Krassimir - I enjoyed your post and your definition of information. For more 
definitions of information especially the notion of the relativity of 
information you might wish to see my book
What is Information? - Propagating Organization in the Biosphere, the 
Symbolosphere, the Technosphere and the Econosphere which is available for free 
on the following Web sites <> or at

Since I am offering this book for free this shameless promotion of my book is 
not done for commercial gain although I will mention the book is available in a 
printed codex format through Amazon.

Here is the excerpt on the relativity of information from What Is Information? 
for those that might be interested in this idea

The Relativity of Information

Robert M. Losee (1997) in an article entitled A Discipline Independent 

Definition of Information published in 
the Journal of the American Society for 
Information Science defines information as follows:

Information may be defined as the characteristics of the output of a process, 
these being informative about the process and the input. This discipline 
independent definition may be applied to all domains, from physics to 
The term information, as the above definition seems to suggest, is generally 
regarded as some uniform quantity or quality, which is the same for all the 
domains and phenomena it describes. In other words information is an invariant 
like the speed of light, the same in all frames of reference. The origin of the 
term information or the actual meaning of the concept is all taken for granted. 
If ever pressed on the issue most contemporary IT experts or philosophers will 
revert back to Shannon’s definition of information. Some might also come up 
with Bateson definition that information is the difference that makes a 
difference. Most would not be aware that the Shannon and Bateson definitions of 
information are at odds with each other. Shannon information does not make a 
difference because it has nothing to do with meaning; it is merely a string of 
symbols or bits. On the other hand, Bateson information, which as we discovered 
should more accurately be called MacKay information, is all about meaning. And 
thus we arrive at our second surprise, namely the relativity of information. 
Information is not an invariant like the speed of light, but depends on the 
frame of reference or context in which it is used.

We discovered in our review of POE that Shannon information and biotic or 
instructional information are quite different. Information is not an absolute 
but depends on the context in which it is being used. So Shannon information is 
a perfectly useful tool for telecommunication channel engineering. Kolmogorov 
(Shiryayev 1993) information, defined as the minimum computational resources 
needed to describe a program or a text and is related to Shannon information, 
is useful for the study of information compression with respect to Turing 
machines. Biotic or instructional information, on the other hand, is not 
equivalent to Shannon or Kolmogorov information and as has been shown in POE is 
the only way to describe the interaction and evolution of biological systems 
and the propagation of their organization.

POE refers to the following paper:   Kauffman, Stuart, Robert K. Logan, Robert 
Este, Randy Goebel, David Hobill and Ilya Shmulevich. 2007. Propagating 
organization: an enquiry. Biology and Philosophy 23: 27-45.


Robert K. Logan
Prof. Emeritus - Physics - U. of Toronto 
Fellow University of St. Michael's College
Chief Scientist - sLab at OCAD

> On Feb 2, 2016, at 6:44 AM, 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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