Re: presentation

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Sun 21 May 2006 - 09:40:02 GMT

  • Next message: Russ Volckmann: "Leadership"

    Friday, May 19, 2006, 9:02:53 PM, Ted wrote:

    > It seems the information for the entire pulse is contained in its leading
    > edge. This leads me to wonder if information has primacy over tangible
    > things such as light and matter, which we might refer to as "exformation."

    Physical information IS (the structure of) light and matter. You appear to be seeking some form of dualism.

    >> > A structure
    >> > is simply a structure, no more and no less. Only in the mind of the
    >> > interpreter does it encode information.
    >> That's true of any en/decoding scenario. The encoded information only
    >> exists if the appropriate decoder is available

    > The difference is that in the case of physical information, the effect is
    > automatic.

    Obviously. I'm not saying there's no difference. I'm not a materialist. My point is that your use of the encoding concept doesn't help your case.

    >> > "Meaning" is not a physically meaningful concept. At no point has
    > anyone
    >> > ever located meaning in a physical system, nestled among matter, energy,
    >> > space, field, force, pressure, momentum, etc. No meaning or
    > representation.
    >> > Yet these concepts become attached to physics when we use the term
    >> > "information" in regard to physical processes. Because we traditionally
    >> > associate information with representation, we assume that physical
    >> > information contains representation as well. The physical existence of
    >> > representation never has to be demonstrated, instead being smuggled in
    >> > through the back door. This isn't so much science as a trick of the
    > mind.
    >> Absolutely not. That's all in your mind. You project your own
    >> confusion onto everyone else. No physicist, nor anyone with a serious
    >> interest in it, would see representation in physical information.

    > That's exactly my point. When you think about it, physical information
    > cannot include representation. The problem is that we don't always think
    > about it. Since we associate meaning with information, and we now have a
    > concept of physical information, we imagine that meaning exists physically,
    > including in such objects as books, computers and brains.

    That's just your fantasy. I'm not sure exactly who it is that imagines meaning exists physically -- certainly not me, and I don't know that anyone on this list does -- but I'm quite sure that, whoever they are, they didn't adopt that position as a result of encountering the concept of physical info.

    > Incidentally, confusion is a fine example of a mental phenomenon that cannot
    > be transposed onto the physical. A thing cannot be "confused" any more than
    > it can be "clear." You or I may be confused at times, but our brains are
    > just doing their thing, as always. Only when you step back from physical
    > reality can you experience confusion or bridge the gap with truth.

    It's true that your brain isn't confused, though you clearly are, for instance in your assumption that anyone who disagrees with anything you say is an ideological enemy. But your dualistic formulations don't help us resolve our confusion about exactly what it is that is confused.

    Best regards,
    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)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Sun 21 May 2006 - 10:01:59 GMT