Pedro wrote"

>Most attempts to enlarge informational thought and to extend it to life,
economies, societies, etc. continue to be but a reformulation of the former
ideas with little added value.

S: Well, I have generalized the Shannon concept of information carrying
capacity under 'variety'...  {variety {information carrying capacity}}.
This allows the concept to operate quite generally in evolutionary and
ecological discourses.  Information, then, if you like, is what is left
after a reduction in variety, or after some system choice.  Consider dance:
we have all the possible conformations of the human body, out of which a
few are selected to provide information about the meaning of a dance.



On Fri, Sep 11, 2015 at 8:22 AM, Pedro C. Marijuan <> wrote:

> Dear Steven and FIS colleagues,
> Many thanks for this opening text. What you are proposing about a pretty
> structured discussion looks a good idea, although it will have to
> confront the usually anarchic discussion style of FIS list! Two aspects
> of your initial text have caught my attention (apart from those videos
> you recommend that I will watch along the weekend).
> First about the concerns of a generation earlier (Shannon, Turing...)
> situating information in the intersection between physical science and
> engineering. The towering influence of this line of thought, both with
> positive and negative overtones, cannot be overestimated. Most attempts
> to enlarge informational thought and to extend it to life, economies,
> societies, etc. continue to be but a reformulation of the former ideas
> with little added value. See one of the last creatures: "Why Information
> Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies" (2015), by Cesar
> Hidalgo (prof. at MIT).
> In my opinion, the extension of those classic ideas to life are very
> fertile from the technological point of view, from the "theory of
> molecular machines" for DNA-RNA-protein matching to genomic-proteomic
> and other omics'  "big data". But all that technobrilliance does not
> open per se new avenues in order to produce innovative thought about the
> information stuff of human societies. Alternatively we may think that
> the accelerated digitalization of our world and the cyborg-symbiosis of
> human information and computer information do not demand much brain
> teasing, as it is a matter that social evolution is superseding by itself.
> The point I have ocasionally raised in this list is whether all the new
> molecular knowledge about life might teach us about a fundamental
> difference in the "way of being in the world" between life and inert
> matter (& mechanism & computation)---or not. In the recent compilation
> by Plamen and colleagues from the former INBIOSA initiative,  I have
> argued about that fundamental difference in the intertwining of
> communication/self-production, how signaling is strictly caught in the
> advancement of a life cycle  (see paper "How the living is in the
> world"). Life is based on an inusitate informational formula unknown in
> inert matter. And the very organization of life provides an original
> starting point to think anew about information --of course, not the only
> one.
> So, to conclude this "tangent", I find quite exciting the discussion we
> are starting now, say from the classical info positions onwards, in
> particularly to be compared in some future with another session (in
> preparation) with similar ambition but starting from say the
> phenomenology of the living. Struggling for a
> convergence/complementarity of outcomes would be a cavalier effort.
> All the best--Pedro
> Steven Ericsson-Zenith wrote:
>> ...The subject is one that has concerned me ever since I completed my PhD
>> in 1992. I came away from defending my thesis, essentially on large scale
>> parallel computation, with the strong intuition that I had disclosed much
>> more concerning the little that we know, than I had offered either a
>> theoretical or engineering solution.
>> For the curious, a digital copy of this thesis can be found among the
>> reports of CRI, MINES ParisTech, formerly ENSMP,
>>, it is also available
>> as a paper copy on Amazon.
>> Like many that have been involved in microprocessor and instruction
>> set/language design, using mathematical methods, we share the physical
>> concerns of a generation earlier, people like John Von Neumann, Alan
>> Turing, and Claude Shannon. In other words, a close intersection between
>> physical science and machine engineering.
>> ...I will then discuss some historical issues in particular referencing
>> Benjamin Peirce, Albert Einstein and Alan Turing. And finally discuss the
>> contemporary issues, as I see them, in biophysics, biology, and associated
>> disciplines, reaching into human and other social constructions, perhaps
>> touching on cosmology and the extended role of information theory in
>> mathematical physics...
>> _______________________________________________
>> Fis mailing list
> --
> -------------------------------------------------
> Pedro C. Marijuán
> Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
> Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
> Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
> Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta X
> 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
> Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 (& 6818)
> -------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> Fis mailing list
Fis mailing list

Reply via email to