Re: [Fis] _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

2016-04-04 Thread Loet Leydesdorff
Dear Soren,

 

It is very strange for me to read yours –as usual very learned – text,
because your understanding of what it is I am trying to do is so different
from my own understanding. Though I have had great pleasure of reading you
works over the years I am not sure that you have read much of mine.

 

I read quite a bit of your texts, but I may have misunderstood. In that
case, I apologize.

 

Non-biologist usually underestimate the complexity of biological processes. 

 

I agree.

 

I do not know what you mean when you write about semiotics that it’s:”
status is not different from a methodology or a mathematical theory of
communication”? You seem to assume some postulate from me that is not
explicit in the text.

 

I formulated (quote):

 

“A mathematical theory of information (e.g., Shannon) enables us to
entertain models that one can use from one level to another, for testing
hypothesis. These models may come from biology (e.g. Lotka-Volterra),
engineering (anticipatory systems; Dubois), complex systems theory (Simon,
Ashby), etc. For example: can interactions among codes be modeled using
Lotka-Volterra? (Ivanova , 2014; in Scientometrics). The math is
not meta, but epi because the other domains can also be considered as
specific domains of communication. Maturana, for example, argues that a
biology is generated whenever molecules can be communicated (as more complex
than atoms exchanged in a chemistry).”

 

3. But of cause if you deny the central idea in systems theory and
especially Luhmann’s triple autopoietic theory of closed communication
systems, which I have accepted but want to put into a semiotic, pragmaticist
methodology and metaphysical framework, then of cause we do not speak the
same language at all and may be in a situation of incommensurability. 

 

I am not so sure that inter-human communications are closed in terms of
codes being unambiguous. It seems to me that differently coded
communications can always be translated more or less. Luhmann is often too
apodictic. For example, his notion of “truth” as the code for scholarly
communication seems not to hold empirically.

 

Let’s enjoy the communication. I am sorry if I offended you.

 

Best,

Loet

 

It is my feeling that you do not see what I see and attempts to communicate
and that you project postulates from scientistic researcher onto my theory
blocking you from seeing what it is I want to communicate. So I do not know
if we disagree – because that demands some mutual level of  understanding.

 

  Best

 Søren

 

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[Fis] Fis: 25/7

2016-04-04 Thread Alex Hankey
RE: I am not sure that QT is the ultimate theory of all things, but I think
the effort is worth doing it, since we hardly have anything else to step on
now.I invite all those interested in this endeavor to join hands!

ME: Speaking as a theoretical physicist with 45 years experience and deep
interests in the foundations of physics and the origins of quantum theory,
I should like to comment that to really understand quantum theory so as to
see how to patch up its faults is not easy, and requires many years study
in many different subfields.

It requires deep knowledge and understanding of all of the following
subfields;
1. The Copenhagen interpretation as fully expressed by Henry Stapp.
2. John Von Neumann's formulation, together with its limitations.
3. The Many Worlds (Princeton) interpretation as most recently promoted by
Tegmark.
4. Einstein's objections as expressed  in the EPR paradox, and
5. David Bohm's program of hidden variables to support Einstein, and
6. Bell's Theorem to experimentally distinguish Bohr;s and Bohm's
approaches.
7. Aspect's experiments (and Clauser's preceding it) showing that Bohr was
right.
8. Bernard D'Espagnat's important contributions, especially the Theorem for
which he received the Templeton prize - physical reality is not 'strongly
objective' on either macroscopic or microscopic levels.
9. All the debate initiated by Gell-Man and others on how wave-functions
collapse. and what happens to quantum correlations that are generated.
10. David Deutsch's theory of quantum information.
11. Anton Zeilinger's use of quantum fluctuations for 'quantum
teleportation'
12. The quantum theory of open systems by ECG (George) Sudarshan and
others, the inherent limitations of their approach and its possible
resolution.
13. The debates on the relationship between quantum theory and classical
physics, the shortcomings of Bohr's Correspondence Principle and how to
overcome them.

I should hate to say that this is a field for specialists, because I truly
believe that non-experts can often cut through the Gordian knot in the
middle of a field, simply because they have not adopted the world view of
the experts in following the debates for decades up to that point, and are
therefore not indoctrinated with a paradigm that in fact needs updating -
often not obvious to those in the field itself.

But like most advanced scientific fields there is a lot to digest!
(And my own views are radical, and almost as violent as the
victor's approach to the Gordian Knot itself!)

-- 
Alex Hankey M.A. (Cantab.) PhD (M.I.T.)
Distinguished Professor of Yoga and Physical Science,
SVYASA, Eknath Bhavan, 19 Gavipuram Circle
Bangalore 560019, Karnataka, India
Mobile (Intn'l): +44 7710 534195
Mobile (India) +91 900 800 8789


2015 JPBMB Special Issue on Integral Biomathics: Life Sciences, Mathematics
and Phenomenological Philosophy

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[Fis] _ Re: _ In defense of quantum mechanics

2016-04-04 Thread Robert E. Ulanowicz
Ladies & Gentlemen:

To conserve on my postings, I would like to consolidate three comments:

The first is an addendum by Dr. Ed Dellian, historian of science regarding
the linear vs. quadratic forms of energy in QM. I append them below.

Secondly, I note Mark Johnson’s remarks:

"More deeply, Bateson’s highlighting of the difference between the way
we think and the way nature works is important. How can a concept of
information help us to think in tune with nature, rather than against
it?"

If we accept that the way we think is fundamentally different from the
way nature works, how might a concept of information avoid
exacerbating the pathologies of human existence? Wouldn’t it just turn
us into information bible-bashers hawking our ideas in online forums
(because universities are no longer interested in them!)? Would new
metrics help? Or would that simply create new scarcity in the form of
a technocratic elite? Or maybe we’re barking up the wrong tree. Maybe
it’s not “information” at all (whatever that is) – or maybe it’s “not
information”.

I like ‘not information’ as the study of the constraints within which
our crazy thinking takes place because it continually draws us back to
what isn't thought. “

Mark, I think the greatest contribution IT can make to our view on nature
the ability it affords us to consider and even quantify the effects of
apophasis (that which does not exist). Recall that information is defined
as a double negative, so that the starting point is the *lack* of
constraint (an apophasis). Bateson pointed out how almost all of science
is positivist in viewpoint, but how often the absence of something is what
is most important in affecting results. Information theory allows us to
view nature “with both eyes open” to perceive the fundamental dialectic
between order formation and entropic decay.


Thirdly, I quote Soeren:

"the concept of experience and meaning does not exist in the
vocabulary of the theoretical framework of natural sciences"

I would agree with the statement from the aspect of pragmatism – surely we
will never fully encapsulate all that is associated with subjective human
“meaning”.

I would disagree with the statement in the absolute sense, however,
because I believe the rudiments of meaning are indeed quantifiable. Take,
for example, the correspondences between the protein surfaces of an
invasive microbe and an antibody, where a lock-and-key relationship can be
described and quantified. To the antibody, this correspondence captures
the entire meaning of the microbe to the antibody’s existence.
 Somewhere along the way
from an antibody to the human being our ability to quantify meaning
necessarily breaks down, but I don’t think that meaning can be proscribed
from information theory *absolutely*.

Now here are Ed’s remarks:

   
Dear Bob,

the subject "linear versus squared concept of energy" is so important
that I want to add to my former comments the "story behind the story".

   As I have already said it began with Leibniz's 1686 short paper
"Brevis demonstratio erroris memorabilis Cartesii et aliorum", notably
published just one year before Newton's Principia. Leibniz in his paper
argued against the "measure of force" of a material body's motion, as it
was used by his contemporaries in the context of the Cartesian
philosophy of the time, i. e. the measure "matter times velocity", in
modern notation mv. This concept, already used by Galileo, was confirmed
as the true "quantity of uniform straightline motion" of a body, as soon
as in the years 1669-1671 the most famous scientists of the time, John
Wallis, Christiaan Huygens, and Christopher Wren, by order of the Royal
Society, had independently of each other investigated the case. Based on
collision experiments, they all corroborated the truth of the said
measure; accordingly it has survived until today under the name of
"momentum p".

  Now, if the quantity of uniform-straightline motion is correctly
measured by the product mv, what is the measurable quantity of the
"force" that causes such a motion? Modern science denies that there
exists such a cause; uniform straightline motion is said to result from
the "inertia of matter" alone, which inertia is seen not as some
measurable /quantity/, but as an intrinsic /quality/ of matter. However,
in the middle of the 17th century scientists indeed measured not only
the momentum p = mv of uniform-straightline motion, but also the "force"
or "cause" of that motion - and correctly so: Even though some believed
in a geometric /proportionality /of cause and effect, while some others
took cause and effect as /equivalents/, in both cases the quantity of
active motion-generating force was to be measured through the quantity
of the generated effect, that is, through the quantity of motion mv.

  This was the situation 

[Fis] _ Re: _ Re: _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

2016-04-04 Thread Mark Johnson
Dear Lou,

"The fusion of thought with itself is the place from which we can
understand the fusion of ourselves with Nature in a unity that
precedes the apparent distinctions that we take for granted."

This is a powerful thought!

It looks like a statement of Husserlian phenomenology - it
transcendentalises thought. We might ask, What does "understand" mean
here? Where does "acting" fit? Where are "real people" with bodies and
emotions? Of course, these issues can be addressed, but to think like
this is a path which is chosen, rather than being a statement of fact.

The point in my post concerns politics rather than phenomenology.
Human dignity and freedom are at the heart of politics. I'd once
thought that there was little politics in Bateson - only epistemology.
Now I think this was wrong (double-binds are political aren't they?).
Bateson's distinguishing the way people think from the way nature
works is a critical (political) point. It's also a choice.

I've been thinking about the different choices which might be made
with regard to the relationship between nature and thought - and where
each might lead. Within them are different approaches to
"information".

1. The elision of thought and nature and transcendentalising thought:
we have to be careful with statements like "thought is part of nature"
or that it is inseparable from nature. Lack of precision in such
statements is easily manipulated to excuse bad things, or to decry
empirical observations.

2. Separating thought from nature (as Bateson appears to do) and
transcendentalising constraint. Where does this choice lead? I think
Ashby's epistemology maintained something like this: it leads to the
pursuit of error, and the exposure of the limits which nature bears
upon thought, and thought on nature. It's a different kind of
methodology.

3. to transcendentalise nature. This leads to a classical empiricist
epistemology - the methodical investigation of event regularities in
experiments, and the construction of knowledge about possible causes.

Each "choice" has value. Each seeks to subsume the others within its
scheme. Each is defined in relation to the others. How to choose? With
what criteria?

Furthermore, each choice is 'personal': individuals have particular
reasons for adhering to one approach and disliking others.

Is this resolvable?

Best wishes,

Mark

On 4 April 2016 at 06:51, Louis H Kauffman  wrote:
> Dear Mark,
> 1. The way we think is part of how Nature works.
> 2. Thought is not separate from our contact with Nature.
> 3. Concept arises in the integration of thought and percept.
> 4. Thought is singular in that thought can be the object of thought and this 
> becomes a place where subject and object are coalesced.
> 5. The fusion of thought with itself is the place from which we can 
> understand the fusion of ourselves with Nature in a unity that precedes
> the apparent distinctions that we take for granted.
> Best,
> Lou K.
>
>> On Apr 3, 2016, at 3:49 AM, Mark Johnson  wrote:
>>
>> Dear Soren, Lou and Loet,
>>
>> I can appreciate that Bateson might have had it in for hypnotists and
>> missionaries, but therapists can be really useful! Had Othello had a
>> good one, Desdemona would have lived – they might have even done some
>> family therapy!
>>
>> More deeply, Bateson’s highlighting of the difference between the way
>> we think and the way nature works is important. How can a concept of
>> information help us to think in tune with nature, rather than against
>> it?
>>
>> Loet’s description of social systems as encoded systems of
>> expectations within which selections are made is helpful. A concept of
>> information is such a selection. But we live in a world of finite
>> resources and our expectations form within what appear to be real
>> limits: Othello saw only one Desdemona. Similarly, there appears to be
>> scarcity of food, money, shelter, safety, education, opportunity for
>> ourselves and for our children upon whose flourishing we stake our own
>> happiness. These limits may be imagined or constructed, but their
>> effects are real to the point that people will risk their lives
>> crossing oceans, fight and kill for them. This is a result of how we
>> think: it leads to hierarchy, exclusion and the production of more
>> scarcity. Nature appears not to work like this.
>>
>> If we accept that the way we think is fundamentally different from the
>> way nature works, how might a concept of information avoid
>> exacerbating the pathologies of human existence? Wouldn’t it just turn
>> us into information bible-bashers hawking our ideas in online forums
>> (because universities are no longer interested in them!)? Would new
>> metrics help? Or would that simply create new scarcity in the form of
>> a technocratic elite? Or maybe we’re barking up the wrong tree. Maybe
>> it’s not “information” at all (whatever that is) – or maybe it’s “not
>> information”.
>>
>> I like “not information”