Re: [Fis] Is information physical? A logical analysis

2018-05-24 Thread Søren Brier
Dear Mark, Loet and others

My point was that all the aspects I mention are part of a reality that is 
bigger than what we can grasp under the realm of physical science. Reality is 
bigger than physicalism. Quantitative forms of information measurements can be 
useful in many ways, but they are not sufficient for at transdisciplinary 
theory of cognition and communication. As Loet write then we have to include 
meaning. In what framework can we do that? The natural science do not have 
experience and meaning in their conceptual foundations. We can try to develop a 
logical approach like Mark and Peirce do. Where Mark stays in the structural 
dimension and Loet wants to  enter res cogitans by probability measures, , 
maybe because a  philosophical framework that does not allow meaning to be 
real. But Peirce keeps working with the metaphysical stipulations until he 
reaches a framework that can integrate experience, meaning and logic in one 
theory, namely his triadic pragmaticist semiotics. I am fascinated by it 
because I think it is unique, but many researcher do not want to use it, 
because its change in metaphysics in developing out of Descartes dualism, all 
though most of us agrees that it is too limited to work in the modern 
scientific ontology of irreversible time, that Prigogine developed. Who other 
than Peirce has developed on non-dualist non-foundationalist transdisciplinary 
semiotic process philosophy integrating animal (biosemiotics), human evolution, 
history and language development in a consistent theory of the development of 
human consciousness?


From:  On Behalf Of Loet Leydesdorff
Sent: 24. maj 2018 07:45
To: Burgin, Mark ; Søren Brier ; 
Krassimir Markov ;
Subject: Re[2]: [Fis] Is information physical? A logical analysis

Dear Mark, Soren, and colleagues,

The easiest distinction is perhaps Descartes' one between res cogitans and res 
extensa as two different realities. Our knowledge in each case that things 
could have been different is not out there in the world as something seizable 
such as piece of wood.

Similarly, uncertainty in the case of a distribution is not seizable, but it 
can be expressed in bits of information (as one measure among others). The 
grandiose step of Shannon was, in my opinion, to enable us to operationalize 
Descartes' cogitans and make it amenable to the measurement as information.

Shannon-type information is dimensionless. It is provided with meaning by a 
system of reference (e.g., an observer or a discourse). Some of us prefer to 
call only thus-meaningful information real information because it is embedded. 
One can also distinguish it from Shannon-type information as Bateson-type 
information. The latter can be debated as physical.

In the ideal case of an elastic collision of "billard balls", the physical 
entropy (S= kB * H) goes to zero. However, if two particles have a distribution 
of momenta of 3:7 before a head-on collision, this distribution will change in 
the ideal case into 7:3. Consequently, the probabilistic entropy is .7 log2 
(.7/.3) + .3 log2 (.3/.7) =  .86 – .37 = .49 bits of information. One thus can 
prove that this information is not physical.


Loet Leydesdorff
Professor emeritus, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)  ;
Associate Faculty, SPRU,  University of Sussex;
Guest Professor Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou; 
Visiting Professor, ISTIC,  Beijing;
Visiting Fellow, Birkbeck, University of London;

-- Original Message --
From: "Burgin, Mark" >
To: "Søren Brier" >; "Krassimir Markov" 
Sent: 5/24/2018 4:23:53 AM
Subject: Re: [Fis] Is information physical? A logical analysis

Dear Søren,
You response perfectly supports my analysis. Indeed, for you only the Physical 
World is real. So, information has to by physical if it is real, or it cannot 
be real if it is not physical.
Acceptance of a more advanced model of the World, which includes other 
realities, as it was demonstrated in my book “Structural Reality,” allows 
understand information as real but not physical.

On 5/17/2018 3:29 AM, Søren Brier wrote:
Dear Mark

Using ’physical’ this way it just tends to mean ’real’, but that raises the 
problem of how to define real. Is chance real? I Gödel’s theorem or 

Re: [Fis] Is information physical? A logical analysis

2018-05-24 Thread Dai Griffiths

Thanks Lou, you are surely right to point out the object-nature of concepts.

>There is no escape from sooner or later realizing that 2 exists only 
in the mind or in the Mind.

Indeed. Our minds are full of such concepts. It seems that one of the 
important activities of the mind is to generate 'things' from the 
processes that impinge upon us. This makes living our lives much simpler 
(we don't need to set about curating the collection of all couples).

>Mind as eigenform never happens except at the limit where 
self-reference occurs.

I found it useful to read your paper on that is to be found at 



On 24/05/18 05:08, Louis H Kauffman wrote:

I start down a road toward attempting to understand information by 
first understanding number and form.



Is a number a thing?
Is 2 a thing?
Cannot say that this 2, this || “is” two. Rather it partakes in being 
a couple.
2 is relational. We say that there are 2 signs in the word “is" 
because a standard couple can be matched to the i and the s.

There is a potential process behind the concept 2.
2 is a concept, but you cannot point to any existent “thing” and say 
“that is 2”.

You can only say there are 2 of them here, indicating relationship.
So process can also be subordinate to the existence of a something if 
that something is a concept.

Numbers exist.
Numbers are concepts.
Numbers are related to processes of matching and comparing.
But numbers are not these processes only.
No thing is so real as the number 2.
Numbers are at the base of what we mean by information.
Do you want the actual couples to somehow allow 2 to emerge in the 
proliferation of many many couples?

Russel said: “2 is the collection of all couples.”
Are you convinced that the collection of all possible couples captures 
the concept of 2?

I doubt it unless you take collection to be a verb.
There is no escape from sooner or later realizing that 2 exists only 
in the mind or in the Mind.
Mind as eigenform never happens except at the limit where 
self-reference occurs.

I am the observed link between myself and observing myself (HVF).

On May 17, 2018, at 6:44 AM, Dai Griffiths > wrote:

What is a 'thing'?

Perhaps it is more reasonable to think that  only processes exist, 
and that for human convenience in living in the world we put 
conceptual membranes around some parts of those processes and call 
them 'things'. From this point of view we do not have two aspects 
(things and predictions about those things), but simply the 
monitoring of processes, and theorising about what we find. This does 
not preclude a taxonomy of processes (e.g. mechanisms might be a 
special kind of process).

Perhaps our "Is information physical" problem could be usefully 
reformulated as "Is information a thing?".


On 17/05/18 11:47, Jose Javier Blanco Rivero wrote:

Dear FISers,

I recently came across an old interview to W. van Orman Quine and I 
got an idea -maybe  not very original per se. Quine distinguishes 
two kind of philosophical problems: ontological (those referred to 
the existence of things) and predicative (what can we say and know 
about things). Against Quine materialism I came across the idea that 
ontological problems are undecidable -I think of Turing's Halting 
problem. The fact is that we cannot leave the predicative realm. All 
we have as scientists is scientifical statements (therefore I think 
of Science as a communicative social system differentiated from its 
environment by means of a code -I think Loet would agree with me in 
this point). As a system (I mean not the social system, but the set 
of statements taken as a unity) they all are incomplete. There are 
many ways to deal with it, as logicians have shown (in this point I 
confess I would need to examine carefully B. Marchal's ideas. I 
think I have many points of agreement with him but also of 
disagreement -but honestly I currently lack the knowledge to 
undertake a thorough discussion). Self-reference, I think, is one of 
the most coherent ways to deal with it. But this means we have to 
learn to deal with paradoxes.
Accordingly, as information theorist we would need to identify the 
constitutive paradox of information and next unfold that paradox in 
a set of statements that represent what we know about information. 
The problem is that although we can have the intuition that 
information is real, physical as has been said, it cannot be proved. 
An external reference like "reality ", if we look carefully, acts as 
regulatory function within the system. I remember that in the 
"Science of the Society", Luhmann devised the concept of consistency 
proofs (Konsistenzprüfung).But reality as such, the Ding an sich, is 
inaccessible. In conclusion, Quine would say that we should not be 
asking us a question that cannot be answered.



El may