Hi Soeren and FISers,

(1) Tychism is intrinsic to the Planckian information, since it is defined as 
the binary logarithm of the ratio of the area under the curve (AUC) of the 
Planckian distribution (PDE)  over the AUC of the Gaussian-like Equation (GLE):

          I_P  =  log (AUC(PDE)/AUC(GLE))

Tychism is implied in GLE.

(2)  The Planckian processes are defined as those physicochemical or formal 
processes that generate long-tailed histograms (or their superpositions) 
fitting PDE (or its suppositions).   The Planckian process seems irreducibly 
triadic in the Peircean sesne:


              Random processes ----------->   Long-tailed histograms  
------------->  PDE

(Secondness)                         (Thirdness)







Figure 2.  The Irreducible Triadic Relation (ITR) embodied in the Planckian 
processes.  f = selection process either natural or artificial; g =  
mathematical modeling; h = grounding, correspondence, or information flow.

(3)  (to be continued)

All the best.


From: Søren Brier <sbr....@cbs.dk>
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 7:06 PM
To: Sungchul Ji; Terrence W. DEACON; John Collier
Cc: fis
Subject: RE: [Fis] Causation is transfer of information

Dear Sung

It is difficult for me to say as you do not make your metaphysical framework 
explicit.  This was the great work Peirce did. I am pretty sure you do not have 
a dynamic triadic process concept of semiosis based on a tychastic theory of 
Firstness as potential qualia or forms of feeling of which information is only 
an aspect.



From: Sungchul Ji [mailto:s...@pharmacy.rutgers.edu]
Sent: 29. marts 2017 20:35
To: Søren Brier; Terrence W. DEACON; John Collier
Cc: fis
Subject: Re: [Fis] Causation is transfer of information

Hi Soeren,

Can  you be more specific about what aspect of my proposal described in my 
previous emails you think are my own and has nothing to do with (or are even 
based on my misinterpretation of) Peirce ?

Thanks in advance.



From: Søren Brier <sbr....@cbs.dk<mailto:sbr....@cbs.dk>>
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2017 2:10 PM
To: Sungchul Ji; Terrence W. DEACON; John Collier
Cc: fis
Subject: RE: [Fis] Causation is transfer of information

Dear Sung

I suggest you call this your own theory and make your own definitions of terms, 
because you confuse things by attempting to draw on Peirce, because there is a 
whole process philosophy with synechism, tychism, agapism and Scholastic 
realism plus a phenomenological and mathematically based  triadic metaphysics 
as the basis of Peirce’s concepts, which is the fruit of his life’s work. I do 
not think you are ready to carry that load. It takes many years to understand 
fully. The ‘sign’ is a triadic process of representamen, object and 
interpretant working in the realm of Firstness, Secondness and Thirdness in a 
society at large or a society of researchers devoted to the search for truth 
producing the meaning of signs, which when developed into propositional 
arguments can be tested in the fallible scientific process  of generating more 
rationality in culture as well as nature.



From: Fis [mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Sungchul Ji
Sent: 29. marts 2017 00:27
To: Terrence W. DEACON; John Collier
Cc: fis
Subject: Re: [Fis] Causation is transfer of information

Hi Fisers,

I agree with Terry that "information" has three irreducible aspects --- amount, 
meaning, and value.  These somehow may be related to another triadic relation 
called the ITR as depicted below, although I don't know the exact rule of 
mapping between the two triads.  Perhaps, 'amount' = f, 'meaning' = g, and 
'value' = h ? .

                                      f                               g

               Object --------------->  Sign -------------->  Interpretant



Figure 1.  The Irreducible Triadic Relation (ITR) of seimosis (also called sign 
process or communication) first clearly articulated by Peirce to the best of my 
knowledge. Warning: Peirce often replaces Sign with Representamen and 
represents the whole triad, i.e., Figure 1 itself (although he did not use such 
a figure in his writings) as the Sign. Not distinguishing between these two 
very different uses of the same word "Sign" can lead to semiotic confusions.   
The three processes are defined as follows: f = sign production, g = sign 
interpretation, h = information flow (other ways of labeling the arrows are not 
excluded).   Each process or arrow reads "determines", "leads", "is presupposed 
by", etc., and the three arrows constitute a commutative triangle of category 
theory, i.e., f x g = h, meaning f followed by g ledes to the same result as h.

I started using  the so-called  ITR template, Figure 1,  about 5 years ago, and 
the main reason I am bringing it up here is to ask your critical opinion on my 
suggestion published in 2012 (Molecular Theory of the Living  Cell: Concepts, 
Molecular Mechanisms, and Biomedical Applications, Springer New York, p ~100 ?) 
that there are two kinds of causality -- (i) the energy-dependent causality 
(identified with Processes f and g in Figure 1) and (ii) the information (and 
hence code)-dependent causality (identified with Process h).  For convenience, 
I coined the term 'codality' to refer to the latter to contrast it with the 
traditional term causality.

I wonder if we can  view John's idea of the relation between 'information' and 
'cause' as being  an alternative way of expressing the same ideas as the 
"energy-dependent causality" or the "codality" defined in Figure 1.

All the best.



From: Fis <fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es<mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es>> 
on behalf of Terrence W. DEACON 
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 4:23:14 PM
To: John Collier
Cc: fis
Subject: Re: [Fis] Causation is transfer of information

Corrected typos (in case the intrinsic redundancy didn't compensate for these 
minor corruptions of the text):

 information-beqaring medium =  information-bearing medium

appliction = application

 conceptiont =  conception

On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 10:14 PM, Terrence W. DEACON 
<dea...@berkeley.edu<mailto:dea...@berkeley.edu>> wrote:

Dear FIS colleagues,

I agree with John Collier that we should not assume to restrict the concept of 
information to only one subset of its potential applications. But to work with 
this breadth of usage we need to recognize that 'information' can refer to 
intrinsic statistical properties of a physical medium, extrinsic referential 
properties of that medium (i.e. content), and the significance or use value of 
that content, depending on the context.  A problem arises when we demand that 
only one of these uses should be given legitimacy. As I have repeatedly 
suggested on this listserve, it will be a source of constant useless argument 
to make the assertion that someone is wrong in their understanding of 
information if they use it in one of these non-formal ways. But to fail to mark 
which conception of information is being considered, or worse, to use equivocal 
conceptions of the term in the same argument, will ultimately undermine our 
efforts to understand one another and develop a complete general theory of 

This nominalization of 'inform' has been in use for hundreds of years in legal 
and literary contexts, in all of these variant forms. But there has been a 
slowly increasing tendency to use it to refer to the information-beqaring 
medium itself, in substantial terms. This reached its greatest extreme with the 
restricted technical usage formalized by Claude Shannon. Remember, however, 
that this was only introduced a little over a half century ago. When one of his 
mentors (Hartley) initially introduced a logarithmic measure of signal capacity 
he called it 'intelligence' — as in the gathering of intelligence by a spy 
organization. So had Shannon chose to stay with that usage the confusions could 
have been worse (think about how confusing it would have been to talk about the 
entropy of intelligence). Even so, Shannon himself was to later caution against 
assuming that his use of the term 'information' applied beyond its technical 

So despite the precision and breadth of appliction that was achieved by setting 
aside the extrinsic relational features that characterize the more colloquial 
uses of the term, this does not mean that these other uses are in some sense 
non-scientific. And I am not alone in the belief that these non-intrinsic 
properties can also (eventually) be strictly formalized and thereby contribute 
insights to such technical fields as molecular biology and cognitive 

As a result I think that it is legitimate to argue that information (in the 
referential sense) is only in use among living forms, that an alert signal sent 
by the computer in an automobile engine is information (in both senses, 
depending on whether we include a human interpreter in the loop), or that 
information (in the intrinsic sense of a medium property) is lost within a 
black hole or that it can be used  to provide a more precise conceptiont of 
physical cause (as in Collier's sense). These different uses aren't unrelated 
to each other. They are just asymmetrically dependent on one another, such that 
medium-intrinsic properties can be investigated without considering referential 
properties, but not vice versa.

It's time we move beyond terminological chauvenism so that we can further our 
dialogue about the entire domain in which the concept of information is 
important. To succeed at this, we only need to be clear about which conception 
of information we are using in any given context.

— Terry

On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 8:32 PM, John Collier 
<colli...@ukzn.ac.za<mailto:colli...@ukzn.ac.za>> wrote:

I wrote a paper some time ago arguing that causal processes are the transfer of 
information. Therefore I think that physical processes can and do convey 
information. Cause can be dispensed with.

  *   There is a copy at Causation is the Transfer of 
Information<http://web.ncf.ca/collier/papers/causinf.pdf> In Howard Sankey (ed) 
Causation, Natural Laws and Explanation (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1999)

Information is a very powerful concept. It is a shame to restrict oneself to 
only a part of its possible applications.

John Collier

Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Associate

Philosophy, University of KwaZulu-Natal


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Professor Terrence W. Deacon
University of California, Berkeley


Professor Terrence W. Deacon
University of California, Berkeley
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