From: Scott Chase (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Wed 25 May 2005 - 22:19:58 GMT
--- Robin Faichney <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hi Scott, not sure about your concept of
> "infocentrism", because,
> though I absolutely agree that context is very often
> neglected, it too
> can be understood in terms of information: it can be
> considered the
> key that decodes the "central" information, be that
> DNA or whatever.
> For instance, Wittgenstein's "language game" is the
> key that unlocks
> the meaning of any utterance.
> I have my own take on information, discussed here
> way back but not
> recently. I'll restrain myself to mentioning the
> website for now:
> www.mmmi.org, where mmmi stands for mind, matter,
> meaning and
Wow! Haven't seen you post here in a LONG time. Welcome back.
Though I see reduction as helpful, it can be taken too
far. In the argument of mind and brain I'm a hardcore
mindbrain monist after Paatricia Chruchland, so I can
be considered a hardcore reductionist when it comes to
the topic of mindbrain. I've no truck with dualism and
have decided, after reading Churchland, that Popper's
three world plurality is probably a dead end too.
None the less, after contradicting myself in one
paragraph on the dangers of reductionism, I think that
genocentric and memocentric reductionism take things
too far. One instance of memocentric reductionism is
Blackmore's selflex concept. I can follow her to a
point, but then I start thinking she's gone over the
Likewise with hardcore infocentrists. I think that
information theory is important and all and great for
the formalism and claarity it offers where it applies,
but reducing human communication to signal
transmission in a channel might be taking it too far.
Maybe it's a necessary step to take (not quite sure
yet), but is it sufficient as an explanation of human
OK maybe my naive reading of authors like Ritchie and
Devlin has gotten me thinking more in terms of
context, but I think both author's have good points to
make. I was rather impressed with Devlin's book and
he's not a biologist. What he says makes sense and
when he cited research on "foot in the door"
phenomenon stuff I recalled from social psychology
class over a decade ago, I was really impressed,
because he was taking his arguments into an arena that
applies to human social behavior (ie- social
psychology). He's looking at the *big picture* and not
getting squashed up in the minutae like Aunger does in
_The Electric Meme_. There were parts in Devlin's book where I wondered if he was getting it wrong, but I didn't see him fall flat on his face.
I'm trying to get a grip on the bridging between
"information theory" and "information science" as a possible thesis venture in the future. It could be apples and oranges, but I dunno. I'll see. I'm really fascinated by storage and retrieval stuff at the macro level , more so than mundane formalisms of flow through channels at the micro level, but I guess the two connect somehow.
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