Re: The Guardian on Information

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Mon Jun 25 2001 - 12:13:01 BST

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: The Guardian on Information"

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    Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 12:13:01 +0100
    Subject: Re: The Guardian on Information
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    In-Reply-To: <[]>; from on Sun, Jun 24, 2001 at 03:44:13PM -0400
    From: Robin Faichney <>
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    On Sun, Jun 24, 2001 at 03:44:13PM -0400, Wade T.Smith wrote:
    > Hi Robin Faichney -
    > >(I.e. a
    > >practically universal consensus is reached that treating physical
    > >structure as information is more useful than not.)
    > Yeah, I totally am with you on the not-understanding front, but, hmmm,
    > treating things as being more useful than not is only a handy tool
    > towards understanding, not a property of what is being studied,
    > necessarily.
    > Certainly the structure's structure is informative....
    > But I'm totally with Joe when he says one needs an entity that is being
    > informed, and, I can't see any other entity being informed than, well,
    > homo sapiens sapiens.

    That's just terminological conservatism. Maybe it would have been better
    if we said things like "a bit is the basic unit of data" rather than "a
    bit is the basic unit of information", but the latter meme is extremely
    well established now, and the bit concept is essential not just
    in computation and communication theory, but also thermodynamics.
    This ("information" as opp. "data") is a memetic fact, and I'd advise
    you to get used to it, because otherwise, for the sake of your blood
    pressure, you are going to have to ignore great swathes of science,
    in which great strides are being taken.

    > And it's sometimes dangerous sharing jargons, or to settle with what is
    > convenient.

    Dangers are normally considered to be offset by advantages, but you never
    seem to consider the latter. Like I said, terminological conservatism.

    Robin Faichney
    Inside Information -- -- "a prime source of meta-memes"

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