Re: [Fis] Fwd: Re: Concluding the Lecture?

2015-01-30 Thread Steven Ericsson-Zenith
Dear Terry, list.

I apologize that I have not had the time to keep up with this discussion. I
did try to read Terry's text but found it strangely impenetrable with many
more word than were necessary to make a point. This is, perhaps, merely a
question of style, repeated in the recent books of his that I have
purchased but that sit essentially unread although I have tried.

To clarify, I have spent more than my share of time reading the work of
Charles Peirce, readily acknowledged, although many of you may now
recognize my preference for his father's work and its priority. Both quite
brilliant men, but Charles suffers, both conceptually and in his readership
at the hands of neology. Who among us wants to sit through yet another
argument with followers of Charles on the nature of semeiois or a sign? Not
I.

I have also spent a good deal of my time with the work of Claude Shannon.
My discipline of origin is, after all (in French), Informatique. I do
this not merely to comprehend Shannon's theory of communication but also to
inquirer concerning the role that his mathematization plays in its
unfolding. I find, in the end, that the theory applies well to its original
intent, telephony engineering (a human activity), but it lacks any true
ontology.

That is, from my point of view, communication does not exist because there
is a lack of continuity. What I may speak of instead is apprehension. This
suggests that no complete theory of information is, in fact, conceivable.

I confess that I am stunned by Joe's advocacy of necessary duality. But
then, it is not entirely clear what he is implying. He could, for example,
simply be an advocate of a universal property not widely considered and
advocated by myself as the basis of experience or as Benjamin Peirce's
universal will or Charles' (weaker) matter as effete mind, all being
the universal equal of gravitation and of light and to be found ultimately
in the same equations as a force that have an effect upon the world, in
this case in the flexible closed structures that form biophysics. A theory
based upon such a premise, even though it requires something physically
extra today, is clearly not at all dualist.

I, naturally enough, am sympathetic to Terry's denial of dualism, but I
wonder if Terry merely advocates an identity theory. As I have noted often
such a theory is, in fact, a dualism.

Regards,
Steven

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










On Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 12:43 PM, Terrence W. DEACON dea...@berkeley.edu
wrote:

 Thanks to Joseph for this spirited rejoinder, and to Krassimir for
 reminding us that convergence is perhaps more likely to succeed than
 any single-minded approach.

 With Krassimir, I am in agreement. I have probably overstated the
 priority of my own approach, even if I do believe it to be a best
 middle ground from which to begin formalization. This is a big
 challenge and I should celebrate the diversity of approaches more than
 I have. This is my path, and I have taken this opportunity to make my
 reasons for pursuing it clear. Like most of us, it is sent as a sort
 of mating call, in case others might find interesting insights there
 too.

 In response to Joseph, I would challenge you to specifically identify
 my homuncular assumptions, demonstrate where the autogenic model makes
 them, and deacribe in what ways you think that autogenesis is somehow
 not physically realizable. I admit to being blind to any of these, but
 I don't want to just convince you, I want to get it right. However, I
 am not willing to live with unresolved dualisms. And I don't quite get
 your comment about dualisms that do exist in nature and how you
 connect this with my presence/absence perspective. Perhaps this has to
 do with the fact that I am not satisfied that certain dualisms arising
 from quantum theories are fundamental, rather than the result of
 incomplete theory, and your own view which seems to embrace them. In
 which case we may need to agree to disagree.

 I am slightly perplexed and don't quite follow your implications
 regarding the specific proposal made in this piece. The dualisms I am
 hoping to resolve in this essay orbit around the difference between
 physicalistic and semiotic uses of the information concept, and about
 how this implicitly reifies Descartes' res cogitans / res extensa
 dualism, with reference and significance on the former side of this
 divide and Shannon information (and related uses in physics) on the
 latter. You can read my view as arguing that this dualism cannot
 merely be left as an unanalyzed assumption if we are seeking a
 complete theory of information.

 I anticipate that there is much unmentioned detail that remains to be
 unpacked and debated here. Pursuing some of these details could be
 very informative, even if it doesn't change entrenched positions.

 I think that it is interesting that so many responses have betrayed a
 sort of thinly 

[Fis] Fwd: Re: Concluding the Lecture?

2015-01-30 Thread joe.bren...@bluewin.ch
Dear Pedro, Dear FISers,

Terrence Deacon has made a passionate plea for the proper consideration 
of his approach to information science that his contribution merits. But this 
consideration is only possible if he is willing to accept that some of his 
positions may be contaminated with assumptions in a way that he correctly 
criticizes in others. As a specific example, we can all easily understand and 
agree that the incorporation of ‘homunculi’, that is, unproven mechanisms, as 
explanatory, should be avoided. In my view, however, Terry has a small army of 
homunculi at work (sic!) who insure that his processes of self-organization, 
self-reconstitution and ‘spontaneous’ self-assembly can take place! The 
finality of using his simulated autogenic systems is “a rigorous physical 
foundation upon which” future complex theories of information may be based. If, 
as I contend, Terry’s approach has failed to take into account the 
fundamentally dualistic physical properties of real systems, it is hard to see 
how it could do so.   

In his reply to Loet, regarding cognitive processes, Terry writes: “As I have 
said a number of times, my goal is not to deal with all aspects of the 
information concept, and certainly not at the level of human thought. I merely 
propose to dissolve the implicit dualism in our current concepts at the most 
basic level, so that for example it will be possible to develop a 
scientifically grounded theory of molecular biosemiotics.” No-one can argue 
with his first sentence, but the second has the implication that dualism at the 
most basic level in concepts should be absent when it is present in reality. 
Again, we can all reject the straw-man of mind-body dualism. But the dualisms 
that do exist in nature must be reflected in concepts or the latter are outside 
nature and outside science. The pair presence-absence is one of these that I 
have offered, so far without comment, as one of these. 

As a substitute for what is referred to as ‘the implicit dualism in our current 
concepts’, Terry seems to offer a repeated reliance on the Peircean categories 
as having explanatory power. I have discussed, accessibly, why these categories 
amount to epistemic classifications, a position that is in fact confirmed by a 
member of Terry’s group. Ontological approaches, which if looked at closely 
differ from the ones Terry correctly criticizes, are given a back of the hand 
dismissal that suggests that the writers may not be familiar enough with them 
to make the distinction.

A point of agreement between Terry and me is that a concept of quantum 
information should not be mixed with one of thermodynamic information. This 
does not mean, however, that the some of the dual aspects of quantum entities 
are not relevant for thermodynamic processes, including the properties, 
production and transfer of information. Terry is absolutely correct to question 
the so-called ‘it-from-bit’ theory of information in its simplest form. Again, 
however, alternatives are available at the heart of which is exactly the 
‘overlap’ between physics and information that Pedro calls for, e.g., those of 
Luhn and myself.

I think Krassimir has a good point in concluding that we have a problem of 
civilization and that all our efforts, scientific and philosophical, should be 
made with the common good at the center of our preoccupations. This is the 
theme of the Vienna Summit 2015. Information offers the ground on which 
standard physical and biological as well as social and psychological reality 
can meet. It is from the most complex, interactive, recursive aspects of these 
realities as well as from the simplest that we must learn. Thank you.

Best wishes,

Joseph


Message d'origine
De : dea...@berkeley.edu
Date : 30/01/2015 - 09:31 (PST)
À : lo...@physics.utoronto.ca
Cc : fis@listas.unizar.es
Objet : Re: [Fis] Concluding the Lecture?

Thanks to Pedro and Bob for these last few comments. Indeed, like
Darwin in 1859 we are still just beginning to formulate one long
argument that will need to be progressively refined in the decades to
come. The question is where best to begin the task of synthesizing. I
too find the metaphor of searching for lost keys quite apropos, but I
would beg your indulgence while I add an elaboration to this metaphor
that sheds light on the perspective I have offered.

Yes, we must at first search close to the light, even though there we
will only find vague hints. But, importantly, as we cover more and
more territory we will discover that the light progressively
brightens. So long as we keep searching and don't walk out into the
dark too quickly, skipping over important territory in between, the
entire territory will become more and more thoroughly illuminated,
searchable, and familiar to us.

I believe that the light is brightest in the domain where we can see a
clear relation between the two quite different concepts of entropy and
the relationship of both to the concept 

Re: [Fis] Fwd: Re: Concluding the Lecture?

2015-01-30 Thread Terrence W. DEACON
Thanks to Joseph for this spirited rejoinder, and to Krassimir for
reminding us that convergence is perhaps more likely to succeed than
any single-minded approach.

With Krassimir, I am in agreement. I have probably overstated the
priority of my own approach, even if I do believe it to be a best
middle ground from which to begin formalization. This is a big
challenge and I should celebrate the diversity of approaches more than
I have. This is my path, and I have taken this opportunity to make my
reasons for pursuing it clear. Like most of us, it is sent as a sort
of mating call, in case others might find interesting insights there
too.

In response to Joseph, I would challenge you to specifically identify
my homuncular assumptions, demonstrate where the autogenic model makes
them, and deacribe in what ways you think that autogenesis is somehow
not physically realizable. I admit to being blind to any of these, but
I don't want to just convince you, I want to get it right. However, I
am not willing to live with unresolved dualisms. And I don't quite get
your comment about dualisms that do exist in nature and how you
connect this with my presence/absence perspective. Perhaps this has to
do with the fact that I am not satisfied that certain dualisms arising
from quantum theories are fundamental, rather than the result of
incomplete theory, and your own view which seems to embrace them. In
which case we may need to agree to disagree.

I am slightly perplexed and don't quite follow your implications
regarding the specific proposal made in this piece. The dualisms I am
hoping to resolve in this essay orbit around the difference between
physicalistic and semiotic uses of the information concept, and about
how this implicitly reifies Descartes' res cogitans / res extensa
dualism, with reference and significance on the former side of this
divide and Shannon information (and related uses in physics) on the
latter. You can read my view as arguing that this dualism cannot
merely be left as an unanalyzed assumption if we are seeking a
complete theory of information.

I anticipate that there is much unmentioned detail that remains to be
unpacked and debated here. Pursuing some of these details could be
very informative, even if it doesn't change entrenched positions.

I think that it is interesting that so many responses have betrayed a
sort of thinly veiled irritation and anger. To me it suggest that we
are close to a nerve—i.e. some critical issues that are of central
importance.

Thanks, Terry



On 1/30/15, joe.bren...@bluewin.ch joe.bren...@bluewin.ch wrote:
 Dear Pedro, Dear FISers,

   Terrence Deacon has made a passionate plea for the proper consideration 
 of
 his approach to information science that his contribution merits. But this
 consideration is only possible if he is willing to accept that some of his
 positions may be contaminated with assumptions in a way that he correctly
 criticizes in others. As a specific example, we can all easily understand
 and agree that the incorporation of ‘homunculi’, that is, unproven
 mechanisms, as explanatory, should be avoided. In my view, however, Terry
 has a small army of homunculi at work (sic!) who insure that his processes
 of self-organization, self-reconstitution and ‘spontaneous’ self-assembly
 can take place! The finality of using his simulated autogenic systems is “a
 rigorous physical foundation upon which” future complex theories of
 information may be based. If, as I contend, Terry’s approach has failed to
 take into account the fundamentally dualistic physical properties of real
 systems, it is hard to see how it could do so.

 In his reply to Loet, regarding cognitive processes, Terry writes: “As I
 have said a number of times, my goal is not to deal with all aspects of the
 information concept, and certainly not at the level of human thought. I
 merely propose to dissolve the implicit dualism in our current concepts at
 the most basic level, so that for example it will be possible to develop a
 scientifically grounded theory of molecular biosemiotics.” No-one can argue
 with his first sentence, but the second has the implication that dualism at
 the most basic level in concepts should be absent when it is present in
 reality. Again, we can all reject the straw-man of mind-body dualism. But
 the dualisms that do exist in nature must be reflected in concepts or the
 latter are outside nature and outside science. The pair presence-absence is
 one of these that I have offered, so far without comment, as one of these.

 As a substitute for what is referred to as ‘the implicit dualism in our
 current concepts’, Terry seems to offer a repeated reliance on the Peircean
 categories as having explanatory power. I have discussed, accessibly, why
 these categories amount to epistemic classifications, a position that is in
 fact confirmed by a member of Terry’s group. Ontological approaches, which
 if looked at closely differ from the ones Terry correctly 

Re: [Fis] Fwd: Re: Concluding the Lecture?

2015-01-30 Thread Terrence W. DEACON
Hi Steven,

My apologies for wordiness. We all have our weaknesses. I am curious
about your claim that a complete theory of information may be
impossible. I am not even sure what this would mean — except
irresolvable dualism. But as to the issue of whether I advocate an
identity theory, I can provide a clear no. Mine is an emergence theory
in which it is not possible to reduce reference to an intrinsic
physical property.

Thanks, Terry

On 1/30/15, Steven Ericsson-Zenith ste...@iase.us wrote:
 Dear Terry, list.

 I apologize that I have not had the time to keep up with this discussion. I
 did try to read Terry's text but found it strangely impenetrable with many
 more word than were necessary to make a point. This is, perhaps, merely a
 question of style, repeated in the recent books of his that I have
 purchased but that sit essentially unread although I have tried.

 To clarify, I have spent more than my share of time reading the work of
 Charles Peirce, readily acknowledged, although many of you may now
 recognize my preference for his father's work and its priority. Both quite
 brilliant men, but Charles suffers, both conceptually and in his readership
 at the hands of neology. Who among us wants to sit through yet another
 argument with followers of Charles on the nature of semeiois or a sign? Not
 I.

 I have also spent a good deal of my time with the work of Claude Shannon.
 My discipline of origin is, after all (in French), Informatique. I do
 this not merely to comprehend Shannon's theory of communication but also to
 inquirer concerning the role that his mathematization plays in its
 unfolding. I find, in the end, that the theory applies well to its original
 intent, telephony engineering (a human activity), but it lacks any true
 ontology.

 That is, from my point of view, communication does not exist because there
 is a lack of continuity. What I may speak of instead is apprehension. This
 suggests that no complete theory of information is, in fact, conceivable.

 I confess that I am stunned by Joe's advocacy of necessary duality. But
 then, it is not entirely clear what he is implying. He could, for example,
 simply be an advocate of a universal property not widely considered and
 advocated by myself as the basis of experience or as Benjamin Peirce's
 universal will or Charles' (weaker) matter as effete mind, all being
 the universal equal of gravitation and of light and to be found ultimately
 in the same equations as a force that have an effect upon the world, in
 this case in the flexible closed structures that form biophysics. A theory
 based upon such a premise, even though it requires something physically
 extra today, is clearly not at all dualist.

 I, naturally enough, am sympathetic to Terry's denial of dualism, but I
 wonder if Terry merely advocates an identity theory. As I have noted often
 such a theory is, in fact, a dualism.

 Regards,
 Steven

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










 On Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 12:43 PM, Terrence W. DEACON dea...@berkeley.edu
 wrote:

 Thanks to Joseph for this spirited rejoinder, and to Krassimir for
 reminding us that convergence is perhaps more likely to succeed than
 any single-minded approach.

 With Krassimir, I am in agreement. I have probably overstated the
 priority of my own approach, even if I do believe it to be a best
 middle ground from which to begin formalization. This is a big
 challenge and I should celebrate the diversity of approaches more than
 I have. This is my path, and I have taken this opportunity to make my
 reasons for pursuing it clear. Like most of us, it is sent as a sort
 of mating call, in case others might find interesting insights there
 too.

 In response to Joseph, I would challenge you to specifically identify
 my homuncular assumptions, demonstrate where the autogenic model makes
 them, and deacribe in what ways you think that autogenesis is somehow
 not physically realizable. I admit to being blind to any of these, but
 I don't want to just convince you, I want to get it right. However, I
 am not willing to live with unresolved dualisms. And I don't quite get
 your comment about dualisms that do exist in nature and how you
 connect this with my presence/absence perspective. Perhaps this has to
 do with the fact that I am not satisfied that certain dualisms arising
 from quantum theories are fundamental, rather than the result of
 incomplete theory, and your own view which seems to embrace them. In
 which case we may need to agree to disagree.

 I am slightly perplexed and don't quite follow your implications
 regarding the specific proposal made in this piece. The dualisms I am
 hoping to resolve in this essay orbit around the difference between
 physicalistic and semiotic uses of the information concept, and about
 how this implicitly reifies Descartes' res cogitans / res extensa
 dualism, with reference and significance on the 

Re: [Fis] Fwd: Re: Concluding the Lecture?

2015-01-30 Thread Terrence W. DEACON
Dear Steven,

Sadly Taking the time (and wordiness) required to explain my critique
and redefinition of emergence is beyond the scope this venue and your
patience, so I can only point to my too lengthy book for that account.
Needless to say I do not accept either dualism or identity theory. My
claim is that to understand information requires a theory of dynamical
constraints, and since constraints don't have reducible components
they are level specific relational properties, not identified with
intrinsic properties of specific material objects or energetic
systems, but not epiphenomenal.

Do I understand you to be reducing information to a stereochemical
property? And do you reduce knowledge to anything that determines
physical actions? Obviously, I must be missing something. I would
not be alone in arguing that for something to be information about
something, it must be capable of being in error. How can simple
physical properties or causal interactions have this property of
falliblism?

— Terry

On 1/30/15, Steven Ericsson-Zenith ste...@iase.us wrote:
 Dear Terry,

 This emergence theory, at least on the face of it, is then surely an
 advocacy of dualism, since epiphenomenalism is logically indistinguishable
 from identity theory. So I must ask how you propose to distinguish the two.

 Information theory is a way of speaking about what happens in the world.
 As such it is a pragmatic, like many other pragmatics before it, it is a
 step in the right direction but not, of itself, able or required to meet
 the explanatory goal.

 My best definition of information does not standalone: Information is
 that which adds to knowledge and identifies cause, where knowledge is
 generalized to include all that determines subsequent action (importantly,
 it is the immediate that includes all physical actions).

 It is possible, in my theory, to reduce reference to an intrinsic physical
 property. Briefly, sense is formed as a shape upon the surface of flexible
 closed structures (biophysics, with latent receptors and motor functions),
 characterized by a holomorphic functor, covariant with another shape upon
 the closed surface, bound as a hyper-functor. The hyper-functor provides a
 sense/response decision point between the two. IOW, a clear reference is
 always associated with a response.

 Regards,
 Steven




 On Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 7:25 PM, Terrence W. DEACON dea...@berkeley.edu
 wrote:

 Hi Steven,

 My apologies for wordiness. We all have our weaknesses. I am curious
 about your claim that a complete theory of information may be
 impossible. I am not even sure what this would mean — except
 irresolvable dualism. But as to the issue of whether I advocate an
 identity theory, I can provide a clear no. Mine is an emergence theory
 in which it is not possible to reduce reference to an intrinsic
 physical property.

 Thanks, Terry

 On 1/30/15, Steven Ericsson-Zenith ste...@iase.us wrote:
  Dear Terry, list.
 
  I apologize that I have not had the time to keep up with this
 discussion. I
  did try to read Terry's text but found it strangely impenetrable with
 many
  more word than were necessary to make a point. This is, perhaps, merely
  a
  question of style, repeated in the recent books of his that I have
  purchased but that sit essentially unread although I have tried.
 
  To clarify, I have spent more than my share of time reading the work of
  Charles Peirce, readily acknowledged, although many of you may now
  recognize my preference for his father's work and its priority. Both
 quite
  brilliant men, but Charles suffers, both conceptually and in his
 readership
  at the hands of neology. Who among us wants to sit through yet another
  argument with followers of Charles on the nature of semeiois or a sign?
 Not
  I.
 
  I have also spent a good deal of my time with the work of Claude
  Shannon.
  My discipline of origin is, after all (in French), Informatique. I do
  this not merely to comprehend Shannon's theory of communication but
  also
 to
  inquirer concerning the role that his mathematization plays in its
  unfolding. I find, in the end, that the theory applies well to its
 original
  intent, telephony engineering (a human activity), but it lacks any true
  ontology.
 
  That is, from my point of view, communication does not exist because
 there
  is a lack of continuity. What I may speak of instead is apprehension.
 This
  suggests that no complete theory of information is, in fact,
 conceivable.
 
  I confess that I am stunned by Joe's advocacy of necessary duality. But
  then, it is not entirely clear what he is implying. He could, for
 example,
  simply be an advocate of a universal property not widely considered and
  advocated by myself as the basis of experience or as Benjamin
  Peirce's
  universal will or Charles' (weaker) matter as effete mind, all
  being
  the universal equal of gravitation and of light and to be found
 ultimately
  in the same equations as a force that have an effect 

Re: [Fis] Fwd: Re: Concluding the Lecture?

2015-01-30 Thread joe.bren...@bluewin.ch
Terry, 

In your discussion paper, you state that an interpretive process can only be 
adequately defined with respect to a process that is organized to maintain 
itself by repairing and reconstituting its essential form and dispositions - a 
teleodynamic process. I agree with this definition. Your model, further, is 
that of a theoretical two-component molecular system called an autogen that is 
capable of instantiating such, autogenic processes. The properties of the model 
molecules are stated to be those of real molecules – reciprocal autocatalysis 
and self-assembly and these processes are further stated to be self-organizing. 
The model, it is claimed, can analyze the relationships between the information 
medium properties, the work involved and the properties of the context, the 
environment or as you put it the system-extrinsic physical conditions.   

What I see as having been elided here is that in the real systems, but not in 
the model as described, one has the properties of the molecules that enable 
them to ‘self’-assemble in the first place. Unless these are taken into 
account, I claim that the models are incomplete. They require inclusion of the 
residual constraints (potentialities) at lower levels of molecular structure to 
avoid the danger of circularity. Further, there seems to be no place in this 
description of relationships for the non-algorithmic processes, for example 
qualitative signification (vs. the ‘amount’ of work saved), that are 
necessarily involved as soon as one leaves the level of abstraction of the 
model. These are well described on p. 10 as “the complex system of 
relationships” involving both human and social history. Wu Kun adds their 
potential states and calls the whole entity the informosome. This was the basis 
for the comment in my first note that I agreed with the mechanism but not the 
model(s).

My comment about presence being a source of information as well as absence 
refers to your more complete treatment of information as an absential 
phenomenon in Incomplete Nature rather than to that in your discussion paper. 
In the latter, the concepts on p. 3 (inexistent properties) and on p. 10 
(information as being about an absent referent) should therefore be discussed 
in another thread.I therefore look forward very much to a further round 
of discussion of real systems using the tools you have provided. 

In this, however, I think there will be agreement between our approaches to the 
necessary dualism of information, despite the differences in language. My line 
is to search for the overlap/dynamic interaction between the two sides of the 
relationship and the chains of intermediating processes (Wu again) involved.

Best wishes,

Joseph  
  

Message d'origine
De : dea...@berkeley.edu
Date : 30/01/2015 - 12:43 (PST)
À : joe.bren...@bluewin.ch
Cc : fis@listas.unizar.es
Objet : Re: [Fis] Fwd: Re: Concluding the Lecture?

Thanks to Joseph for this spirited rejoinder, and to Krassimir for
reminding us that convergence is perhaps more likely to succeed than
any single-minded approach.

With Krassimir, I am in agreement. I have probably overstated the
priority of my own approach, even if I do believe it to be a best
middle ground from which to begin formalization. This is a big
challenge and I should celebrate the diversity of approaches more than
I have. This is my path, and I have taken this opportunity to make my
reasons for pursuing it clear. Like most of us, it is sent as a sort
of mating call, in case others might find interesting insights there
too.

In response to Joseph, I would challenge you to specifically identify
my homuncular assumptions, demonstrate where the autogenic model makes
them, and deacribe in what ways you think that autogenesis is somehow
not physically realizable. I admit to being blind to any of these, but
I don't want to just convince you, I want to get it right. However, I
am not willing to live with unresolved dualisms. And I don't quite get
your comment about dualisms that do exist in nature and how you
connect this with my presence/absence perspective. Perhaps this has to
do with the fact that I am not satisfied that certain dualisms arising
from quantum theories are fundamental, rather than the result of
incomplete theory, and your own view which seems to embrace them. In
which case we may need to agree to disagree.

I am slightly perplexed and don't quite follow your implications
regarding the specific proposal made in this piece. The dualisms I am
hoping to resolve in this essay orbit around the difference between
physicalistic and semiotic uses of the information concept, and about
how this implicitly reifies Descartes' res cogitans / res extensa
dualism, with reference and significance on the former side of this
divide and Shannon information (and related uses in physics) on the
latter. You can read my view as arguing that this dualism cannot
merely be left as an unanalyzed assumption if we are 

Re: [Fis] Fwd: Re: Concluding the Lecture?

2015-01-30 Thread Steven Ericsson-Zenith
Dear Terry,

This emergence theory, at least on the face of it, is then surely an
advocacy of dualism, since epiphenomenalism is logically indistinguishable
from identity theory. So I must ask how you propose to distinguish the two.

Information theory is a way of speaking about what happens in the world.
As such it is a pragmatic, like many other pragmatics before it, it is a
step in the right direction but not, of itself, able or required to meet
the explanatory goal.

My best definition of information does not standalone: Information is
that which adds to knowledge and identifies cause, where knowledge is
generalized to include all that determines subsequent action (importantly,
it is the immediate that includes all physical actions).

It is possible, in my theory, to reduce reference to an intrinsic physical
property. Briefly, sense is formed as a shape upon the surface of flexible
closed structures (biophysics, with latent receptors and motor functions),
characterized by a holomorphic functor, covariant with another shape upon
the closed surface, bound as a hyper-functor. The hyper-functor provides a
sense/response decision point between the two. IOW, a clear reference is
always associated with a response.

Regards,
Steven




On Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 7:25 PM, Terrence W. DEACON dea...@berkeley.edu
wrote:

 Hi Steven,

 My apologies for wordiness. We all have our weaknesses. I am curious
 about your claim that a complete theory of information may be
 impossible. I am not even sure what this would mean — except
 irresolvable dualism. But as to the issue of whether I advocate an
 identity theory, I can provide a clear no. Mine is an emergence theory
 in which it is not possible to reduce reference to an intrinsic
 physical property.

 Thanks, Terry

 On 1/30/15, Steven Ericsson-Zenith ste...@iase.us wrote:
  Dear Terry, list.
 
  I apologize that I have not had the time to keep up with this
 discussion. I
  did try to read Terry's text but found it strangely impenetrable with
 many
  more word than were necessary to make a point. This is, perhaps, merely a
  question of style, repeated in the recent books of his that I have
  purchased but that sit essentially unread although I have tried.
 
  To clarify, I have spent more than my share of time reading the work of
  Charles Peirce, readily acknowledged, although many of you may now
  recognize my preference for his father's work and its priority. Both
 quite
  brilliant men, but Charles suffers, both conceptually and in his
 readership
  at the hands of neology. Who among us wants to sit through yet another
  argument with followers of Charles on the nature of semeiois or a sign?
 Not
  I.
 
  I have also spent a good deal of my time with the work of Claude Shannon.
  My discipline of origin is, after all (in French), Informatique. I do
  this not merely to comprehend Shannon's theory of communication but also
 to
  inquirer concerning the role that his mathematization plays in its
  unfolding. I find, in the end, that the theory applies well to its
 original
  intent, telephony engineering (a human activity), but it lacks any true
  ontology.
 
  That is, from my point of view, communication does not exist because
 there
  is a lack of continuity. What I may speak of instead is apprehension.
 This
  suggests that no complete theory of information is, in fact,
 conceivable.
 
  I confess that I am stunned by Joe's advocacy of necessary duality. But
  then, it is not entirely clear what he is implying. He could, for
 example,
  simply be an advocate of a universal property not widely considered and
  advocated by myself as the basis of experience or as Benjamin Peirce's
  universal will or Charles' (weaker) matter as effete mind, all being
  the universal equal of gravitation and of light and to be found
 ultimately
  in the same equations as a force that have an effect upon the world, in
  this case in the flexible closed structures that form biophysics. A
 theory
  based upon such a premise, even though it requires something physically
  extra today, is clearly not at all dualist.
 
  I, naturally enough, am sympathetic to Terry's denial of dualism, but I
  wonder if Terry merely advocates an identity theory. As I have noted
 often
  such a theory is, in fact, a dualism.
 
  Regards,
  Steven
 
  --
 Dr. Steven Ericsson-Zenith
 Institute for Advanced Science  Engineering
 http://iase.info
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  On Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 12:43 PM, Terrence W. DEACON 
 dea...@berkeley.edu
  wrote:
 
  Thanks to Joseph for this spirited rejoinder, and to Krassimir for
  reminding us that convergence is perhaps more likely to succeed than
  any single-minded approach.
 
  With Krassimir, I am in agreement. I have probably overstated the
  priority of my own approach, even if I do believe it to be a best
  middle ground from which to begin formalization. This is a big
  challenge and I should celebrate the diversity of approaches more than
  I 

Re: [Fis] Fwd: Re: Concluding the Lecture?

2015-01-30 Thread Francesco Rizzo
Cari Tutti,
non vi frastornate. Il pensiero pensante non lo ferma nessuno. Una legge
dell'informazione per tutto il sapere e l'intera  esistenza è possibile e
inevitabile, al di là di ogni specificazione. Inform-azione significa
sempre e in tutti i settori del sapere, dare o prendere forma, diversamente
quantificabile, con o senza significazione immediata. Questo ho cercato di
dire scrivendo nella lingua che conosco. Ma ho l'impressione che, per
ragioni diverse, il mio pensiero non sia passato. La Nuova economia che
propongo da circa 45 anni è una scienza della mediazione, anzi una scienza
delle scienze o al servizio delle scienze, seguendo la strada aperta da
Ernst Mach.Grazie lo stesso e buon lavoro a tutti.
Francesco Rizzo

2015-01-31 4:50 GMT+01:00 Steven Ericsson-Zenith ste...@iase.us:

 Dear Terry,

 This emergence theory, at least on the face of it, is then surely an
 advocacy of dualism, since epiphenomenalism is logically indistinguishable
 from identity theory. So I must ask how you propose to distinguish the two.

 Information theory is a way of speaking about what happens in the world.
 As such it is a pragmatic, like many other pragmatics before it, it is a
 step in the right direction but not, of itself, able or required to meet
 the explanatory goal.

 My best definition of information does not standalone: Information is
 that which adds to knowledge and identifies cause, where knowledge is
 generalized to include all that determines subsequent action (importantly,
 it is the immediate that includes all physical actions).

 It is possible, in my theory, to reduce reference to an intrinsic physical
 property. Briefly, sense is formed as a shape upon the surface of flexible
 closed structures (biophysics, with latent receptors and motor functions),
 characterized by a holomorphic functor, covariant with another shape upon
 the closed surface, bound as a hyper-functor. The hyper-functor provides a
 sense/response decision point between the two. IOW, a clear reference is
 always associated with a response.

 Regards,
 Steven




 On Fri, Jan 30, 2015 at 7:25 PM, Terrence W. DEACON dea...@berkeley.edu
 wrote:

 Hi Steven,

 My apologies for wordiness. We all have our weaknesses. I am curious
 about your claim that a complete theory of information may be
 impossible. I am not even sure what this would mean — except
 irresolvable dualism. But as to the issue of whether I advocate an
 identity theory, I can provide a clear no. Mine is an emergence theory
 in which it is not possible to reduce reference to an intrinsic
 physical property.

 Thanks, Terry

 On 1/30/15, Steven Ericsson-Zenith ste...@iase.us wrote:
  Dear Terry, list.
 
  I apologize that I have not had the time to keep up with this
 discussion. I
  did try to read Terry's text but found it strangely impenetrable with
 many
  more word than were necessary to make a point. This is, perhaps, merely
 a
  question of style, repeated in the recent books of his that I have
  purchased but that sit essentially unread although I have tried.
 
  To clarify, I have spent more than my share of time reading the work of
  Charles Peirce, readily acknowledged, although many of you may now
  recognize my preference for his father's work and its priority. Both
 quite
  brilliant men, but Charles suffers, both conceptually and in his
 readership
  at the hands of neology. Who among us wants to sit through yet another
  argument with followers of Charles on the nature of semeiois or a sign?
 Not
  I.
 
  I have also spent a good deal of my time with the work of Claude
 Shannon.
  My discipline of origin is, after all (in French), Informatique. I do
  this not merely to comprehend Shannon's theory of communication but
 also to
  inquirer concerning the role that his mathematization plays in its
  unfolding. I find, in the end, that the theory applies well to its
 original
  intent, telephony engineering (a human activity), but it lacks any true
  ontology.
 
  That is, from my point of view, communication does not exist because
 there
  is a lack of continuity. What I may speak of instead is apprehension.
 This
  suggests that no complete theory of information is, in fact,
 conceivable.
 
  I confess that I am stunned by Joe's advocacy of necessary duality. But
  then, it is not entirely clear what he is implying. He could, for
 example,
  simply be an advocate of a universal property not widely considered and
  advocated by myself as the basis of experience or as Benjamin Peirce's
  universal will or Charles' (weaker) matter as effete mind, all being
  the universal equal of gravitation and of light and to be found
 ultimately
  in the same equations as a force that have an effect upon the world,
 in
  this case in the flexible closed structures that form biophysics. A
 theory
  based upon such a premise, even though it requires something physically
  extra today, is clearly not at all dualist.
 
  I, naturally enough, am sympathetic to Terry's denial 

Re: [Fis] Concluding the Lecture?

2015-01-30 Thread Bob Logan
Thanks Pedro for your remarks. We have not reached our destination as you point 
out but the important thing is to enjoy the journey which I certainly have. It 
is inevitable that with such a slippery concept as information that there will 
be different destinations depending on the travellers but what I like about FIS 
in general and the dialogue that Terry prompted in particular is the 
interesting ideas and good company I encountered along the way. As for your 
remark about searching where there is light I suggest that we pack a flashlight 
for the next journey to be led by our tour guide Zhao Chuan. One common theme 
for understanding the importance of both information and intelligence for me is 
interpretation and context (figure/ground or pragmatics). Thanks to all 
especially Terry for a very pleasant journey. - Bob
__

Robert K. Logan
Prof. Emeritus - Physics - U. of Toronto 
Chief Scientist - sLab at OCAD
http://utoronto.academia.edu/RobertKLogan
www.physics.utoronto.ca/Members/logan
www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert_Logan5/publications








On 2015-01-30, at 8:25 AM, Pedro C. Marijuan wrote:

 Dear Terry and colleagues,
 
 At your convenience, during the first week of February or so we may put an 
 end to the ongoing New Year Lecture --discussants willing to enter their late 
 comments should hurry up. Your own final or concluding comment will be 
 appreciated.
 
 Personally, my late comment will deal with the last exchange between Bob and 
 Terry, It is about the point which follows:  ...there was no thesis other 
 than the word information is a descriptor for so many different situations 
 and that it is a part of a semantic web - no roadmap only a jaunt through the 
 countryside of associations - a leisurely preamble. 
 In my own parlance, we have been focusing this fis session on the 
 microphysical foundations of information (thermodynamic in this case) which 
 together with the quantum would look as the definite foundations of the whole 
 field, or even of the whole great domain of information. But could it be 
 so? Is there such thing as a unitary foundation? My impression is that we 
 are instinctively working where the light is, reminding the trite story of 
 the physicists who has lost the car keys and is looking closest to the street 
 lamp.  The point I suggest is that the different informational realms are 
 emergent in the strongest sense: almost no trace of the underlying 
 information realms would surface. Each realm has to invent throughout its own 
 engines of invention the different informational  organizational  principles 
 that sustain its existence. It is no obligate that there will be a successful 
 outcome In the extent to which this plurality of foundations is true, 
 solving the microphysical part would be of little help to adumbrating the 
 neuronal/psychological or the social information arena.
 
 The roadmap Bob suggests is an obligatory exploration to advance; we may 
 disagree in the ways and means, but not in the overall goal. It is a mind 
 boggling exercise as we have to confront quite different languages and styles 
 of thinking. For instance, the next session we will have at FIS (in a few 
 weeks) is an attempt of an excursion on Intelligence Science.  Presented by 
 Zhao Chuan, the aim is of confronting the phenomenon of intelligence from a 
 global perspective amalgamating science (artificial intelligence), emotions, 
 and art (poetic and pictorial). Not easy, but we will try
 
 Anyhow,  Terry, we much appreciate your insights and the responses you  have 
 produced along the Lecture. It was a nice intellectual exercise.
 
 Best wishes to all---Pedro
 
 -
 Pedro C. Marijuán
 Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
 Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
 Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
 Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta X
 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
 Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 ( 6818)
 pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es
 http://sites.google.com/site/pedrocmarijuan/
 -
 
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[Fis] Concluding the Lecture?

2015-01-30 Thread Pedro C. Marijuan

Dear Terry and colleagues,

At your convenience, during the first week of February or so we may put 
an end to the ongoing New Year Lecture --discussants willing to enter 
their late comments should hurry up. Your own final or concluding 
comment will be appreciated.


Personally, my late comment will deal with the last exchange between Bob 
and Terry, It is about the point which follows:  ...there was no thesis 
other than the word information is a descriptor for so many different 
situations and that it is a part of a semantic web - no roadmap only a 
jaunt through the countryside of associations - a leisurely preamble. 

In my own parlance, we have been focusing this fis session on the 
microphysical foundations of information (thermodynamic in this case) 
which together with the quantum would look as the definite foundations 
of the whole field, or even of the whole great domain of information. 
But could it be so? Is there such thing as a unitary foundation? My 
impression is that we are instinctively working where the light is, 
reminding the trite story of the physicists who has lost the car keys 
and is looking closest to the street lamp.  The point I suggest is that 
the different informational realms are emergent in the strongest sense: 
almost no trace of the underlying information realms would surface. Each 
realm has to invent throughout its own engines of invention the 
different informational  organizational  principles that sustain its 
existence. It is no obligate that there will be a successful outcome 
In the extent to which this plurality of foundations is true, solving 
the microphysical part would be of little help to adumbrating the 
neuronal/psychological or the social information arena.


The roadmap Bob suggests is an obligatory exploration to advance; we may 
disagree in the ways and means, but not in the overall goal. It is a 
mind boggling exercise as we have to confront quite different languages 
and styles of thinking. For instance, the next session we will have at 
FIS (in a few weeks) is an attempt of an excursion on Intelligence 
Science.  Presented by Zhao Chuan, the aim is of confronting the 
phenomenon of intelligence from a global perspective amalgamating 
science (artificial intelligence), emotions, and art (poetic and 
pictorial). Not easy, but we will try


Anyhow,  Terry, we much appreciate your insights and the responses you  
have produced along the Lecture. It was a nice intellectual exercise.


Best wishes to all---Pedro

-
Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta X
50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 ( 6818)
pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es
http://sites.google.com/site/pedrocmarijuan/
-

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