In agreement with Sung I see the value of “language metaphor" that can be 
applied to physical objects when they are used for communication.
Description of “chemical language” used by bacteria can be found e.g. here and number of 
other articles by Bonnie Bassler or Eschel Ben-Jacob on quorum sensing, or in a 
popular talk here

This idea of information processing performed by natural systems is parallell 
to natural computing – cell computing, bacterial cognition, DNA computing, 
membrane computing, etc.

Best wishes,

From: Fis <<>> 
on behalf of Sungchul Ji 
Date: Wednesday, 7 February 2018 at 14:46
To: FIS FIS <<>>
Subject: [Fis] The unification of the theories of information based on the 
cateogry theory

Hi  FISers,

On 10/8/2017, Terry wrote:

" So basically, I am advocating an effort to broaden our discussions and 
recognize that the term information applies in diverse ways to many different 
contexts. And because of this it is important to indicate the framing, whether 
physical, formal, biological, phenomenological, linguistic, etc.

. . . . . . The classic syntax-semantics-pragmatics distinction introduced by 
Charles Morris has often been cited in this respect, though it too is in my 
opinion too limited to the linguistic paradigm, and may be misleading when 
applied more broadly. I have suggested a parallel, less linguistic (and nested 
in Stan's subsumption sense) way of making the division: i.e. into intrinsic, 
referential, and normative analyses/properties of information."

I agree with Terry's concern about the often overused linguistic metaphor in 
defining "information".  Although the linguistic metaphor has its limitations 
(as all metaphors do), it nevertheless offers a unique advantage as well, for 
example, its well-established categories of functions (see the last column in 
Table 1.)

The main purpose of this post is to suggest that all the varied theories of 
information discussed on this list may be viewed as belonging to the same 
category of ITR (Irreducible Triadic Relation) diagrammatically represented as 
the 3-node closed network in the first column ofTable 1.

Table 1.  The postulated universality of ITR (Irreducible Triadic Relation) as 
manifested in information theory, semiotics, cell language theory, and 

Category Theory

   f            g
   A -----> B ------> C
    |                           ^
    |                            |

ITR (Irreducible Triadic Relation)

Deacon’s theory of information

Theory of

Peirce’s theory of signs

Cell language theory

Human language


Intrinsic information



Amion acids

(Building blocks)


Referential information






Normative information



(Totality of cell metabolism)

Systems of words
(Decision making & Reasoning)




Sign production

Physical laws

Second articulation




Sign interpretation

Evoutionary selection

First and Third articulation



Information flow

Information flow



Scale   Micro-Macro?    Macro   Macro   Micro   Macro

*There may be more than one genetic alphabet of 4 nucleotides.  According to 
the "multiple genetic alphabet hypothesis', there are n genetic alphabets, each 
consisting of 4^n letters, each of which in turn consisting of n nucleotides.  
In this view, the classical genetic alphabet is just one example of the n 
alphabets, i.e., the one with n = 1.  When n = 3, for example, we have the 
so-called 3rd-order genetic alphabet with 4^3 = 64 letters each consisting of 3 
nucleotides, resulting in the familiar codon table.  Thus, the 64 genetic 
codons are not words as widely thought (including myself until recently) but 
letters!  It then follows that proteins are words and  metabolic pathways are 
sentences.  Finally, the transient network of metbolic pathways (referred to as 
"hyperstructures" by V. Norris in 1999 and as "hypermetabolic pathways" by me 
more recently) correspond to texts essential to represent 
arguement/reasoning/computing.  What is most exciting is the recent discovery 
in my lab at Rutgers that the so-called "Planck-Shannon plots" of mRNA levels 
in living cells can identify function-dependent "hypermetabolic pathways" 
underlying breast cancer before and after drug treatment (manuscript under 

Any comments, questions, or suggestions would be welcome.


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