Hi FISers,

I find it convenient to define communication as an irreducibly triadic process 
(physical, chemical, biological, physiological, or mental).  I identify such a 
triadic process with the Peircean semiosis (or the sign process) often 
represented as the following diagram which is isomorphic with the commutative 
triangle of the category theory.  Thus, to me, communication is a category:

                               f                g

                        A ------>  B  -------> C
                         |                               ^
                         |                               |

Figure 1.  A diagrammatic representation of semiosis, sign process, or 
communication.  The names of the nodes and edges can vary depending on the 
communication system under consideration, which can be chemical reaction 
systems, gene expression mechanisms, human communication using symbols, 
computer systems using electrical signals.  If applied to the Shannon 
communication system, A = source, B = signals, C = receiver, f = encoding, g = 
decoding, and h = information transfer/flow.  When applied to human symbolic 
communicatioin, A = object, B = sign, C = interpretant, f = sign production, g 
= interpretation, and h = information flow.

One usefulness of Figure 1 is its ability to distinguish between "interactions" 
(see Steps f and g) and "communication" (see Steps f, g and h); the former is 
dyadic and the latter triadic.

All the best.


From: Fis <fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es> on behalf of Loet Leydesdorff 
Sent: Friday, November 17, 2017 8:06 AM
To: Pedro C. Marijuan; fis
Subject: Re: [Fis] some notes

Dear Pedro and colleagues,

2. Eigenvectors of communication. Taking the motif from Loet, and continuing 
with the above, could we say that the life cycle itself establishes the 
eigenvectors of communication? It is intriguing that maintenance, persistence, 
self-propagation are the essential motives of communication for whatever life 
entities (from bacteria to ourselves). With the complexity increase there 
appear new, more sophisticated directions, but the basic ones probably remain 
intact. What could be these essential directions of communication?
I am not so convinced that there is an a priori relation between life and 
communication. Communication is not alive. Non-living systems (e.g., computers, 
robots) also communicate. Perhaps, it matters for the communication whether the 
communicators are living systems; but this needs to be specified.

Communication studies is not biology. Perhaps, there is a specific biological 
communication as Maturana claims: when molecules are exchanged, one can expect 
life. Can one have life without communication? It seems to me that one can have 
communication without life. Communication would then be the broader category 
and life a special case.


3. About logics in the pre-science, Joseph is quite right demanding that 
discussion to accompany principles or basic problems. Actually principles, 
rules, theories, etc. are interconnected or should be by a logic (or several 
logics?) in order to give validity and coherence to the different combinations 
of elements. For instance, in the biomolecular realm there is a fascinating 
interplay of activation and inhibition among the participating molecular 
partners (enzymes and proteins) as active elements.  I am not aware that 
classical ideas from Jacob (La Logique du vivant) have been sufficiently 
continued; it is not about Crick's Central Dogma but about the logic of 
pathways, circuits, modules, etc. Probably both Torday and Ji have their own 
ideas about that-- I would be curious to hear from them.

4. I loved Michel's response to Arturo's challenge. I think that the two 
"zeros" I mentioned days ago (the unsolved themes around the cycle and around 
the observer) imply both multidisciplinary thinking and philosophical 

Best wishes--Pedro

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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