Date: Wed 28 May 2003 - 18:42:27 GMT
> > From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > > > From: "Wade T. Smith" <email@example.com>
> > > >
> > > > On Sunday, May 25, 2003, at 02:58 PM, Gudmundur wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > But if it weren't for an existing interpretative context
> > > > > (scientists' minds and other paraphernalia) published genes
> > > > > would not mean anything to anyone. Similarly, for DNA to
> > > > > convey any information there has to be the interpretative
> > > > > environment of the cell. So, a more accurate view of
> > > > > information is to see it as emerging when some system
> > > > > (scientist, cell, etc.) interprets a series of
> > > > > signifiers/signs (DNA, letters, etc.).
> > > >
> > > > And there it is.
> > >
> > > This is why the term "information storage" is incoherent.
> > >
> > Yeah, such things as minds and movies and books and records and cd's
> > and tapes and computers and maps and schematics just don't make
> > sense, do they?
> Right. Except for "minds," which doesn't belong in this list, these
> things don't make sense unless someone is there to interpret them.
> One might say there's all sorts of information in a 30,000 year old
> human skull fragment, but only if a paleoanthropologist examines it.
> The information arises solely in the mind of the investigator. It
> doesn't pre-exist in the bone. The bone is nothing more than a
> physical structure. Shannon's theory of information was really just a
> theory of structure that becomes information in the mind of a human
> interpreter. To use "information" in place of physical structure is
> no different than using "meme" in place of cultural information. If
> you've already got a perfectly good term, why bring in another one?
> Why complicate things and pretend you've created a new science when
> you're really just switching an old term with a newfangled one?
> Incidentally, this also applies to the notion that memories are
> recorded in the brain. The idea here is to understand memory without
> having to resort to vague notions of mind and enduring self-identity.
> We can thus understand memory entirely according to neurons and
> synapses. But if information doesn't exist in strictly physical form
> and requires interpretation in the context of a larger system, then
> there's still no memory encoded in brains. The larger system, of
> course, is the mind. Try as you might, you just can't get around it.
Yep, there has to be someone there to interpret them. A self- consciously aware and choice-capable human subjectivity, capable of interpreting both its own internally stored information and information that has been externally encoded in a common symbol system, not some Watson-Skinner, behavioristically-led-blindly-around-by the- nose-by-memes, meat machine zombie. But information DOES exist in physical form; it is simply latent and requires code-wise human access and attention to activate it. Just like the gene is a gene even when it's recessive, the meme is a meme before, during and after its communication or access, even when it is unbeheld, just like the unseen tree in the forest still grows.
> This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
> Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
> For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
> see: http://www.cpm.mmu.ac.uk/jom-emit
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)
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