Robin's Trial Balloon

joe dees (
Sat, 17 Apr 1999 20:53:21 -0400

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Robin's Trial Balloon
From: "joe dees" <>
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 20:53:21 -0400

>>Here's the "test message" I threatened, on info basics. No mention of
>>memes whatsoever (except there), but I hope the possibility of building
>>up to memetics from this base will be fairly obvious.
>>The concept of information is used in physics, for instance in
>>connection with entropy, but that often seems, to me at least, to
>>conflict somewhat with the more common sorts of use of the concept, for
>>instance in "management information systems". Having had some success
>>with the technique in other (but related) areas, I decided to analyse
>>information (the concept(s)) in terms of subjectivity and objectivity.
>>I now seem to be making real progress, having divided information into
>>two categories. Objective information is what physicists deal with.
>>While this is not central to my interests, and I'm not entirely clear
>>about it, I believe it is equivalent to "negentropy". But objective
>>information is not esoteric: it is, in fact, just the form of physical
>>reality. Every physical thing can be considered to carry the
>>information that is its own description. And this is equally true on
>>all levels of description/explanation, the difference between levels
>>being that of the scale of the patterns we're interested in.
>>Subjective information is the more commonly thought-of sort. It is
>>carried by telephone lines, radio waves, hard and floppy discs, etc. It
>>is always "about something" other than its carrier -- or at least, if it
>>does happen to be about its carrier, it is so in a fundamentally
>>different way than is objective information. Subjective information is
>>an interpretation of objective information: when analysed with maximal
>>objectivity, a floppy disc carries only its own objective information,
>>which happens to include magnetic charges. But those charges, when
>>interpreted in a particular way, provide additional information, which
>>could be about anything from naked women to floppy discs. This
>>additional information is not a supernatural entity, "the soul of the
>>floppy", or such, but is a function of the relationship between the
>>floppy's objective information, and the method of interpretation --
>>which is more information, in some sense "sent ahead", and can be
>>thought of as context. Thus subjective information conforms to
>>Wittgenstein's notion of meaning as use in a particular language game
>>(context). And it requires information processing, whether by computer
>>or brain (or both).
>>Of course, the concepts of subjective and objective information are
>>already in common use, but the difference is that there, they are
>>relative, while my usage is absolute. Say we have two descriptions of a
>>building, one made by an artist, and the other by a construction
>>engineer. It's quite likely that the former will be relatively
>>subjective, and the latter relatively objective, but both are, in my,
>>absolute terminology, subjective. Only the building itself can carry
>>its own objective information, it is necessarily the sole possessor of
>>its perfectly objective description. I contend that there is no
>>necessary conflict between these relative and absolute usages. The
>>intended meaning should be made clear by the context.
>>Any comments so far?
>>Robin Faichney
>>Visit The Conscious Machine at
>It reminds me of Peircean semiotics. You might wanna check out THE HUMAN USE OF SIGNS or: ELEMENTS OF ANTHROPOSEMIOSIS (1994) by John Deely, and DIALOGIC SEMIOSIS: AN ESSAY ON SIGNS AND MEANING (1993) by Jorgen Dines Johansen.

Joe E. Dees
Poet, Pagan, Philosopher

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