Interesting points  Guy,
Let me proposed a few things that can come in addition.
“Fitness” could be worded “conformance to a demand”, or “satisfaction of a 
constraint”. And there we are talking about existing relations, like satisfying 
a ”stay alive” constraint for animals, a ”look for happiness “ one for humans 
and an “avoid obstacles “ one for a robot.
Also distinguishing between ‘information’ and ‘meaning’ is indeed key.
I believe that we have first to agree that the concept of information exists by 
the meanings that can be associated to information. Humans have invented 1+1=2 
because 1 apple + 1 apple = 2 apples to avoid starving. The modeling of reality 
is not for free. Take away the concept of meaning, the one of information 
disappears. The relations between the two can be pretty complex but a thread is 
that meanings are the results of interpretation of information by agents.  So 
the concept of “meaning generation” by an agent submitted to an internal 
constraint, as already addressed in our FIS forum.

De : Fis <> de la part de Guy A Hoelzer 
Envoyé : vendredi 15 septembre 2017 20:25
À : Foundations of Information Science Information Science
Cc :

I agree with Arturo.  I understand information exclusively as matter and 
energy, and the diversity of their states through space/time.  What else it 
there?  The alternative would be to accept ‘information’ as merely an heuristic 
concept that helps us to communicate and make sense of our lives without the 
goal of identifying real phenomena.  I think the freedom to create and use such 
heuristic concepts is essential for many reasons, but we are constantly 
challenged as scientists with distinguishing between these terms and those we 
think and hope approximate real phenomena.  A grad student I worked with 
suggested the term “tool words” to label terms we recognize as mainly 
heuristic.  As an evolutionary biologist, I would suggest the term “fitness” 
has been a very useful heuristic term, but that “fitness” does not actually 
exist.  This statement might surprise or even put off many of my colleagues, 
which I think illustrates the problem caused by failing to make this 
distinction explicit.  As I have argued before, I think clearly distinguishing 
between ‘information’ and ‘meaning’ would be a good first step in this 



Guy Hoelzer, Associate Professor
Department of Biology
University of Nevada Reno

Phone:  775-784-4860
Fax:  775-784-1302

On Sep 15, 2017, at 6:16 AM,<> wrote:

Dear FISers,
I'm sorry for bothering you,
but I start not to agree from the very first principles.

The only language able to describe and quantify scientific issues is 
Without math, you do not have observables, and information is observable.
Therefore, information IS energy or matter, and can be examined through 
entropies (such as., e.g., the Bekenstein-Hawking one).

And, please, colleagues, do not start to write that information is subjective 
and it depends on the observer's mind. This issue has been already tackled by 
the math of physics: science already predicts that information can be 
"subjective", in the MATHEMATICAL frameworks of both relativity and quantum 
dynamics' Copenhagen interpretation.
Therefore, the subjectivity of information is clearly framed in a TOTALLY 
physical context of matter and energy.

Sorry for my polemic ideas, but, if you continue to define information on the 
basis of qualitative (and not quantitative) science, information becomes 
metaphysics, or sociology, or psychology (i.e., branches with doubtful 
possibility of achieving knowledge, due to their current lack of math).

Arturo Tozzi

AA Professor Physics, University North Texas

Pediatrician ASL Na2Nord, Italy

Comput Intell Lab, University Manitoba<>

----Messaggio originale----
Da: "Pedro C. Marijuan" 
Data: 15/09/2017 14.13
A: "fis"<<>>

Dear FIS Colleagues,

As promised herewith the "10 principles of information science". A couple of 
previous comments may be in order.
First, what is in general the role of principles in science? I was motivated by 
the unfinished work of philosopher Ortega y Gasset, "The idea of principle in 
Leibniz and the evolution of deductive theory" (posthumously published in 
1958). Our tentative information science seems to be very different from other 
sciences, rather multifarious in appearance and concepts, and cavalierly moving 
from scale to scale. What could be the specific role of principles herein? 
Rather than opening homogeneous realms for conceptual development, these 
information principles would appear as a sort of "portals" that connect with 
essential topics of other disciplines in the different organization layers, but 
at the same time they should try to be consistent with each other and provide a 
coherent vision of the information world.
And second, about organizing the present discussion, I bet I was too optimistic 
with the commentators scheme. In any case, for having a first glance on the 
whole scheme, the opinions of philosophers would be very interesting. In order 
to warm up the discussion, may I ask John Collier, Joseph Brenner and Rafael 
Capurro to send some initial comments / criticisms? Later on, if the 
commentators idea flies, Koichiro Matsuno and Wolfgang Hofkirchner would be 
very valuable voices to put a perspectival end to this info principles 
discussion (both attended the Madrid bygone FIS 1994 conference)...
But this is FIS list, unpredictable in between the frozen states and the 
chaotic states! So, everybody is invited to get ahead at his own, with the only 
customary limitation of two messages per week.

Best wishes, have a good weekend --Pedro


1. Information is information, neither matter nor energy.

2. Information is comprehended into structures, patterns, messages, or flows.

3. Information can be recognized, can be measured, and can be  processed 
(either computationally or non-computationally).

4. Information flows are essential organizers of life's self-production 
processes--anticipating, shaping, and mixing up with the accompanying energy 

5. Communication/information exchanges among adaptive life-cycles underlie the 
complexity of biological organizations at all scales.

6. It is symbolic language what conveys the essential communication exchanges 
of the human species--and constitutes the core of its "social nature."

7. Human information may be systematically converted into efficient knowledge, 
by following the "knowledge instinct" and further up by applying rigorous 

8. Human cognitive limitations on knowledge accumulation are partially overcome 
via the social organization of "knowledge ecologies."

9. Knowledge circulates and recombines socially, in a continuous actualization 
that involves "creative destruction" of fields and disciplines: the 
intellectual Ars Magna.

10. Information science proposes a new, radical vision on the information and 
knowledge flows that support individual lives, with profound consequences for 
scientific-philosophical practice and for social governance.

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 0
50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 (& 6818)<><>

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