual and sociocultural misinformation.13 Communication is blocked as long as people are not able to listen to each other. Bohm and Peat emphasize dialogue as a means to “loosen” this rigidity.14 Contact with nature can also “wash away” misinformation.15

1 David Bohm and F. David Peat, Science, Order, and Creativity (Routledge, 2010-09-01, first published 1987-10-01).
2 Ibid., p. 80.
3 Ibid., p. 84.
4 Ibid..
5 Ibid., p. 86.
6 Ibid., p. 87.
7 Ibid., p. 197.
8 Ibid., p. 238.
9 Ibid., p. 249.
10 Ibid., p. 240.
11 Ibid..
12 Ibid., p. 271.
13 Ibid., p. 272.
14 Ibid., p. 273.
15 Ibid., p. 253.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts
Organizing retrospective 16

Published by Jan Höglund

Jan Höglund has over 35 years of experience in different roles as software developer, project manager, line manager, consultant, and researcher. He shares his reading, book reviews, and learning on his personal blog.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Jan, Nice post. I agree that misinformation deep in the generative order may have extremely negative consequences. Not sure if you got a chance to see the experiments related to “walking droplets” on silicone oil bath. I feel this experiment gives a visual picture of what active information is and how causal interpretation of quantum mechanics might be functioning. Here is what I wrote recently on it: . I am not sure if there is an analogy of misinformation in this experiment.

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