Dear all,

Following the ideas of Mark, Lou,   Krassimir and Arturo, I think it is
worth to insist on a proposal I made in this forum a few months ago. That
is, the thesis of a general theory of communication media.
(Before going on I would like to remark that the concepts used here do not
designate essences but functions, they are thought as answers to
how-questions and not to what-questions)
Instead of talking about carriers or substrates of information, we should
be talking about communication media. Because, as Krassimir remarked,
information can only become information in the context of a medium
-material or not.
As a medium can operate any redundant pattern and/or self organized
process. Being information the result of or distinctions traced by this
self driven process in an effort to  fix its own structures according to
the constraints set by its environment and by its own actual possibilities
of actualizing determined states of itself. Talking about communication
would make sense as long as there are information processing, therefore
redundance, and selection of information. It also makes sense as long as
way to describe the evolution of the behavior of systems that interact
somehow becoming interdependent to some degree.  As Arturo points out,
anthropocentrism -and I would add: a persistent philosophy of
consciousness- is rather an obstacle. Any selfrerential  and selforganized
system can draw distinctions, process information and communicate. But we
should take care to distinguish the very medium that make that system
possible (which can be the domain of the physical, that is, the domain of
existence of the observable and mensurable) and the media that function
more or less regularly to the purpose of communication.
I remember I also criticized the idea of information transmission.
Information  is not transmitted. Regular patterns are instrumentalized to
codify a symbolic system. When this occurs a technical medium of
communication has been developed.
I know there would be many flaws other general setting of this proposal,
but I also think it is a thought worth to be followed  and perfectioned.
This would not lead astray of information science. On the contrary, it lays
inside its very spirit. Elemental units such as information are related to
wider contexts such as communication. It is up to theory to put together
that unity.

El abr 24, 2018 10:49 PM, "Burgin, Mark" <> escribió:

> Dear Colleagues,
> I would like to suggest the new topic for discussion
>                                       Is information physical?
> My opinion is presented below:
>    Why some people erroneously think that information is physical
>    The main reason to think that information is physical is the strong
> belief of many people, especially, scientists that there is only physical
> reality, which is studied by science. At the same time, people encounter
> something that they call information.
>    When people receive a letter, they comprehend that it is information
> because with the letter they receive information. The letter is physical,
> i.e., a physical object. As a result, people start thinking that
> information is physical. When people receive an e-mail, they comprehend
> that it is information because with the e-mail they receive information.
> The e-mail comes to the computer in the form of electromagnetic waves,
> which are physical. As a result, people start thinking even more that
> information is physical.
>    However, letters, electromagnetic waves and actually all physical
> objects are only carriers or containers of information.
>    To understand this better, let us consider a textbook. Is possible to
> say that this book is knowledge? Any reasonable person will tell that the
> textbook contains knowledge but is not knowledge itself. In the same way,
> the textbook contains information but is not information itself. The same
> is true for letters, e-mails, electromagnetic waves and other physical
> objects because all of them only contain information but are not
> information. For instance, as we know, different letters can contain the
> same information. Even if we make an identical copy of a letter or any
> other text, then the letter and its copy will be different physical objects
> (physical things) but they will contain the same information.
>    Information belongs to a different (non-physical) world of knowledge,
> data and similar essences. In spite of this, information can act on
> physical objects (physical bodies) and this action also misleads people who
> think that information is physical.
>    One more misleading property of information is that people can measure
> it. This brings an erroneous assumption that it is possible to measure only
> physical essences. Naturally, this brings people to the erroneous
> conclusion that information is physical. However, measuring information is
> essentially different than measuring physical quantities, i.e., weight.
> There are no “scales” that measure information. Only human intellect can do
> this.
>    It is possible to find more explanations that information is not
> physical in the general theory of information.
> Sincerely,
> Mark Burgin
> On 4/24/2018 10:46 AM, Pedro C. Marijuan wrote:
> Dear FIS Colleagues,
> A very interesting discussion theme has been proposed by Mark Burgin --he
> will post at his early convenience.
> Thanks are due to Alberto for his "dataism" piece. Quite probably we will
> need to revisit that theme, as it is gaining increasing momentum in present
> "information societies", in science as well as in everyday life...
> Thanks also to Sung for his interesting viewpoint and references.
> Best wishes to all,
> --Pedro
> -------------------------------------------------
> Pedro C. Marijuán
> Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation 
> Grouppcmarijuan.iacs@aragon.es
> -------------------------------------------------
> <>
>  Libre
> de virus.
> <>
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