Response to Pedro's first comments: My choice of autogenesis is motivated
by ...
1. It is the simplest dynamical system I have been able to imagine that
exhibits the requisite properties required for an interpretive system (i.e.
one that can assign reference and significance to a signal due to intrinsic
properties alone - that is these features are independent of any extrinsic
perspective). A simple organism is far too complex. As a result it is
possible to make misleading assumptions about what we don't account for
(allowing us to inadvertently sneak in assumptions about what information
is and is not - for example just assuming that DNA molecule are
intrinsically informational). As I note when introducing this model,
developing a simplest but not too simple model system is the key to
devising clear physical principles.
2. Autogenesis is not the same as autopoiesis (which is only a description
of presumed requirements for life) rather autogenesis is a well-described
empirically testable molecular dynamic, that is easily model able in all
aspects. Autopoiesis fit with the class of models assuming that simple
autocatalysis is sufficient and then simply adds (by assertion) the
(non-realized) assumption that autopoiesis can somehow be causally closed
and unitary, whereas in fact autocatalytic systems are intrinsically
dissipative* and subject to error catastrophe. More importantly, the
assumption about coherent finite unity and internal synergy is the critical
one, and so it needs to be the one feature that is explicitly modeled in
order to understand these aspects of information.
3. The self-regulating self-repairing end-directed dynamic of autogenesis
provides a disposition to preserve a reference target state (even when its
current state is far from it). This serves as the necessary baseline for
comparative assessment, without which reference and significance cannot be
defined because these are intrinsically relativistic informational
properties (there is a loose analogy here to the 3rd law of thermodynamics
and the relativistic nature of thermodynamic entropy).

* PS: Autogenesis is also not a Maximim Entropy Production process because
it halts dissipation before its essential self-preserving constraints are
degraded and therefore does not exhaust the gradient(s) on which its
persistence depends.

— Terry

Professor Terrence W. Deacon
University of California, Berkeley
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