Consider the pattern
In our world of observers and technology, this pattern is constructed so that
it can be transmitted verbatim by this computer system to you.
No meaning is transmitted, just the list of numbers. Even the fact that the
pattern repeats is not evident just from the finite list of symbols.
You, as an observer, “know” that the “three dots: …” indicates indefinite
repetition. And you know about infinite decimals, so the dot at the beginning
of the string
indicates to you that this is an infinite decimal number.
With that in mind, you can operate on the pattern and deduce that it is
representing 1/7. You know that we are communicating about
a delicate choice of actions and that I have signaled to you that the 7-th
action is to be preferred. Unfortunately, any eavesdropper (another observer)
would probably come to the same conclusions, so this is not a very good cipher!
The point is, that no matter how radical is our constructivism, we have to
admit that we are capable of sending , not meaning, but literal
patterns that can be reproduced quite faithfully over various modes of
transmission. Meaning is not transmitted, but physical relationships and orders
of symbols are recorded and exchanged. The information in the pattern is
dependent upon the observer. The kids in my math class will only get up to the
1/7. They will not know anything about the delicate and life-changing decision
that the 7 represents. The key information in the cipher is not in the cipher.
It is a potential that can emerge from an appropriate observer in the presence
of the cipher.
Note that the observer needs extra information. He needs to know that agent LK
sent it and that it is not just an exercise in an elementary mathematics book.
> On Oct 14, 2016, at 9:16 AM, Dai Griffiths <dai.griffith...@gmail.com> wrote:
> To trying to answer this question, I find myself asking "Do patterns exist
> without an observer?".
> A number of familiar problems then re-emerge, which blur my ability to
> distinguish between foreground and background.
> On 13/10/16 11:32, Karl Javorszky wrote:
>> Do patterns contain information?
> Professor David (Dai) Griffiths
> Professor of Education
> School of Education and Psychology
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