Dear Arturo - I enjoyed your expression of your opinion  because of its 
directness and honesty even though I do not quite agree with everything you 
said. I enjoyed it because it provoked the following thoughts.

Yes you are right there seems to be a variety of opinions as to just what 
information is. All of them are correct and all of them are wrong including 
mine which I will share with you in a moment. They are right in that they 
describe some aspect of the notion of information and they are all wrong 
because they are attempting to be precise and that is not possible. All words 
including the word ‘information’ are metaphors and a metaphor cannot be right 
or wrong - it can only be illuminating if inspired or irrelevant if too narrow. 
I am afraid caro Arturo that there cannot be a scientific definition of 
‘information’ because definitions cannot be falsified and as Karl Popper once 
suggested for a proposition to be scientific it has to be falsifiable. Of 
course this is Popper’s definition of science so some may disagree. So I am 
with you so far. But where I have to disagree is when you call the activity of 
trying to define information a useless activity. I think it is useful if only 
for us to see the various dimensions of this notion.

Now as promised my thoughts re: what is information? In fact I have written a 
whole book on the subject which I invite all FISers to read free of charge as 
it is available in an open access format at
The availability of the book for free is part of an experiment in which I 
wanted to explore if a book could be a two-way form of communication between an 
author and his or her readers. So FISers please help yourself to my book and if 
you do please honour me with a comment or two as the Web site you access the 
book at also has provisions for you feedback. PS - The book is also available 
in hard copy from Amazon.

So now for my definition of information as can be found in the book.
• Data are the pure and simple facts without any particular structure or 
organization, the basic atoms of information, 

• Information is structured data, which adds meaning to the data and gives it 
context and significance,

• Knowledge is the ability to use information strategically to achieve one's 
objectives, and

 • Wisdom is the capacity to choose objectives consistent with one's values and 
within a larger social context 

In the book I also quote T. S. Eliot whose lines of poetry provide another 
perspective on wisdom, knowledge and information

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? ­– TS Eliot

My definition of information as well as that of TS Eliot does not encompass the 
notion of physicists who talk about information in terms of Wheeler’s "it from 
bit” idea. 
For me inanimate objects have no information because they have no choice. They 
slavishly follow the laws of physics. Only biological, living organisms have 
information because they have choice and information is that which allows them 
to make their choices. And information is that which they perceive through 
their senses from the simplest bacteria to us humans that ee cummings described 
as "fine specimen(s) of hypermagical ultraomnipotence”   So this is my second 
notion of what is ‘information’.
Even a book is not a form of information. It is the record of information 
created by its author and it is a medium that allows its readers to recreate 
that original information of its author. From a McLuhan perspective we could 
also ask is information the medium or the message. McLuhan would say they are 
the same since he said 'the medium is the message'. And he would also agree 
that it is the reader that recreates information when the book 
is read since he also said “the user is the content”. 
Since composing this response a post from Lars-Göran Johansson appeared with 
which I am in agreement
Best wishes to all - Bob Logan


Robert K. Logan
Prof. Emeritus - Physics - U. of Toronto 
Fellow University of St. Michael's College
Chief Scientist - sLab at OCAD

On Oct 4, 2017, at 1:49 PM, wrote:

-------- Messaggio inoltrato -------- Da: 
<> A: Alex Hankey 
<> Data: mercoledì, 04 ottobre 2017, 07:37PM +02:00 
Oggetto: Re[2]: [Fis] Heretic

Dear Prof. Hankey,
I come from a free country, where everybody can say his own opinion, in 
particular if his opinion is not totally stupid.  
The times of Giordano Bruno and Inquisition are gone.  

Inviato da Libero Mail per Android

mercoledì, 04 ottobre 2017, 06:20PM +02:00 da Alex Hankey 

Dear Professor Tozzi, 

Might I suggest that you graciously retire from the list, 
as you evidently do not wish to participate in what 
the rest of us find fascinating topics of discussion. 

As a physicist, I have no difficulty in relating to the concept of 
and I am aware of no less than five conceptually totally different 
mathematical structures, all of which merit the name, 'information'.

With all good wishes, 

Alex Hankey 

On 4 October 2017 at 02:30,  < 
<>> wrote:
Dear FISers,
After the provided long list of completely different definitions of the term 
"information", one conclusion is clear: there is not a scientific, unique 
definition of information.

Nobody of us is able to provide an operative framework and a single (just one!) 
empirical  testable prevision able to assess "information".  
For example, what does "semantics" and "meaning" mean, in empirical terms?
Therefore, to talk about information is meaningless, in the carnapian sense.  

Judging from your answers, the most of you are foremost scientists.  Therefore, 
my proposal is to forget about information, and to use your otherwise very 
valuable skills and efforts in other fields.
It is a waste of your  precious time to focus yourself in something that is so 
vague.  It is, retrospectively, a mistake to state that the world is 
information, if nobody knows what does it mean.  

Inviato da Libero Mail per Android

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Alex Hankey M.A. (Cantab.) PhD (M.I.T.)
Distinguished Professor of Yoga and Physical Science,
SVYASA, Eknath Bhavan, 19 Gavipuram Circle
Bangalore 560019, Karnataka, India  
Mobile (Intn'l): +44 7710 534195 
Mobile (India) +91 900 800 8789

2015 JPBMB Special Issue on Integral Biomathics: Life Sciences, Mathematics and 
Phenomenological Philosophy 
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