Re: [Fis] BBC Doco; Cell

2011-03-28 Thread Robin Faichney
Monday, March 28, 2011, 12:05:54 AM, Gavin wrote:

 Even at the most basic level of an organism's communication with its
 environment. There is no discernable information exchange. Every single one
 of our senses is an energy transduction structure-processing unit. All we do
 is transduce say light and sound energy to electrical energy. This much is
 pretty well established.

I think you need to think about what the light and sound, on one hand
-- or rather one side of the transduction -- and electrical energy, on
the other side, have in common. These are carriers for patterns, and
it is the patterns that are carried by light, sound, electricity,
whatever, that constitute the information. So the informational
analysis is a higher level one, relative to matter and energy, a
useful (to some, at least) way of looking at patterns embodied in
material/energetic processes.

-- 
Robin Faichney
http://www.robinfaichney.org/


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Re: [Fis] Discussion colophon--James Hannam. Orders and Ordering Principles

2011-03-28 Thread joe.bren...@bluewin.ch




Dear Karl, Dear Loet,
Thank you both for your postings and the perspectives they provide. They leave 
me with just two questions, and I am glad Karl does not want to close the 
discussion so that I may ask for your and other views on them.
1. Does Loet's reply to Karl regarding frameworks for observation of actual 
states vs. frameworks for expectations imply that such frameworks are 
completely mutually exclusive?
2. Regarding information (copying from Karl), the two views in summary are: 
By information, this approach means the deviation of the actual cases from the 
ideal-typical case, in which an order exists. (universalia sunt ante rem)

The opposing view explains information by means of the axiomatic idea of order.
The information content is then the deviation of the actual cases from the 
ideal-typical state, as Loet defines, and concurrently an implication of which 
order prevails, as the opposing view suggests.
Are both these views, however, purely epistemological or do they have an 
ontological content? Both depend (today, of course, not historically) on the 
reality of the axiomatic idea of order and/some ideal case. On first reading, 
it would appear that Karl would accept some ontological content, perhaps 
partly, since he writes: 
The difference between the Middle Ages and today is, in my view, that they had 
no possibility to face the idea that there is no ultimate
ordering principle behind the many obviously existing ordering principles.
This statement, however, if I understand it, would exclude the possibility of a 
new general, if not ultimate, ordering principle for reality being discovered, 
that would not be an order per se. Here, I would agree with Loet, that the 
paradigm of epistemology has indeed changed, but what else?! 
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes,
Joseph






Ursprüngliche Nachricht
Von: karl.javors...@gmail.com
Datum: 27.03.2011 11:41
An: Pedro C. Marijuanpcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es
Kopie: fis@listas.unizar.es
Betreff: Re: [Fis] Discussion colophon--James Hannam

Dear James,

thank you for the widening of this discussion.

Order and Information

Let us not close this session on the historical perspective of the
modern concept of Science yet. Loet’s thoughtful remarks about the
relation between information and order bring us back to some deep
problems they were addressing in the Middle Ages.

The discussion about the relative importance of the universalia vs.
the re (also known as Occam’s) can be restated in today’s terms as
follows: is the idea behind the thing more useful as a description of
the world as the descriptions of the things themselves?

In Loet’s view, there exists a framework within which we can observe
how the actual states of the things are. Therefore, in this approach
there is no need for a separate concept of order; as each possible
alternative is a priori known, it is the information content that
gives a description of the world. By information, this approach means
the deviation of the actual cases from the ideal-typical case, in
which an order exists. (universalia sunt ante rem)

The opposing view explains information by means of the axiomatic idea
of order. The system is in the same fashion closed, and every possible
alternative is equally known a priori. The difference in viewpoints
lies in the focusing on the properties of the ideal-typical case vs.
the actual types of cases. (universalia sunt post rebus).

The numbers offer a nice satisfying explanation. As we order the
things, we encounter ties. (A sort on 136 additions will bring forth
cases which are indistinguishable with respect to one aspect.) The
members of a tie can represent the universalia. (“All additions where
a+b=12” is e.g. a universalium) The actual cases will – almost – each
deviate from the ideal-typical case.

The information content is then the deviation of the actual cases from
the ideal-typical state, as Loet defines, and concurrently an
implication of which order prevails, as the opposing view suggests. So
it is the same extent and collection which both see, but the names are
different as is different the approach of calculating it. A reorder
creates different ties, therefore a different information content.

The difference between the Middle Ages and today is, in my view, that
they had no possibility to face the idea that there is no ultimate
ordering principle behind the many obviously existing ordering
principles. Our generation has credible news about societies which are
ordered in a completely different fashion and yet are not struck down.
We have experienced too many ideal orders to believe that any such
exists.

Karl

2011/3/24, Pedro C. Marijuan pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es:

 Dear all,



 Thank you very much to Pedro for asking me to suggest a discussion for
 the list and to everyone else for indulging me.  As a historian, I have
 learnt that questions I naively thought were quite simple have turned
 out to be very complicated indeed.  The 

Re: [Fis] Discussion colophon--James Hannam. Orders and Ordering Principles

2011-03-28 Thread Loet Leydesdorff
Dear Joe and colleagues, 

 

1. Does Loet's reply to Karl regarding frameworks for observation of actual 
states vs. frameworks for expectations imply that such frameworks are 
completely mutually exclusive?

 

Of course, not: the expectations are informed by previous observations and 
further observations can change our expectations. More precisely: observational 
reports are needed to make the discourse (entertaining expectations) 
progressive.

 

2. Regarding information (copying from Karl), the two views in summary are: 

 

By information, this approach means the deviation of the actual cases from the 
ideal-typical case, in which an order exists. (universalia sunt ante rem)

The opposing view explains information by means of the axiomatic idea of order.

 

I would prefer to use a plural for “ideas of order”: paradigms, theoretical 
frameworks, etc. As argued before, the “sunt” is problematic because this order 
does not “exist” (in the res extensa), but can be entertained (as cogitate in 
the res cogitans).

 

The information content is then the deviation of the actual cases from the 
ideal-typical state, as Loet defines, and concurrently an implication of which 
order prevails, as the opposing view suggests.

 

The information content is always expected information content of a 
distribution.

 

Are both these views, however, purely epistemological or do they have an 
ontological content?

 

It seems to me that my perspective leads to a chaology instead of a cosmology. 
“Out there” is only noise; order emerges from our reflections and exchanges as 
cogitantes.

 

Both depend (today, of course, not historically) on the reality of the 
axiomatic idea of order and/some ideal case. On first reading, it would appear 
that Karl would accept some ontological content, perhaps partly, since he 
writes: 

 

The difference between the Middle Ages and today is, in my view, that they had 
no possibility to face the idea that there is no ultimate
ordering principle behind the many obviously existing ordering principles.

 

These ordering principles are not “given” by God in his Creation (albeit in the 
substance of Natura naturans or natura naturata), but are constructed by us in 
scholarly discourses.

 

This statement, however, if I understand it, would exclude the possibility of a 
new general, if not ultimate, ordering principle for reality being discovered, 
that would not be an order per se. Here, I would agree with Loet, that the 
paradigm of epistemology has indeed changed, but what else?! 

 

“Reality” can be considered as broken in res extensa and res cogitans. 
Alternative expectations are also possible, but have to assume a “veracitas 
Dei” or harmonia prestabilita. When one gives this perspective up, chaology can 
be expected to prevail.

 

Best wishes, Loet

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Best wishes,

 

Joseph

 

 

Ursprüngliche Nachricht
Von: karl.javors...@gmail.com
Datum: 27.03.2011 11:41
An: Pedro C. Marijuanpcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es
Kopie: fis@listas.unizar.es
Betreff: Re: [Fis] Discussion colophon--James Hannam

Dear James,

thank you for the widening of this discussion.

Order and Information

Let us not close this session on the historical perspective of the
modern concept of Science yet. Loet’s thoughtful remarks about the
relation between information and order bring us back to some deep
problems they were addressing in the Middle Ages.

The discussion about the relative importance of the universalia vs.
the re (also known as Occam’s) can be restated in today’s terms as
follows: is the idea behind the thing more useful as a description of
the world as the descriptions of the things themselves?

In Loet’s view, there exists a framework within which we can observe
how the actual states of the things are. Therefore, in this approach
there is no need for a separate concept of order; as each possible
alternative is a priori known, it is the information content that
gives a description of the world. By information, this approach means
the deviation of the actual cases from the ideal-typical case, in
which an order exists. (universalia sunt ante rem)

The opposing view explains information by means of the axiomatic idea
of order. The system is in the same fashion closed, and every possible
alternative is equally known a priori. The difference in viewpoints
lies in the focusing on the properties of the ideal-typical case vs.
the actual types of cases. (universalia sunt post rebus).

The numbers offer a nice satisfying explanation. As we order the
things, we encounter ties. (A sort on 136 additions will bring forth
cases which are indistinguishable with respect to one aspect.) The
members of a tie can represent the universalia. (“All additions where
a+b=12” is e.g. a universalium) The actual cases will – almost – each
deviate from the ideal-typical case.

The information content is then the deviation of the actual cases from
the ideal-typical state, as Loet 

Re: [Fis] Discussion colophon--James Hannam. Orders and Ordering Principles

2011-03-28 Thread karl javorszky
Dear All,



the contrasting views between Loet’s understanding of order as an
implication of information and of the alternative which deducts information
from order are in no real opposition. Rather they reflect differing
perspectives, like the tradition of e.g. measuring a room from a middle
point outwards or from the corners inwards: this is an opportunity for
taxonomy and codification.



The numbers are fountains of possible compromises, as a closed system, of
which all alternatives are known, can easily be modelled by a collection of
logical statements.



Let me digress a bit about numbers: these are logical signs that can
represent anything. In the sentence-logic or order-logic that we try to read
out of them, they could be represented by ☺, ☼, ◊, ♣, etc. As long as they
obey the rule e.g. of  ☼ + ◊ = ♣, and there is a sufficient number of them,
an order evolves. Now, what an order specifically is, that is the deepest
question of philosophy. This is why it is so helpful to use the index finger
and say: “this is a deictic definition of order” while one points the finger
to a sorted table. (Augustinus: Confessiones)



If the symbols are ordered and re-ordered, specific migration patterns
evolve. Some construct two spaces of three rectangular axes each. Loet said
the same in different words, by pointing out that some attributes give a
sort of fixation to a concept.



Usually, one uses the numbers for counting, that is, in their capacity as
natural numbers. Here, we can use them in their denominative capacity,
because even their ordinal capacity gets lost as they cease to impose the
“natural” order of natural numbers, namely 1,2,3,4,…



In its denominative capacity a+b=c can mean the same as ☼ + ◊ = ♣ or “horses
and tables have four feet”. Here comes the individuality within the group
(today’s slang for re and universalia), because on ☼ + ◊ = ♣ we recognise
that each ☼ of many ☼ is indistinguishable to the others and that we do not
know what the natural order between ☺, ☼, ◊, ♣ might be. So we do not know
the deviation of the members of a tie to the ideal-typical member of the
tie, and this means that information can and can not be present, in
dependence of the actual individuation of the members of the group. This is
what Loet and me agree on so far.



Loet and me have not yet compiled our concepts about fragments,
fragmentation and distinction, but I am very confident that he widens our
understanding on one hand and will be presenting an important – probably,
the most important – side of the coin.



What this person can contribute to the philosophical debate, is not much.
The accountant has produced a Table and uses it as a demonstrative tool for
concepts of order and reorder. A table of symbols has absolutely no meaning
at all, neither epistemological, nor transcendental, nor does it pretend any
exclusivity to order concepts.



One will certainly have difficulties explaining that the secret of the
cosmic (ultra, mega, meta, ultimate, basic, etc.) order lies in the
combinatorial intricacies of how to express 67 by means of extents 32 or
otherwise. This appears to govern the metamorphoses in the Table between
“how many”, “what kind” and “where”. Whether one gains or loses faith on
recognising that another mystery is gone is an individual matter.  As a
culture, we have forgiven the meteorologists for ruining our concepts of
Thor rolling his hammer and substituting it with audible fragments of
discharges, which is much less juicy. So the metamorphosing tricks of Nature
may also be explained away with boring technicalities. The numbers
themselves make no revolutions, their interpretation does.


Karl

2011/3/28 Loet Leydesdorff l...@leydesdorff.net

 Dear Joe and colleagues,



 1. Does Loet's reply to Karl regarding frameworks for observation of actual
 states vs. frameworks for expectations imply that such frameworks are
 completely mutually exclusive?



 Of course, not: the expectations are informed by previous observations and
 further observations can change our expectations. More precisely:
 observational reports are needed to make the discourse (entertaining
 expectations) progressive.



 2. Regarding information (copying from Karl), the two views in summary
 are:



 By information, this approach means the deviation of the actual cases from
 the ideal-typical case, in which an order exists. (universalia sunt ante
 rem)

 The opposing view explains information by means of the axiomatic idea of
 order.



 I would prefer to use a plural for “ideas of order”: paradigms, theoretical
 frameworks, etc. As argued before, the “sunt” is problematic because this
 order does not “exist” (in the res extensa), but can be entertained (as
 cogitate in the res cogitans).



 The information content is then the deviation of the actual cases from the
 ideal-typical state, as Loet defines, and concurrently an implication of
 which order prevails, as the opposing view suggests.



 The information content 

[Fis] On Category Errors

2011-03-28 Thread Steven Ericsson-Zenith
Dear List,

Since I ran out of responses last week, I recently responded to Joe Benner's 
Logic In Reality posts on my blog:

http://stevenzenith.info/on-logic-reality-category-errors-and-how-to-m

There I quote Peirce on the subject of Reality. 

If my criticism is unjust or I have interpreted Joe incorrectly then I will 
appreciate the clarification.

With respect,
Steven


--
Dr. Steven Ericsson-Zenith
Institute for Advanced Science  Engineering
http://iase.info
http://senses.info








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Re: [Fis] BBC Doco; Cell

2011-03-28 Thread Gavin Ritz
Well then we totally agree on that.

The second part of your response then, if some energy transduction has the
properties of information flow where is it (what are these properties) and
if it's there how do we measure it either qualitatively or qualitatively.

Because it looks like to me, any exchange language or otherwise is really
only energy transduction albeit a mix of sight and sound (and the other
senses) which is really shape and hues (both nouns) of different energy
patterns. Which is really just the basis of scientific thought, made of
patterns of energy. Spectrums, chromatography, etc

No information here. Just energy patterns.

Gavin

Gavin,

Everything is energy transduction, even your thinking. Some energy
transduction has the properties of information flow, sensu Barwsie and
Seligman, Information Flow: the Logic of Distributed Systems (Cambridge UP,
1997 or so). 

John


At 01:05 AM 2011/03/28, Gavin Ritz wrote:

I watched a BBC documentary on the weekend with a friend who recommended it.
It was a really interesting and well presented programme.

Some very far out stuff about the creation of life.

However what I observed again (now more than ever before) that the DNA
molecule is an information carrying molecule. Simple, all we have to do is
decipher this information. Richard Dawkins also says this in a number of his
publications. living matter is just matter plus information

I'm no biologist or biochemist (I'm an engineer). There's something wrong
here. 

Even at the most basic level of an organism's communication with its
environment. There is no discernable information exchange. Every single one
of our senses is an energy transduction structure-processing unit. All we do
is transduce say light and sound energy to electrical energy. This much is
pretty well established.

Unless information is just a colloquial way of saying energy transduction
(or conversion). I doubt this though; information seems to be containing
much more than just this. It's almost as if commentators are saying behind
all this energy (and conversions, and work) lies a new and more powerful
notion.

All of chemistry is the reaction of structures with other structures, there
are no informational exchanges. 

If there are informational exchanges where is the science?

I'm not talking about computing machines or old fashioned telephony
(of-course we have created information here).

These informational exchanges about organisms seemed to have crept into our
thinking around the 1950's circa cybernetics. Prior to this very little on
living organism and information exchange.

Regards
Gavin



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   colli...@ukzn.ac.za
Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041 South Africa
T: +27 (31) 260 3248 / 260 2292   F: +27 (31) 260 3031
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