There is information (I take information to be a
manifestation of entropy) and it is always represented
in the form of a pattern (a distribution) of the units
of mass/energy of which the Universe is composed. I
think that semiotic signs are simply specific bits
of information; I will use the terms synonymously.
Information has meaning only within context. For many
people, context is taken to mean one piece of information
as compared to another piece of information. I do not
take this meaning of context when I discuss semiotics.
Instead, I take semiotic context to be the acceptor of
the information. Hence, all meaning resides a priori
within information acceptors.
What you know you have always known; the sign merely
serves to bring that knowledge to your conscious mind.
That you may have intention and so comport your delivery
of information to another acceptor has not bearing upon
the subsequent acceptance or rejection of that information
by the target acceptor. Acceptance or rejection of
information is determined solely by the accepting or
rejecting context (acceptor).
Your mere presence sends information regardless of some
conscious intent. Indeed, your absence does equally
deliver information, for the target acceptor will see
a definite difference in available information sources
whether you are present or not.
Consider a line worker in a bean processing plant where
the task is to cull *bad* dried beans from *good* dried
beans as they go by on a conveyor belt; the *bad* beans
are removed by hand, so the line worker is constantly
looking for *bad* beans while constantly being aware
of the fact that not many of the beans are *bad*. The
consciousness is aware of both that which is present
and that which is not present.
Further, what any information that you emit means to
you is irrelevant to the meaning that another may take
for that information. Indeed, it is via reliance upon
-Cultural Norms- that your point regarding Morse Code
becomes relevant. It is perfectly reasonable for an
ornery person to simply reject such norms and act
otherwise; your expectation originates in you, not
the targets of information you broadcast.
>>The truth of your statement is no reply to my claim,
>>that how another receiver of signs responds is
>>irrelevant to your knowledge, save the one case of
>>conveyance of knowledge between semiotic units;
>>where you intend for knowledge to be conveyed. In
>>that case, it is behooving of the sender to ensure
>>that the receiver can receive and understand the
>I'm not sure what you are bringing up here, but I
>would say that my point is that all messages have
>multiple levels of reception, perhaps as many levels
>as their are receivers in the universe. At the same
>time, if we are assuming human senders and receivers
>and a content range which is highly normative and
>practical (i.e. Morse code alphabet rather than
>emoticons, inside jokes, etc), then the information
>entropy is reduced dramatically.
>Maybe you can give me an example of that you mean
>by the irrelevance of the receiver's knowledge. Does
>that include the expectation of the possibility of
>there being a receiver?
>>In all other cases, the recipient response is
>>irrelevant; all values and measures originate in
>>the sender of the message.
>I would tend to agree with that, although the
>expectation of the recipient response informs the
>motives, values, and measures of the sender -
>otherwise there would be no message being sent.
>>The receiver of transmitted information is
>>irrelevant to the mechanics of that transmission.
>I'm not sure what you mean. Again, maybe an example
>would help. We expect that human audiences can see,
>so we have TV screens to provide optical stimulation.
>If we didn't have eyes, there would be no mechanism
The word should have been *reception* - receipt of
information (acceptance of a sign) is a function of
the value that the acceptor puts on that sign. That
value is most certainly not tied to the delivery
mechanism, even if some delivery mechanisms are
preferred over others.
What matters to information acceptance is disposition
of the acceptor to that acceptance. If the acceptor
does not *like* the sign, it will reject the sign; of
course, this means that all signs are accepted just
long enough to decide if they are sufficiently meaningful
or not; if so, they are accepted else they are rejected.
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