Re: Information

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Sat May 05 2001 - 14:03:24 BST

  • Next message: Robin Faichney: "Re: Information"

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    Date: Sat, 5 May 2001 14:03:24 +0100
    Subject: Re: Information
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    In-Reply-To: <[]>; from on Fri, May 04, 2001 at 08:46:18AM -0400
    From: Robin Faichney <>
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    On Fri, May 04, 2001 at 08:46:18AM -0400, Wade T.Smith wrote:
    > On 05/04/01 05:19, Robin Faichney said this-
    > >(It's also very clear that not everyone understands, but I will modestly
    > >refrain from comment on the relationship between the set of those who
    > >disagree and the set of those who fail to understand. :-)
    > Well, count me among those who have no interest in disagreeing, but who
    > want to succeed at understanding.
    > And also remember, I'm sort of the analog of the nine-year-old child that
    > if you really know something you can explain it all to, here amongst ya.

    I doubt that any nine-year-old child would have such entrenched opinions
    as you. I only get uptight with you when you seem to be saying "that
    doesn't fit in with my present views, so I'm not going to take it
    seriously, in fact I'll just skim whatever you write in support of it,
    and delete and ignore any points I find awkward".

    I'll grant you don't always do that, but you surely do sometimes.

    > The nice thing, so far, is supplying the modifier in the terms, like
    > 'Fisher'.

    I've been careful all along to distinguish between "physical" or
    "intrinsic" information and "intentional" information (which is about
    something, i.e. the common concept).

    > This thermodynamic stuff is highly motivating.

    I'm glad you think so too. The use of informational concepts and
    techniques in physics and biology (maybe chemistry too, for all I know)
    is very fruitful, and highly fascinating, for those who aren't too upset
    by this departure from what they're used to. There's a newsgroup whose
    name I can't presently recall that's devoted to information in biology
    -- bioinformatics? John Wilkins would probably know that (the term, if
    not the ng).

    > And personally I like "the shortest algorithm that can generate a
    > sequence" definition, since its applicable to many situations, including
    > this one, since that's a nice definition of what we might want a meme to
    > be- just replace 'sequence' with 'behavior'.

    I'm not so sure about that. Seems to me, for memetics, it's mainly
    the encoded information we're interested in, the form of encoding --
    in this case, the degree of compression -- being of less interest.
    Which is not, of course, to say it has none. Personally, when I think
    about it, without worrying about whether it's memetics or not, I can
    get quite fascinated by that, too! :-)

    Robin Faichney
    Get your Meta-Information from
    (CAUTION: contains philosophy, may cause heads to spin)

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