On 16 Oct 2017 at 8:35 AM, Jose Javier Blanco Rivero wrote:


Most of information processing devices consist of a design of some sort of 
feedback loop.  I don`t know if we could translate this idea to all the kinds 
of systems we all deal with.


  Right. We know a lot of cycles or loops in our profession including 
autocatalytic cycles of various types, semiotic closure (Howard Pattee), 
circular causality (Gregory Bateson) and closure to efficient cause (Robert 
Rosen) just to name only a few. What concerns us at this point is that when we 
call something a loop without referring directly to the material object 
supporting the loop, the chance of being accused of assuming an 
anthropocentrism would be pretty high. How could we avoid this?


   One lesson we have learned from physics is that if one can associate the 
name tag of anything with the state attribute of a given system at any moment, 
the name-calling of anthropocentrism could be waived.  For instance, something 
called entropy could survive insofar as it is associated with the state 
attribute of the system of interest. Despite that, no state assignment of a 
loop could be likely because the state has been static by itself unless it is 
acted upon by something else. Most of us must be familiar with how clumsy it 
would be to describe the operation of a loop in terms of ad hoc state 


    One likelihood of approaching a loop descriptively might be to admit any 
elements of interest on the table at any moment without stipulating the 
congruent state assignment globally. That is to say, the environment to any 
element could differ from that to any other. One advantage of this picture 
might be that the environments of each element could  be agential in their 
internal coordination if we can luckily escape from the entrapment by “anything 
goes”. Whether such an internal coordination could be likely must be totally an 
empirical matter. This issue may be most crucial for the origins of life 
anywhere. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. 


    Koichiro Matsuno




From: Fis [mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Jose Javier Blanco 
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2017 8:35 AM
To: Krassimir Markov <mar...@foibg.com>; Fis, <fis@listas.unizar.es>
Subject: Re: [Fis] What is “Agent”?


Dear Krassimir, dear all,

I have noticed that some descriptions of information make use of 
anthropocentric metaphors and that might be misguiding (for instance, 
subjective and objective information (Sung)). Agent is a concept that retains 
some sort of action-theoretic background but at the same time assumes the 
existence of nonhuman agents. Agency would be then a causal relation wherein 
the agent "causes" some sort of effects. 

I don`t feel confortable with this concept. I prefer the the concept of 
observer. But this one is problematic too, for the same reason: it is supposed 
that a human is there watching, feeling, measuring, etc. 

I think we have to get rid of these humanistic assumptions in order to gain 
insight into the issues we want to explore. 

Definitely I don`t think I have the answer, but following D. Hofstadter, H. von 
Foerster, N. Luhmann and others we could think of a agent/observer as a 
self-referential loop. Most of information processing devices consist of a 
design of some sort of feedback loop.  I don`t know if we could translate this 
idea to all the kinds of systems we all deal with. But it would be worth 
finding out. 

An operative loop enables the differentiation of system and environment. The 
system acquires the capacity to control its own behavior. At some point its 
internal states are so many that it biffucartes and grow complex. Subsystems 
can differentiate by the same mechanism. So, that`s my point: one have to look 
for self-referential loops in order to find the observer/agent. 

An intelligent agent would be some kind of loop (strange loop, maybe). It`s 
just a hypothesis anyway...

Best regards,

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