Dear FISers, What if we take the observer not as an entity of whatever kind (a unity or identity), but as a distinction (a difference) that when being laid to the foreground becomes a difference that makes a difference (that is, it becomes informative -but this information is locally or spatially, timely, and contextually (1) limited; I mean: it cannot be information everywhere, anytime and for every point of view). Distinguishing distinctions would be the role of a meta-observer -or as H. von Foerster called it: second order observation. In this meta-observer role, asking for the unity of the distinction gives rise to the problem of who the observer is. But this path leads to a sort of mystification, being not able to see what the observer is not able to see: its own distinction. Accordingly, the real question would not be who the observer is, but how to deal with the self-reference implied in every operation of observation. I wonder, are unitary mystifications such as the Mind, the Subject, the Conscious, or even the System, the only way to deal with the paradoxes so dear to observation? The other poignat question would be: when and under which conditions a distinction can take the role of "distinction directrice" -or the distinction or reference of a meta-observer, if I get Pedro right? That would be the quest for an information science. Which is the distinction directrice of this transdisciplinary field that binds together physics, biology, chemestry, social sciences, and so on? Some have proposed, for example, the distinction between information and meaning. I can also see that underlying many of the discussions of the list, there is the distinction between materiality and mentality -that is, some affirm that information has a physical container, and even that information itself is -or involves- a physical exchange of signals, while some others suggest that information is mental, cognitive, inmaterial in itself. This looks indeed like the vortex around which many information theories set up.
Best, Javier Note: These are not entirely my own ideas, I am following G. Bateson, H. von Foerster, G. Spencer Brown, N. Luhmann, and D. Baecker. Indeed, I got a socio-systemic bias. (1) By context I mean a point in space-time characterized by the relation between factual (or actual) and inmediately potential distinctions being put forth by the autopoietic communication process. 2018-02-28 11:34 GMT-02:00 PEDRO CLEMENTE MARIJUAN FERNANDEZ < pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es>: > head> > > Dear FISers, > > > > Although I share Terry's concern, I do not think that expostulating one's > general framework is going to facilitate the discussions. Perhaps oposite, > as it will introduce a trend towards generalization that fortifies the > perspectival differences and makes the rhetorics less adjusted to the > concrete. The problem basically resides in the persistent immaturity of the > "information synthesis" so to speak. Defenders of each approach advocate a > different "observer", charged in each case with their favorite > conceptualizations. Taking into account the apparent multitude of > dimensions of information, and its almost unfathomable reach, a "battery" > of those observers has to be in place. And an agile switching among the > observers has to be established. A sort of "attention" capable of fast and > furious displacements of the focus... helas, this means a meta-observer or > an observer-in-command. > > But what sort of reference may such a metaobserver arbitrate? There is no > conceivable book of rules about the switching between heterogeneous > disciplinary bodies. > > I see only one way, imitating the central goal of nervous systems: the > metaobserver should finally care about our collective social life. It was > Whitehead, as far as I remember, who put it: "to live, to live better." In > each level of organization it is the life cycle of the concerned entities > and the aggregates built upon them what matters. > > Information is not only about logic-formal aspects. It is the bread and > butter of complexity, that which allows contemporary social life. > > So, in the coming session about "dataism" we can also explore these themes. > > > > Best--Pedro > > > > > > _______________________________________________ > Fis mailing list > Fis@listas.unizar.es > http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis > >
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