Re: [Fis] DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

2016-04-10 Thread Mark Johnson
I'd be interested to know whether "mattering" is considered within
"meaning". I suspect "mattering" is distinct.

thinking aloud

Science isn't just meaningful. It matters to scientists. Perhaps it's
only because it matters to some people, it exists.

Re. meaning, I think the connection between meaning and expectation is
correct. I agree Shannon is helpful for constructing approaches to
explore this. But we expect many things, yet only a few of them really
matter.

There are many varieties of transcendental argument about information
which start from assumed mechanistic properties of nature. Yet we have
no certainty about whether nature's apparent regularities are real or
not - it is conjecture. There does appear to be a kind of "cybernetic
functionalism" (which I think is what Soren is complaining about)
which maintains scepticism about reality at one level, and positivism
at another. Not all cybernetics is culpable of this however. I would
be interested in an approach to information which avoids untestable
assumptions about "natural necessity".

Is there a "personalist" interpretation of information which starts
from concrete personal being (note that 'personal' does not have to
mean "individual": persons well be relations), and does not seek to
reduce personal being to more abstract "foundations"?

From a personalist perspective, information may simply be constraint.
Is the difference between things that matter and things that mean
something differences in relations between constraints? Bateson's
double-bind, which definitely matters to those caught in it, is a
particular dynamics of constraint. Bateson also specified constraint
dynamics in what he called "symmetrical schizmogenesis" (seen in
tit-for-tat engagements, fighting) and "complementary schizmogenesis"
(seen in master slave relations). This is a good start

A question which I don't think Bateson addresses, but maybe Ashby had
an idea about, is what science would look like if we sought agreement
about the constraints which we share rather than our theories about
causation. I don't think that would be a functionalist pursuit.

Best wishes,

Mark







On 9 April 2016 at 11:21, Loet Leydesdorff  wrote:
> Dear Pedro,
>
>
>
> I disagree about putting "meaning" outside the scope of natural sciences.
>
>
>
> I doubt that anybody on this list would disagree about using the metaphor of
> meaning in the natural sciences.
>
>
>
> Maturana (1978, p. 49): “In still other words, if an organism is observed in
> its operation within a second-order consensual domain, it appears to the
> observer as if its nervous system interacted with internal representations
> of the circumstances of its interactions, and as if the changes of state of
> the organism were determined by the semantic value of these representations.
> Yet all that takes place in the operation of the nervous system is the
> structure-determined dynamics of changing relations of relative neuronal
> activity proper to a closed neuronal network.”
>
> http://www.enolagaia.com/M78BoL.html#Descriptions
>
>
>
> In other context, Maturana used the concept of “languaging”.
>
>
>
> My point is about the differentia specifica of inter-human communication
> which assumes a next-order contingency of expectations structured by
> “horizons of meaning” (Husserl). One needs a specific (social-science) set
> of theories and methods to access this domain, in my opinion. In concrete
> projects, one can try to operationalize in terms of the information sciences
> / information theory. One can also collaborate “interdisciplinarily” at the
> relevant interface, notably with the computer sciences. The use of metaphors
> in other disciplines, however,  cannot be denied.
>
>
>
> This is just a reaction; I had one penny left this week. J
>
>
>
> Best,
>
> Loet
>
>
>
>
> ___
> 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

Visiting Professor
Far Eastern Federal University, Russia

Phone: 07786 064505
Email: johnsonm...@gmail.com
Blog: http://dailyimprovisation.blogspot.com

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Re: [Fis] DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

2016-04-10 Thread Francesco Rizzo
Caro Karl,
la chiamiamo natura, ma è tutta arte. A. Einstein e S. Hawking pensavano
che Dio non giocasse a dadi. Il primo non ha avuto il tempo di ricredersi,
il secondo si. Ha perso una scommessa, circa la non emissione di
informazione da parte dei buchi neri sostenuta nel 1975, dopo (2004-5) ha
dovuto ricredersi. Io da economista, non da fisico, secondo il mio processo
di tras-in-forma-azione che ha come "input" (immissione) la materia,
l'energia e l'informazione e come "output"  (emissione) la materia,
l'energia e l'informazione in stato diverso, la pensa(vo) diversamente: ed
ho avuto ragione. La natura non ha bisogno di retorica ed è
ininterrottamente sottoposta ad un processo di trasinformazione a partire
dal "big bang". Nei primi tre vv. della "Genesi", che può condividersi
senza avere alcuna fede religiosa, è scritto: "In principio Dio creò il
cielo e la terra. La terra era informe e deserta e le tenebre ricoprivano
l'abisso e lo spirito di Dio aleggiava sulle acque. Dio disse: 'Sia luce!'.
E la luce fu". In questo processo informazione significa dare o prendere
forma. Quindi l'informazione "non" è il modo che ciò che è il caso si
differenzia da ciò che non il caso, tranne che non si voglia sostituire
caso con caos. Io uso "sfondo e primo piano in concomitanza e gioc(o) con
interferenza tra i due", perché la conoscenza ha fondamenti biologici e
dipende dall'immaginazione umana che si realizza a diversi livelli di
inferenza - da molto astratti a molto concreti -  e in una dinamica
spazio-temporale.
Comunque, non ho la pretesa di possedere alcuna verità. E ascolto e leggo
sempre con attenzione le parole dette e scritte dagli altri. Specialmente
se autorevoli.
Grazie.
Francesco

2016-04-09 18:24 GMT+02:00 Karl Javorszky :

> not in Italian but in full concordance with what Rico ha dito:
> information as a concept lies behind all and each of the ways of looking
> at the world. Whatever the picture, it has a background to it.
> Could it be that a description of the background is common to each and all
> of the pictures one makes of the world?
>
> Rational thinking has always been cautious and only permitted speaking
> about what is clearly delineated. All other is art.
> Now we see that Nature is not that well educated in rhetoric, and makes
> allusions also to that what is the background in our imagination. She
> simply does not use our perspectives and our bifurcations. She uses
> background and foreground concurrently and plays with interferences between
> the two.
>
> The general answer to "and relative to what?" is non-existence as such,
> the background sui generis. That, to which everything else is different,
> just like the thing as such has something common with everything else. The
> general idea of how different a background is to the foreground shown/known
> could well be the root for the concept of information. That what we know,
> what is the case, is no information. Information is how that what is the
> case differs from what is not the case.
> Karl
> On 9 Apr 2016 16:56, "Francesco Rizzo" <13francesco.ri...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Cari Tutti,
>> il concetto o significato di informazione è unico, quel che varia è il
>> modo di qualificarlo o quantificarlo in ragione dei diversi tipi o
>> categorie di informazione: naturale o termodinamica, genetica, semantica e
>> matematica. E questo lo dico da studioso di economia della scienza o
>> dell'esistenza, non da studioso di esistenza o  della scienza economica.
>> Un abbraccio, non solo fisico, ma anche emo-ra-zionale.
>> Francesco
>>
>> 2016-04-09 12:21 GMT+02:00 Loet Leydesdorff :
>>
>>> Dear Pedro,
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I disagree about putting "meaning" outside the scope of natural
>>> sciences.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> I doubt that anybody on this list would disagree about using the
>>> metaphor of meaning in the natural sciences.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Maturana (1978, p. 49): “In still other words, if an organism is
>>> observed in its operation within a second-order consensual domain, it
>>> appears to the observer as if its nervous system interacted with internal
>>> representations of the circumstances of its interactions, and as if the
>>> changes of state of the organism were determined by the semantic value of
>>> these representations. Yet all that takes place in the operation of the
>>> nervous system is the structure-determined dynamics of changing relations
>>> of relative neuronal activity proper to a closed neuronal network.”
>>>
>>> http://www.enolagaia.com/M78BoL.html#Descriptions
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> In other context, Maturana used the concept of “languaging”.
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> My point is about the *differentia specifica* of inter-human
>>> communication which assumes a next-order contingency of expectations
>>> structured by “horizons of meaning” (Husserl). One needs a specific
>>> (social-science) set of theories and methods to access this domain, in my
>>> opinion. In concrete projects, one can try 

Re: [Fis] DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

2016-04-08 Thread Pedro C. Marijuan

Dear FIS Colleagues,

A brief note on the variety of exchanges. It is quite intriguing that 
fundamental questions on mathematics (geometry/algebra), computation, 
quantum mechanics, and biology converge on a pretty similar "information 
stuff". Considering the social sciences domain too, where information 
becomes obvious (helas, too obvious to inquire on it!), the timeliness 
of our discussions is exciting.


I disagree about putting "meaning" outside the scope of natural 
sciences. The current bio-info revolution concerning omic disciplines, 
evo-devo, ecology, etc. has stumbled upon meaning although most often in 
empirical, applied domains. What does mean this or that signal? Gene 
knockouts, microarrays, computational inference, etc. provide a massive 
response that has to be interpreted functionally via the new ontologies. 
Perhaps most theoretical interpretations have gone towards the "in 
silico" worlds and bio-computational perspectives, but there is plenty 
of stirring in most fields.


In neuroscience, a similar revolution has been occurring, although 
perhaps at a slower pace, via all the advancements in imaging, 
connectomics, massive modeling procedures, etc. Meaning is explicitly 
considered by authors such as Edelman, Fuster, Berthoz, Dehaene, Tononi, 
Sporns, Frinston, etc. Well, one would like to see how the different 
notions of info, meaning, memory, knowledge, etc. are elegantly cohered, 
articulated, and well connected --in my view, always around the 
advancement of a life cycle. And that should also include the origins 
and evolutionary path of nervous systems (curiously, they did not appear 
for info concerns but for osmotic/trophic functions).


In both biological and neuronal sciences, this enterprise of linking the 
advancement of a life cycle with the communication with the environment 
needs philosophical commitment too, as the itinerary is full of 
"provincial" ways of thinking that have created artificial borders to 
the intercommunication of ideas. Some parties have argued that a new 
info philosophy should be framed, and that should include contribution 
of the closest schools of thinking (perspectivism/phenomenology for my 
personal taste).


The convergence with physics does not look so far away (as has been 
properly claimed by some discussants). Self-production via communication 
with the environment by assemblages of excitable elements, counting with 
algorithmic devices that mirror how the inner and outer worlds coalesce, 
in one case genomes and in the other mystical or Platonic "laws of 
nature" (what strange existentiality do they have!), may finally 
represent a common panorama.


About the ways and means to overcome the complexity crisis that 
surrounds even the more modest steps in the information adventure... I 
have no idea (but to establish a shield with basic consensus in 
"principled" matters).


Best regards--Pedro

El 07/04/2016 a las 13:05, Christophe escribió:


Dear Soren,
To avoid a possible misunderstanding let me say that the MGS has no 
ambition to reach a ’full Peircean semiotic framework’.
The Meaning Generator System has been designed to introduce what 
looked to me as missing in the young ‘science of cognition’ in the mid 
90’s. ‘Meaning’ was a key concept without any model for meaning 
generation in an evolutionary perspective. The MGS was designed to 
fill the gap. At that time I did not know about Peirce (was at IBM on 
very different subjects). Information on Peirce work came in later.
The MGS has some compatibility with the Peircean approach as both rely 
on interpretation. But two key points of the MGS are not really 
present in the Peircean framework: the evolutionary story from animals 
to humans and the development of a meaning generation process (Peirce 
tells about the generated meaning (the Interpretant) but does not tell 
much about a meaning generation process (the Interpreter)).
So my question about the MGS as a possible introduction to the 
concepts of meaning and experience is not to be understood as strictly 
part of the Perceian semiotic framework. And the question is still 
being asked.

Best
Christophe



*De :* Søren Brier 
*Envoyé :* mercredi 6 avril 2016 02:04
*À :* 'Christophe'
*Cc :* fis@listas.unizar.es
*Objet :* SV: [Fis] _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

Dear Christophe

Never the less we consider that cats and dogs or dolphins –I have 
played with them all – to have an inner experimental life in order 
also to support their perceptual skills for instance and they have 
memory and recognition capabilities.


I do appreciate that you work with these things and try to move your 
modelling more towards a Peircean biosemiotic paradigm. But in what I 
have seen from you so far I do not think you have moved to a full 
Peircean semiotic framework.


But even if, then biosemiotics is certainly not (yet?) accepted as a 
natural 

Re: [Fis] _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

2016-04-04 Thread Loet Leydesdorff
Dear Soren,

 

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

 

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

 

Non-biologist usually underestimate the complexity of biological processes. 

 

I agree.

 

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

 

I formulated (quote):

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Best,

Loet

 

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

 

  Best

 Søren

 

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Re: [Fis] _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

2016-04-03 Thread Loet Leydesdorff
Dear Soren, 

 

In my opinion, there are two issues here (again J ):

 

1. the issue of non-verbal (e.g., bodily) communication; 

2. the meta-biological or transdisciplinary integration vs. the
differentiation among the disciplines.

 

Ad 1. Although I don't agree with Luhmann on many things, his insistence
that everything communicated among humans is culturally coded, is fully
acceptable to me. "Love" is not a counter-example. Unlike animals, our
behavior is regulated by codes of communication. Preparing "Love" as a
passion, Luhmann spent months in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris reading
the emergence of romantic love in the literature of the early 18th century.
A similar intuition can be found in Giddens' book "The Transformation of
Intimacy". Of course, one sometimes needs bodily presence; Luhmann uses here
the concept of "symbiotic mechanisms"; but this is only relevant for the
variation. The selection mechanisms - which impulses are to be followed -
are cultural. Among human beings, this means: in terms of mutual and/or
shared expectations. The realm of expecting the other to entertain
expectations, shapes a "second contingency" which is otherwise absent in the
animal kingdom. (If you wish, you can consider it as a function of the
cortex as a symbiotic mechanism.)

 

This special status of human society should make us resilient against using
biological metaphors. Socio-biology has a terrible history since it links
social processes with evolutionary ones. The rule of law, however, protects
us against "survival of the fittest" as a structure of expectations. One
cannot define "the fittest" without using one (coded!) vocabulary or
another, and these vocabularies (discourses; Foucault) can be different; but
always disciplining. The codes function as selection mechanisms different
from an assumed "nature". (Inga Ivanova used the term "fractional
manifold".) The selection mechanisms are also coordination mechanisms; their
differentiation enables us to process more complexity.

 

2. As Krippendorff once emphasized, one should be suspicious about using the
word "system" in this context because it entails a biological metaphor of
integration and wholeness. Because the codes tend to differentiate and thus
to generate misunderstandings (variation), the social system can process
complexity by an order of magnitude more than any biological system. The
notion of "system" tends to reify, whereas in sociological theorizing it is
important to keep a firm eye on the second contingency of interacting
expectations. The clarification of misunderstandings, for example, enables
us to solve problems; sometimes one may need to invent new metaphors and
words. From this perspective, the sciences can be considered as rationalized
systems of expectations which operate in terms of codes retained above the
individual level. (Note that this is different from belief structures - cf.
the sociology of scientific knowledge of Bloor and Barnes -- because beliefs
remain attributes to agents of communities of agents.)

 

"Transdisciplinary integration" may be needed for one's internal well-being
(or soul), but it can be expected to remain a local instantiation. Since we
decapitated the ointed body of the King of France, there is no center left
(Lyotard). One may feel a need for integration and community. Community is
another coded form of communication (religion?). I provocatively advised my
students to keep that celebration for the Sunday mornings. Aren't we
celebrating our community today?

 

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

 

3. Let me return to the theme of "love": note the transition from "Love" as
Christ, and thus the only intimate relations (17th century) to love as
passion in interpersonal relations. Here, Husserl is relevant: the
intersubjective is secularized. Luhmann proposed to operationalize this as
communication. In later work (after 1990), Luhmann than moved from the
communication of expectations to "observations". Observations, however,
serve us to update the expectations. The dynamics of expectations are the
proper subject of a sociology. Observations presume observing "systems"; but
it is problematic to consider evolving discourse as a "system" (see above).
The codes in the communication of expectations enable us also 

Re: [Fis] _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS

2016-04-02 Thread Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic

Dear colleagues,
In my understanding, both Loet and Søren are right. Loet about how sciences 
look like today and Sören about the need of integrative processes in the future.


Sören:
Thus the question is how can we establish an alternative transdisciplinary 
model of the sciences and the humanities to the logical positivist reductionism 
on one hand and to postmodernist relativist constructivism on the other in the 
form of a transdisciplinary concept of Wissenschaft (i.e. “knowledge creation”, 
implying both subjectivism and objectivism)? The body and its meaning-making 
processes is a complex multidimensional object of research that necessitates 
trans-disciplinary theoretical approaches including biological sciences, 
primarily biosemiotics and bio-cybernetics, cognition and communication 
sciences, phenomenology, hermeneutics, philosophy of science and philosophical 
theology (Harney 2015, Davies & Gregersen 2009).


Loet:
The organization of bodies of knowledge in the sciences takes place at another 
level than the integration of cognition in the body of an individual. One 
cannot reduce the one level to the other, in my opinion. Which research program 
of these two has priority? How do they relate – potentially differently – to 
information?




On all levels, knowledge is a result of two opposed processes – integration and 
differentiation of information. Here data can be seen as atoms of information. 
I take it to be self-evident that knowledge is produced by all living 
organisms, individually and in groups, from bacteria or single cells in a 
multicellular organism up. So yes, knowledge is not only what individuals have 
in their bodies as saved data/ information/ knowledge (Here I think of the 
process of formation ever more complex structures from data to information to 
knowledge to wisdom (Tom Stonier). Knowledge is shared by communities of 
practice.

Interestingly, there is already today a body of knowledge about integrative 
research projects, especially developed in applied research such as one aiming 
at solving wicked, ill-defined, real-world problems such as problems of 
environment and sustainable development. Also, medicine is a field where more 
and more transdisciplinary approaches can be found such as in cancer research 
where models are made ranging from molecular up to macroscopic social 
structures, where all disparate research fields such as molecular biology and 
epidemiology contribute to build a complex, multi-faceted knowledge of the 
phenomenon. As an illustration, have a look at: 
http://www.transdisciplinarity.ch/td-net/Aktuell.html

Two handbooks are also of interest:

Hadorn, G.H. et al., 2008. Handbook of transdisciplinary research, Springer 
Netherlands.

Frodeman, R., Klein, J.T. & Mitcham, C. eds., 2010. The Oxford Handbook of 
Interdisciplinarity, OUP Oxford.

How does information enter this process of integration of knowledge from 
diverse research domains?

Dodig-Crnkovic G., Physical Computation as Dynamics of Form that Glues 
Everything Together<http://www.mdpi.com/2078-2489/3/2/204/pdf>,
Information<http://www.mdpi.com/2078-2489/3/2/204> 
(doi:10.3390/info3020204<http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/info3020204>) Special Issue 
on Information: Its Different Modes and Its Relation to 
Meaning<http://www.mdpi.com/journal/information/special_issues/information_meaning/>,
 R. Logan Ed., 2012 3(2), 204-218

Best,
Gordana




Gordana Dodig Crnkovic, Professor of Computer Science
Vice Dean of Graduate Education
Department of Applied IT
Chalmers University of Technology & University of Gothenburg, Sweden
http://www.ait.gu.se/kontaktaoss/personal/gordana-dodig-crnkovic/
School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Mälardalen University
http://www.mrtc.mdh.se/~gdc/


From: Fis <fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es<mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es>> 
on behalf of Loet Leydesdorff 
<l...@leydesdorff.net<mailto:l...@leydesdorff.net>>
Organization: University of Amsterdam
Reply-To: "l...@leydesdorff.net<mailto:l...@leydesdorff.net>" 
<l...@leydesdorff.net<mailto:l...@leydesdorff.net>>
Date: Saturday 2 April 2016 at 13:04
To: "'Pedro C. Marijuan'" 
<pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es<mailto:pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es>>, 
"fis@listas.unizar.es<mailto:fis@listas.unizar.es>" 
<fis@listas.unizar.es<mailto:fis@listas.unizar.es>>
Subject: Re: [Fis] _ DISCUSSION SESSION: INFOBIOSEMIOTICS


Thus the question is how can we establish an alternative transdisciplinary 
model of the sciences and the humanities to the logical positivist reductionism 
on one hand and to postmodernist relativist constructivism on the other in the 
form of a transdisciplinary concept of Wissenschaft (i.e. “knowledge creation”, 
implying both subjectivism and objectivism)? The body and its meaning-making 
processes is a complex multidimensio