Thank you Francesco for a thoughtful commentary. I think that it is a wonderful reflection with which to mark the end of this tumultuous year and challenging discussions. Because I was moved by your senbtiment I crudely translate your words below. I hope it captures some of the elegance of your comment, especially the poetic last two lines. Thank you.

Dear Terry, Joseph and All, Although it is difficult to pursue and achieve a degree of harmony despite dis-agreements, or to find a concrete logic or practical philosophy that is "good", "right" and "real", in order to understand what exists and to develop practical knowledge, there must be communication between humans that can lead recursively to a co-ordination of meaning. COMMUNICATION cannot be separated from information and inevitably has a sort of economics. So I think that the “use-value” of a shape or form applies in all fields, including physics, biology, mathematics, music, poetry, art, sculpture, etc. Thus, a piece of iron is valued less than a nail and a nail is valued less than a screw; a cell is valued less than a tissue and a tissue is valued less than an organ and a body is valued less than an organism; an undifferentiated stem cell (biological currency) is valued more than a differentiated cell; a musical note or a color is valued less than a musical score or a picture; a word is valued more than the individual vowels or consonants and less than a poem; a mathematical symbol is valued less than an equation or function; a point or a line is valued less than a geometric figure, etc. All forms must be MEANT, which is why the science of existence, or the existence of science, is ALWAYS BASED on the Triad: signification, information, communication. Finally, dis-equilibrium is vital and the breaking of symmetries or discontinuities can be creative. So you have to get busy using the elective affinities or synergies that are born between some of you or us to build, not to destroy, in order to generalize knowledge. Rather than remove a brick, it is better to insert one, not to build walls of separation or opposition, but bridges of communication. There will be others who come after us to bring other bricks. On Thu, Dec 29, 2016 at 9:54 PM, Francesco Rizzo < 13francesco.ri...@gmail.com> wrote: > Cari Terry, Joseph e Tutti, > anche se è più difficile da perseguire e realizzare l'armonia del > dis-accordo o la logica concreta o la filosofia pratica può essere "bella", > "buona", "giusta" e "vera", per comprendere la prassi dell'esistenza e il > dominio della conoscenza, nonché per svolgere la comunicazione tra gli > esseri umani come coordinazione comportamentale ricorsiva descritta > semanticamente. COMUNICAZIONE che non può prescindere dall'INFORMAZIONE (in > economia, ad es., utilizzo il valore della forma o la forma del valore che > secondo me vale in tutti i campi della fisica, della biologia, della > matematica, della musica, della poesia, dall'arte, della scultura, etc.): > un pezzo di ferro vale meno di un chiodo e un chiodo vale meno di una vite; > una cellula vale meno di un tessuto e un tessuto vale meno di un organo e > un organo vale meno di un organismo;una cellula staminale indifferenziata > (moneta biologica) vale più di una cellula differenziata; una nota o un > colore vale meno di uno spartito musicale o di un quadro; una parola vale > più delle singole vocali o consonanti e meno di una poesia; un simbolo > matematico vale meno di un'equazione o di una funzione; un punto o una > linea vale meno di una figura geometrica, etc. Qualunque forma deve essere > SIGNIFICATA, ecco perché la scienza dell'esistenza o l'esistenza della > scienza è SEMPRE BASATA sulla Triade: significazione, informazione, > comunicazione. Infine,il dis-equilibrio è vitale e la rottura delle > simmetrie o le discontinuità sono creative. > Quindi bisogna darsi da fare utilizzando le affinità elettive o sinergie > che sono nate anche tra alcuni di Voi o di Noi: per costruire, non per > distruggere arrivando dove si può arrivare per generalizzare il sapere: > piuttosto che toglierlo un mattone è meglio metterlo, non per costruire > muri di separazione o contrapposizioni, ma ponti di comunicazione. Saranno > quelli che vengono dopo a portare altri mattoni. > Francesco > > 2016-12-29 23:31 GMT+01:00 Terrence W. DEACON <dea...@berkeley.edu>: > >> Dear Loet and others, >> >> I feel as though we are in search of a common general theory, but from >> divergent perspectives and expectations. Of course we should not merely >> assume a common general theopry of information if one doesn't yet exist. We >> agree that such a theory is a ways off, though you some are far more >> pessimisitic about its possibility than me. I believe that we would do best >> to focus on the hole that needs filling in rather than assuming that it is >> an unfillable given. >> >> My modest suggestion is only that in the absence of a unifying theory we >> should not privilege one partial theory over others and that in the absence >> of a global general theory we need to find terminology that clearly >> identifies the level at which the concept is being used. Lacking this, we >> end up debating incompatible definitions, and defending our favored one >> that either excludes or includes issues of reference and significance or >> else assumes or denies the relevance of human interpreters. With different >> participants interested in different levels and applications of the >> information concept—from physics, to computation, to neuroscience, to >> biosemiotics, to language, to art, etc.—failure to mark this diversity will >> inevitably lead us in circles. >> >> I urge humility with precision and an eye toward synthesis. >> >> Happy new year to all.\ >> >> — Terry >> >> On Thu, Dec 29, 2016 at 12:30 PM, Dai Griffiths < >> dai.griffith...@gmail.com> wrote: >> >>> Thanks Stan, >>> >>> Yes, it's a powerful and useful process. >>> My problem is that in this list, and in other places were such matters >>> are discussed, we don't seem to be able to agree on the big picture, and >>> the higher up the generalisations we go, the less we agree. >>> >>> I'd like to keep open the possibility that we might be yoking ideas >>> together which it may be more useful to keep apart. We are dealing with >>> messy concepts in messy configurations, which may not always map neatly >>> onto a generalisation model. >>> >>> Dai >>> >>> >>> >>> On 22/12/16 16:45, Stanley N Salthe wrote: >>> >>> Dai -- >>> >>> {phenomenon 1} >>> >>> {phenomenon 2} --> {Phenomena 1 & 2} ---> {phenomena 1.2,3} >>> >>> {phenomenon 3} >>> >>> The process from left to right is generalization. >>> >>> ‘Information’ IS a generalization. >>> >>> generalities form the substance of philosophy. Info happens to a case >>> >>> of generalization which can be mathematized, which in turn allows >>> >>> it to be generalized even more. >>> >>> So, what’s the problem? >>> >>> STAN >>> >>> On Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 7:44 AM, Dai Griffiths < >>> dai.griffith...@gmail.com> wrote: >>> >>>> > Information is not “something out there” which “exists” otherwise >>>> than as our construct. >>>> >>>> I agree with this. And I wonder to what extent our problems in >>>> discussing information come from our desire to shoe-horn many different >>>> phenomena into the same construct. It would be possible to disaggregate the >>>> construct. It be possible to discuss the topics which we address on this >>>> list without using the word 'information'. We could discuss redundancy, >>>> variety, constraint, meaning, structural coupling, coordination, >>>> expectation, language, etc. >>>> >>>> In what ways would our explanations be weakened? >>>> >>>> In what ways might we gain in clarity? >>>> >>>> If we were to go down this road, we would face the danger that our >>>> discussions might become (even more) remote from everyday human experience. >>>> But many scientific discussions are remote from everyday human experience. >>>> >>>> Dai >>>> On 20/12/16 08:26, Loet Leydesdorff wrote: >>>> >>>> Dear colleagues, >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> A distribution contains uncertainty that can be measured in terms of >>>> bits of information. >>>> >>>> Alternatively: the expected information content *H *of a probability >>>> distribution is . >>>> >>>> *H* is further defined as probabilistic entropy using Gibb’s >>>> formulation of the entropy . >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> This definition of information is an operational definition. In my >>>> opinion, we do not need an essentialistic definition by answering the >>>> question of “what is information?” As the discussion on this list >>>> demonstrates, one does not easily agree on an essential answer; one can >>>> answer the question “how is information defined?” Information is not >>>> “something out there” which “exists” otherwise than as our construct. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> Using essentialistic definitions, the discussion tends not to move >>>> forward. For example, Stuart Kauffman’s and Bob Logan’s (2007) definition >>>> of information “as natural selection assembling the very constraints on the >>>> release of energy that then constitutes work and the propagation of >>>> organization.” I asked several times what this means and how one can >>>> measure this information. Hitherto, I only obtained the answer that >>>> colleagues who disagree with me will be cited. J Another answer was >>>> that “counting” may lead to populism. J >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> Best, >>>> >>>> Loet >>>> >>>> >>>> ------------------------------ >>>> >>>> Loet Leydesdorff >>>> >>>> Professor, University of Amsterdam >>>> Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) >>>> >>>> <l...@leydesdorff.net> <l...@leydesdorff.net>l...@leydesdorff.net ; >>>> <http://www.leydesdorff.net/> <http://www.leydesdorff.net/> >>>> http://www.leydesdorff.net/ >>>> Associate Faculty, SPRU, <http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/>University of >>>> Sussex; >>>> >>>> Guest Professor Zhejiang Univ. <http://www.zju.edu.cn/english/>, >>>> Hangzhou; Visiting Professor, ISTIC, >>>> <http://www.istic.ac.cn/Eng/brief_en.html>Beijing; >>>> >>>> Visiting Professor, Birkbeck <http://www.bbk.ac.uk/>, University of >>>> London; >>>> >>>> <http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ych9gNYAAAAJ&hl=en> >>>> <http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ych9gNYAAAAJ&hl=en> >>>> http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ych9gNYAAAAJ&hl=en >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> *From:* Dick Stoute [mailto:dick.sto...@gmail.com >>>> <dick.sto...@gmail.com>] >>>> *Sent:* Monday, December 19, 2016 12:48 PM >>>> *To:* l...@leydesdorff.net >>>> *Cc:* James Peters; <u...@umces.edu>u...@umces.edu; Alex Hankey; FIS >>>> Webinar >>>> *Subject:* Re: [Fis] What is information? and What is life? >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> List, >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> Please allow me to respond to Loet about the definition of information >>>> stated below. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> 1. the definition of information as uncertainty is counter-intuitive >>>> ("bizarre"); (p. 27) >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> I agree. I struggled with this definition for a long time before >>>> realising that Shannon was really discussing "amount of information" or the >>>> number of bits needed to convey a message. He was looking for a formula >>>> that would provide an accurate estimate of the number of bits needed to >>>> convey a message and realised that the amount of information (number of >>>> bits) needed to convey a message was dependent on the "amount" of >>>> uncertainty that had to be eliminated and so he equated these. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> It makes sense to do this, but we must distinguish between "amount of >>>> information" and "information". For example, we can measure amount of >>>> water in liters, but this does not tell us what water is and likewise the >>>> measure we use for "amount of information" does not tell us what >>>> information is. We can, for example equate the amount of water needed to >>>> fill a container with the volume of the container, but we should not think >>>> that water is therefore identical to an empty volume. Similarly we should >>>> not think that information is identical to uncertainty. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> By equating the number of bits needed to convey a message with the >>>> "amount of uncertainty" that has to be eliminated Shannon, in effect, >>>> equated opposites so that he could get an estimate of the number of bits >>>> needed to eliminate the uncertainty. We should not therefore consider that >>>> this equation establishes what information is. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> Dick >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> On 18 December 2016 at 15:05, Loet Leydesdorff < <l...@leydesdorff.net> >>>> l...@leydesdorff.net> wrote: >>>> >>>> Dear James and colleagues, >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> Weaver (1949) made two major remarks about his coauthor (Shannon)'s >>>> contribution: >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> 1. the definition of information as uncertainty is counter-intuitive >>>> ("bizarre"); (p. 27) >>>> >>>> 2. "In particular, information must not be confused with meaning." (p. >>>> 8) >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> The definition of information as relevant for a system of reference >>>> confuses information with "meaningful information" and thus sacrifices the >>>> surplus value of Shannon's counter-intuitive definition. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> information observer >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> that integrates interactive processes such as >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> physical interactions such photons stimulating the retina of the eye, >>>> human-machine interactions (this is the level that Shannon lives on), >>>> biological interaction such body temperature relative to touch ice or heat >>>> source, social interaction such as this forum started by Pedro, economic >>>> interaction such as the stock market, ... [Lerner, page 1]. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> We are in need of a theory of meaning. Otherwise, one cannot measure >>>> meaningful information. In a previous series of communications we discussed >>>> redundancy from this perspective. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> Lerner introduces mathematical expectation E[Sap] (difference between >>>> of a priory entropy [sic] and a posteriori entropy), which is distinguished >>>> from the notion of relative information Iap (Learner, page 7). >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> ) expresses in bits of information the information generated when the a >>>> priori distribution is turned into the a posteriori one . This follows >>>> within the Shannon framework without needing an observer. I use this >>>> equation, for example, in my 1995-book *The Challenge of >>>> Scientometrics* (Chapters 8 and 9), with a reference to Theil (1972). >>>> The relative information is defined as the *H*/*H*(max). >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> I agree that the intuitive notion of information is derived from the >>>> Latin “in-formare” (Varela, 1979). But most of us do no longer use “force” >>>> and “mass” in the intuitive (Aristotelian) sense. J The proliferation >>>> of the meanings of information if confused with “meaningful information” is >>>> indicative for an “index sui et falsi”, in my opinion. The repetitive >>>> discussion lames the progression at this list. It is “like asking whether a >>>> glass is half empty or half full” (Hayles, 1990, p. 59). >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> This act of forming forming an information process results in the >>>> construction of an observer that is the owner [holder] of information. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> The system of reference is then no longer the message, but the observer >>>> who provides meaning to the information (uncertainty). I agree that this is >>>> a selection process, but the variation first has to be specified >>>> independently (before it can be selected. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> And Lerner introduces the threshold between objective and subjective >>>> observes (page 27). This leads to a consideration selection and >>>> cooperation that includes entanglement. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> I don’t see a direct relation between information and entanglement. An >>>> observer can be entangled. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> Best, >>>> >>>> Loet >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> PS. Pedro: Let me assume that this is my second posting in the week >>>> which ends tonight. L. >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> _______________________________________________ >>>> Fis mailing list >>>> Fis@listas.unizar.es >>>> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> >>>> -- >>>> >>>> >>>> 4 Austin Dr. Prior Park St. James, Barbados BB23004 >>>> Tel: 246-421-8855 <%28246%29%20421-8855> >>>> Cell: 246-243-5938 <%28246%29%20243-5938> >>>> >>>> >>>> _______________________________________________ >>>> Fis mailing >>>> listFis@listas.unizar.eshttp://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis >>>> >>>> -- >>>> ----------------------------------------- >>>> >>>> Professor David (Dai) Griffiths >>>> Professor of Education >>>> School of Education and Psychology >>>> The University of Bolton >>>> Deane Road >>>> Bolton, BL3 5AB >>>> >>>> Office: T3 02http://www.bolton.ac.uk/IEC >>>> >>>> SKYPE: daigriffiths >>>> UK Mobile +44 (0)7491151559 <+44%207491%20151559> >>>> Spanish Mobile: + 34 687955912 <+34%20687%2095%2059%2012> >>>> Work: + 44 (0)7826917705 <+44%207826%20917705> >>>> (Please don't leave voicemail) >>>> email: >>>> d.e.griffi...@bolton.ac.uk >>>> dai.griffith...@gmail.com >>>> >>>> _______________________________________________ Fis mailing list >>>> Fis@listas.unizar.es http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bi >>>> n/mailman/listinfo/fis >>> >>> _______________________________________________ >>> Fis mailing >>> listFis@listas.unizar.eshttp://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis >>> >>> -- >>> ----------------------------------------- >>> >>> Professor David (Dai) Griffiths >>> Professor of Education >>> School of Education and Psychology >>> The University of Bolton >>> Deane Road >>> Bolton, BL3 5AB >>> >>> Office: T3 02http://www.bolton.ac.uk/IEC >>> >>> SKYPE: daigriffiths >>> UK Mobile +44 (0)7491151559 <+44%207491%20151559> >>> Spanish Mobile: + 34 687955912 <+34%20687%2095%2059%2012> >>> Work: + 44 (0)7826917705 <+44%207826%20917705> >>> (Please don't leave voicemail) >>> email: >>> d.e.griffi...@bolton.ac.uk >>> dai.griffith...@gmail.com >>> >>> >>> _______________________________________________ >>> Fis mailing list >>> Fis@listas.unizar.es >>> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis >>> >>> >> >> >> -- >> Professor Terrence W. Deacon >> University of California, Berkeley >> >> _______________________________________________ >> Fis mailing list >> Fis@listas.unizar.es >> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis >> >> > -- Professor Terrence W. Deacon University of California, Berkeley

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