In the interests of focusing on what I see as the main issues, I've made quite a few deletions.
Monday, January 31, 2011, 3:26:06 PM, Stanley wrote: > On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 7:42 AM, Robin Faichney <ro...@robinfaichney.org> > wrote: >> I'm no mathematician, but I believe that the >> broader significance of Shannon's work was a method of quantifying >> "pure pattern". This was then adopted by physicists who saw that >> material form can be treated as pure patterns, and thus we get such >> concepts as the conservation of "information" in quantum mechanics and >> in black holes. > Are 'pure patterns' three dimensional? Sorry, but doesn't dimensionality depend upon interpretation? >> I tend to feel the same way about "it from bit", but I think it should >> perhaps be taken as implying that the idea of substance derives from >> form, which to me is highly plausible. > So, "form" here is potentiality. But where could this come from without some > constraints? No, I said "the idea of substance". We actually encounter only form, because that's what our senses convey -- but we find the concept of substance useful. >> Etymologically, "information" is extremely closely related to "form", > Strongly agree. Its function then is to constrain entropy production. I understand form as a reconceptualisation of qualities, so for me it does not have any particular function, but is rather an aspect of material reality (albeit an extremely comprehensive one). The concept of form as constraint I think might not apply to the lowest levels of explanation, and might be limited to a subset of all qualities. (Maybe, if it does not apply to the lowest level, it is necessarily limited to a subset of qualities.) >> and the concept of information used in physics simply IS material >> form, where that is generalised from shape to encompass all material >> properties. Just as past and future states of affairs are encoded in >> the present, > I suppose this takes into account historicity? Via statistics? That snippet concerns physical determinism, not (directly) history, statistics or any other higher level analysis. >> so genetic information is encoded in DNA. Biological >> information is just a subset of physical information. DNA molecules, >> like all physical entities, encode the outcomes of all of their >> potential interactions, but in the case of DNA the outcomes are >> constrained by the cellular context. > But we now know that there is a good deal of material manipulation > and modification in between DNA code and protein complexes. You > could say that the DNA information is generic, while what emerges from > metabolism is particular. You're right, I should have said "in the case of DNA the outcomes are constrained by the cellular context as influenced by the extra- cellular environment." > I'm currently working on a paper in which I argue that intentional > information -- using "intentional" in Brentano's sense, and > encompassing meaning and all mental content -- is best considered > encoded in physical/biological information, being decoded in use. > But the DNA stuff is generic, use is particular. I'm sorry that wasn't more clear. By "biological information" in that case I meant not DNA but, primarily, brain structure and function, which is obviously much more directly related to mental content. Tuesday, February 1, 2011, 12:10:17 AM, Robert wrote: >> On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 7:42 AM, Robin Faichney >> <ro...@robinfaichney.org>wrote: > Dear Robin, > I have always wondered what physicists meant when they talked about > "conservation of information", because Shannon-like measures are > definitely not state variables, and hence not conserved. For example, > information is continually being created and destroyed in ecological > systems. Yes, of course, organisms die and decay. I suppose what physicists mean is that the sort of information in which they are interested, ie at the levels that concern them, is conserved. However, what I'm interested in is the information, not whether, where or to what extent it is conserved: that is merely an illustration of the use of "information" in physics, for me, I'm no physicist, and I'm afraid I can't help with such issues. We all have to specialise! -- Robin Faichney <http://www.robinfaichney.org/> _______________________________________________ fis mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org https://webmail.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis