Re: [Fis] The unification of the theories of information based on the cateogry theory

2018-02-07 Thread Francesco Rizzo
Caro Terry estensibile a tutti,
è sempre un piacere leggerTi e capirTi. La  general theory of information è
preceduta da un sistema (o semiotica) di significazione e seguita da un
sistema (o semiotica ) di comunicazione. Tranne che quando si ha un
processo comunicativo come il passaggio di un Segnale (che non significa
necessariamente 'un segno') da una Fonte, attraverso un  Trasmettitore,
lungo un Canale, a un Destinatario. In un processo tra macchina e macchina
il segnale non ha alcun potere 'significante'. In tal caso non si ha
significazione anche se si può dire che si ha passaggio di informazione.
Quando il destinatario è un essere umano (e non è necessario che la fonte
sia anch'essa un essere umano) si è in presenza di un processo di
significazione. Un sistema di significazione è una costruzione semiotica
autonoma, indipendente da ogni possibile atto di comunicazione che
l'attualizzi. Invece ogni processo di comunicazione tra esseri umani -- o
tra ogni tipo di apparato o struttura 'intelligente, sia meccanico che
biologico, -- presuppone un sistema di significazione come propria o
specifica condizione. In conclusione, è possibile avere una semiotica della
significazione indipendente da una semiotica della comunicazione; ma è
impossibile stabilire una semiotica della comunicazione indipendente da una
semiotica della significazione.
Ho appreso molto da Umberto Eco a cui ho dedicato il capitolo 10. Umberto
Eco e il processo di re-interpretazione e re-incantamento della scienza
economica (pp. 175-217) di "Valore e valutazioni. La scienza dell'economia
o l'economia della scienza" (FrancoAngeli, Milano, 1997). Nello mio stesso
libro si trovano:
- il capitolo 15. Semiotica economico-estimativa (pp. 327-361) che si
colloca nel quadro di una teoria globale di tutti i sistemi di
significazione e i processi di comunicazione;
- il sottoparagrafo 5.3.3 La psicologia genetica di Jean Piaget e la
neurobiologia di Humberto Maturana e Francesco Varela. una nuova
epistemologia sperimentale della qualità e dell'unicità (pp. 120-130).
Chiedo scusa a Tutti se Vi ho stancati o se ancora una volta il mio
scrivere in lingua italiana Vi crea qualche problema. Penso che il dono che
mi fate è, a proposito della QUALITA' e dell'UNICITA',  molto più grande
del (per)dono che Vi chiedo. Grazie.
Un saluto affettuoso.
Francecso


2018-02-07 23:02 GMT+01:00 Terrence W. DEACON :

> Dear FISers,
>
> In previous posts I have disparaged using language as the base model for
> building a general theory of information.
> Though I realize that this may seem almost heretical, it is not a claim
> that all those who use linguistic analogies are wrong, only that it can be
> causally misleading.
> I came to this view decades back in my research into the neurology and
> evolution of the human language capacity.
> And it became an orgnizing theme in my 1997 book The Symbolic Species.
> Early in the book I describe what I (and now other evolutionary
> biologists) have come to refer to as a "porcupine fallacy" in evolutionary
> thinking.
> Though I use it to critique a misleading evolutionary taxonomizing
> tendency, I think it also applies to biosemiotic and information theoretic
> thinking as well.
> So to exemplify my reasoning (with apologies for quoting myself) I append
> the following excerpt from the book.
>
> "But there is a serious problem with using language as the model for
> analyzing other
>
> species’ communication in hindsight. It leads us to treat every other form
> of communication as
>
> exceptions to a rule based on the one most exceptional and divergent case.
> No analytic method
>
> could be more perverse. Social communication has been around for as long
> as animals have
>
> interacted and reproduced sexually. Vocal communication has been around at
> least as long as frogs
>
> have croaked out their mating calls in the night air. Linguistic
> communication was an afterthought,
>
> so to speak, a very recent and very idiosyncratic deviation from an
> ancient and well-established
>
> mode of communicating. It cannot possibly provide an appropriate model
> against which to assess
>
> other forms of communication. It is the rare exception, not the rule, and
> a quite anomalous
>
> exception at that. It is a bit like categorizing birds’ wings with respect
> to the extent they possess or
>
> lack the characteristics of penguins’ wings, or like analyzing the types
> of hair on different mammals
>
> with respect to their degree of resemblance to porcupine quills. It is an
> understandable
>
> anthropocentric bias—perhaps if we were penguins or porcupines we might
> see more typical wings
>
> and hair as primitive stages compared to our own more advanced
> adaptations—but it does more to
>
> obfuscate than clarify. Language is a derived characteristic and so should
> be analyzed as an
>
> exception to a more general rule, not vice versa."
>
>
> Of course there will be analogies to linguistic forms.
>
> This is 

Re: [Fis] The unification of the theories of information based on the cateogry theory

2018-02-07 Thread Terrence W. DEACON
Dear FISers,

In previous posts I have disparaged using language as the base model for
building a general theory of information.
Though I realize that this may seem almost heretical, it is not a claim
that all those who use linguistic analogies are wrong, only that it can be
causally misleading.
I came to this view decades back in my research into the neurology and
evolution of the human language capacity.
And it became an orgnizing theme in my 1997 book The Symbolic Species.
Early in the book I describe what I (and now other evolutionary biologists)
have come to refer to as a "porcupine fallacy" in evolutionary thinking.
Though I use it to critique a misleading evolutionary taxonomizing
tendency, I think it also applies to biosemiotic and information theoretic
thinking as well.
So to exemplify my reasoning (with apologies for quoting myself) I append
the following excerpt from the book.

"But there is a serious problem with using language as the model for
analyzing other

species’ communication in hindsight. It leads us to treat every other form
of communication as

exceptions to a rule based on the one most exceptional and divergent case.
No analytic method

could be more perverse. Social communication has been around for as long as
animals have

interacted and reproduced sexually. Vocal communication has been around at
least as long as frogs

have croaked out their mating calls in the night air. Linguistic
communication was an afterthought,

so to speak, a very recent and very idiosyncratic deviation from an ancient
and well-established

mode of communicating. It cannot possibly provide an appropriate model
against which to assess

other forms of communication. It is the rare exception, not the rule, and a
quite anomalous

exception at that. It is a bit like categorizing birds’ wings with respect
to the extent they possess or

lack the characteristics of penguins’ wings, or like analyzing the types of
hair on different mammals

with respect to their degree of resemblance to porcupine quills. It is an
understandable

anthropocentric bias—perhaps if we were penguins or porcupines we might see
more typical wings

and hair as primitive stages compared to our own more advanced
adaptations—but it does more to

obfuscate than clarify. Language is a derived characteristic and so should
be analyzed as an

exception to a more general rule, not vice versa."


Of course there will be analogies to linguistic forms.

This is inevitable, since language emerged from and is supported by a vast
nonlinguistic semiotic infrastructure.

So of course it will inherit much from less elaborated more fundamental
precursors.

And our familiarity with language will naturally lead us to draw insight
from this more familiar realm.

I just worry that it provides an elaborate procrustean model that assumes
what it endeavors to explain.


Regards to all, Terry



On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 11:04 AM, Jose Javier Blanco Rivero <
javierwe...@gmail.com> wrote:

> In principle I agree with Terry. I have been thinking of this, though I am
> still not able to make a sound formulation of the idea. Still I am afraid
> that if I miss the chance to make at least a brief formulation of it I will
> lose the opportunity to make a brainstorming with you. So, here it comes:
>
> I have been thinking that a proper way to distinguish the contexts in
> which the concept of information acquires a fixed meaning or the many
> contexts on which information can be somehow observed, is to make use of
> the distinction between medium and form as developed by N. Luhmann, D.
> Baecker and E. Esposito. I have already expressed my opinion in this group
> that what information is depends on the system we are talking about. But
> the concept of medium is more especific since a complex system ussualy has
> many sources and types of information.
> So the authors just mentioned, a medium can be broadly defined as a set of
> loosely coupled elements. No matter what they are. While a Form is a
> temporary fixed coupling of a limited configuration of those elements.
> Accordingly, we can be talking about DNA sequences which are selected by
> RNA to form proteins or to codify a especific instruction to a determinate
> cell. We can think of atoms forming a specific kind of matter and a
> specific kind of molecular structure. We can also think of a vocabulary or
> a set of linguistic conventions making possible a meaningful utterance or
> discourse.
> The idea is that the medium conditions what can be treated as information.
> Or even better, each type of medium produces information of its own kind.
> According to this point of view, information cannot be transmitted. It can
> only be produced and "interpreted" out of the specific difference that a
> medium begets between itself and the forms that take shape from it. A
> medium can only be a source of noise to other mediums. Still, media can
> couple among them. This means that media can selforganize in a synergetic
> manner, 

Re: [Fis] The unification of the theories of information based on the cateogry theory

2018-02-07 Thread Jose Javier Blanco Rivero
In principle I agree with Terry. I have been thinking of this, though I am
still not able to make a sound formulation of the idea. Still I am afraid
that if I miss the chance to make at least a brief formulation of it I will
lose the opportunity to make a brainstorming with you. So, here it comes:

I have been thinking that a proper way to distinguish the contexts in which
the concept of information acquires a fixed meaning or the many contexts on
which information can be somehow observed, is to make use of the
distinction between medium and form as developed by N. Luhmann, D. Baecker
and E. Esposito. I have already expressed my opinion in this group that
what information is depends on the system we are talking about. But  the
concept of medium is more especific since a complex system ussualy has many
sources and types of information.
So the authors just mentioned, a medium can be broadly defined as a set of
loosely coupled elements. No matter what they are. While a Form is a
temporary fixed coupling of a limited configuration of those elements.
Accordingly, we can be talking about DNA sequences which are selected by
RNA to form proteins or to codify a especific instruction to a determinate
cell. We can think of atoms forming a specific kind of matter and a
specific kind of molecular structure. We can also think of a vocabulary or
a set of linguistic conventions making possible a meaningful utterance or
discourse.
The idea is that the medium conditions what can be treated as information.
Or even better, each type of medium produces information of its own kind.
According to this point of view, information cannot be transmitted. It can
only be produced and "interpreted" out of the specific difference that a
medium begets between itself and the forms that take shape from it. A
medium can only be a source of noise to other mediums. Still, media can
couple among them. This means that media can selforganize in a synergetic
manner, where they depend on each others outputs or complexity reductions.
And this also mean that they do this by translating noise into information.
For instance, language is coupled to writing, and language and writing to
print. Still oral communication is noisy to written communication. Let us
say that the gestures, emotions, entonations, that we make when talking
cannot be copied as such into writing. In a similar way, all the social
practices and habits made by handwriting were distorted by the introduction
of print. From a technical point of view you can codify the same message
orally, by writing and by print. Still information and meaning are not the
same. You can tell your girlfriend you love her. That interaction face to
face where the lovers look into each others eye, where they can see if the
other is nervous, is trembling or whatever. Meaning (declaring love and
what that implies: marriage, children, and so on) and information (he is
being sincere, she can see it in his eye; he brought her to a special
place, so he planned it, and so on) take a very singular and untranslatable
configuration. If you write a letter you just can say "I love you". You
shall write a poem or a love letter. Your beloved would read it alone in
her room and she would have to imagine everything you say. And  imagination
makes information and meaning to articulate quite differently as in oral
communication. It is not the same if you buy a love card in the kiosk and
send it to her. Maybe you compensate the simplicity of your message by
adding some chocolates and flowers. Again, information (jumm, lets see what
he bought her) and meaning are not the same. I use examples of social
sciences because that is my research field, although I have the intuition
that it could also work for natural sciences.

Best,

JJ
El feb 7, 2018 10:47 AM, "Sungchul Ji"  escribió:

> Hi  FISers,
>
>
> On 10/8/2017, Terry wrote:
>
>
> " So basically, I am advocating an effort to broaden our discussions and
> recognize that the term information applies in diverse ways to many
> different contexts. And because of this it is important to indicate the
> framing, whether physical, formal, biological, phenomenological,
> linguistic, etc.
> . . . . . . The classic syntax-semantics-pragmatics distinction introduced
> by Charles Morris has often been cited in this respect, though it too is in
> my opinion too limited to the linguistic paradigm, and may be misleading
> when applied more broadly. I have suggested a parallel, less linguistic
> (and nested in Stan's subsumption sense) way of making the division: i.e.
> into intrinsic, referential, and normative analyses/properties of
> information."
>
> I agree with Terry's concern about the often overused linguistic metaphor
> in defining "information".  Although the linguistic metaphor has its
> limitations (as all metaphors do), it nevertheless offers a unique
> advantage as well, for example, its well-established categories of
> functions (see the last column in 

Re: [Fis] The unification of the theories of information based on the cateogry theory

2018-02-07 Thread Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic
In agreement with Sung I see the value of “language metaphor" that can be 
applied to physical objects when they are used for communication.
Description of “chemical language” used by bacteria can be found e.g. here 
http://genesdev.cshlp.org/content/15/12/1468.full.pdfStephan and number of 
other articles by Bonnie Bassler or Eschel Ben-Jacob on quorum sensing, or in a 
popular talk here http://wagner.edu/newsroom/founders-day-2012-1/

This idea of information processing performed by natural systems is parallell 
to natural computing – cell computing, bacterial cognition, DNA computing, 
membrane computing, etc.

Best wishes,
Gordana


From: Fis > 
on behalf of Sungchul Ji 
>
Date: Wednesday, 7 February 2018 at 14:46
To: FIS FIS >
Subject: [Fis] The unification of the theories of information based on the 
cateogry theory


Hi  FISers,


On 10/8/2017, Terry wrote:


" So basically, I am advocating an effort to broaden our discussions and 
recognize that the term information applies in diverse ways to many different 
contexts. And because of this it is important to indicate the framing, whether 
physical, formal, biological, phenomenological, linguistic, etc.

. . . . . . The classic syntax-semantics-pragmatics distinction introduced by 
Charles Morris has often been cited in this respect, though it too is in my 
opinion too limited to the linguistic paradigm, and may be misleading when 
applied more broadly. I have suggested a parallel, less linguistic (and nested 
in Stan's subsumption sense) way of making the division: i.e. into intrinsic, 
referential, and normative analyses/properties of information."

I agree with Terry's concern about the often overused linguistic metaphor in 
defining "information".  Although the linguistic metaphor has its limitations 
(as all metaphors do), it nevertheless offers a unique advantage as well, for 
example, its well-established categories of functions (see the last column in 
Table 1.)

The main purpose of this post is to suggest that all the varied theories of 
information discussed on this list may be viewed as belonging to the same 
category of ITR (Irreducible Triadic Relation) diagrammatically represented as 
the 3-node closed network in the first column ofTable 1.

Table 1.  The postulated universality of ITR (Irreducible Triadic Relation) as 
manifested in information theory, semiotics, cell language theory, and 
linguistics.

Category Theory

   fg
   A -> B --> C
|   ^
||
|__|
   h

ITR (Irreducible Triadic Relation)

Deacon’s theory of information

Shannon’s
Theory of
information

Peirce’s theory of signs

Cell language theory

Human language
(Function)

A

Intrinsic information

Source

Object

Nucleotides*/
Amion acids

Letters
(Building blocks)

B

Referential information

Message

Sign

Proteins

Words
(Denotation)

C

Normative information

Receiver

Interpretant

Metabolomes
(Totality of cell metabolism)

Systems of words
(Decision making & Reasoning)

f

?

Encoding

Sign production

Physical laws

Second articulation

g

?

Decoding

Sign interpretation

Evoutionary selection

First and Third articulation

h

?

Information flow

Information flow

Inheritance

Grounding/
Habit

Scale   Micro-Macro?Macro   Macro   Micro   Macro


*There may be more than one genetic alphabet of 4 nucleotides.  According to 
the "multiple genetic alphabet hypothesis', there are n genetic alphabets, each 
consisting of 4^n letters, each of which in turn consisting of n nucleotides.  
In this view, the classical genetic alphabet is just one example of the n 
alphabets, i.e., the one with n = 1.  When n = 3, for example, we have the 
so-called 3rd-order genetic alphabet with 4^3 = 64 letters each consisting of 3 
nucleotides, resulting in the familiar codon table.  Thus, the 64 genetic 
codons are not words as widely thought (including myself until recently) but 
letters!  It then follows that proteins are words and  metabolic pathways are 
sentences.  Finally, the transient network of metbolic pathways (referred to as 
"hyperstructures" by V. Norris in 1999 and as "hypermetabolic pathways" by me 
more recently) correspond to texts essential to represent 
arguement/reasoning/computing.  What is most exciting is the recent discovery 
in my lab at Rutgers that the so-called "Planck-Shannon plots" of mRNA levels 
in living cells can identify function-dependent "hypermetabolic pathways" 
underlying breast cancer before and after drug treatment (manuscript under 
review).

Any comments, questions, or suggestions would be welcome.

Sung

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[Fis] The unification of the theories of information based on the cateogry theory

2018-02-07 Thread Sungchul Ji
Hi  FISers,


On 10/8/2017, Terry wrote:


" So basically, I am advocating an effort to broaden our discussions and 
recognize that the term information applies in diverse ways to many different 
contexts. And because of this it is important to indicate the framing, whether 
physical, formal, biological, phenomenological, linguistic, etc.

. . . . . . The classic syntax-semantics-pragmatics distinction introduced by 
Charles Morris has often been cited in this respect, though it too is in my 
opinion too limited to the linguistic paradigm, and may be misleading when 
applied more broadly. I have suggested a parallel, less linguistic (and nested 
in Stan's subsumption sense) way of making the division: i.e. into intrinsic, 
referential, and normative analyses/properties of information."

I agree with Terry's concern about the often overused linguistic metaphor in 
defining "information".  Although the linguistic metaphor has its limitations 
(as all metaphors do), it nevertheless offers a unique advantage as well, for 
example, its well-established categories of functions (see the last column in 
Table 1.)

The main purpose of this post is to suggest that all the varied theories of 
information discussed on this list may be viewed as belonging to the same 
category of ITR (Irreducible Triadic Relation) diagrammatically represented as 
the 3-node closed network in the first column of Table 1.

Table 1.  The postulated universality of ITR (Irreducible Triadic Relation) as 
manifested in information theory, semiotics, cell language theory, and 
linguistics.

Category Theory

   fg
   A -> B --> C
|   ^
||
|__|
   h

ITR (Irreducible Triadic Relation)

Deacon’s theory of information

Shannon’s
Theory of
information

Peirce’s theory of signs

Cell language theory

Human language
(Function)

A

Intrinsic information

Source

Object

Nucleotides*/
Amion acids

Letters
(Building blocks)

B

Referential information

Message

Sign

Proteins

Words
(Denotation)

C

Normative information

Receiver

Interpretant

Metabolomes
(Totality of cell metabolism)

Systems of words
(Decision making & Reasoning)

f

?

Encoding

Sign production

Physical laws

Second articulation

g

?

Decoding

Sign interpretation

Evoutionary selection

First and Third articulation

h

?

Information flow

Information flow

Inheritance

Grounding/
Habit

Scale   Micro-Macro?Macro   Macro   Micro   Macro


*There may be more than one genetic alphabet of 4 nucleotides.  According to 
the "multiple genetic alphabet hypothesis', there are n genetic alphabets, each 
consisting of 4^n letters, each of which in turn consisting of n nucleotides.  
In this view, the classical genetic alphabet is just one example of the n 
alphabets, i.e., the one with n = 1.  When n = 3, for example, we have the 
so-called 3rd-order genetic alphabet with 4^3 = 64 letters each consisting of 3 
nucleotides, resulting in the familiar codon table.  Thus, the 64 genetic 
codons are not words as widely thought (including myself until recently) but 
letters!  It then follows that proteins are words and  metabolic pathways are 
sentences.  Finally, the transient network of metbolic pathways (referred to as 
"hyperstructures" by V. Norris in 1999 and as "hypermetabolic pathways" by me 
more recently) correspond to texts essential to represent 
arguement/reasoning/computing.  What is most exciting is the recent discovery 
in my lab at Rutgers that the so-called "Planck-Shannon plots" of mRNA levels 
in living cells can identify function-dependent "hypermetabolic pathways" 
underlying breast cancer before and after drug treatment (manuscript under 
review).

Any comments, questions, or suggestions would be welcome.

Sung

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