Dear all,
Just a quick reply to Howard's fascinating account of cosmic history.

It seems what is crucially needed is a theory that brings together "brute
force" on the one hand - laws of nature "blindly" colliding and colluding,
from quarks to planets - and "information" on the other - from pre-human
codes (perhaps including quantum computation) and communication to advanced
human and cybernetic networks.

The former seems to be able to do away with everything except a few simple
rules of operation (gravity, natural selection, will-to-power), everything
more complex being the unfolding of the interaction between these few
simple rules (eternal or emergent is beside the point here). The latter
seems to depend upon subjective interpretation, the retention of systems
memory, symbolic coding-decoding, and other processes that compose only a
subset of the (creatures and processes) of the universe. Never the twain
shall meet.

Or perhaps brute force can be analyzed as equivalent to information? Or
vice versa? Or as two sides of the same coin?

Otto Lehto,
Tampere, Finland
On 2 Feb 2016 13:46, "Krassimir Markov" <> wrote:

> Dear Howard,
> Thank you very much for your great effort and nice explanation!
> I like it!
> Only what I needed to see is a concrete answer to the question “what it
> the Information?”
> You absolutely clearly described it and I totally agree with your
> considerations.
> Only what is needed is to conclude with a short definition.
> I think it may be the next:
> The Information is a reflection which may be interpreted by its receiver
> in the context the receiver has in his/her memory.
> From this definition many consequences follow. In future we may discuss
> them.
> Friendly regards
> Krassimir
> PS:
> Dear FIS Colleagues,
> 1. At the ITHEA web side, the conferences for year 2016 have been
> announced.
> One of them is the XIV-th International Conference on “General Information
> Theory”.
> Please visit link:
> Welcome in Varna, Bulgaria !
> 2. May be it will be interesting to read the paper, published in our
> International Journal “Information Theories and Applications” (
> ) :
> Formal Theory of Semantic and Pragmatic Information - a Technocratic
> Approach <>
> by Venco Bojilov
> Please send your remarks to the author to e-mail:
> Krassimir
> *From:*
> *Sent:* Tuesday, February 02, 2016 8:46 AM
> *To:*
> *Cc:*
> *Subject:* [Fis] _ Closing lecture
> First, a few responses.  I agree with Hans von Baeyer.  Pedro’s kindness
> is magic.
> 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
> and 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
> example, 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 a 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.  And as
> Ludwig Wittgenstein also suggested.  Information is relational.  Information
> does not exist in a vacuum.  It connects participants.  And it makes
> 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 like
> 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 of a different variety might detect the same signals, find them
> wildly attractive, and speed in your direction.  One quark’s meat was
> another’s poison, 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
> receiver 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 the 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 empires.
> 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
> ____________
> 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
> Atlantic*),
> *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
> Evolution 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 Society.
> 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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