Dear Sung

May I suggest that you take a look at this paper that sums up the book,%20Cybersemiotics,%20Vol.%209,%20No.%202.pdf
  and the point  relevant to your objection is that you have to integrate 
cybernetics, systems and semiotics to create this transdisciplinary framework, 
It will therefore integrate a concept of information within a communicative 
concept of meaning developed from Peirce’s phenomenologically based triadic 
pragmaticist and fallibilist philosophy of science created long before Popper’s.

From: Fis [] On Behalf Of Xueshan Yan
Sent: 4. marts 2018 02:17
To: FIS Group <>
Subject: Re: [Fis] A Paradox

Dear Dai, Søren, Karl, Sung, Syed, Stan, Terry, and Loet,
I am sorry to reply you late, but I have thoroughly read every post about the 
paradox and they have brought me many inspirations, thank you. Now I offer my 
responses as follows:
Dai, metaphor research is an ancient topic in linguistics, which reveals the 
relationship between tenor and vehicle, ground and figure, target and source 
based on rhetoric. But where is our information? It looks like Syed given the 
answer: "Information is the container of meaning." If I understand it right, we 
may have this conclusion from it: Information is the carrier of meaning. Since 
we all acknowledge that sign is the carrier of information, the task of our 
Information Science will immediately become something like an intermediator 
between Semiotics (study of sign) and Semantics (study of meaning), this is 
what we absolutely want not to see. For a long time, we have been hoping that 
the goal of Information Science is so basic that it can explain all information 
phenomenon in the information age, it just like what Sung expects, which was 
consisted of axioms, or theorems or principles, so it can end all the debates 
on information, meaning, data, etc., but according to this view, it is very 
difficult to complete the missions. Syed, my statement is "A grammatically 
correct sentence CONTAINS information rather than the sentence itself IS 
Søren believes that the solution to this paradox is to establish a new 
discipline which level is more higher than the level of Information Science as 
well as Linguistics, such as his Cybersemiotics. I have no right to review your 
opinion, because I haven't seen your book Cybersemiotics, I don't know its 
content, same as I don't know what the content of Biosemiotics is, but my view 
is that Peirce's Semiotics can't dissolve this paradox.
Karl thought: "Information and meaning appear to be like key and lock." which 
are two different things. Without one, the existence of another will lose its 
value, this is a bit like the paradox about hen and egg. I don't know how to 
answer this point. However, for your "The text may be an information for B, 
while it has no information value for A. The difference between the 
subjective." "‘Information’ is synonymous with ‘new’." these claims are the 
classic debates in Information Science, a typical example is given by Mark 
Burgin in his book: "A good mathematics textbook contains a lot of information 
for a mathematics student but no information for a professional mathematician." 
For this view, Terry given his good answer: One should firstly label what 
context and paradigm they are using to define their use of the term 
"information." I think this is effective and first step toward to construct a 
general theory about information, if possible.
For Stan's "Information is the interpretation of meaning, so transmitted 
information has no meaning without interpretation." I can only disagree with it 
kindly. The most simple example from genetics is: an egg cell accepts a sperm 
cell, a fertilized egg contains a set of effective genetic information from 
paternal and maternal cell, here information transmission has taken place, but 
is there any "meaning" and "explanation"? We should be aware that meaning only 
is a human or animal phenomena and it does not be used in any other context 
like plant or molecule or cell etc., this is the key we dissolve the paradox.
In general, I have not seen any effective explanation of this paradox so far.

Best wishes,

From: Syed Ali []
Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 8:10 PM
To: Sungchul Ji <<>>
Cc: Terrence W. DEACON <<>>; 
Xueshan Yan <<>>; FIS Group 
Subject: Re: [Fis] A Paradox

Dear All:
If a non English speaking individual saw the  newspaper headline “Earthquake 
Occurred in Armenia Last Night”: would that be "information?"
My belief is - Yes. But he or she would have no idea what it was about- the 
meaning would be : Possibly "something " as opposed to the meaning an English 
speaking individual would draw.
In both situations there would be still be meaning - A for the non English 
speaking and B for the English speaking.

Conclusion: Information is the container of meaning.

Please critique.


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On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 5:43 PM, Sungchul Ji 
<<>> wrote:

Hi FISers,

I am not sure whether I am a Procrustes (bed) or a Peirce (triadomaniac), but I 
cannot help but seeing an ITR (irreducible Triadic Relation) among Text, 
Context and Meaning, as depicted in Figure 1.


                                            Context  -------->  Text   
--------->  Meaning





“The meaning of a text is irreducibly dependent on its context.”

 “Text, context, and meaning are irreducibly triadic.”   The “TCM principle” (?)

Figure 1.  The Procrustean bed, the Peircean triadomaniac, or both ?

f =  Sign production;  g =  Sign interpretation;  h = Correlation or 
information flow.

According to this 'Peircean/Procrustesian' diagram, both what Terry said and 
what Xueshan said may be valid.  Although their thinking must have been 
irreducibly triadic (if Peirce is right), Terry may have focused on (or 
prescinded) Steps f and h, while Xueshan prescinded Steps g and h, although he 
did indicate that his discussion was limited to the context of human 
information and human meaning (i.e., Step  f).  Or maybe there are many other 
interpretations possible, depending on the interpreter of the posts under 
discussion and the ITR diagram.

There are an infinite number of examples of algebraic operations: 2+3 = 5, 3 - 
1 = 2, 20 x 45 = 900, etc., etc.
If I say "2 + 3 = 5", someone may say, but you missed "20 x 45 = 900".  In 
other words, no matter what specific algebraic operation I may come up with, my 
opponent can always succeed in coming up with an example I missed.   The only 
solution to such an end-less debate would be to discover the axioms of algebra, 
at which level, there cannot be any debate.  When I took an abstract algebra 
course as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, in 1962-5, I 
could not believe that underlying all the complicated algebraic calculations 
possible, there are only 5 axioms 

So can it be that there are the axioms (either symbolic,  diagrammatic, or 
both) of information science waiting to be discovered, which will end all the 
heated debates on information, meaning, data, etc. ?

All the best.

From: Fis <<>> 
on behalf of Terrence W. DEACON 
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2018 1:13 PM
To: Xueshan Yan
Cc: FIS Group
Subject: Re: [Fis] A Paradox

It is so easy to get into a muddle mixing technical uses of a term with 
colloquial uses, and add a dash of philosophy and discipline-specific 
terminology and it becomes mental quicksand. Terms like 'information' and 
'meaning" easily lead us into these sorts of confusions because they have so 
many context-sensitive and pardigm-specific uses. This is well exhibited in 
these FIS discusions, and is a common problem in many interdisciplinary 
discussions. I have regularly requested that contributors to FIS try to label 
which paradigm they are using to define their use of the term "information' in 
these posts, but sometimes, like fish unaware that they are in water, one 
forgets that there can be alternative paradigms (such as the one Søren 

So to try and avoid overly technical usage can you be specific about what you 
intend to denote with these terms.
E.g. for the term "information" are you referring to statisitica features 
intrinsic to the character string with respect to possible alternatives, or 
what an interpreter might infer that this English sentence refers to, or 
whether this reference carries use value or special significance for such an 
And e.g. for the term 'meaning' are you referring to what a semantician would 
consider its underlying lexical structure, or whether the sentence makes any 
sense, or refers to anything in the world, or how it might impact some reader?
Depending how you specify your uses your paradox will become irresolvable or 

— Terry

On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 1:47 AM, Xueshan Yan 
<<>> wrote:

Dear colleagues,

In my teaching career of Information Science, I was often puzzled by the 
following inference, I call it Paradox of Meaning and Information or Armenia 
Paradox. In order not to produce unnecessary ambiguity, I state it below and 
strictly limit our discussion within the human context.

Suppose an earthquake occurred in Armenia last night and all of the main media 
of the world have given the report about it. On the second day, two students A 
and B are putting forward a dialogue facing the newspaper headline “Earthquake 
Occurred in Armenia Last Night”:

Q: What is the MEANING contained in this sentence?

A: An earthquake occurred in Armenia last night.

Q: What is the INFORMATION contained in this sentence?

A: An earthquake occurred in Armenia last night.

Thus we come to the conclusion that MEANING is equal to INFORMATION, or 
strictly speaking, human meaning is equal to human information. In Linguistics, 
the study of human meaning is called Human Semantics; In Information Science, 
the study of human information is called Human Informatics.

Historically, Human Linguistics has two definitions: 1, It is the study of 
human language; 2, It, also called Anthropological Linguistics or Linguistic 
Anthropology, is the historical and cultural study of a human language. Without 
loss of generality, we only adopt the first definitions here, so we regard 
Human Linguistics and Linguistics as the same.

Due to Human Semantics is one of the disciplines of Linguistics and its main 
task is to deal with the human meaning, and Human Informatics is one of the 
disciplines of Information Science and its main task is to deal with the human 
information; Due to human meaning is equal to human information, thus we have 
the following corollary:

A: Human Informatics is a subfield of Human Linguistics.

According to the definition of general linguists, language is a vehicle for 
transmitting information, therefore, Linguistics is a branch of Human 
Informatics, so we have another corollary:

B: Human Linguistics is a subfield of Human Informatics.

Apparently, A and B are contradictory or logically unacceptable. It is a 
paradox in Information Science and Linguistics. In most cases, a settlement 
about the related paradox could lead to some important discoveries in a 
subject, but how should we understand this paradox?

Best wishes,


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Professor Terrence W. Deacon
University of California, Berkeley

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