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

2017-01-11 Thread Christophe
Dear Terry, Are you really sure that looking at linking Shannon to higher-order conceptions of information like meaning is a realistic ambition? I compare that to linking the width of a street to the individual motivations of the persons that will walk in the street. As we know, Shannon is to

Re: [Fis] What is information? and What is life?; towards a calculus of redundancy

2017-01-10 Thread Loet Leydesdorff
Toward a Calculus of Redundancy: The feedback arrow of expectations in knowledge-based systems Loet Leydesdorff, Mark W. Johnson, Inga Ivanova (Submitted on 10 Jan 2017; https://arxiv.org/abs/1701.02455 ) Whereas the generation of Shannon-type

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

2017-01-10 Thread Terrence W. DEACON
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

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

2017-01-10 Thread John Collier
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

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

2016-12-31 Thread Loet Leydesdorff
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

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

2016-12-30 Thread Terrence W. DEACON
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

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

2016-12-29 Thread Francesco Rizzo
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

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

2016-12-29 Thread Terrence W. DEACON
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

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

2016-12-29 Thread Dai Griffiths
Thanks Stan, Yes, it's a powerful and useful process. My problem is that in this list, and in other places were such matters are discussed, we don't seem to be able to agree on the big picture, and the higher up the generalisations we go, the less we agree. I'd like to keep open the

[Fis] What is information? and What is life?

2016-12-26 Thread Christophe
Dear Loet, You nicely illustrate the problem as a “hole“ in the center of the various perspectives. All these current and futures perspectives are indeed needed but it is true that “a general theory of information” remains terrribly challenging, precisely due to the sometimes orthogonal

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

2016-12-26 Thread Loet Leydesdorff
In this respect Loet comments: "In my opinion, the status of Shannon’s mathematical theory of information is different from special theories of information (e.g., biological ones) since the formal theory enables us to translate between these latter theories." We are essentially in

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

2016-12-24 Thread Terrence W. DEACON
Dear colleagues, I am entirely in agreement with the sentiments about mutual respect that Loet recommends and the "harmony of knowledge" that Francesco promotes. But I believe that this must also include a willingness to recognize that there isn't a most basic theory; only what we might

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

2016-12-23 Thread Loet Leydesdorff
Dear Terrence and colleagues, I agree that we should not be fundamentalistic about “information”. For example, one can also use “uncertainty” as an alternative word to Shannon-type “information”. One can also make distinctions other than semantic/syntactic/pragmatic, such as biological

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

2016-12-22 Thread Dai Griffiths
> Information is not “something out there” which “exists” otherwise than as our construct. I agree with this. And I wonder to what extent our problems in discussing information come from our desire to shoe-horn many different phenomena into the same construct. It would be possible to

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

2016-12-19 Thread Bob Logan
Dear Dick - I loved your analysis. You are right on the money. It also explains why Shannon dominated the field of information. He had a mathematical formula and there is nothing more appealing to a scientist than a mathematical formula. But you are right his formula only tells us of how many

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

2016-12-19 Thread Dick Stoute
List, Please allow me to respond to Loet about the definition of information stated below. 1. the definition of information as uncertainty is counter-intuitive ("bizarre"); (p. 27) I agree. I struggled with this definition for a long time before realising that Shannon was really discussing

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

2016-12-18 Thread Loet Leydesdorff
Dear James and colleagues, Weaver (1949) made two major remarks about his coauthor (Shannon)'s contribution: 1. the definition of information as uncertainty is counter-intuitive ("bizarre"); (p. 27) 2. "In particular, information must not be confused with meaning." (p. 8) The