Dear All,

Several of you have asked recently for a description of Logic in Reality (LIR) 
that is more accessible that what I have written. Thank you for that. Let me 
respond by simply saying here that LIR is a logic of /change/, better of change 
and stability, non-change. The basic concept is that all complex processes or 
states-of-affairs have two major components in an antagonistic or 
contradictorial relation. If one component predominates, is more actual or 
actualized, the other is less dominant, is potential or potentialized. It is 
possible to refer to the states of these elements in terms of non-standard 
probabilities, thus going one step further than just description :-). 

To refer to Loet's examples, brain, culture and economy, LIR would say that 
antagonistic processes in the brain, not a model of the brain, are isomorphic 
to processes in culture and the economy in that the same movement from actual 
to potential, and potential to actual and to emergence of new entities takes 
place in all of them. The reason LIR is a logic and not physics or biology is 
that it permits inferences to be made about the direction of development of 
such processes. It is thus most interesting to read that there is also an 
heuristic movement between domains in Loet's approach.

The relation to information, from my perspective, is that 
information-as-process is now recognized as a complex of two elements, one 
obviously energetic, the substrate or carrier and its 'meaning', which is less 
obviously energy in some form. I suggest that the problem is how to understand 
'meaning'. One should perhaps also talk of 'meaning-as-process' - the 
experience of meaning in a human interpreter - which clearly involves physical 

I would be glad to answer further questions, especially if they refer 
specifically to the relation of LIR and information, on which I have two or 
three papers easily accessible on-line in Information. 

Best wishes,


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Loet Leydesdorff 
  To: 'Steven Ericsson-Zenith' ; 'fis' 
  Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2014 7:53 AM
  Subject: Re: [Fis] Information-as-Process

  Dear Steven and colleagues, 


  I did not (yet) study your approach. Is there a paper that can be read as an 


  It seems to me that one can distinguish between formal and substantial 
theories of information. Shannon’s mathematical theory is a formal apparatus: 
the design and the results do not yet have meaning without an interpretation in 
a substantial context. On the other side, a theory about, for example, 
neuro-information is a special theory. One can in this context use information 
theory as a statistical tool (among other tools). Sometimes, one can move 
beyond description. J


  The advantage of information theory, from this perspective of special 
theories, is that the formal apparatus allows us sometimes to move between 
domains heuristically. For example, a model of the brain can perhaps be used 
metaphorically for culture or the economy (or vice versa). The advantages have 
to be shown in empirical research: which questions can be addressed and which 
puzzles be solved?






  Loet Leydesdorff 

  Emeritus University of Amsterdam
  Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR) ; 
  Honorary Professor, SPRU, University of Sussex; 

  Guest Professor Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou; Visiting Professor, ISTIC, Beijing;

  Visiting Professor, Birkbeck, University of London;


  From: [] On Behalf Of 
Steven Ericsson-Zenith
  Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2014 10:13 PM
  Cc: Joseph Brenner; fis
  Subject: Re: [Fis] Information-as-Process


  The problem with this approach (and approaches like it) is that it is 
descriptive and not explanatory. The distribution of the shape, in my model, 
can be described, perhaps, but the process or action decision point and 
response covariance is impossible to consider. 


  It is for this reason that I use holomorphic functors and hyper-functors in 
which I can express the explicit role of a base universal (per gravitation).


  Nor is it clear to me that this is what Joe referred to as "information as 


  On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 10:20 PM, Loet Leydesdorff <> 

    Dear colleagues, 


    Shannon’s information theory can be considered as a calculus because it 
allows for the dynamic extension. Theil (1972)—Statistical decomposition 
analysis (North Holland)—distinguished between static and dynamic information 
measures. In addition to Shannon’s statical H, one can write: 




    in which can be considered as the a posteriori and the a priori 
distribution. This dynamic information measure can be decomposed and 
aggregated. One can also develop measures for systemic developments and 
critical transitions. In other words, information as a process can also be 
measured in bits of information. Of course, one can extend the dimensionality 
(i) for the multivariate case (ijk…), and thus use information theory for 
network analysis (including time).






    ·        Leydesdorff, L. (1991). The Static and Dynamic Analysis of Network 
Data Using Information Theory. Social Networks, 13(4), 301-345. 

    ·        Theil, H. (1972). Statistical Decomposition Analysis. Amsterdam/ 
London: North-Holland.




    Loet Leydesdorff 

    Emeritus University of Amsterdam
    Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR) ; 
    Honorary Professor, SPRU, University of Sussex; 

    Guest Professor Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou; Visiting Professor, ISTIC, 

    Visiting Professor, Birkbeck, University of London;


    From: Fis [] On Behalf Of Steven 
    Sent: Monday, December 08, 2014 10:22 PM
    To: Joseph Brenner
    Cc: fis
    Subject: Re: [Fis] Information-as-Process


    I am a little mystified by your assertion of "information as process." 
What, exactly, is this and how does it differ fro information in general 
(Shannon). Is it related to Whitehead's process notions?


    In terms of neuroscience it is important to move away from connectionism 
and modern computational ideas I believe. It is not clear to me how information 
theory can be applied to the operation of the brain at the synaptic level 
because the actions and the decisions made are made across the structure and 
not at a single location. 


    Recognition, for example, is not a point event but occurs rather when a 
particular shape is formed in the structure (of the CNS, for example) and is 
immediately covariant with the "appropriate" response (another shape) which may 
be characterized as a hyper-functor (which may or may not include neurons and 
astrocytes in the brain).







    On Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 4:39 AM, Joseph Brenner <> 

      Dear Carolina,  Bob L., Bob U., Sören and Krassimir,

      First of all thanks to Carolina for having launched a most interesting 
thread, of which I have changed the title since the issues are broader than 
that of Neuroinformation alone, as Francesco has noted.

      My first point is a response to Sören since I feel his book does not 
address Information-as-Process as 'physically' as I think necessary. His 
reference to the use of this term by Buckland (on p. 77 not 87), (which I had 
missed when first reading /Cybersemiotics/), however, is followed by a 
reference to information processing. (He later states that a new metatheory is 
required to replace the information processing paradigm, and he proposes 
Peircean semiotics, whereas I have proposed Logic in Reality.) I also note that 
Buckland places Information-as-Process in the 'Intangible' column of his matrix 
and one can question the ontological meaning of this.

      In the compendium /Philosophers of Process/. 1998. Browning and Myers 
(eds.). New York: Fordham University Press, Peirce is represented by four 
papers: "The Architecture of Theories", "The Doctrine of Necessity Examined", 
"The Law of Mind"  and "Man's Glassy Essence". Unfortunately, in none of these 
is the word 'process' used, let alone described as a concept. 'Process' is not 
an entry in the COMMENS Digital Companion to C. S. Peirce, edited by Bergman 
and Paavola, so the most one can say is that process was not a common concept 
in Peirce. If Information-as-Process is to be developed as a concept, I doubt 
that Peirce's semiotics will help.

      In the notes of both Bob. L and Bob U., however, one finds workable 
properties than can be assigned to Information-as-Process, the verb-noun 
dialectic and the concept of real trophic exchange. Krassimir's concept of 
information being dynamic (a process) or static depending on what it reflects 
does not give as complete a notion as I would like that information is 
/in-itself/ a process, even it reflects (refers to) static or abstract objects. 
Nevertheless, Krassimir clearly sees the dualism of information as composed of 
dynamic and static entities, whose interaction, as in the case of the first two 
approaches, can be discussed in the framework of Logic in Reality. The problem 
is his use of the term 'reflection' whose nature is not clear as I have 
remarked to him before.

      I look forward to further discussion.

      Best wishes,


      ----- Original Message ----- From: "Robert E. Ulanowicz" <>
      To: "Carolina Isiegas" <>
      Cc: <>
      Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2014 6:30 PM
      Subject: Re: [Fis] Neuroinformation?

      Dear Dr. Isiegas:

      I envision neuroinformation as the mutual information of the neuronal
      network where synaptic connections are weighted by the frequencies of
      discharge between all pairs of neurons. This is directly analogous to a
      network of trophic exchanges among an ecosystem, as illustrated in

      Please note that this measure is different from the conventional
      sender-channel-receiver format of communications theory. It resembles more
      the "structural information" inhering in the neuronal network. John
      Collier (also a FISer) calls such information "enformation" to draw
      attention to its different nature.

      With best wishes for success,

      Bob Ulanowicz

        Dear list,

            I have been reading during the last year all these interesting
        exchanges. Some of them terrific discussions! Given my scientific
        (Molecular Neuroscience), I would like to hear your point of view on the
        topic of neuroinformation, how information "exists" within the Central
        Nervous Systems. My task was experimental; I was interested in
        investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory,
        specifically, the role of the cAMP-PKA-CREB signaling pathway in such
        functions (In Ted Abel´s Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, where I
        spent 7 years). I generated several genetically modified mice in which I
        could regulate the expression of this pathway in specific brain regions
        in which I studied the effects of upregulation or downregulation at the
        synaptic and behavioral levels. However, I am conscious that the
        "information flow" within the mouse Nervous System is far more complex
        in the "simple" pathway that I was, my concrete question 
        you "Fishers" or "Fisers", how should we contemplate the micro and macro
        structures of information within the neural realm? what is

        Best wishes,

        Carolina Isiegas
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