Dear Fis members,

I have followed with interest the discussion and I have not intervened
until now since I am just a beginner in information theory. But from my
background in systems theory (Luhmann) and intellectual history, the
questions raised here are familiar to me. Louis has differentiated between
meaning and information, as I see it. And I think that distinction is of
particular relevance for social systems, such as science. Social systems
process meaning and information as well. They process meaning through
semantics. So science develops concepts and discusses about them.
Information is processed by the code of the science system, producing
redundance and variety at once. The permanent reproduction of meaning make
differences that lead an observer (maybe science itself) to indicate or
mark the 'apophatic', non linguistic, meaning surplus (Ricoeur), la penuria
lingüística (Gadamer)... Hermann Haken's concept of information adaptation
has been useful to me to illustrate this point: the difference between
Shannons information and semantic information and their feedback. Although
Haken does not properly distinguishes between meaning and information.
I am sorry if I'm leading astray the discussion.

Best regards,

Javier Blanco
El oct 14, 2016 2:59 p.m., "Louis H Kauffman" <> escribió:

> Dear Dai,
> Consider the pattern
> .142857142857142857142857142857142857142857…
> 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.
> Best,
> Lou Kauffman
> > On Oct 14, 2016, at 9:16 AM, Dai Griffiths <>
> 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.
> >
> > Dai
> >
> > On 13/10/16 11:32, Karl Javorszky wrote:
> >> Do patterns contain information?
> >
> > --
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> > Professor of Education
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