Re: information transmission

Bruce Edmonds (
Thu, 11 Mar 1999 10:31:00 +0000

Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 10:31:00 +0000
From: Bruce Edmonds <>
To: Memetics Discussion List <>
Subject: Re: information transmission

Shannon's definition of information was invented for a very specific
purpose, it is *not* a good definition for information in general.

I define information as such:
"Anything uniquely identifiable that can be duplicated with no
lower bound on the cost"

This means that although information is always held by physical tokens
of some kind, it is necessarily independent of these tokens. As
technology improves this paragraph can be duplicated using less and less
energy, but this paragraph is still identifiable as the *same*

Thus information can, of course, be transmitted _using_ tokens. If I
send an email I can trace the causal chain of tokens that were the
mechanism for the transmission of information. But the information is
not the token.

Take an analogy. I may have a desiese, this may be tranmitted via a
virus. However the desiese is not the virus, it is a macroscopic
collection of syptoms etc. that is caused by the virus. The desiese can
be passed on to someone else _via_ the virus. So with information.


Bruce Edmonds,
Centre for Policy Modelling,
Manchester Metropolitan University, Aytoun Bldg.,
Aytoun St., Manchester, M1 3GH. UK.
Tel: +44 161 247 6479 Fax: +44 161 247 6802

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)