First, a few responses.  I agree with Hans von Baeyer.  Pedro’s kindness is 
I agree with Gyorgy Darvas that  quarks communicate. 
I also agree with Jerry  Chandler.  Brute force is not the  major mover of 
history.  Values and  virtues count.  A lot.  In fact, a culture organizes 
itself by  calling one way of doing things evil—brute force—and another way 
of doing things  a value  and a virtue.  Our way is the value and the  
virtue.  The ways of others are  brute force and evil.  We see  cooperation  
warmth among  us.  But only enmity  and destruction among them.   
The  brute force is not  within groups, where values, virtues, and 
compassion  prevail.  It’s  between groups.  It’s in the pecking order battles 
between groups.   
Which means, in answer to Marcus  Abundis, yes, groups struggle for 
position in inter-group hierarchies like  chickens in a barnyard.  For  
America and China are vying right now for top position in the barnyard  of 
nations.  Russia’s in that  battle, too.  On a lower level, so  are Saudi 
Arabia and Iran, whose proxy war in Syria for pecking order dominance  has cost 
quarter of a million lives.  That’s brute force.  Between  groups whose 
citizens are often lovely and loving to each other.  Whose citizens are proud 
of their values  and virtues. 
Now for a final  statement. 
Information exists in a  context.  That’s not at all  surprising.  
Information is all  about context.  As the writings of  Guenther Witzany hint.  
as  Ludwig Wittgenstein also suggested.  Information is relational.  
Information does not exist in a vacuum.  It connects participants.  And it 
things happen.  When it’s not connecting participants,  it’s not information 
FIS gets fired up to a high  energy level when discussing the definition of 
information and its relationship  to Shannon’s entropic information 
equation.  Alas, these discussions tend  to remove the context.  And context is 
what gives information  its indispensable ingredient, meaning. 
There are two basic approaches  in science:   
·        the abstract mathematical;  
·        and the observational empirical.   
Mathematical abstractionists  dwell on definitions and equations.  
Empirical observers gather facts.  Darwin was an observational empiricist. I’d 
to see more of Darwin’s  kind of science in the world of information theory. 
One of Darwin’s most important  contributions was not the concept of 
natural selection.  It was an approach that Darwin got from  Kant and from his 
grandfather Erasmus.  That approach?  Lay out the  history of the cosmos on a 
timeline and piece together its story.  In chronological order.  Piece 
together the saga of how this  cosmos has created itself.  Including the 
self-motivated, self-creation of life. 
Communication plays a vital role  in this story.  It appears in the  first 
10(-32) of a second of the cosmos’ existence, when quarks communicated  
using attraction and repulsion cues.  OK, it’s not quite right to call the cues 
attraction and repulsion  cues.  When two quarks sized each  other up, they 
interpreted the signals of the strong force differently.  If you were a 
quark, another quark might  size you up and promptly speed away.  But a quark 
a different variety might detect the same signals, find  them wildly 
attractive, and speed in your direction.  One quark’s meat was another’s 
even in that first form of communication in the cosmos.   
Information is not a  stand-alone.  Again, it’s  contextual.  It’s ruled 
by what  Guenther Witzany calls syntax, semantics, and, most important of 
all,  pragmatics.  Its meaning comes from  where it fits in a bigger picture. 
Were the signals quarks  exchanged information?  Not  according to many of 
the definitions in FIS.  Some of those definitions say that to be  regarded 
as information, a sender must deliberately signify something  symbolically.  
She must, for  example, want to warn you about a poisoned apple.  She must 
put that message in symbols,  like the words “poisoned apple,” then convey 
that signal to a receiver.  If she doesn’t want to see you poisoned,  she 
might text you, “watch out for poisoned apples.”  I’m not sure whether the 
definitions  extant in FIS demand that you look at her text or not.  Much less 
whether you act on  it. 
In my latest book, The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos  Creates, I 
propose a different definition of information.  Information is anything a 
can  decode, anything he can decipher.  How do you know a receiver has 
decoded a message?  Through the decoder’s actions.  If you are a quark and you 
detect my  strong force, you either scoot away or you rush over and join me.  
You act.  If you are a neurosurgeon looking at an  mri, you make internal 
decisions, mental decisions.  You don’t move physically.  Not at first.  But 
you move mentally.  You imagine your scalpel poised over a  different spot 
than you might have picked before seeing the mri.   
Information is anything a  receiver can decode.  So starlight  reaching 
planet earth 4.5 billion years ago, nearly half a billion years before  the 
appearance of the first life, was not information.  There was no one or no 
thing that  interpreted it, translated it, or acted on it.  But starlight in 
age of the  Babylonians 2,600 years ago was highly informational.  Entire 
teams of scribes and priests  spent their lives observing it and interpreting 
it.  Many of their interpretations were  detailed bullet points of 
political and personal advice to the ruler.  Was there motion in response to  
starlight?  You bet.  Starlight literally moved the troops and  policies of 
And today, when there are tens  of thousands of professional astronomers 
and millions of amateurs with  telescopes, all churning out data and emails  
to each other, the amount of information  in starlight has skyrocketed.  But, 
 in fact, the actual starlight has not increased.  Not a bit.  It’s the 
number of interpreters that’s  shot up.  And with the interpreters,  something 
else has mushroomed: the information, the interpretation, and the  theories 
along with their supporting or opposing “facts.” 
The timeline of communication  from quarks to empires is crucial.  It’s the 
natural history we need to see the evolution of  information.  No matter 
what we  define information to be.  The  timeline of the cosmos is context on 
the biggest scale.  It can make new meaning of facts we  scarcely see.  It 
can make more  phenomena we experience every day but do not see into, guess 
what?  Information. 
That’s a timeline I’m working  on. 
Thanks for having me in your  group.  And thanks for giving me a  chance to 
share thoughts with you.
Howard Bloom
Author of: The Lucifer Principle:  A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces 
of History ("mesmerizing"-The  Washington Post),
Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The  Big Bang to the 21st 
Century ("reassuring and sobering"-The New  Yorker),
The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of  Capitalism ("A 
tremendously enjoyable book." James Fallows, National  Correspondent, The 
The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos  Creates ("Bloom's argument will rock 
your world." Barbara  Ehrenreich),
How I Accidentally Started the Sixties ("Wow! Whew!  Wild!
Wonderful!" Timothy Leary), and
The Mohammed Code ("A  terrifying book…the best book I've read on Islam." 
David Swindle, PJ  Media).
Former Core Faculty Member, The Graduate  Institute; Former Visiting 
Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York  University.
Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; Founder, Space  Development 
Steering Committee; Founder: The Group Selection Squad; Founding  Board 
Member: Epic of Evolution Society; Founding Board Member, The Darwin  Project; 
Founder: The Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New York Academy of  
Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American  
Psychological Society, Academy of Political Science, Human Behavior and  
Society, International Society for Human Ethology, Scientific Advisory  Board 
Member, Lifeboat Foundation; Editorial Board Member, Journal of Space  
Philosophy; Board member and member of Board of Governors, National Space  

In a message dated 2/1/2016 8:46:55 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, writes:

Thanks  Howard. Please, at your convenience send the concluding comments to 
the fis  list. 

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