Dear FIS Colleagues,

I agree with Joseph and Pedro that: 

“There are no ideal meta-observers; we are all, to a certain extent, both 
meta-observers of the discussion and participants in it. This is not a simple 
vertical hierarchy. We move between these two roles, switching from actualizing 
one to the other.”

What I think is that from point of view of the observed system, object, event, 
etc., it is better to say “external observer” and “internal observer” in 
corresponded cases just because “this is not a simple vertical hierarchy”.

Now, let me continue with little explanation about “model” and “mental model”.

If one will visit the Wikipedia he/she will find series of examples of concept 
“model” [1].

As Marx Wartofsky remarks [2], the concept "model" has been used for denotation 
of the very large class of phenomena: mechanical, theoretical, linguistic, etc. 
constructions. He gave a good definition of the model relation and in [2] he 
made clear the main characteristics of the models. His definition is as follow: 


The model relation is triple M: 

M: (S, x, y) 

where "S" is subject for whom "x" represents "y". 

In other words only in this relation and only for the subject "S" the entity 
"x" is a model of the entity "y".


The easy but not serious definition of the “mental model” is to say: “it is a 
model in the subject’s consciousness”. 

Again, in Wikipedia, there are several examples [5]. 

This way is not good because it is very difficult to answer the question: who 
is “the subject” in this case? 

So, we need another definition.

In mathematics, a structure on a set, or more generally a type, consists of 
additional mathematical objects that, in some manner, attach (or relate) to the 
set, making it easier to visualize or work with, or endowing the collection 
with meaning or significance. A partial list of possible structures are 
measures, algebraic structures (groups, fields, etc.), topologies, metric 
structures (geometries), orders, events, equivalence relations, differential 
structures, and categories.

Sometimes, a set is endowed with more than one structure simultaneously; this 
enables mathematicians to study it more richly. For example, an order induces a 
topology. As another example, if a set both has a topology and is a group, and 
the two structures are related in a certain way, the set becomes a topological 

Mappings between sets which preserve structures (so that structures in the 
domain are mapped to equivalent structures in the co-domain) are of special 
interest in many fields of mathematics. Examples are homomorphisms, which 
preserve algebraic structures; homeomorphisms, which preserve topological 
structures; diffeomorphisms, which preserve differential structures; [3], and 
the functors which preserve category structures.

To avoid misunderstandings with concepts Subject, agent, animal, human, 
society, humanity, living creatures, etc., in [4] we use the abstract concept 
“INFOS” to denote every of them as well as all of artificial creatures which 
has features similar to the former ones. 

Here we are interested only of three features of Infos: receptors, effectors, 
and memory. Infos has possibility to reflect the reality via receptors and to 
operate with received reflections in its memory. The opposite is possible - via 
effectors Infos has possibility to realize in reality some of its 
(self-)reflections from its consciousness.

If the following diagram exists and if it is commutative, then it represents 
all modeling relations:

- in reality: real models, 

- in consciousness: mental models;

- between reality and consciousness: perceiving data and creating mental models.

It is easy to imagine the case when the Infos realizes its reflections using 
its effectors, i.e. relation between consciousness and reality: realizing 
mental models and creating data. In this case the receptors’ arrows should be 
replaces by opposite effectors’ arrows.

In mathematical terms in diagram above:

― Source “s” and Recipient “r” are structured sets;

― Infos is an intelligent system;

― “e” is a mapping from s in r which preserves (all or partial) structures;

― mental source “si” and mental recipient “ri” are structured sets;

― “ei” is a mapping from si in ri which preserves (all or partial) structures.

Finally, the task of the external observer is to create the diagram above by 
using some experimental data and staying outside the system (consciousness) - 
above the dotted line. 

Respectively, the internal observer does the opposite. The task of the internal 
observer is to create the diagram above by using some (experimental) data and 
staying inside the system (consciousness) – below the dotted line.

Friendly greetings



[2] M.W.Wartofsky. Models. Representation and the Scientific Understanding. 
D.Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht: Holland /Boston: USA, London: England/, 


[4] Kr. Markov, Kr. Ivanova, I. Mitov. Basic Structure of the General 
Information Theory. IJ ITA, Vol.14, No.: 1, 2007. pp. 5-19.


PS: If the diagram is not visible after posting in FIS-list I shall duplicate 
this message presenting it by symbols.

Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2018 9:36 PM
Subject: Re: [Fis] Meta-observer?

Dear Colleagues,

I am reluctant to discuss the information matters related to our language as 
they too easily mess things up. But Eric Werner short paper (2010, Science 329, 
629-630) makes a very adequate remark in the context of Shannon's theory and 
biologic information that may also apply to language use: "The meaning of a 
message is determined by how it affects the informational and intentional state 
of the agent. Agents coordinate their actions by using communication to adjust 
their respective strategies so that they cohere to achieve their interlocking 

The point on "interlocking goals" by Werner brings me to the centrality of life 
cycles (synchronization of lives), in all quarters pertaining to the biological 
and to the social, and also in our languages. But they are not still recognized 
as a central concern to ponder. They are like the water for the fish, that 
invisible stuff which permeates our societies. 

Finally, let me return to Joseph's interpretation of meta-observers below, 
which I concur. In actuality, the full world of disciplines with all their 
institutional collective bodies, Institutes, Departments, Journals, Reviewers, 
Meetings, formal and informal gatherings, etc. constitute a thought collective 
well beyond the individual. In our case, the "meta" complexity is well 
credited, as the problems around information cross along some of the deepest 
conundrums: from a new evolutionary/cellular theory to the absence of an 
efficient central theory of neurosciences (&consciousness); from quantum 
information (&measurement&coherence interpretations) to cosmology; from the 
relationship with entropy to the information society, and of course including 
the new "dataism" to be discussed soon.

And this is my second cent of the week. 


On Sat, 3 Mar 2018 02:58:28 +0100 (CET) "" wrote:

  Dear Pedro and All, 

  If I go back to Pedro's original note, I see a further aspect which might be 
worked into its discussion. There are no ideal meta-observers; we are all, to a 
certain extent, both meta-observers of the discussion and participants in it. 
This is not a simple vertical hierarchy. We move between these two roles, 
switching from actualizing one to the other. Recognition of both should help 
accomplish what I have tried to propose, namely, that we force ourselves to 
emphasize someone else's work in our proposals, rather than our own.

  Best regards,


    ----Message d'origine----
    De :
    Date : 28/02/2018 - 05:34 (PST)
    À :
    Objet : [Fis] Meta-observer?


    Dear FISers,

    Although I share Terry's concern, I do not think that

    p>expostulating one's general framework is going to facilitate the 
p>discussions. Perhaps opposite, 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


    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.



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