### Re: [Fis] If always n>0 why we need log

```I am in agreement with Guy Hoelzer in his assessment of the use of
log-transformed data.
Since I regularly deal with biological growth processes, using
log-transformed data is the clearest way to anaylyze proportional
relationships in nonlinear sysrtems.
By virtue of the way it compresses multiplicative relations log
transformation makes scale-free comparison much more tractable and
correlations much more obvious.
And compression is one of the most important benefits of mathematical
analysis.

On Sun, Jun 3, 2018 at 2:04 PM, Guy A Hoelzer  wrote:

> Dear Sung et al.,
>
> I appreciate human bias in terms of numerical scale, but I don’t think
> that is what we actually achieve by using logarithms.  If the universe of
> possibility is fractal, using a logarithm does not eliminate the problem of
> large numbers.  I think the primary outcome achieved by using logarithms is
> that units come to represent proportions rather than absolute (fixed scale)
> amounts.  It reveals an aspect of scale-free form.
>
>
>
> On Jun 3, 2018, at 10:42 AM, Sungchul Ji  wrote:
>
> Hi Krassimir,
>
> I think the main reason that we express 'information'  as a logarithmic
> function of the number of choices available, n, may be because the human
> brain finds it easier to remember (and communicate and reason with)  10
> than  100, or 100 than 10. . . . 0, etc.
>
> All the best.
>
> Sung
>
>
>
> --
> *From:* Krassimir Markov
> *Sent:* Sunday, June 3, 2018 12:06 PM
> *To:* Foundation of Information Science
> *Cc:* Sungchul Ji
> *Subject:* If always n>0 why we need log
>
> Dear Sung,
>
> A simple question:
>
>
> I = -log_2(m/n) = - log_2 (m) + log_2(n)   (1)
>
> Friendly greetings
>
> Krassimir
>
>
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>
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>

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```

```It is so easy to get into a muddle mixing technical uses of a term with
colloquial uses, and add a dash of philosophy and discipline-specific
terminology and it becomes mental quicksand. Terms like 'information' and
'meaning" easily lead us into these sorts of confusions because they have
so many context-sensitive and pardigm-specific uses. This is well exhibited
in these FIS discusions, and is a common problem in many interdisciplinary
discussions. I have regularly requested that contributors to FIS try to
label which paradigm they are using to define their use of the term
"information' in these posts, but sometimes, like fish unaware that they
are in water, one forgets that there can be alternative paradigms (such as
the one Søren suggests).

So to try and avoid overly technical usage can you be specific about what
you intend to denote with these terms.
E.g. for the term "information" are you referring to statisitica features
intrinsic to the character string with respect to possible alternatives, or
what an interpreter might infer that this English sentence refers to, or
whether this reference carries use value or special significance for such
an interpreter?
And e.g. for the term 'meaning' are you referring to what a semantician
would consider its underlying lexical structure, or whether the sentence
makes any sense, or refers to anything in the world, or how it might impact
or dissolve.

— Terry

On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 1:47 AM, Xueshan Yan <y...@pku.edu.cn> wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
>
> In my teaching career of Information Science, I was often puzzled by the
> following inference, I call it *Paradox of Meaning and Information* or
> *Armenia
> Paradox*. In order not to produce unnecessary ambiguity, I state it below
> and strictly limit our discussion within the human context.
>
>
>
> Suppose an earthquake occurred in Armenia last night and all of the main
> media of the world have given the report about it. On the second day, two
> students A and B are putting forward a dialogue facing the newspaper
> headline “*Earthquake Occurred in Armenia Last Night*”:
>
> Q: What is the *MEANING* contained in this sentence?
>
> A: An earthquake occurred in Armenia last night.
>
> Q: What is the *INFORMATION* contained in this sentence?
>
> A: An earthquake occurred in Armenia last night.
>
> Thus we come to the conclusion that *MEANING is equal to INFORMATION*, or
> strictly speaking, human meaning is equal to human information. In
> Linguistics, the study of human meaning is called Human Semantics; In
> Information Science, the study of human information is called Human
> Informatics.
>
> Historically, Human Linguistics has two definitions: 1, It is the study of
> human language; 2, It, also called Anthropological Linguistics or
> Linguistic Anthropology, is the historical and cultural study of a human
> language. Without loss of generality, we only adopt the first definitions
> here, so we regard Human Linguistics and Linguistics as the same.
>
> Due to Human Semantics is one of the disciplines of Linguistics and its
> main task is to deal with the human meaning, and Human Informatics is one
> of the disciplines of Information Science and its main task is to deal with
> the human information; Due to human meaning is equal to human information,
> thus we have the following corollary:
>
> A: *Human Informatics is a subfield of Human Linguistics*.
>
> According to the definition of general linguists, language is a vehicle
> for transmitting information, therefore, Linguistics is a branch of Human
> Informatics, so we have another corollary:
>
> B: *Human Linguistics is a subfield of Human Informatics*.
>
> Apparently, A and B are contradictory or logically unacceptable. It is a
> paradox in Information Science and Linguistics. In most cases, a settlement
> subject, but how should we understand this paradox?
>
>
>
> Best wishes,
>
> Xueshan
>
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>

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```

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

```t;> Message
>>
>> Sign
>>
>> Proteins
>>
>> Words
>> (Denotation)
>>
>> C
>>
>> *Normative *information
>>
>>
>> Interpretant
>>
>> Metabolomes
>> (Totality of cell metabolism)
>>
>> Systems of words
>> (Decision making & Reasoning)
>>
>> f
>>
>> ?
>>
>> Encoding
>>
>> Sign production
>>
>> Physical laws
>>
>> Second articulation
>>
>> g
>>
>> ?
>>
>> Decoding
>>
>>
>> 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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>>
>>
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```

### [Fis] Biosemiotics

```Dear colleagues,

This coming June 2018 I will be hosting the 18th Annual Biosemiotics
Gathering in Berkeley, California (June 17-20).

The URL describing the conference and solicitiing abstracts for
presentations is:

http://www.biosemiotics.life

biosemiotics2...@gmail.com

The submission deadline is Feb. 20.

I hope this announcement reaches any interested readers and doesn't violate
any FIS restrictions. Feel free to write to me directly if you need more
information at

dea...@berkeley.edu

Sincerely,

--
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University of California, Berkeley
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```

### Re: [Fis] I salute to Sungchul

```gt;> molecualr biological, bioinformatic and linguistic implications.
>> *BioSystems* 44:17-39.  PDF at http://www.conformon.net/wp
>>
>> [6] Ji, S. (2017).  The Cell Language Theory: Connecting Mind and
>> Matter.  World Scientific, New Jersey.  Chapter 5*. *
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> *From:* Fis <fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es> on behalf of Emanuel Diamant <
>> emanl@gmail.com>
>> *Sent:* Friday, January 12, 2018 11:20 AM
>> *To:* fis@listas.unizar.es
>> *Subject:* [Fis] I salute to Sungchul
>>
>>
>> Dear FISers,
>>
>>
>>
>> I would like to express my pleasure with the current state of our
>> discourse – an evident attempt to reach a more common understanding about
>> information issues and to enrich preliminary given assessments.
>>
>> In this regard, I would like to add my comment to Sungchul’s post of
>> January 12, 2018.
>>
>>
>>
>> Sungchul proposes “to recognize two distinct types of information which,
>> for the lack of better terms, may be referred to as the "meaningless
>> information" or I(-)  and "meaningful information" or I(+)”.
>>
>> That is exactly what I am trying to put forward for years, albeit under
>> more historically rooted names: Physical and Semantic information [1].
>> Never mind, what is crucially important here is that the duality of
>> information becomes publicly recognized and accepted by FIS community.
>>
>>
>>
>> I salute to Sungchul’s suggestion!
>>
>>
>>
>> Best regards, Emanuel.
>>
>>
>>
>> [1] Emanuel Diamant, *The brain is processing information, not data.
>> Does anybody care?, *ISIS Summit Vienna 2015, Extended Abstract.
>> http://sciforum.net/conference/isis-summit-vienna-2015/paper/2842
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ___
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>> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> 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 <+44%207710%20534195>
> Mobile (India) +91 900 800 8789 <+91%2090080%2008789>
>
>
> 2015 JPBMB Special Issue on Integral Biomathics: Life Sciences,
> Mathematics and Phenomenological Philosophy
> <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/00796107/119/3>
>
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>

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```

### Re: [Fis] some notes

```On communication:

"Communication" needs to be more carefully distinguished from mere
transfer of physical differences from location to location and time to
time. Indeed, any physical transfer of physical differences in this
respect can be utilized to communicate, and all communication requires
this physical foundation. But there is an important hierarchic
distinction that we need to consider. Simply collapsing our concept of
'communication' to its physical substrate (and ignoring the process of
interpretation) has the consequence of treating nearly all physical
processes as communication and failing to distinguish those that
additionally convey something we might call representational content.

Thus while internet communication and signals transferred between
computers do indeed play an essential role in human communication, we
only have to imagine a science fiction story in which all human
interpreters suddenly disappear but our computers nevertheless
continue to exchange signals, to realize that those signals are not
"communicating" anything. At that point they would only be physically
modifying one another, not communicating, except in a sort of
metaphoric sense. This sort of process would not be fundamentally
different from solar radiation modifying atoms in the upper atmosphere
or any other similar causal process. It would be odd to say that the
sun is thereby communicating anything to the atmosphere.

So, while I recognize that there are many methodological contexts in
which it makes little difference whether or not we ignore this
semiotic aspect, as many others have also hinted, this is merely to
bracket from consideration what really distinguishes physical transfer
of causal influence from communication. Remember that this was a
methodological strategy that even Shannon was quick to acknowledge in
the first lines of his classic paper. We should endeavor to always be
as careful.

— Terry

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```

```>
> >
> >
> > ___
> > Fis mailing list
> > Fis@listas.unizar.es
> > http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
> >
> >
> > ___
> > Fis mailing list
> > Fis@listas.unizar.es
> > http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Dr. Mark William Johnson
> Institute of Learning and Teaching
> Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
> University of Liverpool
>
> Phone: 07786 064505
> Email: johnsonm...@gmail.com
> Blog: http://dailyimprovisation.blogspot.com
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```

### Re: [Fis] The two very important operations of Infos

```Adding a temporal dimension has often been offered as a way out of paradox
in quasi-physical terms. This is because interpreting paradoxical logical
relations or calculating their values generally produces interminably
iterating self-contradicting or self-undermining results. Writers from G.
S. Brown to Gregory Bateson (among others) have pointed out that one can
resolve this in *process* terms (rather than assuming undecidable values)
by focusing on this incessant oscillation itself (i.e. a meta-analysis that
recognizes that the process of operating on these relations cannot be
neglected).Using this meta-analysis one can take advantage of the dynamic
that calculation or intepretation entails. It is also, of course, the way
we make use of so-called imaginary values in mathematics, whose iteratively
calculated results incessantly reverse sign from negative to positive. By
simply accepting this fact as given and marking it with a distinctive token
(e.g. "*i*" ) effectively generates an additional dimension that is useful
in a wide range of applications from fourier to quantum analyses. So my
question is whether using this mirror metaphor can be seen as a variant on
this general approach. It also resonates with efforts to understand the
interpretation of information in related terms (e.g. using complex numbers).

— Terry

PS A bit of reflection (no pun intended) also suggests that it is also
relevant to our discussions about agency (which like the concept of
"information" must be understood at different levels that need to be
distinguished because they can easily be confused). My earlier point about
the normative aspect of agency (and consistent with the previously posted
URL to the paper by Barandiaran et al.) is that this implies the need for
incessant contrary work to negate perturbation away from some "preferred"
value or state. Although there can be many levels of displaced agency in
both natural and artificial agents (like cybernetic systems such as
thermostats and many biological regulative subsystems), there cannot be
interminable regress of this displacement to establish these norms. At some
point normativity requires ontological grounding where the grounded
normative relation is the preservation of the systemic physical properties
that produce the norm-preserving dynamic. This is paradoxically circular—a
"strang loop" in Hofstadter's lingo. This avoids vicious regress as well
avoiding assuming a cryptic "observer perspective." But it therefore
requires that we treat different levels and degrees of "normative
displacement" differently from one another. This both echoes Loet's point
that we should not expect a single concept of agency, but it alternatively
suggest that we may be able to construct a nested hierarchy of agency
concepts (as Stan might suggest). So I glimpse that a set of parallel and
converging views may underlie these superficially different domains of
debate.

On Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 2:45 AM, Krassimir Markov <mar...@foibg.com> wrote:

> Dear Lou, Bruno, and FIS Colleagues,
>
>
> First of all, the main idea of the post was not to solve any paradox but
> to point two very important operations of Infos:
> - Direct reflection;
> - Transitive (indirect) reflection.
> There are no other ways for Infos to collect data from environment.
>
> Second, the example with paradox had shown the well known creative
> approach in the modeling - adding new dimensions in the model could help
> to better understand the modeling object or process. For instance:
>
> If our linear model contains a “paradox” point  “X”:
>
> //X//
>
> by adding a new second dimension it may be explained and the paradox would
> be solved:
>
>   \
> /
> -
> //X//
>
>
> Friendly greetings
> Krassimir
>
>
> ___________
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```

### Re: [Fis] What is “Agent”?

```AUTONOMOUS AGENCY: The definition I propose for autonomous agency It is
open to challenge. Of course, there are many ways that we use the term
'agent' in more general and metaphoric ways. I am, however, interested in
the more fundamental conception that these derived uses stem from. I do not
claim that this definition is original, but rather that it is what we
implicitly understand by the concept. So if this is not your understanding
I am open to suggestions for modification.

I should add that it has been a recent goal of my work to describe an
empirically testable simplest model system that satisfies this definition.
Those of you who are familiar with my work will recognize that this is what
I call an autogenic or teleodynamic system. In this context, however, it is
only the adequacy of the definition that I am interested in exploring. As
in many of the remarks of others on this topic it is characterized by
strange-loop recursivity, self-reference, and physicality. And it may be
worth while describing how this concept is defined by e.g. Hofstadter, von
Foerster, Luhmann, Moreno, Kauffman, Barad, and others, to be sure that we
have covered the critical features and haven't snuck in any "demons". In my
definition, I have attempted to avoid any cryptic appeal to observers or
unexamined teleological properties, because my purpose is instead to
provide a constructive definition of what these properties entail and why
they are essential to a full conception of information.

CENTRALITY OF NORMATIVE PROPERTIES: A critical factor when discussing
agency is that it is typically defined with respect to "satisfaction
conditions" or "functions" or "goals" or other NORMATIVE properties.
Normative properties are all implicitly teleological. They are irrelevant
to chemistry and physics. The concept of an "artificial agent" may not
require intrinsic teleology (e.g. consider thermostats or guidance systems
- often described as teleonomic systems) but the agentive properties of
such artifacts are then implicitly parasitic on imposed teleology provided
by some extrinsic agency. This is of course implicit also in the concepts
of 'signal' and 'noise' which are central to most information concepts.
These are not intrinsic properties of information, but are extrinsically
imposed distinctions (e.g. noise as signal to the repair person). So I
consider the analysis of agency and its implicit normativity to be a
fundamental issue to be resolved in our analysis of information. Though we
can still bracket any consideration of agency from many analyses my simply
assuming it (e.g. assumed users, interpreters, organisms and
their functions, etc.), but this explicitly leaves a critical defining
criterion outside the analysis. In these cases, we should just be clear
that in doing so we have imported unexplained boundary conditions into the
analysis by fiat. Depending on the goal of the analysis (also a
teleological factor) this may be unimportant. But the nature and origin of
agency and normativity remain foundational questions for any full theory of
information.

On Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 12:47 PM, Stanley N Salthe <ssal...@binghamton.edu>
wrote:

> Here is an interesting recent treatment of autonomy.
>
> Alvaro Moreno and Matteo Mossio: Biological Autonomy: A Philosophical
>
> and Theoretical Enquiry (History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life
> Sciences 12);
>
> Springer, Dordrecht, 2015, xxxiv + 221 pp., \$129 hbk, ISBN
> 978-94-017-9836-5
>
>
> STAN
>
> On Thu, Oct 19, 2017 at 11:44 AM, Terrence W. DEACON <dea...@berkeley.edu>
> wrote:
>
>> AN AUTONOMOUS AGENT IS A DYNAMICAL SYSTEM ORGANIZED TO BE CAPABLE OF
>> INITIATING PHYSICAL WORK TO FURTHER PRESERVE THIS SAME CAPACITY IN THE
>> CONTEXT OF  INCESSANT EXTRINSIC AND/OR INTRINSIC TENDENCIES FOR THIS SYSTEM
>>
>>
>> THIS ENTAILS A CAPACITY TO ORGANIZE WORK THAT IS SPECIFICALLY CONTRAGRADE
>> TO THE FORM OF THIS DEGRADATIONAL INFLUENCE, AND THUS ENTAILS A CAPACITY TO
>> BE INFORMED BY THE EFFECTS OF THAT INFLUENCE WITH RESPECT TO THE AGENT’S
>> CRITICAL ORGANIZATIONAL CONSTRAINTS.
>>
>> On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 6:00 PM, Koichiro Matsuno <cxq02...@nifty.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> On 19 Oct 2017 at 6:42 AM, Alex Hankey wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> the actual subject has to be non-reducible and fundamental to our
>>> universe.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>This view is also supported by Conway-Kochen’s free will theorem
>>> (2006). If (a big IF, surely) we admit that our fellows can freely exercise
>>> their free will, it must be impossible to imagine that the atoms and
>>> molecules lack their share of the similar capacity. For our bodies
>>> ev```

### Re: [Fis] What is “Agent”?

```AN AUTONOMOUS AGENT IS A DYNAMICAL SYSTEM ORGANIZED TO BE CAPABLE OF
INITIATING PHYSICAL WORK TO FURTHER PRESERVE THIS SAME CAPACITY IN THE
CONTEXT OF  INCESSANT EXTRINSIC AND/OR INTRINSIC TENDENCIES FOR THIS SYSTEM

THIS ENTAILS A CAPACITY TO ORGANIZE WORK THAT IS SPECIFICALLY CONTRAGRADE
TO THE FORM OF THIS DEGRADATIONAL INFLUENCE, AND THUS ENTAILS A CAPACITY TO
BE INFORMED BY THE EFFECTS OF THAT INFLUENCE WITH RESPECT TO THE AGENT’S
CRITICAL ORGANIZATIONAL CONSTRAINTS.

On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 6:00 PM, Koichiro Matsuno <cxq02...@nifty.com>
wrote:

> On 19 Oct 2017 at 6:42 AM, Alex Hankey wrote:
>
>
>
> the actual subject has to be non-reducible and fundamental to our universe.
>
>
>
>This view is also supported by Conway-Kochen’s free will theorem
> (2006). If (a big IF, surely) we admit that our fellows can freely exercise
> their free will, it must be impossible to imagine that the atoms and
> molecules lack their share of the similar capacity. For our bodies
> eventually consist of those atoms and molecules.
>
>
>
>Moreover, the exercise of free will on the part of the constituent
> atoms and molecules could come to implement the centripetality of Bob
> Ulanowicz at long last under the guise of chemical affinity unless the case
> would have to forcibly be dismissed.
>
>
>
>This has been my second post this week.
>
>
>
>Koichiro Matsuno
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* Fis [mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] *On Behalf Of *Alex
> Hankey
> *Sent:* Thursday, October 19, 2017 6:42 AM
> *To:* Arthur Wist <arthur.w...@gmail.com>; FIS Webinar <
> Fis@listas.unizar.es>
> *Subject:* Re: [Fis] What is “Agent”?
>
>
>
> David Chalmers's analysis made it clear that if agents exist, then they
> are as fundamental to the universe as electrons or gravitational mass.
>
>
>
> Certain kinds of physiological structure support 'agents' - those
> emphasized by complexity biology. But the actual subject has to be
> non-reducible and fundamental to our universe.
>
>
>
> Alex
>
>
>
>
>
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### Re: [Fis] Data - Reflection - Information

```Against "meaning"

I think that there is a danger of allowing our anthropocentrism to bias the
discussion. I worry that the term 'meaning' carries too much of a
linguistic bias.
By this I mean that it is too attractive to use language as our archtypical
model when we talk about information.
Language is rather the special case, the most unusual communicative
adaptation to ever have evolved, and one that grows out of and depends on
informationa/semiotic capacities shared with other species and with biology
in general.
So I am happy to see efforts to bring in topics like music or natural signs
like thunderstorms and would also want to cast the net well beyond humans
to include animal calls, scent trails, and molecular signaling by hormones.
And it is why I am more attracted to Peirce and worried about the use of
Saussurean concepts.
Words and sentences can indeed provide meanings (as in Frege's Sinn -
"sense" - "intension") and may also provide reference (Frege's Bedeutung -
"reference" - "extension"), but I think that it is important to recognize
that not all signs fit this model. Moreover,

A sneeze is often interpreted as evidence about someone's state of health,
and a clap of thunder may indicate an approaching storm.
These can also be interpreted differently by my dog, but it is still
information about something, even though I would not say that they mean
something to that interpreter. Both of these phenomena can be said to
provide reference to something other than that sound itself, but when we
use such phrases as "it means you have a cold" or "that means that a storm
is approaching" we are using the term "means" somewhat metaphorically (most
often in place of the more accurate term "indicates").

And it is even more of a stretch to use this term with respect to pictures
or diagrams.
So no one would say the a specific feature like the ears in a caricatured
face mean something.
Though if the drawing is employed in a political cartoon e.g. with
exaggerated ears and the whole cartoon is assigned a meaning then perhaps
the exaggeration of this feature may become meaningful. And yet we would
probably agree that every line of the drawing provides information
contributing to that meaning.

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.
For this reason, as I have suggested before, I would love to have a
conversation in which we try to agree about which different uses of the
information concept are appropriate for which contexts. 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.

Thus you can analyze intrinsic properties of an informing medium [e.g.
Shannon etc etc] irrespective of these other properties, but can't make
sense of referential properties [e.g. what something is about, conveys]
without considering intrinsic sign vehicle properties, and can't deal with
normative properties [e.g. use value, contribution to function,
significance, accuracy, truth] without also considering referential
properties [e.g. what it is about].

In this respect, I am also in agreement with those who have pointed out
that whenever we consider referential and normative properties we must also
recognize that these are not intrinsic and are interpretation-relative.
Nevertheless, these are legitimate and not merely subjective or
nonscientific properties, just not physically intrinsic. I am sympathetic
with those among us who want to restrict analysis to intrinsic properties
alone, and who defend the unimpeachable value that we have derived from the
formal foundations that Shannon's original analysis initiated, but this
should not be used to deny the legitimacy of attempting to develop a more
general theory of information that also attempts to discover formal
principles underlying these higher level properties implicit in the
concept.

I take this to be the intent behind Pedro's list. And I think it would be
worth asking for each of his points: Which information paradigm within this
hoierarchy does it assume?

— Terry
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```

### Re: [Fis] Fw: PRINCIPLES OF IS. The Pre-Science of Information

```> in the different organization layers, but at the same time they should try
> to be consistent with each other and provide a coherent vision of the
> information world.
> And second, about organizing the present discussion, I bet I was too
> optimistic with the commentators scheme. In any case, for having a first
> glance on the whole scheme, the opinions of philosophers would be very
> interesting. In order to warm up the discussion, may I ask John Collier,
> Joseph Brenner and Rafael Capurro to send some initial comments /
> criticisms? Later on, if the commentators idea flies, Koichiro Matsuno and
> Wolfgang Hofkirchner would be very valuable voices to put a perspectival
> end to this info principles discussion (both attended the Madrid bygone FIS
> 1994 conference)...
> But this is FIS list, unpredictable in between the frozen states and the
> chaotic states! So, everybody is invited to get ahead at his own, with the
> only customary limitation of two messages per week.
>
> Best wishes, have a good weekend --Pedro
>
> *10 **PRINCIPLES OF INFORMATION SCIENCE*
>
> 1. Information is information, neither matter nor energy.
>
> 2. Information is comprehended into structures, patterns, messages, or
> flows.
>
> 3. Information can be recognized, can be measured, and can be  processed
> (either computationally or non-computationally).
>
> 4. Information flows are essential organizers of life's self-production
> processes--anticipating, shaping, and mixing up with the accompanying
> energy flows.
>
> 5. Communication/information exchanges among adaptive life-cycles underlie
> the complexity of biological organizations at all scales.
>
> 6. It is symbolic language what conveys the essential communication
> exchanges of the human species--and constitutes the core of its "social
> nature."
>
> 7. Human information may be systematically converted into efficient
> knowledge, by following the "knowledge instinct" and further up by applying
> rigorous methodologies.
>
> 8. Human cognitive limitations on knowledge accumulation are partially
> overcome via the social organization of "knowledge ecologies."
>
> 9. Knowledge circulates and recombines socially, in a continuous
> actualization that involves "creative destruction" of fields and
> disciplines: the intellectual *Ars Magna.*
>
> 10. Information science proposes a new, radical vision on the information
> and knowledge flows that support individual lives, with profound
> consequences for scientific-philosophical practice and for social
> governance.
>
> --
> -
> 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 0
> 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
> Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 <+34%20976%2071%2035%2026> (&
> -
>
> --
>
> ___
> Fis mailing list
> Fis@listas.unizar.es
> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
>
>
> ___
> Fis mailing list
> Fis@listas.unizar.es
> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
>
>

--
Professor Terrence W. Deacon
University of California, Berkeley
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```

### Re: [Fis] INFORMATION: JUST A MATTER OF MATH

```gt; to be consistent with each other and provide a coherent vision of the
> information world.
> And second, about organizing the present discussion, I bet I was too
> optimistic with the commentators scheme. In any case, for having a first
> glance on the whole scheme, the opinions of philosophers would be very
> interesting. In order to warm up the discussion, may I ask John Collier,
> Joseph Brenner and Rafael Capurro to send some initial comments /
> criticisms? Later on, if the commentators idea flies, Koichiro Matsuno and
> Wolfgang Hofkirchner would be very valuable voices to put a perspectival
> end to this info principles discussion(both attended the Madrid bygone
> FIS 1994 conference)...
> But this is FIS list, unpredictable in between the frozen states and the
> chaotic states! So, everybody is invited to get ahead at his own, with the
> only customary limitation of two messages per week.
>
> Best wishes, have a good weekend --Pedro
>
> *10 **PRINCIPLES OF INFORMATION SCIENCE*
>
> 1. Information is information, neither matter nor energy.
>
> 2. Information is comprehended into structures, patterns, messages, or
> flows.
>
> 3. Information can be recognized, can be measured, and can be  processed
> (either computationally or non-computationally).
>
> 4. Information flows are essential organizers of life's self-production
> processes--anticipating, shaping, and mixing up with the accompanying
> energy flows.
>
> 5. Communication/information exchanges among adaptive life-cycles underlie
> the complexity of biological organizations at all scales.
>
> 6. It is symbolic language what conveys the essential communication
> exchanges of the human species--and constitutes the core of its "social
> nature."
>
> 7. Human information may be systematically converted into efficient
> knowledge, by following the "knowledge instinct" and further up by applying
> rigorous methodologies.
>
> 8. Human cognitive limitations on knowledge accumulation are partially
> overcome via the social organization of "knowledge ecologies."
>
> 9. Knowledge circulates and recombines socially, in a continuous
> actualization that involves "creative destruction" of fields and
> disciplines: the intellectual *Ars Magna.*
>
> 10. Information science proposes a new, radical vision on the information
> and knowledge flows that support individual lives, with profound
> consequences for scientific-philosophical practice and for social
> governance.
>
> --
> -
> 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 0
> 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
> Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 <+34%20976%2071%2035%2026> (&
> -
>
>
>
>
> ___
> Fis mailing list
> Fis@listas.unizar.es
> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
>
> ___
> Fis mailing list
> Fis@listas.unizar.es
> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
>
>
> http://iridia.ulb.ac.be/~marchal/
>
>
>
>
>
>
> ___
> Fis mailing list
> Fis@listas.unizar.es
> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
>
>

--
Professor Terrence W. Deacon
University of California, Berkeley
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```

### Re: [Fis] A Curious Story

```How many readers recall the fear that preceded the first test of a fission
bomb, and then later of a fusion bomb, that such an explosion could ignite
the earth's atmosphere? Sound familiar?
I can even recall the reasoning that led some to argue that reaching the
speed of sound in the atmosphere would  cause any object (aircraft) to
shatter as though striking an immovable solid object.

I don't mention these cases to say that one should always ignore such
worries, but rather to explore the abductive and statistical reasoning
processes that we often use to make such decisions.
This is loosely related to the reasoning that causes lottery ticket
purchases to soar as both the probability of winning plummets as the prize
value grows. The psychology is well studied and yet the empirical science
side of this issue is not. We have a very minimal understanding of how to
assess the "probable significance" of alternative unproved theoretical
predictions. This is of course an issue of understanding the referential
and normative aspects of information.

— Terry

On Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 3:06 AM, PEDRO CLEMENTE MARIJUAN FERNANDEZ <
pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es> wrote:

> Dear FISers,
>
> Herewith the Lecture inaugurating our 2017 sessions.
> I really hope that this Curious Story is just that, a curiosity.
> But in science we should not look for hopes but for arguments and
> counter-arguments...
>
> Best wishes to All and exciting times for the New Year!
> --Pedro
>
>
>
> --
> *De:* Otto E. Rossler [oeros...@yahoo.com]
> *Enviado el:* miércoles, 04 de enero de 2017 17:51
> *Para:* PEDRO CLEMENTE MARIJUAN FERNANDEZ
> *Asunto:* NY session
> --
>
> *A Curious Story*
>
> Otto E. Rossler, University of Tübingen, Germany
>
> Maybe I am the only one who finds it curious. Which fact would then make
> it even more curious for me. It goes like this: Someone says “I can save
> your house from a time bomb planted into the basement” and you respond by
> saying “I don’t care.” This curious story is taken from the Buddhist
> bible.
>
> It of course depends on who is offering to help. It could be a lunatic
> person claiming that he alone can save the planet from a time-bomb about to
> be planted into it. In that case, there would be no reason to worry. On the
> other hand, it could also be that you, the manager, are a bit high at the
> moment so that you don't fully appreciate the offer made to you. How
> serious is my offer herewith made to you today?
>
> I only say that for eight years' time already, there exists no
> counter-proof in the literature to my at first highly publicized proof of
> danger. I was able to demonstrate that the miniature black holes officially
> attempted to be produced at CERN do possess two radically new properties:
>
>
>- they cannot Hawking evaporate
>- they grow exponentially inside matter
>
>
> If these two findings hold water, the current attempt at producing
> ultra-slow miniature black holes on earth near the town of Geneva means
> that the slower-most specimen will get stuck inside earth and grow there
> exponentially to turn the planet into a 2-cm black hole after several of
> undetectable growth. Therefore the current attempt of CERN's to produce
> them near Geneva is a bit curious.
>
> What is so curious about CERN's attempt? It is the fact that no one finds
> it curious. I am reminded of an old joke: The professor informs the
> candidate about the outcome of the oral exam with the following words “You
> are bound to laugh but you have flunked the test.” I never understood the
> punchline. I likewise cannot understand why a never refuted proof of the
> biggest danger of history leaves everyone unconcerned. Why NOT check an
> unattended piece of luggage on the airport called Earth?
>
> To my mind, this is the most curious story ever -- for the very reason
> that everyone finds it boring. A successful counter-proof would thus
> alleviate but a single person’s fears – mine. You, my dear reader, are thus
> my last hope that you might be able to explain the punch line to me: “Why
> is it that it does not matter downstairs that the first floor is ablaze?” I
> am genuinely curious to learn why attempting planetocide is fun.  Are you
> not?
>
> For J.O.R.
> ---
>
>
>
>
> ___
> Fis mailing list
> Fis@listas.unizar.es
> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
>
>

--
Professor Terrence W. Deacon
University of California, Berkeley
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```

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

```Leot remarks:

"... we need a kind of calculus of redundancy."

I agree whole-heartedly.

What for Shannon was the key to error-correction is thus implicitly
normative. But of course assessment of normativity (accurate/inacurate,
useful/unuseful, significant/insignificant) must necessarily involve an
"outside" perspective, i.e. more than merely the statistics of sign medium
chartacteristics. Redundancy is also implicit in concepts like
communication, shared understanding, iconism, and Fano's "mutual
information." But notice too that redundancy is precisely non-information
in a strictly statistical understanding of that concept; a redundant
message is not itself "news" — and yet it can reduce the uncertainty of
what is "message" and what is "noise." It is my intuition that by
developing a formalization (e.g. a "calculus") using the complemetary
notions of redundancy and constraint that we will ultimately be able
formulate a route from Shannon to the higher-order conceptions of
information, in which referential and normative features can be precisely
formulated.

There is an open door, though it still seems pretty dark on the other side.
So one must risk stumbling in order to explore that space.

Happy 2017, Terry

On Sat, Jan 7, 2017 at 9:02 AM, John Collier <colli...@ukzn.ac.za> wrote:

> Dear List,
>
>
>
> I agree with Terry that we should not be bound by our own partial
> theories. We need an integrated view of information that shows its
> relations in all of its various forms. There is a family resemblance in the
> ways it is used, and some sort of taxonomy can be constructed. I recommend
> that of Luciano Floridi. His approach is not unified (unlike my own,
> reported on this list), but compatible with it, and is a place to start,
> though it needs expansion and perhaps modification. There may be some
> unifying concept of information, but its application to all the various
> ways it has been used will not be obvious, and a sufficiently general
> formulation my well seem trivial, especially to those interested in the
> vital communicative and meaningful aspects of information. I also agree
> with Loet that pessimism, however justified, is not the real problem. To
> some extent it is a matter of maturity, which takes both time and
> development, not to mention giving up cherished juvenile enthusiasms.
>
>
>
> I might add that constructivism, with its positivist underpinnings, tends
> to lead to nominalism and relativism about whatever is out there. I believe
> that this is a major hindrance to a unified understanding. I understand
> that it appeared in reaction to an overzealous and simplistic realism about
> science and other areas, but I think it through the baby out with the
> bathwater.
>
>
>
> I have been really ill, so my lack of communication. I am pleased to see
> this discussion, which is necessary for the field to develop maturity. I
> thought I should add my bit, and with everyone a Happy New Year, with all
> its possibilities.
>
>
>
> Warmest regards to everyone,
>
> John
>
>
>
> *From:* Fis [mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] *On Behalf Of *Loet
> Leydesdorff
> *Sent:* December 31, 2016 12:16 AM
> *To:* 'Terrence W. DEACON' <dea...@berkeley.edu>; 'Dai Griffiths' <
> dai.griffith...@gmail.com>; 'Foundations of Information Science
> Information Science' <fis@listas.unizar.es>
>
> *Subject:* Re: [Fis] What is information? and What is life?
>
>
>
> We agree that such a theory is a ways off, though you some are far more
> pessimisitic about its possibility than me. I believe that we would do best
> to focus on the hole that needs filling in rather than assuming that it is
> an unfillable given.
>
>
>
> Dear Terrence and colleagues,
>
>
>
> It is not a matter of pessimism. We have the example of “General Systems
> Theory” of the 1930s (von Bertalanffy  and others). Only gradually, one
> realized the biological metaphor driving it. In my opinion, we have become
> reflexively skeptical about claims of “generality” because we know the
> statements are framed within paradigms. Translations are needed in this
> fractional manifold.
>
>
>
> I agree that we are moving in a fruitful direction. Your book “Incomplete
> Nature” and “The Symbolic Species” have been important. The failing options
> cannot be observed, but have to be constructed culturally, that is, in
> discourse. It seems to me that we need a kind of calculus of redundancy.
> Perspectives which are reflexively aware of this need and do not assume an
> unproblematic “given” or “natural” are perhaps to be privileged
> nonetheless. The unobservbable options have first to be specified and we
> need```

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

```Thank you Francesco for a thoughtful commentary. I think that it is a
wonderful reflection with which to mark the end of this tumultuous year and
challenging discussions. Because I was moved by your senbtiment I crudely
translate your words below. I hope it captures some of the elegance of your
comment, especially the poetic last two lines. Thank you.

Dear Terry, Joseph and All,

Although it is difficult to pursue and achieve a degree of harmony despite
dis-agreements, or to find a concrete logic or practical philosophy that is
"good", "right" and "real",  in order to understand what exists and to
develop practical knowledge, there must be communication between humans
that can lead recursively to a co-ordination of meaning. COMMUNICATION
cannot be separated from information and inevitably has a sort of
economics. So I think that the “use-value” of a shape or form applies in
all fields, including physics, biology, mathematics, music, poetry, art,
sculpture, etc. Thus, a piece of iron is valued less than a nail and a nail
is valued less than a screw; a cell is valued less than a tissue and a
tissue is valued less than an organ and a body is valued less than an
organism; an undifferentiated stem cell (biological currency) is valued
more than a differentiated cell; a musical note or a color is valued less
than a musical score or a picture; a word is valued more than the
individual vowels or consonants and less than a poem; a mathematical symbol
is valued less than an equation or function; a point or a line is valued
less than a geometric figure, etc. All forms must be MEANT, which is why
the science of existence, or the existence of science, is ALWAYS BASED on
the Triad: signification, information, communication. Finally,
dis-equilibrium is vital and the breaking of symmetries or discontinuities
can be creative. So you have to get busy using the elective affinities or
synergies that are born between some of you or us to build, not to destroy,
in order to generalize knowledge. Rather than remove a brick, it is better
to insert one, not to build walls of separation or opposition, but bridges
of communication. There will be others who come after us to bring other
bricks.

On Thu, Dec 29, 2016 at 9:54 PM, Francesco Rizzo <
13francesco.ri...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Cari Terry, Joseph e Tutti,
> anche se è più difficile da perseguire e realizzare l'armonia del
> dis-accordo o la logica concreta o la filosofia pratica può essere "bella",
> "buona", "giusta" e "vera", per comprendere la prassi dell'esistenza e il
> dominio della conoscenza, nonché per svolgere la comunicazione tra gli
> esseri umani come coordinazione comportamentale ricorsiva descritta
> semanticamente. COMUNICAZIONE che non può prescindere dall'INFORMAZIONE (in
> economia, ad es., utilizzo il valore della forma o la forma del valore che
> secondo me vale in tutti i campi della fisica, della biologia, della
> matematica, della musica, della poesia, dall'arte, della scultura, etc.):
> un pezzo di ferro vale meno di un chiodo e un chiodo vale meno di una vite;
> una cellula vale meno di un tessuto e un tessuto vale meno di un organo e
> un organo vale meno di un organismo;una cellula staminale indifferenziata
> (moneta biologica) vale più di una cellula differenziata; una nota o un
> colore vale meno di uno spartito musicale o di un quadro; una parola vale
> più delle singole vocali o consonanti e meno di una poesia; un simbolo
> matematico vale meno di un'equazione o di una funzione; un punto o una
> linea vale meno di una figura geometrica, etc. Qualunque forma deve essere
> SIGNIFICATA, ecco perché la scienza dell'esistenza o l'esistenza della
> scienza è SEMPRE BASATA sulla Triade: significazione, informazione,
> comunicazione. Infine,il dis-equilibrio è vitale e la rottura delle
> simmetrie o le discontinuità sono creative.
> Quindi bisogna darsi da fare utilizzando le affinità elettive o sinergie
> che sono nate anche tra alcuni di Voi o di Noi: per costruire, non per
> distruggere arrivando dove si può arrivare per generalizzare il sapere:
> piuttosto che toglierlo un mattone è meglio metterlo, non per costruire
> muri di separazione o contrapposizioni, ma ponti di comunicazione. Saranno
> quelli che vengono dopo a portare altri mattoni.
> Francesco
>
> 2016-12-29 23:31 GMT+01:00 Terrence W. DEACON <dea...@berkeley.edu>:
>
>> Dear Loet and others,
>>
>> I feel as though we are in search of a common general theory, but from
>> divergent perspectives and expectations. Of course we should not merely
>> assume a common general theopry of information if one doesn't yet exist. We
>> agree that such a theory is a ways off, though you some are far more
>> pessimisitic about its possibility than me. I believe that we would do best
>>```

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

```this is the level that Shannon lives on),
>> biological interaction such body temperature relative to touch ice or heat
>> source, social interaction such as this forum started by Pedro, economic
>> interaction such as the stock market, ... [Lerner, page 1].
>>
>>
>>
>> We are in need of a theory of meaning. Otherwise, one cannot measure
>> meaningful information. In a previous series of communications we discussed
>> redundancy from this perspective.
>>
>>
>>
>> Lerner introduces mathematical expectation E[Sap] (difference between of
>> a priory entropy [sic] and a posteriori entropy), which is distinguished
>> from the notion of relative information Iap (Learner, page 7).
>>
>>
>>
>> ) expresses in bits of information the information generated when the a
>> priori distribution is turned into the a posteriori one . This follows
>> within the Shannon framework without needing an observer. I use this
>> equation, for example, in my 1995-book *The Challenge of Scientometrics*
>> (Chapters 8 and 9), with a reference to Theil (1972). The relative
>> information is defined as the *H*/*H*(max).
>>
>>
>>
>> I agree that the intuitive notion of information is derived from the
>> Latin “in-formare” (Varela, 1979). But most of us do no longer use “force”
>> and “mass” in the intuitive (Aristotelian) sense. J The proliferation of
>> the meanings of information if confused with “meaningful information” is
>> indicative for an “index sui et falsi”, in my opinion. The repetitive
>> discussion lames the progression at this list. It is “like asking whether a
>> glass is half empty or half full” (Hayles, 1990, p. 59).
>>
>>
>>
>> This act of forming forming an information process results in the
>> construction of an observer that is the owner [holder] of information.
>>
>>
>>
>> The system of reference is then no longer the message, but the observer
>> who provides meaning to the information (uncertainty). I agree that this is
>> a selection process, but the variation first has to be specified
>> independently (before it can be selected.
>>
>>
>>
>> And Lerner introduces the threshold between objective and subjective
>> observes (page 27).   This leads to a consideration selection and
>> cooperation that includes entanglement.
>>
>>
>>
>> I don’t see a direct relation between information and entanglement. An
>> observer can be entangled.
>>
>>
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Loet
>>
>>
>>
>> PS. Pedro: Let me assume that this is my second posting in the week which
>> ends tonight. L.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ___
>> Fis mailing list
>> Fis@listas.unizar.es
>> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>>
>>
>> 4 Austin Dr. Prior Park St. James, Barbados BB23004
>> Tel:   246-421-8855 <%28246%29%20421-8855>
>> Cell:  246-243-5938 <%28246%29%20243-5938>
>>
>>
>> ___
>> Fis mailing
>> listFis@listas.unizar.eshttp://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
>>
>> --
>> -
>>
>> Professor David (Dai) Griffiths
>> Professor of Education
>> School of Education and Psychology
>> The University of Bolton
>> Bolton, BL3 5AB
>>
>> Office: T3 02http://www.bolton.ac.uk/IEC
>>
>> SKYPE: daigriffiths
>> UK Mobile +44 (0)7491151559 <+44%207491%20151559>
>> Spanish Mobile: + 34 687955912 <+34%20687%2095%2059%2012>
>> Work: + 44 (0)7826917705 <+44%207826%20917705>
>> email:
>>d.e.griffi...@bolton.ac.uk
>>dai.griffith...@gmail.com
>>
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>
> Professor David (Dai) Griffiths
> Professor of Education
> School of Education and Psychology
> The University of Bolton
> Bolton, BL3 5AB
>
> Office: T3 02http://www.bolton.ac.uk/IEC
>
> SKYPE: daigriffiths
> UK Mobile +44 (0)7491151559 <+44%207491%20151559>
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> Work: + 44 (0)7826917705 <+44%207826%20917705>
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>dai.griffith...@gmail.com
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### Re: [Fis] What is information? and What is life?

```able us to import metaphors from other
>> backgrounds (e.g., auto-catalysis).
>>
>>
>>
>> For example, one of us communicated with me why I was completely wrong,
>> and made the argument with reference to Kullback-Leibler divergence between
>> two probability distributions. Since we probably will not have “a general
>> theory” of information, the apparatus in which information is formally and
>> operationally defined—Bar-Hillel once called it “information calculus”—can
>> carry this interdisciplinary function with precision and rigor. Otherwise,
>> we can only be respectful of each other’s research traditions. J
>>
>>
>>
>> I wish you all a splendid 2017,
>>
>> Loet
>>
>>
>> --
>>
>> Loet Leydesdorff
>>
>> Professor, University of Amsterdam
>> Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
>>
>> l...@leydesdorff.net ; http://www.leydesdorff.net/
>> Associate Faculty, SPRU, <http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/>University of
>> Sussex;
>>
>> Guest Professor Zhejiang Univ. <http://www.zju.edu.cn/english/>,
>> Hangzhou; Visiting Professor, ISTIC,
>> <http://www.istic.ac.cn/Eng/brief_en.html>Beijing;
>>
>> Visiting Professor, Birkbeck <http://www.bbk.ac.uk/>, University of
>> London;
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> *From:* Fis [mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] *On Behalf Of *Terrence
>> W. DEACON
>> *Sent:* Thursday, December 22, 2016 5:33 AM
>> *To:* fis
>>
>> *Subject:* Re: [Fis] What is information? and What is life?
>>
>>
>>
>> Against information fundamentalism
>>
>>
>>
>> Rather than fighting over THE definition of information, I suggest that
>> we stand back from the polemics for a moment and recognize that the term is
>> being used in often quite incompatible ways in different domains, and that
>> there may be value in paying attention to the advantages and costs of each.
>> To ignore these differences, to fail to explore the links and dependencies
>> between them, and to be indifferent to the different use values gained or
>> sacrificed by each, I believe that we end up undermining the very
>> enterprise we claim to be promoting.
>>
>>
>>
>> We currently lack broadly accepted terms to unambiguously distinguish
>> these divergent uses and, even worse, we lack a theoretical framework for
>> understanding their relationships to one another.
>>
>> So provisionally I would argue that we at least need to distinguish three
>> hierarchically related uses of the concept:
>>
>>
>>
>> 1. Physical information: Information as intrinsically measurable medium
>> properties with respect to their capacity to support 2 or 3 irrespective of
>> any specific instantiation of 2 or 3.
>>
>>
>>
>> 2. Referential information: information as a non-intrinsic relation to
>> something other than medium properties (1) that a given medium can provide
>> (i.e. reference or content) irrespective of any specific instantiation of 3.
>>
>>
>>
>> 3. Normative information: Information as the use value provided by a
>> given referential relation (2) with respect to an end-directed dynamic that
>> is susceptible to contextual factors that are not directly accessible (i.e.
>> functional value or significance).
>>
>>
>>
>> Unfortunately, because of the history of using the same term in an
>> unmodified way in each relevant domain irrespective of the others there are
>> often pointless arguments of a purely definitional nature.
>>
>>
>>
>> In linguistic theory an analogous three-part hierarchic partitioning of
>> theory IS widely accepted.
>>
>>
>>
>> 1. syntax
>>
>> 2. semantics
>>
>> 3. pragmatics
>>
>>
>>
>> Thus by analogy some have proposed the distinction between
>>
>>
>>
>> 1. syntactic information (aka Shannon)
>>
>> 2. semantic information (aka meaning)
>>
>> 3. pragmatic information (aka useful information)
>>
>>
>>
>> This has also often been applied to the philosophy of information (e.g.
>> see The Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy entry for ‘information’).
>> Unfortunately, the language-centric framing of this distinction can be
>> somewhat misleading. The metaphoric extension of the terms ‘syntax’ and
>> ‘semantics’ to apply to iconic (e.g. pictorial) or indexical (e.g.
>&```

### [Fis] _ Re: re Gödel discussion

```cles, let me attempt to sketch the crux of the case
> presented.
>
> The Liar Paradox contains an important lesson about meaning. A statement
> that says of itself that it is false, gives rise to a paradox: if true, it
> must be false, and if false, it must be true. Something has to be amiss
> here. In fact, what is wrong is the statement in question is not a
> statement at all; it is a pseudo-statement, something that looks like a
> statement but is incomplete or vacuous. Like the pseudo-statement that
> merely says of itself that it is true, it says nothing. Since such
> self-referential truth-evaluations say nothing, they are neither true nor
> false. Indeed, the predicates ‘true’ and ‘false’ can only be meaningfully
> applied to what is already a meaningful whole, one that already says
> something.
>
> The so-called Strengthened Liar Paradox features a pseudo-statement that
> says of itself that it is neither true nor false. It is paradoxical in that
> it apparently says something that is true while saying that what it says it
> is not true. However, the paradox dissolves when one realizes that it says
> something that is apparently true only because it is neither true nor
> false. However, if it is neither true nor false, it is consequently not a
> statement, and hence it says nothing. Since it says nothing, it cannot say
> something that is true. The reason why it appears to say something true is
> that one and the same string of words may be used to make either of two
> declarations, one a pseudo-statement, the other a true statement, depending
> on how the words refer.
>
> Consider the following example. Suppose we give the name ‘Joe’ to what I
> am saying, and what I am saying is that Joe is neither true nor false. When
> I say it, it is a pseudo-statement that is neither true nor false; when you
> say it, it is a statement that is true. The sentence leads a double life,
> as it were, in that it may be used to make two different statements
> depending on who says it. A similar situation can also arise with a Liar
> sentence: if the liar says that what he says is false, then he is saying
> nothing; if I say that what he says is false, then I am making a false
>
> This may look like a silly peculiarity of spoken language, one best
> ignored in formal logic, but it is ultimately what is wrong with the Gödel
> sentence that plays a key role in Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem. That
> sentence is a string of symbols deemed well-formed according to the
> formation rules of the system used by Gödel, but which, on the intended
> interpretation of the system, is ambiguous: the sentence has two different
> interpretations, a self-referential truth-evaluation that is neither true
> nor false or a true statement about that self-referential statement. In
> such a system, Gödel’s conclusion holds. However, it is a mistake to
> conclude that no possible formalization of Arithmetic can be complete. In a
> formal system that distinguishes between the two possible readings of the
> Gödel sentence (an operation that would considerably complicate the
> system), such would no longer be the case.
> ****
>
> Cheers,
> Maxine
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```

### Re: [Fis] Information and Locality Introduction

```physical science and
>> engineering. The towering influence of this line of thought, both with
>> positive and negative overtones, cannot be overestimated. Most attempts
>> to enlarge informational thought and to extend it to life, economies,
>> societies, etc. continue to be but a reformulation of the former ideas
>> with little added value. See one of the last creatures: "Why Information
>> Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies" (2015), by Cesar
>> Hidalgo (prof. at MIT).
>>
>> In my opinion, the extension of those classic ideas to life are very
>> fertile from the technological point of view, from the "theory of
>> molecular machines" for DNA-RNA-protein matching to genomic-proteomic
>> and other omics'  "big data". But all that technobrilliance does not
>> open per se new avenues in order to produce innovative thought about the
>> information stuff of human societies. Alternatively we may think that
>> the accelerated digitalization of our world and the cyborg-symbiosis of
>> human information and computer information do not demand much brain
>> teasing, as it is a matter that social evolution is superseding by itself.
>>
>> The point I have ocasionally raised in this list is whether all the new
>> difference in the "way of being in the world" between life and inert
>> matter (& mechanism & computation)---or not. In the recent compilation
>> by Plamen and colleagues from the former INBIOSA initiative,  I have
>> argued about that fundamental difference in the intertwining of
>> communication/self-production, how signaling is strictly caught in the
>> advancement of a life cycle  (see paper "How the living is in the
>> world"). Life is based on an inusitate informational formula unknown in
>> inert matter. And the very organization of life provides an original
>> starting point to think anew about information --of course, not the only
>> one.
>>
>> So, to conclude this "tangent", I find quite exciting the discussion we
>> are starting now, say from the classical info positions onwards, in
>> particularly to be compared in some future with another session (in
>> preparation) with similar ambition but starting from say the
>> phenomenology of the living. Struggling for a
>> convergence/complementarity of outcomes would be a cavalier effort.
>>
>> All the best--Pedro
>>
>>
>>
>> Steven Ericsson-Zenith wrote:
>>
>> ...The subject is one that has concerned me ever since I completed my PhD
>> in 1992. I came away from defending my thesis, essentially on large scale
>> parallel computation, with the strong intuition that I had disclosed much
>> more concerning the little that we know, than I had offered either a
>> theoretical or engineering solution.
>>
>> For the curious, a digital copy of this thesis can be found among the
>> reports of CRI, MINES ParisTech, formerly ENSMP,
>> http://www.cri.ensmp.fr/classement/doc/A-232.pdf, it is also available
>> as a paper copy on Amazon.
>>
>>
>> Like many that have been involved in microprocessor and instruction
>> set/language design, using mathematical methods, we share the physical
>> concerns of a generation earlier, people like John Von Neumann, Alan
>> Turing, and Claude Shannon. In other words, a close intersection between
>> physical science and machine engineering.
>>
>>
>> ...I will then discuss some historical issues in particular referencing
>> Benjamin Peirce, Albert Einstein and Alan Turing. And finally discuss the
>> contemporary issues, as I see them, in biophysics, biology, and associated
>> disciplines, reaching into human and other social constructions, perhaps
>> touching on cosmology and the extended role of information theory in
>> mathematical physics...
>>
>>
>>
>> ___
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>> Fis@listas.unizar.es
>>
>> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> -
>> 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
>> -
>>
>>
>> ___
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>> http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis
>>
>>
>>
>> ___
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>>
>
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>

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```

### Re: [Fis] It-from-Bit and information interpretation of QM

```Dear Marcus,

Thank you for this simple and absolutely essential intervention. Allowing
ourselves the freedom to use the same term—'information' which is the
defining term for this entire enterprise—for such different relationships
as intrinsic signal properties and extrinsic referential and normative
properties is a recipe for irrelevance.

— Terry

On Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 10:33 AM, Loet Leydesdorff l...@leydesdorff.net
wrote:

Dear Marcus and colleagues,

Katherine Hayles (1990, pp. 59f.) compared this discussion about the
definition of “information” with asking whether a glass is half empty or
half full. Shannon-type information is a measure of the variation or
uncertainty, whereas Bateson’s “difference which makes a difference”
presumes a system of reference for which the information can make a
difference and thus be meaningful.

In my opinion, the advantage of measuring uncertainty in bits cannot be
underestimated, since the operationalization and the measurement provide
avenues to hypothesis testing and thus control of speculation (Theil,
1972). However, the semantic confusion can also be solved by using the
words “uncertainty” or “probabilistic entropy” when Shannon-type
information is meant.

I note that “a difference which makes a difference” cannot so easily be
measured. J I agree that it is more precise to speak of “meaningful
information” in that case. The meaning has to be specified in the system of
reference (e.g., physics and/or biology).

Best,

Loet

References:

Hayles, N. K. (1990). *Chaos Bound; Orderly Disorder in Contemporary
Literature and Science *Ithaca, etc.: Cornell University.

Theil, H. (1972). *Statistical Decomposition Analysis*. Amsterdam/
London: North-Holland.

--

Loet Leydesdorff

*Emeritus* University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

l...@leydesdorff.net ; http://www.leydesdorff.net/
Honorary Professor, SPRU, http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/University of
Sussex;

Guest Professor Zhejiang Univ. http://www.zju.edu.cn/english/,
Hangzhou; Visiting Professor, ISTIC,
http://www.istic.ac.cn/Eng/brief_en.htmlBeijing;

Visiting Professor, Birkbeck http://www.bbk.ac.uk/, University of
London;

*From:* Fis [mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] *On Behalf Of *Marcus
Abundis
*Sent:* Friday, June 26, 2015 7:02 PM
*To:* fis@listas.unizar.es
*Subject:* [Fis] It-from-Bit and information interpretation of QM

Dear Andrei,

I would ask for clarification on whether you speak of information in
your examples as something that has innate meaning or something that is
innately meaningless . . . which has been a core issue in earlier
exchanges. If this issue of meaning versus meaningless in the use of
the term information is not resolved (for the group?) it seems hard (to
me) to have truly meaningful exchanges . . . without having to put a
meaningful or meaningless qualifier in front of information every
time it is use.

Thanks.

*Marcus Abundis*

[image: http://d13pix9kaak6wt.cloudfront.net/signature/colorbar.png]

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```

### Re: [Fis] New Year Lecture: Aftermath

```,and to reconsider even the most unquestioned assumptions about
thenature of information and the origins of its semiotic properties.
I am aware that many who are following this discussion have acareer-long
interest in some aspect of human communication orcomputation. In these realms
many researchers —including many ofyou— have provided sophisticated
analytical tools and quite extensivetheories for describing these processes.
Though it may at first seemas though I am questioning the validity of some of
this (now accepted)body of theory, for the most part I too find this adequate
for thespecific pragmatic issues usually considered. The essay I posted
didnot critique any existing theory. It rather explored some assumptionsthat
most theories take for granted and need not address.
I believe, however, that there remain a handful of issues that havebeen set
aside and taken as givens that need to be reconsidered. Forthe most part,
these assumptions don't demand to be unpacked in orderto produce useful
descriptions of communicative and informationprocesses at the machine or
interpersonal level. Among these givens isthe question of what is minimally
necessary for a system or process tobe interpretive, in the sense of being
able to utilize presentintrinsic physical properties of things to refer to
absent ordisplaced properties or phenomena. This research question is
ignorablewhen it is possible to assume human or even animal interpreters
aspart of the system one is analyzing. At some point, however, itbecomes
relevant to not only be more explicit about what is beingassumed, but also to
explain how this interpretive capacity couldpossibly originate in a universe
where direct contiguity of causalinfluence is the rule. Although, this may
appear to some readers as aquestion that is merely of philosophical concern,
I believe thatfailure to consider it will impede progress in exploring some
of themost pressing scientific issues of our time, including both the
naturean origins of living and mental processes, and possibly even
quantumprocesses.
In this respect, my exposition was not in any respect critical of
otherapproaches but was rather an effort to solicit collaboration in
digginginto issues that have —for legitimate pragmatic reasons— not been
asignificant focus of most current theoretical analysis. I understand whysome
readers felt that the whole approach was peripheral to their
currentinterests. Or who thought that I was re-opening debates that had
long-agobeen set aside. Or who just thought that I was working at the wrong
level,on the conviction that the answer to such questions lies in other
realms, e.g. quantum theories or panpsychic philosophies. To those of you who
fellinto these categories, I beg your indulgence.
The issues involved are not merely of philosophical interest. They are
ofcritical relevance to understanding biological and neurological
information.So if there are any readers of this forum who are interested in
the issue of the whether reference and significance are physically
explainable irrespectiveof human subjective observation, and who have been
quietly reflecting on myproposals, I would be happy to carry on an email
dialogue outside ofthis forum.
For the rest, thank you for your time, and the opportunity to presentthese
ideas.
Sincerely, Terrence Deacon (dea...@berkeley.edu)

-- Professor Terrence W. DeaconUniversity of California, Berkeley

--
-
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 (
-

--
-
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 (
-

--
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University of California, Berkeley
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```

### Re: [Fis] New Year Lecture: Aftermath

```Hi Guy,

Yes. At the very basic level that I explore with these ultra simple model
systems it would not be easy to distinguish perception and reaction. Both
involve interpretive steps, in that only some material
features—specifically those with potentially disruptive or constructive
potential for system organization—are assigned informative value in
consequence of the self-rectifying dynamics they correlate with.

— Terry

On Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 11:09 AM, Guy A Hoelzer hoel...@unr.edu wrote:

Hi Terry,

I have used the term ‘perception’ in referring to in-formation that
affects internal structure or dynamics.  This would contrast with forms of
potential information that might pass through the system without being
‘perceived’.  For example, we have a finite number of mechanisms we call
senses, each of which is sensitive to particular modes of information we
encounter in our environment, but we are not able to perceive every form of
information that we encounter (e.g., UV light).  I think you are using the
term ‘interpretation’ to describe the same thing.  Do you agree?  Do you
think the notions of perception and interpretation are effectively the same
thing?

Cheers,

Guy

Guy Hoelzer, Associate Professor
Department of Biology

Phone:  775-784-4860
Fax:  775-784-1302
hoel...@unr.edu

On Apr 24, 2015, at 10:22 AM, Terrence W. DEACON dea...@berkeley.edu
wrote:

Hi Pedro,

Indeed, you capture a fundamental point of my work. I entirely agree
organization. The three exceedingly simple molecular model systems (forms
of autogenesis) that I discuss toward the end of the paper were intended to
exemplify a minimal life-like unit that—because of its self-reconstituting
and self-repairing features—could both exemplify an origin of life
transition and a first simplest system exhibiting interpretive competence.
It is only because these autogenic systems respond to disruption of their
internal organizational coherence that they can be said to also interpret
aspects of their environment with respect to this. My goal in this work is
to ultimately provide a physico-chemical foundation for a scientific
biosemiotics, which is currently mostly exemplified by analogies to
human-level semiotic categories.

discussions.

Sincerely, Terry

On Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 5:34 AM, Pedro C. Marijuan
pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es wrote:

Dear Terry and colleagues,

I hope you don't mind if I send some suggestions publicly. First, thank
you for the aftermath, it provides appropriate closure to a very intense
discussion session. Second, I think you have encapsulated very clearly an
essential point (at least in my opinion):

*Among these givens is the question of what is minimally necessary for
a system or process to be interpretive, in the sense of being able to
utilize present intrinsic physical properties of things to refer to absent
or displaced properties or phenomena. This research question is ignorable
when it is possible to assume human or even animal interpreters as part of
the system one is analyzing. At some point, however, it becomes relevant to
not only be more explicit about what is being assumed, but also to explain
how this interpretive capacity could possibly originate in a universe where
direct contiguity of causal influence is the rule. *My suggestion
concerns the absence phenomenon (it also has appeared in some previous
discussion in this list --notably from Bob's). You imply that there is an
entity capable  of dynamically building upon  an external absences, OK
quite clear,  but what about internal absences? I mean at the origins of
communication there could be the sensing of the internal-- lets call it
functional voids, needs, gaps, deficiencies, etc. Cellularly there are some
good arguments about that, even in the 70's there was a metabolic code
hypothesis crafted on the origins of cellular signaling. For instance, one
of the most important environmental  internal detections concerns cAMP,
which means you/me are in an energy trouble... some more evolutionary
arguments can be thrown.  Above all, this idea puts the life cycle and its
self-production needs in the center of communication, and in the very
origins of the interpretive capabilities. Until now I have not seen much
reflections around the life cycle as the true provider of both
communications and meanings, maybe it conduces to new avenues of thought
interesting to explore...

All the best!
--Pedro

Pedro C. Marijuan wrote:

Dear FIS colleagues,
Herewith the comments received from Terry several weeks ago. As I said
yesterday, the idea is to properly conclude that session, not to restart
the discussion. Of course, scholarly comments are always welcome, but
conclusively and not looking for argumentative rounds```

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

``` 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.

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
-

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University of California, Berkeley

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```

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

```, 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 mailto:pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es
-

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

``` 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
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
-

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

```Hi Steven,

My apologies for wordiness. We all have our weaknesses. I am curious
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
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.

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```

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

```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
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
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] Fis Digest, Vol 10, Issue 22

```Dear Malcom Dean,

Unless you are claiming that the past 150 year of thermodynamics is bunk, I
think your denial needs qualification. Of course entropy is a
mathematical variable. And yes it balances equations. And yes it assesses
only one aspect of the changes that occur in a physical transformation. And
yes we should be wary of reifying every operator or variable in our
mathematical models of physical processes. But this particular measure of
state is not just a figment of some mathematician's imagination. It does a
terrific job of making predictions about the outcomes of physical
processes. To deny that the measurable value called 'entropy' increases
with mechanical or chemical work in an isolated system seems to deny a
pretty clean paraphrasing of the 2nd law. Is that really your claim? Or is
this merely a quibble about phraseology?

Although I have problems with some overstated versions of the maximum
entropy production principle (MEPP), I think that for the most part it
captures an important attribute of far-from-equilibrium processes. Yes
creation of entropy was perhaps an odd way to describe this production,
but you seem to be reading something into this phraseology that I don't
think was intended. This did not read to me like a something-from-nothing
claim or to reify entropy as some sort of substance. However, your last it
from bit statement, though coined by an eminent physicist and very popular
in some domains, does in my opinion make an unwarranted claim of this sort.
At the very least it collapses some critical distinctions about what
information is that my piece attempts to unpack. I consider the use of the
term 'information' in this context to be quite misleadingly metaphoric.
speculative and ambiguous than any of the statements made about entropy and
work.

How about some constructive criticism of the paper, since it develops ideas
that appear to be in conflict with some of your assumptions?

— Terry

On Tue, Jan 20, 2015 at 12:36 AM, Malcolm Dean malcolmd...@gmail.com
wrote:

On 2015-01-19 20:37 GMT+01:00 Joshua Augustus Bacigalupi
bacigalupiwo...@gmail.com wrote to the FIS list:

Josh Bacigalupi here, fellow pirate.  Thank you all for this
thoughtful discussion.

... We can all agree that the creation of entropy is necessary to do
work; ...

With respect, this statement should not continue to go unchallenged. I for
one do not agree.

Entropy is a mathematical variable which balances equations, but cannot
possibly describe the conditions and actual processes which lead to work,
enable its completion, or detail its purpose. The variable entropy
describes only one aspect. It is like claiming homeostasis as a complete
description of a human.

The constant danger is coming to believe in variables thrown into some
picture, such as we see in recent cosmology. They are reified. They become,
as a result, objects of faith, even worldviews (Rifkin 1981). If someone
claims mathematics as prior to cosmology, that scientific faith should not
be presented as if it is a proven fact.

It is ridiculous to continue talking about creation of entropy. What is
created are new conditions, fresh processes, and objects. The point of a
thermodynamic process, or more generally, an Information process, is
object-creation. It from bit.

Thermodynamics is only a part of an Information process (Lerner 2014) [
http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.7041 ].

Malcolm Dean

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### Re: [Fis] THE NEW YEAR ESSAY Fis Digest, Vol 10, Issue 11 Mechanism and Model

```PS typo correction line 5 from bottom:

... To specify information *that* a given constraint-state of a

On 1/19/15, Terrence W. DEACON dea...@berkeley.edu wrote:
Hi Loet,

I do indeed consider this relationship to be measurable and thus
expressible mathematically. This in itself doesn't mean that it
ignores content. Indeed, a specific content and a specific target
function-state are prerequisites, and so must be assumed in the
analysis. In my opinion, as necessary assumptions, this makes the part
of the background physics. So there must be both universality and
physical specificity to this analysis— the specificity of referent and
significant end-state treated as givens in the equation.

The term expected plays a crucial role here. It introduces a
Bayesian implication behind Shannon's analysis. But it also is what
necessitates the self-repairing, self-reproducing features of
autogenesis. To specify information what a given constraint-state of a
medium represents there must be a reference state. However, it cannot
be MEP or even maximum thermodynamic entropy (analogous to Shannon's
entropy) but instead the work differential between current state of
degraded autogenesis and a reconstituted or reproduced autogen.

— Terry

On 1/18/15, Loet Leydesdorff l...@leydesdorff.net wrote:
Dear Terry and colleagues,

“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.”

Is the crucial point that an expected information content is always
referential to a maximum entropy and therefore a relational concept? The
significance/meaning is thus provided by the redundancy?

I doubt whether this is part of the physics (as you seem to claim). It
follows from the math and is yet content free; in other words, it can be
provided with meaning given any system of reference or, in other words,
discourse. The universality of the claim would thus be based on the
mathematical (dimensionless) character of it.

Best,

Loet

--
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University of California, Berkeley

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### Re: [Fis] Fis Digest, Vol 10, Issue 11

```Hi Pedro,

Thanks for sharing this beautiful and instructive image. I wonder if
it should actually be more accurate as a higher dimensional graph or
if rather than ambiguous overlap if there is some degree of
containment in these relationships.

— Terry

On 1/19/15, Pedro C. Marijuan pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es wrote:
Thanks Moises, here it is --in case the list server suppresses the image
again, the dropbox link below contains the image too (at the end of the
philoinfo paper, belonging to the Proceedings of the Xian Conference,
2013). best ---Pedro

**

*Figure 1. The Four Great Domains of Science*. The graphic shows the
network of contemporary disciplines in the background (following Bollen
/et al/., 2009); while the superimposed “four-leaf clover” represents
the four great scientific domains: physical, biological, social, and
informational.

Moisés André Nisenbaum wrote:
Hi, Pedro.
I didnt receive th image (Figure 1. The Four Great Domains of Science)
Would you please send it again?

Thank you.

Moises

--
-
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
-

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### Re: [Fis] Fis Digest, Vol 10, Issue 11

```... in 3-space perhaps a tetrahedron instead of a 4-leaf clover, such
that each of the 4 academic domains were more equidistant from one
another.

On 1/19/15, Terrence W. DEACON dea...@berkeley.edu wrote:
Hi Pedro,

Thanks for sharing this beautiful and instructive image. I wonder if
it should actually be more accurate as a higher dimensional graph or
if rather than ambiguous overlap if there is some degree of
containment in these relationships.

— Terry

On 1/19/15, Pedro C. Marijuan pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es wrote:
Thanks Moises, here it is --in case the list server suppresses the image
again, the dropbox link below contains the image too (at the end of the
philoinfo paper, belonging to the Proceedings of the Xian Conference,
2013). best ---Pedro

**

*Figure 1. The Four Great Domains of Science*. The graphic shows the
network of contemporary disciplines in the background (following Bollen
/et al/., 2009); while the superimposed “four-leaf clover” represents
the four great scientific domains: physical, biological, social, and
informational.

Moisés André Nisenbaum wrote:
Hi, Pedro.
I didnt receive th image (Figure 1. The Four Great Domains of Science)
Would you please send it again?

Thank you.

Moises

--
-
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
-

--
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University of California, Berkeley

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### Re: [Fis] Fwd: Section 4/Re: Steps to a theory of reference significance

```, the interactions among the conditions, using
entropy calculus because the latter is not constrained to the physics
domain. Thus, your distinction of the Shannon and Boltzmann entropies
provides room for a wider use of the Shannon entropy.

Let me posit that the specification of the medium in terms of what is
communicated (atoms, molecules, words, meaning, etc.) provides us with room
for each time a special theory of communication; for example, the
communication of molecules in a biology, whereas the mathematical theory of
communication (Shannon, etc.) enables us to specify the differences and
similarities among the special theories. This is a rich source of
heuristics and algorithms. I sense a tendency in your discussion paper to
ground all the theory in physics (thermodynamics) as a meta-theory or grand
theory of communication. Is this erroneous? Can the special cases further
develop with a next-lower level as the noise generating medium?

Best,

Loet Leydesdorff

Professor Emeritus, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Honorary Professor, SPRU, http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/University of
Sussex; Visiting Professor, ISTIC,
http://www.istic.ac.cn/Eng/brief_en.htmlBeijing;
Visiting Professor at Birkbeck, University of London; Guest Professor
Zhejiang University, Hangzhou;

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### Re: [Fis] MEPP

``` of yolk in embryos?

Without this property biological evolution is not possible.

S: Is the property in question the “formal” organization?

STAN

On Sat, Jan 10, 2015 at 3:42 AM, Terrence W. DEACON dea...@berkeley.edu
wrote:

Hi Stan,

as possible given the bearing constraints. They are unconditional
maximizers. Life that has survived has been able to apply conditions upon
its entropy production, but that does not mean that it has enacted energy
conservation or energy efficiency policies.  Its mode is still
maximizing,
but within limits.

Terry:  Your phrases given the bearing constraints and within limits
are the critical issues to be focused on in my opinion [as I noted in my
response to Guy]. But I do indeed argue that living processes can and do
enact entropy rate regulating mechanisms. This is of course an empirical
question, and I have seen studies suggesting both results. My point is
only
that autogenesis (which I use as a proxy for the simplest life-like
dynamic) is a dissipative system that regulates the boundary constraints
on
its rate of dissipation, and that this non-linearity is a critical
game-changer.

In particular, for this discussion, I argue that this
constraint-ratcheting effect—where a distinctive dynamical configuration
can change the boundary constraints on its own constraint dissipation
tendency—is what makes reference and significance possible. The resulting
higher order synergy constraint is neither a physical nor chemical
constraint, but a formal constraint. Because of this it is thereby
substrate transferrable so that reference and significance are
maintainable
despite complete replacement of physical substrates, i.e. via
reproduction.
Without this property biological evolution is not possible.

— Terry

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### Re: [Fis] MEPP

```PS: Oops, slight misstatement re B convection. Of course the gradient
can be reduced by the convection process.

On 1/10/15, Terrence W. DEACON dea...@berkeley.edu wrote:
Hi Stan,

T: Thanks for the references. I am embarrassed to say that I don't
think that I have read the two by Kampis. I will post references for
the MEPP critiques and counter-examples later next week. I am in Oslo
at the moment and don't have many resources at my disposal. Since MEPP
is not the point of the paper and the information proposal is not
dependent on which interpretation of MEPP we accept, we should
probably continue this aspect of the discussion off list (perhaps with
Guy and my colleague Koutroufinis) so that it doesn't clog up the
discussion space [any feedback on this use from our moderator?].

For now I offer these further responses.

S: ... does not go below the fastest non-damaging rates, therefore is
‘maximizing given constraints'

T: Not sure that I am interpreting you correctly here. Would altering
its dissipation constraints qualify as damaging since it alters the
dissipation pathways and the rate of dissipation? Does maximizing
given constraints include changing these constraints in the process
of dissipation? If the answer is 'yes' to these questions then we are
on the same page, and it suggests that life is very different than
self-organized dissipative processes that do not alter their own
dissipation paths.

with maximizing the rate these gradients are dissipated? I think these
are different,

T: Benárd convection evolves increasing dynamical constraint as heat
increases above the critical threshold. These internally generated
constraints dissipate in the form of exported entropy as the system
destroys the gradient and subsequently cools down. The external
constraints such as the gradient between the heat source and
atmospheric sink, and the properties of the fluid are of course not
typically altered by the dynamics.

T: I tend to substitute the term 'constraint' for 'organization'
because of its greater generality.

T: By 'formal' I mean not physico-chemical. The synergy constraint is
relational and substrate neutral. t can be instantiated in many
different material substrates with many different configurations so
long as the complementary relationship is maintained.

— Terry

On 1/10/15, Stanley N Salthe ssal...@binghamton.edu wrote:

fast as possible given the bearing constraints. They are unconditional
maximizers. Life that has survived has been able to apply conditions upon
its entropy production, but that does not mean that it has enacted energy
conservation or energy efficiency policies.  Its mode is still
maximizing,
but within limits.

Your phrases given the bearing constraints and within limits are the
critical issues to be focused on in my opinion [as I noted in my response
to Guy].

S: Yes.

T: But I do indeed argue that living processes can and do enact entropy
rate regulating mechanisms. This is of course an empirical question, and

S: Do you know the multiple papers by Adrian Bejan?  He has shown that in
all systems (he has tackled LARGE numbers of them, including the living),
is
using.  I think that this is exactly what MEPP would predict.

T: I have seen studies suggesting both results. My point is only that
autogenesis (which I use as a proxy for the simplest life-like dynamic)

S: Do you know these papers on autogenesis?  They were dissatisfied with
autopoiesis because it did not admit evolutionary change.

Csányi, V. and G. Kampis (1989).  Autogenesis: the evolution of
replicative
systems. Journal of Theoretical Biology 114: 303-321.

Kampis, G., 1991. Self-modifying Systems in Biology and Cognitive
Science:
A New  Framework for Dynamics, Information and Evolution. London:
Pergamon
Press.

T: is a dissipative system that regulates the boundary constraints on its
rate of dissipation, and that this non-linearity is a critical
game-changer.

S: Regulates downward from physical maxima, but does not go below the
fastest non-damaging rates, therefore is ‘maximizing given constraints’,

T: In particular, for this discussion, I argue that this
constraint-ratcheting effect—where a distinctive dynamical configuration
can change the boundary constraints on its own constraint dissipation
tendency—

S: This is not clear.  Constraints are usually not thought of as
dissipatable.  Perhaps an example?

T: is what makes reference and significance possible. The resulting
higher
order synergy constraint is neither a physical nor chemical constraint,
but
a formal constraint.

S: By “formal” I Take it you mean organizational or structural.

T: Because of this it is thereby

S```

### [Fis] Response to Pedro's first comments:

```Response to Pedro's first comments: My choice of autogenesis is motivated
by ...
1. It is the simplest dynamical system I have been able to imagine that
exhibits the requisite properties required for an interpretive system (i.e.
one that can assign reference and significance to a signal due to intrinsic
properties alone - that is these features are independent of any extrinsic
perspective). A simple organism is far too complex. As a result it is
is and is not - for example just assuming that DNA molecule are
intrinsically informational). As I note when introducing this model,
developing a simplest but not too simple model system is the key to
devising clear physical principles.
2. Autogenesis is not the same as autopoiesis (which is only a description
of presumed requirements for life) rather autogenesis is a well-described
empirically testable molecular dynamic, that is easily model able in all
aspects. Autopoiesis fit with the class of models assuming that simple
autocatalysis is sufficient and then simply adds (by assertion) the
(non-realized) assumption that autopoiesis can somehow be causally closed
and unitary, whereas in fact autocatalytic systems are intrinsically
dissipative* and subject to error catastrophe. More importantly, the
assumption about coherent finite unity and internal synergy is the critical
one, and so it needs to be the one feature that is explicitly modeled in
order to understand these aspects of information.
3. The self-regulating self-repairing end-directed dynamic of autogenesis
provides a disposition to preserve a reference target state (even when its
current state is far from it). This serves as the necessary baseline for
comparative assessment, without which reference and significance cannot be
defined because these are intrinsically relativistic informational
properties (there is a loose analogy here to the 3rd law of thermodynamics
and the relativistic nature of thermodynamic entropy).

* PS: Autogenesis is also not a Maximim Entropy Production process because
it halts dissipation before its essential self-preserving constraints are
persistence depends.

— Terry

--
Professor Terrence W. Deacon
University of California, Berkeley
___
Fis mailing list
Fis@listas.unizar.es
http://listas.unizar.es/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/fis

```

### Re: [Fis] [Fwd: Re: Steps to a theory of reference significance] Terry Deacon

``` of reference  significance
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2015 03:32:22 +0100
From: Terrence W. DEACON dea...@berkeley.edu
To:   Pedro C. Marijuan pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es

This very brief reply should be routed to the FIS list please...

One response: My choice of autogenesis is motivated by ...
1. It is the simplest dynamical system I have been able to imagine that
exhibits the requisite properties required for an interpretive system (i.e.
one that can assign reference and significance to a signal due to intrinsic
properties alone - that is these features are independent of any extrinsic
perspective). A simple organism is far too complex. As a result it is
is and is not - for example just assuming that DNA molecule are
intrinsically informational). As I note when introducing this model,
developing a simplest but not too simple model system is the key to
devising clear physical principles.
2. Autogenesis is not the same as autopoiesis (which is only a
description of presumed requirements for life) rather autogenesis is a
well-described empirically testable molecular dynamic, that is easily model
able in all aspects. Autopoiesis fit with the class of models assuming that
simple autocatalysis is sufficient and then simply adds (by assertion) the
(non-realized) assumption that autopoiesis can somehow be causally closed
and unitary, whereas in fact autocatalytic systems are intrinsically
dissipative* and subject to error catastrophe. More importantly, the
assumption about coherent finite unity and internal synergy is the critical
one, and so it needs to be the one feature that is explicitly modeled in
order to understand these aspects of information. 3. The self-regulating
self-repairing end-directed dynamic of autogenesis provides a disposition
to preserve a reference target state (even when its current state is far
from it). This serves as the necessary baseline for comparative assessment,
without which reference and significance cannot be defined because these
are intrinsically relativistic informational properties (there is a loose
analogy here to the 3rd law of thermodynamics and the relativistic nature
of thermodynamic entropy).

* PS: Autogenesis is also not a Maximim Entropy Production process
because it halts dissipation before its essential self-preserving
which its persistence depends.

— Terry

On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 1:48 PM, Pedro C. Marijuan
pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es mailto:pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es wrote:

Dear Terry and colleagues,

Thanks a lot for the opening text! It is a well crafted Essay full
of very detailed contents. My impression is that the microphysics
of information has been solved elegantly --at least at the level of
today's relevant knowledge-- with your work and the works of related
authors, one of them Karl Friston, who could be linked as a
complementary approach to yours (in particular his recent Life as
we know it, Royal Society Interface Journal, 10: 20130475). His
Bayesian approach to life's organization, coupled with (variational)
free energy minimization principle, conduces to the emergence of
homeostasis and a simple form of autopoiesis, as well as the
organization of perception/action later on. Thus, quite close to
the Essay, the very detailed points you deal with in section 4
(steps to a formalization of reference)  are, in my opinion, the
conceptual core and deserve a careful inspection, far more than
these rushed comments. In any case, the relationship
Boltzmann-Shannon entropies has been cleared quite elegantly.

However, for my taste the following sections have not sufficiently
opened the panorama. And with this I start some critical
appreciations. Perhaps the microphysics of information is not the
critical stumbling block to me removed for the advancement of the
informational perspective. We could remain McLuhan's stance on
Shannon's information theory and von Neumann's game theory... yes,
undoubtedly important advancements, but not the essential stuff of
information. But in this list there are people far more versed in
McLuhan's contents and whether the caveats he raised would continue
to apply (obviously in a different way). I am also critical with the
autogenesis model systems--wouldn't it be far clearer approaching a
(relatively) simple prokaryotic cell and discuss upon its
intertwining of the communication and self-production arrangements?
The way a bacterium sees the world, and reorganizes its living,
could```