Dear Christophe,

I don't buy this overloading of the term "information" by the "uoward/downward" 

I also lament the lack of rigor concerning the definition of the term 
"information," but I lament more the lack of rigor concerning the definition of 
the term "meaning." What is the definition of the term in the chapter you 

The best that I could guess in terms of my own work is that it refers to some 
action potential that is altered by information, although this does not exactly 
fit your description. This, as opposed to my own use of the term "meaning" as 
the term speaking about the behavior produced by the apprehension of a sign 
(Peirce's pragmaticism). In my terms the action potential to which you seem to 
refer is called "knowledge." By this definition "representations" do not have a 
fixed associated meaning, they do not always produce the same behavior. In 
apprehension by individuals they can be said to have an action potential that 
is additive to the current potential in the organism. This would be consistent 
with a claim that representations "mean" different things to different 
individuals in different contexts.

We also appear to disagree concerning the term "semantics," that I take in the 
spirit of logic (with Carnap) to refer only to the rules of language 

With respect,

        Dr. Steven Ericsson-Zenith
        Institute for Advanced Science & Engineering

On Mar 16, 2012, at 11:18 AM, Christophe Menant wrote:

> Dear FISers, 
> Indeed information can be considered downwards (physical & meaningless) and 
> upwards (biological & meaningful). The difference being about interpretation 
> or not. 
> It also introduces an evolutionary approach to information processing and 
> meaning generation.
> There is a chapter on that subject in a recent book 
> (
> “Computation on Information, Meaning and Representations.An Evolutionary 
> Approach”
> Content of the chapter:
> 1. Information and Meaning. Meaning Generation
> 1.1. Information.Meaning of information and quantity of information
> 1.2. Meaningful information and constraint satisfaction. A systemic approach
> 2. Information, Meaning and Representations. An Evolutionary Approach 
> 2.1. Stay alive constraint and meaning generation for organisms
> 2.2. The Meaning Generator System (MGS). A systemic and evolutionary approach
> 2.3. Meaning transmission
> 2.4. Individual and species constraints. Group life constraints. Networks of 
> meanings
> 2.5. From meaningful information to meaningful representations
> 3. Meaningful Information and Representations in Humans
> 4. Meaningful Information and Representations in Artificial Systems
> 4.1. Meaningful information and representations from traditional AI to 
> Nouvelle AI. Embodied-situated AI
> 4.2. Meaningful representations versus the guidance theory of representation
> 4.3. Meaningful information and representations versus the enactive approach
> 5. Conclusion and Continuation
> 5.1. Conclusion
> 5.2. Continuation
> A version close to the final text can be reached at 
> As Plamen says, we may be at the beginning of a new scientific revolution. 
> But I’m afraid that an understanding of the meaning of information needs 
> clear enough an understanding of the constraint at the source of the meaning 
> generation process. And even for basic organic meanings coming from a “stay 
> alive” constraint, we have to face the still mysterious nature of life. And 
> for human meanings, the even more mysterious nature of human mind.
> This is not to discourage our efforts in investigating these questions. Just 
> to put a stick in the ground showing where we stand. 
> Best,
> Christophe 
> Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2012 13:47:28 +0100
> From:
> To:
> Subject: [Fis] [Fwd: Re: Physics of computing]--Plamen S.
> -------- Mensaje original --------
> Asunto:       Re: [Fis] Physics of computing
> Fecha:        Fri, 16 Mar 2012 13:24:38 +0100
> De:   Dr. Plamen L. Simeonov <>
> Para: Pedro C. Marijuan <>
> Referencias:  <> 
> <>
> +++++++++++
> Dear All,
> I could not agree more with Pedro's opinion. The referred article is 
> interesting indeed. but, information is only physical in the narrow sense 
> taken by conventional physicalistic-mechanistic-computational approaches. 
> Such a statement defends the reductionist view at nature: sorry. But 
> information is more than bits and Shanno's law and biology has far more to 
> offer. I think we are at the beginning of a new scientific revolution. So, we 
> may need to take our (Maxwell) "daemons" and (Turing) "oracles" closer under 
> the lens. In fact, David Ball, the author of the Nature paper approached me 
> after my talk in Brussels in 2010 on the Integral Biomathics approach and 
> told me he thinks it were a step in the right direction: biology driven 
> mathematics and computation. 
> By the way, our book of ideas on IB will be released next month by Springer: 
> If you wish to obtain it at a lower price (65 EUR incl. worldwide delivery) 
> please send me your names, mailing addresses and phone numbers via email to: 
> There must be at least 9 orders to keep that discount 
> price..
> Best,
> Plamen
> On Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 12:19 PM, Pedro C. Marijuan 
> <> wrote:
> Dear discussants,
> I tend to disagree with the motto "information is physical" if taken too 
> strictly. Obviously if we look "downwards" it is OK, but in the "upward" 
> direction it is different. Info is not only physical then, and the dimension 
> of self-construction along the realization of life cycle has to be entered. 
> Then the signal, the info, has "content" and "meaning". Otherwise if we 
> insist only in the physical downward dimension we have just conventional 
> computing/ info processing. My opinion is that the notion of absence is 
> crucial for advancing in the upward, but useless in the downward. 
> By the way, I already wrote about info and the absence theme in a 1994 or 
> 1995 paper in BioSystems...
> best
> ---Pedro
> escribió:
> Thanks John and Kevin to update issues in information, computation, energy 
> and reality.
>  I would like point out to other articles more focused in how coherence and 
> entanglement are used by living systems (far from thermal equilibrium): 
> Engel G.S., Calhoun T.R., Read E.L., Ahn T.K., Mancal T., Cheng Y.C., 
> Blankenship R.E., Fleming G.R. (2007) Evidence for wavelike energy transfer 
> through quantum coherence in photosynthetic systems. Nature, 446(7137): 
> 782-786.
> Collini E., Scholes G. (2009) Coherent intrachain energy in migration in a 
> conjugated polymer at room temperature.  Science, vol. 323 No. 5912 pp. 
> 369-373.
> Gauger E.M., Rieper E., Morton J.J.L., Benjamin S.C., Vedral V. (2011) 
> Sustained Quantum Coherence and Entanglement in the Avian Compass. Phys. Rev. 
> Lett., 106: 040503.
> Cia, J. et al, (2009)  Dynamic entanglement in oscillating molecules.  
> arXiv:0809.4906v1 [quant-ph]
> Sincerely,
> Walter
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