Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id MAA18730 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Wed, 2 May 2001 12:00:42 +0100 Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745E34@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: light-switches Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 11:56:59 +0100 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
I don't want to interject with too superficial a question (well... OK, it's
a bit superficial but it is potentially a memetic question).
Why are light switches uniformly down to switch on and up to switch off?
(In my rented flat, our living room light switch, I presume, was put on
upside down. But both my wife and I kinda prefer it the other way around.)
OK, most of you have either deleted this already, or thinking what a waste
of bandwidth, but it's little details like this that may indicate memetic
processes. Ages ago I mentioned the different ways print is laid out on the
page, and wondered what the determinants of different approaches were.
Feel free to ignore my ramblings...
> From: TJ Olney
> Reply To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Sent: Wednesday, May 2, 2001 2:27 am
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: Information
> What makes information informatiion.
> >If you want to be "precise", then offer a better word that can describe
> >that *something* which makes information distinguishable from data, and
> >data distinguishable from random fields..
> Take the light switch.
> If the difference between on and off makes a difference to anything in
> that switch's environment, it is information-- to that anything.
> So, for instance, there is no information _for me_ in the orientation of
> the uninstalled light switches in a box in my house. There is no
> information _for me_ in the orientation of a light switch in your current
> environment as you read this. There is information _for me_ if the
> orientation of a light switch in my presence changes and I am aware of the
> change. What else happens at the same time will determine the nature of
> that information -- light goes on, off, blows out, causes short-circuit
> for whole house, etc.
> Finally, if the position of the light switch lying on the ground with no
> people around makes it easier for a slug to lay its eggs in a protected
> environment, then the switch position provides information to the slug.
> Information is a system phenomenon dealing with difference. Shannon-Weaver
> type "information" is sometimes information, sometimes not. It is
> unfortunately another "logical type" problem to consider states as
> information without reference to something for which the state makes a
> See Bateson for an excellent treatment of this.
> On Thu, 26 Apr 2001, Brent Silby wrote:
> > Hi Robin,
> > I've just checked out your website and enjoyed my visit. You are
> putting together a very interesting research project, which has an obvious
> connection to memetics.
> > With your indulgence, I have a couple of questions... just interested in
> your thoughts...
> > Question 1: Would you consider the state of a light switch to be an item
> of information if there were no intelligent observers (or understanders)
> of the information -- perhaps, say, if life on Earth became extinct? Or
> do you think information requires understanding in order to be considered
> > Question 2: Do you think that high quality information can be reduced to
> large quantities of primitive information? Or is there something about
> some information quality that cannot be reduced?
> > Interesting topic, keep up the good work.
> > Cheers,
> > Brent.
> > ------------------------
> > Brent Silby 2001
> > Memetics Research
> > and Engineering Project
> > BasePage: http://www.geocities.com/brent_silby/
> > Check Out: Earth Survival,
> > http://www.geocities.com/brent_silby/earth_survival.html
> > Try this one: Correcting the Creationist,
> > http://www.geocities.com/brent_silby/correcting_the_creationist.html
> > Room 601a
> > Department of Philosophy
> > University of Canterbury
> > Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > __________________________________________
> -- TJ Olney email@example.com Not all those who wander are lost.
> -- http://mp3.musicmatch.com/artists/artists.cgi?id=113&display=1
> 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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