Re: [Fis] What is information? and What is life?

2016-12-29 Thread Francesco Rizzo
Cari Terry, Joseph e Tutti,
anche se è più difficile da perseguire e realizzare l'armonia del
dis-accordo o la logica concreta o la filosofia pratica può essere "bella",
"buona", "giusta" e "vera", per comprendere la prassi dell'esistenza e il
dominio della conoscenza, nonché per svolgere la comunicazione tra gli
esseri umani come coordinazione comportamentale ricorsiva descritta
semanticamente. COMUNICAZIONE che non può prescindere dall'INFORMAZIONE (in
economia, ad es., utilizzo il valore della forma o la forma del valore che
secondo me vale in tutti i campi della fisica, della biologia, della
matematica, della musica, della poesia, dall'arte, della scultura, etc.):
un pezzo di ferro vale meno di un chiodo e un chiodo vale meno di una vite;
una cellula vale meno di un tessuto e un tessuto vale meno di un organo e
un organo vale meno di un organismo;una cellula staminale indifferenziata
(moneta biologica) vale più di una cellula differenziata; una nota o un
colore vale meno di uno spartito musicale o di un quadro; una parola vale
più delle singole vocali o consonanti e meno di una poesia; un simbolo
matematico vale meno di un'equazione o di una funzione; un punto o una
linea vale meno di una figura geometrica, etc. Qualunque forma deve essere
SIGNIFICATA, ecco perché la scienza dell'esistenza o l'esistenza della
scienza è SEMPRE BASATA sulla Triade: significazione, informazione,
comunicazione. Infine,il dis-equilibrio è vitale e la rottura delle
simmetrie o le discontinuità sono creative.
Quindi bisogna darsi da fare utilizzando le affinità elettive o sinergie
che sono nate anche tra alcuni di Voi o di Noi: per costruire, non per
distruggere arrivando dove si può arrivare per generalizzare il sapere:
piuttosto che toglierlo un mattone è meglio metterlo, non per costruire
muri di separazione o contrapposizioni, ma ponti di comunicazione. Saranno
quelli che vengono dopo a portare altri mattoni.
Francesco

2016-12-29 23:31 GMT+01:00 Terrence W. DEACON :

> Dear Loet and others,
>
> I feel as though we are in search of a common general theory, but from
> divergent perspectives and expectations. Of course we should not merely
> assume a common general theopry of information if one doesn't yet exist. We
> agree that such a theory is a ways off, though you some are far more
> pessimisitic about its possibility than me. I believe that we would do best
> to focus on the hole that needs filling in rather than assuming that it is
> an unfillable given.
>
> My modest suggestion is only that in the absence of a unifying theory we
> should not privilege one partial theory over others and that in the absence
> of a global general theory we need to find terminology that clearly
> identifies the level at which the concept is being used. Lacking this, we
> end up debating incompatible definitions, and defending our favored one
> that either excludes or includes issues of reference and significance or
> else assumes or denies the relevance of human interpreters. With different
> participants interested in different levels and applications of the
> information concept—from physics, to computation, to neuroscience, to
> biosemiotics, to language, to art, etc.—failure to mark this diversity will
> inevitably lead us in circles.
>
> I urge humility with precision and an eye toward synthesis.
>
> Happy new year to all.\
>
> — Terry
>
> On Thu, Dec 29, 2016 at 12:30 PM, Dai Griffiths  > wrote:
>
>> Thanks Stan,
>>
>> Yes, it's a powerful and useful process.
>> My problem is that in this list, and in other places were such matters
>> are discussed, we don't seem to be able to agree on the big picture, and
>> the higher up the generalisations we go, the less we agree.
>>
>> I'd like to keep open the possibility that we might be yoking ideas
>> together which it may be more useful to keep apart. We are dealing with
>> messy concepts in messy configurations, which may not always map neatly
>> onto a generalisation model.
>>
>> Dai
>>
>>
>>
>> On 22/12/16 16:45, Stanley N Salthe wrote:
>>
>> Dai --
>>
>> {phenomenon 1}
>>
>> {phenomenon 2}   -->  {Phenomena 1 & 2} ---> {phenomena 1.2,3}
>>
>> {phenomenon 3}
>>
>> The process from left to right is generalization.
>>
>> ‘Information’ IS a generalization.
>>
>> generalities form the substance of philosophy. Info happens to a case
>>
>>  of generalization which can be mathematized, which in turn allows
>>
>>  it to be generalized even more.
>>
>> So, what’s the problem?
>>
>> STAN
>>
>> On Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 7:44 AM, Dai Griffiths > > wrote:
>>
>>> >  Information is not “something out there” which “exists” otherwise
>>> than as our construct.
>>>
>>> I agree with this. And I wonder to what extent our problems in
>>> discussing information come from our desire to shoe-horn many different
>>> phenomena into the same construct. It would be possible to disaggregate the
>>> construct. It be possible to 

Re: [Fis] What is information? and What is life?

2016-12-29 Thread Terrence W. DEACON
Dear Loet and others,

I feel as though we are in search of a common general theory, but from
divergent perspectives and expectations. Of course we should not merely
assume a common general theopry of information if one doesn't yet exist. We
agree that such a theory is a ways off, though you some are far more
pessimisitic about its possibility than me. I believe that we would do best
to focus on the hole that needs filling in rather than assuming that it is
an unfillable given.

My modest suggestion is only that in the absence of a unifying theory we
should not privilege one partial theory over others and that in the absence
of a global general theory we need to find terminology that clearly
identifies the level at which the concept is being used. Lacking this, we
end up debating incompatible definitions, and defending our favored one
that either excludes or includes issues of reference and significance or
else assumes or denies the relevance of human interpreters. With different
participants interested in different levels and applications of the
information concept—from physics, to computation, to neuroscience, to
biosemiotics, to language, to art, etc.—failure to mark this diversity will
inevitably lead us in circles.

I urge humility with precision and an eye toward synthesis.

Happy new year to all.\

— Terry

On Thu, Dec 29, 2016 at 12:30 PM, Dai Griffiths 
wrote:

> Thanks Stan,
>
> Yes, it's a powerful and useful process.
> My problem is that in this list, and in other places were such matters are
> discussed, we don't seem to be able to agree on the big picture, and the
> higher up the generalisations we go, the less we agree.
>
> I'd like to keep open the possibility that we might be yoking ideas
> together which it may be more useful to keep apart. We are dealing with
> messy concepts in messy configurations, which may not always map neatly
> onto a generalisation model.
>
> Dai
>
>
>
> On 22/12/16 16:45, Stanley N Salthe wrote:
>
> Dai --
>
> {phenomenon 1}
>
> {phenomenon 2}   -->  {Phenomena 1 & 2} ---> {phenomena 1.2,3}
>
> {phenomenon 3}
>
> The process from left to right is generalization.
>
> ‘Information’ IS a generalization.
>
> generalities form the substance of philosophy. Info happens to a case
>
>  of generalization which can be mathematized, which in turn allows
>
>  it to be generalized even more.
>
> So, what’s the problem?
>
> STAN
>
> On Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 7:44 AM, Dai Griffiths 
> wrote:
>
>> >  Information is not “something out there” which “exists” otherwise than
>> as our construct.
>>
>> I agree with this. And I wonder to what extent our problems in discussing
>> information come from our desire to shoe-horn many different phenomena into
>> the same construct. It would be possible to disaggregate the construct. It
>> be possible to discuss the topics which we address on this list without
>> using the word 'information'. We could discuss redundancy, variety,
>> constraint, meaning, structural coupling, coordination, expectation,
>> language, etc.
>>
>> In what ways would our explanations be weakened?
>>
>> In what ways might we gain in clarity?
>>
>> If we were to go down this road, we would face the danger that our
>> discussions might become (even more) remote from everyday human experience.
>> But many scientific discussions are remote from everyday human experience.
>>
>> Dai
>> On 20/12/16 08:26, Loet Leydesdorff wrote:
>>
>> Dear colleagues,
>>
>>
>>
>> A distribution contains uncertainty that can be measured in terms of bits
>> of information.
>>
>> Alternatively: the expected information content *H *of a probability
>> distribution is .
>>
>> *H* is further defined as probabilistic entropy using Gibb’s formulation
>> of the entropy .
>>
>>
>>
>> This definition of information is an operational definition. In my
>> opinion, we do not need an essentialistic definition by answering the
>> question of “what is information?” As the discussion on this list
>> demonstrates, one does not easily agree on an essential answer; one can
>> answer the question “how is information defined?” Information is not
>> “something out there” which “exists” otherwise than as our construct.
>>
>>
>>
>> Using essentialistic definitions, the discussion tends not to move
>> forward. For example, Stuart Kauffman’s and Bob Logan’s (2007) definition
>> of information “as natural selection assembling the very constraints on the
>> release of energy that then constitutes work and the propagation of
>> organization.” I asked several times what this means and how one can
>> measure this information. Hitherto, I only obtained the answer that
>> colleagues who disagree with me will be cited. J Another answer was that
>> “counting” may lead to populism. J
>>
>>
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Loet
>>
>>
>> --
>>
>> Loet Leydesdorff
>>
>> Professor, University of Amsterdam
>> Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

Re: [Fis] What is information? and What is life?

2016-12-29 Thread Dai Griffiths

Thanks Stan,

Yes, it's a powerful and useful process.

My problem is that in this list, and in other places were such matters 
are discussed, we don't seem to be able to agree on the big picture, and 
the higher up the generalisations we go, the less we agree.


I'd like to keep open the possibility that we might be yoking ideas 
together which it may be more useful to keep apart. We are dealing with 
messy concepts in messy configurations, which may not always map neatly 
onto a generalisation model.


Dai


On 22/12/16 16:45, Stanley N Salthe wrote:


Dai --

{phenomenon 1}

{phenomenon 2}   -->  {Phenomena 1 & 2} ---> {phenomena 1.2,3}

{phenomenon 3}

The process from left to right is generalization.

‘Information’ IS a generalization.

generalities form the substance of philosophy. Info happens to a case

 of generalization which can be mathematized, which in turn allows

 it to be generalized even more.

So, what’s the problem?

STAN


On Wed, Dec 21, 2016 at 7:44 AM, Dai Griffiths 
> wrote:


>  Information is not “something out there” which “exists”
otherwise than as our construct.

I agree with this. And I wonder to what extent our problems in
discussing information come from our desire to shoe-horn many
different phenomena into the same construct. It would be possible
to disaggregate the construct. It be possible to discuss the
topics which we address on this list without using the word
'information'. We could discuss redundancy, variety, constraint,
meaning, structural coupling, coordination, expectation, language,
etc.

In what ways would our explanations be weakened?

In what ways might we gain in clarity?

If we were to go down this road, we would face the danger that our
discussions might become (even more) remote from everyday human
experience. But many scientific discussions are remote from
everyday human experience.

Dai

On 20/12/16 08:26, Loet Leydesdorff wrote:


Dear colleagues,

A distribution contains uncertainty that can be measured in terms
of bits of information.

Alternatively: the expected information content /H /of a
probability distribution is .

/H/is further defined as probabilistic entropy using Gibb’s
formulation of the entropy .

This definition of information is an operational definition. In
my opinion, we do not need an essentialistic definition by
answering the question of “what is information?” As the
discussion on this list demonstrates, one does not easily agree
on an essential answer; one can answer the question “how is
information defined?” Information is not “something out there”
which “exists” otherwise than as our construct.

Using essentialistic definitions, the discussion tends not to
move forward. For example, Stuart Kauffman’s and Bob Logan’s
(2007) definition of information “as natural selection assembling
the very constraints on the release of energy that then
constitutes work and the propagation of organization.” I asked
several times what this means and how one can measure this
information. Hitherto, I only obtained the answer that colleagues
who disagree with me will be cited. JAnother answer was that
“counting” may lead to populism. J

Best,

Loet



Loet Leydesdorff

Professor, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

l...@leydesdorff.net
 ;
http://www.leydesdorff.net/
Associate Faculty, SPRU,
University of Sussex;

Guest Professor Zhejiang Univ. ,
Hangzhou; Visiting Professor, ISTIC,
Beijing;

Visiting Professor, Birkbeck , University
of London;


http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=ych9gNYJ=en


*From:*Dick Stoute [mailto:dick.sto...@gmail.com]
*Sent:* Monday, December 19, 2016 12:48 PM
*To:* l...@leydesdorff.net 
*Cc:* James Peters; u...@umces.edu ; Alex
Hankey; FIS Webinar
*Subject:* Re: [Fis] What is information? and What is life?

List,

Please allow me to respond to Loet about the definition of
information stated below.

1. the definition of information as uncertainty is
counter-intuitive ("bizarre"); (p. 27)

I agree.  I struggled with this definition for a long time before
realising that Shannon was really discussing "amount of
information" or the number of bits needed to convey a message.