Dear Rafael,

I read the opinion expressed in your patent,, that we can enter the world of animals
but that they are 'world-poor' (*veltarm *- Heidegger), with interest, and
the following comment.

When I made my preconference seminar presentation to the 2016 Science of
Consciousness Conference here in Tucson on Tuesday morning, one of the
seminar participants (named Bill) happened to have a pet African Gray
Parrot named Harry, and was highly amused at my descriptions taken from
Sheldrake. He added some of his own, both at my invitation in response to
his interjection, and privately the following day after one of the plenary

He told several stories about his bird and his relationship with it. Harry
definitely likes to be treated as a 'person' and not a 'possession' or mere
'pet'. He exercises choice, and if offered the chance to accompany Bill in
his car, feels quite free to respond, 'No, you go alone', or 'I'll stay

More poignantly, he has a great sense of humour, as related in several
anecdotes, one of which was what may happen if Bill has a long, long phone
call. Harry will sometimes imitate Bill's voice and say, 'Bye, now!', and
then make the clicking sound of the phone being hung up!!!

On one occasion when this happened, Bill was in the middle of a Skype
conference call with three colleagues all in different locations /
countries (continents?). Two of them with were already familiar with
Harry's habits and antics roared with laughter, and immediately told the
third who was totally confused, 'Don't worry! That's(just) his 'bird'.' The
conference duely completed.

I have asked Bill to write me an account for publication in the
International Journal of Yoga, Physiology, Psychology and Parapsychology,
which I shall be happy to share with any Fis colleagues who are interested
at a later date. I would also request someone (possibly Maxine?) to write
me some instructions on what protocol(s) need(s) to be followed to conduct
a strict and rigorous phenomenological investigation of Harry's wonderful

As you will have gathered, I personally think that this kind of
communication has a real relevance to the question in this webinar, because
in my (admittedly inexperienced) it does afford us a new direction and
insight into the 'phenomenology of animal life'. We already know from
published studies that gorillas have a sense of humour and know perfectly
well when they are telling lies (whether jokes or otherwise), and that this
gives distinct insight into what minds other than human minds are capable

All best wishes,


P.S. Because of conference participation activities my internet connection
over the past few days has been very limited. Hence my waiting until now to
make a decent reply to this valuable comment.

I have however been a little surprised by the small number of
communications and would appreciate a little feedback:
Is the material in the first half too technical and new?
Or were the accompanying papers too long/difficult?
Does it need further expansion and explanations?
Does the material in the second half seem too unlikely / implausible?

Thanks in advance for any feedback that anyone cares to send me,
either privately or thru Fis.

On 28 April 2016 at 06:47, Rafael Capurro <> wrote:

> Dear Pedro and all,
> these are some thoughts on phenomenology of life:
> best
> Rafael
> Dear Alex and colleagues,
> Thanks for the opportunity to ad a few lines on signaling matters. I would
> not discard any organizational aspect of signaling pathways. I have put
> below a diagram that approaches the dynamics of some major ones.Your
> analogy with mobile phones would be right, provided that conversations were
> mixed, that a number of receivers were just random, and that a component of
> "experience information" would be entered too --I think it can apply to the
> dynamics of second messengers, where multitudes of microevents and pathways
> may be integrated via lots of feedbacks (See the box in the figure below).
> Symmetry is a big word concerning the organization of pathways in the
> construction of multicellular development... opposed paths, tipping points,
> collective (populational) symmetry breakings, massive feedbacks, etc.
> By the way, when we commented days ago on Tononi's phi, both from John
> Collier and myself, the idea was to consider it as applied to the closure
> of meaning episodes in language. How "getting" the meaning of some
> linguistic episode (eg, a joke) provokes a sudden change of transient
> connectivity between areas...
> Apart from meaning, it may also be interesting that there seems to be a
> strong asymmetry in between the incoming / outgoing information flows--the
> "social info loops" around. In most human organizations, the ratio is in
> between 3 and 4. It means that you and me are ordered by upper levels in
> around 80 % of our exchanges, while what we send upwards becomes a meager
> 20 %. It is from a statistics on business communication metrics. The
> generalization is far from direct, but maybe it would occur in the cells
> too--amazingly there is very little literature on cellular "signal
> emission".
> Anyhow, how the whole ascending and descending info flows give raise to
> all the varieties of organizational complexity is a fascinating problem,
> All the  best--Pedro
> *Figure 6: Prototypical signaling pathways of multicellularity.* From
> left to right, a stimulus in the intercellular space binds to a
> transmembrane receptor (sensor) on its extracellular domain. Upon binding,
> the receptor undergoes a transient modification of its cytoplasmic domain;
> this effect triggers a transient modification of a series of proteins in
> the cell, each one acting as an intermediate in the signal transduction
> pathway (signal processing), with characteristic hierarchies of protein
> kinases and second messengers. The last components are actuators or
> effectors that activate or inhibit proteins and channels that control
> several cellular functions, notably gene expression by means of
> transcriptional switches that may interact with several coactivator
> partners. The whole biochemical changes produced in the cell represent the
> response to the received signal —its *molecular meaning*.
>  El 26/04/2016 a las 10:10, Alex Hankey escribió:
> Dear Pedro,
> Thank you for the comments on my presentation, and particularly for
> reminding us all that life transmits information of many different kinds by
> very specific and selective processes in chemical signally molecules.
> I must confess that I had assumed that such kinds of signals could be
> considered special cases of digital information analogous to the codes
> transmitted by a digital signalling tower in a mobile telephone network,
> where the initial code has to name the device that the rest of that message
> section is meant to receive.
> In mobile phone systems, individual devices are sent information by
> identifiers. If we have a nervous system working with several
> neurotransmitters, or a cell signalling system working with a number of
> cytokines, each with a specific regulatory influence / purpose, are these
> individual items not performing in ways that are covered by the usual
> combination of Wiener and Shannon, and therefore in principle understood,
> and AS YOU SPECIFICALLY POINT OUT, with no particular "experience"
> component.
> I wonder whether the material I transmitted made the following point
> succinctly / precisely enough:
> David Chalmers specifically hypothesized that 'experience information' (my
> terminology) mst have a double aspect, and that the 'loop' arising from
> criticality specifically fulfils his hypothesis in a new and potent way.
> (The material contains so many points that this, to my mind, really
> significant one may have got buried.)
> Thank you also for appreciating the amplification of Tononi's contribution
> (Tononi, I personally regard as of real significance). The internal loop
> creates
> the internal coherence that is required to form the 'integrated
> information'.
> I have a suspicion that the following propositions are probably correct:
> a. any information structure that is truly 'non-reductive'
> (Chalmers requirement 3) must possess long range coherence.
> b. any information structure with long-range coherence will be a form of
> integrated information.
> c. Hence Chalmers requirement 3 in fact specifies integrative information.
> This sequence a, b, c simplifies what those writing in the 1990's were
> saying:
> they were in fact setting equivalent requirements on the form of
> 'experience information'
> (though Tononi undoubtedly thought he was saying something different, as
> did those who followed up on his work, and Chalmers did not realize that
> Tononi's proposal was equivaent to the point that he had proposed.
> Anyone's thoughts on this would be very much appreciated,
> All best wishes,
> Alex
> --
> -------------------------------------------------
> 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)pcmarijuan.iacs@aragon.es
> -------------------------------------------------
> _______________________________________________
> Fis mailing 
> listFis@listas.unizar.es
> --
> Prof.em. Dr. Rafael Capurro
> Hochschule der Medien (HdM), Stuttgart, Germany
> Capurro Fiek Foundation for Information Ethics 
> (
> Distinguished Researcher at the African Centre of Excellence for Information 
> Ethics (ACEIE), Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, 
> South Africa.
> Chair, International Center for Information Ethics (ICIE) (
> Editor in Chief, International Review of Information Ethics (IRIE) 
> (
> Postal Address: Redtenbacherstr. 9, 76133 Karlsruhe, Germany
> E-Mail:
> Voice: + 49 - 721 - 98 22 9 - 22 (Fax: -21)
> Homepage:

Alex Hankey M.A. (Cantab.) PhD (M.I.T.)
Distinguished Professor of Yoga and Physical Science,
SVYASA, Eknath Bhavan, 19 Gavipuram Circle
Bangalore 560019, Karnataka, India
Mobile (Intn'l): +44 7710 534195
Mobile (India) +91 900 800 8789

2015 JPBMB Special Issue on Integral Biomathics: Life Sciences, Mathematics
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