From: everything-list@googlegroups.com
[mailto:everything-list@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Craig Weinberg
Sent: Saturday, March 02, 2013 6:02 AM
To: everything-list@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: Messages Aren't Made of Information



On Saturday, March 2, 2013 12:37:15 AM UTC-5, Brent wrote:
On 3/1/2013 8:39 PM, William R. Buckley wrote: 
> And therein do you see the arbitrariness of either choice. 
> 
> The universe is subjective, not objective. 

Is that just your opinion...or is it objectively true. 

It's an educated guess, and a provocation. On what basis do we presume that
objectivity is possible? Because our subjective experience is used to
thinking of it that way?
 

WRB-  BINGO!!!


> 
> Read on semiotic theory as it will give much enlightenment 
> on this issue, that is *meaning* versus *information* 

Was there something that I said which would suggest that I hadn't read
semiotic theory?
 
> 
> The fact that the interpreter can interpret means that the 
> interpreter already knows the meaning of any accepted 
> informational form.  Isn't this how compilers and interpreters 
> in a computer work? 

There is no "the meaning", there are many meanings in various sensory
modalities:

Optical forms = visually informing - subconscious
Graphic forms = phonetically informing - learning makes conscious experience
subconscious. (MIS-IS-IP-EE = Mississippi = funny word)
Grammatic forms = semantically informing - learning matches optical,
graphical, and verbal forms to conceptual experiences.(Mississippi = river
in the US).
Beyond the explicit message, the context of the messaging, and of the
interpreter can become more important that the explicit message. Mississippi
could be a safe word in some kind of sex scandal about to expose a
politician, or it could trigger a post-hypnotic suggestion a la Manchurian
Candidate.

How compilers and interpreters work is nothing like this. The computer stack
looks like this:

Physical forms = wires and microprocessors. There is no optical or audio
experience here, only the electronic or mechanical connection between
microelectronic events.
Mathematical functions = physical properties of transistors allow for basic
switching and checking the status of switches. 
As we might build a castle out of toothpicks, mathematical functions can be
used to take on various technological facades - from dot-matrix printing
that reminds us of letters to video screens with cartoons which remind us of
people.

In all of these cases, unlike a person, the computer does not grow to learn
meanings, only to match characters and words to their statistically likely
consequences. If you say Bonjour to the computer - it recognizes your input
and searches the most likely output, but it has no idea what it is saying or
who it is talking to. There's not person there, it's just a bunch of very
small windmills.



WRB- There is no difference between your acceptance of information and the 
acceptance of information by a computer; that is, unless you hold to notions

of intelligent design.




Sure.  The Mars rover interprets the image of a rock because it was
programmed to or 
learned to so interpret the image. 

It's program knows nothing about images or rocks. It knows the data which
has been defined. We are the ones who defined them that way to correspond to
our experiences of images in the rocks. As with all machines, the Mars Rover
is forever in the dark.
 
 Its interpretation is realized by its behavior in 
going around the rock showing that for the rover the 'meaning' of the rock
was 'an 
obstruction'.  If the rock had looked differently or been in a different
place it might 
have been interpreted as a 'geological specimen'. 

Then when we test the Rover with a fake rock, produced by a subroutine in
the rockless lab, it's identical behavior of going around the rock that
isn't there shows that there was never any meaning for rocks or obstructions
or geological specimen. It's responding to programs, not to presences.


WRB-  As with the Einsteinian Elevator experiment, the Rover control
software can't tell 
if it is a real rock, in the real world, or a fake rock in a computational
space.  For you 
to hold otherwise suggests that you don't understand semiotic theory.



Craig
 

Brent 

> 
> wrb 
> 
>> -----Original Message----- 
>> From: everyth...@googlegroups.com [mailto:everything- 
>> li...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of meekerdb 
>> Sent: Friday, March 01, 2013 7:11 PM 
>> To: everyth...@googlegroups.com 
>> Subject: Re: Messages Aren't Made of Information 
>> 
>> On 3/1/2013 5:27 PM, William R. Buckley wrote: 
>>>> Thinking about how information content of a message 
>>> Big mistake.  Information is never contained with but 
>>> exactly one exception, an envelope. 
>>> 
>>> I made this point with Jesper Hoffmeyer regarding a 
>>> statement in his book Biosemiotics, that information 
>>> is represented but not contained in that representation. 
>>> That marks of chalk upon slate may be taken to represent 
>>> information at a meta level above the reality of streaks 
>>> of a deformed amorphous solid has nothing to do with 
>>> the information represented by that deformation, nor the 
>>> increase of entropy associated with the greater disorder 
>>> obtained from that deformation; these are but three of 
>>> the *informations* to be found upon review of those 
>>> streaks.  Entropy is how nature sees information (not 
>>> yet an established fact but I think the tea leaves read 
>>> clear enough) but that has (presumably) nothing to do 
>>> with how intelligent individuals see information, or 
>>> as von Uexk�ll called such phenomena, signs. 
>>> 
>>> Most definitely the information is not to be found 
>>> within the material of its expression, its representation. 
>>> Rather, the information is already to be found within the 
>>> interpreter. 
>> But where is it found within the interpreter?  When the Mars Rover 
>> receives photons in 
>> it's camera which it interprets as an obstructing rock that 
>> interpretation is "just" 
>> physical tokens too. So isn't it a matter viewpoint whether to look at 
>> the causal chain of 
>> tokens or look at the behavior and call it interpreting information? 
>> 
>> Brent 
>> 
>>> That which is information is so by virtue of the acceptor 
>>> of that information; else, it is noise. 
>>> 
>>> And, write the information on a piece of paper and seal 
>>> the paper within an envelope and you may justifiably 
>>> claim that the information is contained; else, you are 
>>> deluding yourself. 
>>> 
>>>> has an inversely proportionate relationship with the 
>>>> capacity of sender and receiver to synchronize with 
>>>> each other. 
>>>> 
>>> ....<snip> 
>>> 
>>> wrb 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
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