RE: Encoding and Decoding

Aaron Agassi (
Mon, 6 Sep 1999 16:37:07 -0400

From: "Aaron Agassi" <>
To: <>
Subject: RE: Encoding and Decoding
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 1999 16:37:07 -0400
In-Reply-To: <>

> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On Behalf
> Of Robin Faichney
> Sent: Monday, September 06, 1999 3:46 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: Encoding and Decoding
> In message <000601bef89a$506c9d20$>,
> Aaron Agassi <> writes
> >> >
> >> >We are talking about the replication of information content, or
> >> meaning, by
> >> >consciousness, inter-subjectively.
> >>
> >> No, "we" are not. You can talk about whatever you want. I'm talking
> >> about replicating items of objective information, where
> consciousness is
> >> irrelevant.
> >So you say. But I will gasp in awe if you can actually pull it off.
> Get ready to gasp.
> >Where is
> >consciousness irrelevant to information? Well, first of all, there is
> >information in the Physicist's sense, as in form, low Entropy.
> But this is
> >Ontology, not communication or Phenomenology. Intelligence, if not
> >consciousness, comes into the decoding and re-encoding from
> forms, natural
> >or artifact, or phenomena including behaviors.
> Intelligence is not required. Any physical process can be characterised
> as the transformation of physical (physicist's) information, and that's
> precisely what I mean by the en/decoding of memes. Physical processes.
Before we continue, let's establish one thing:
You are taking a Reductionist position. That is what you will have to
support. The process of transformation of information where of you speak, is
still theoretical. I take it that it is still human brains where the
encoding takes place. And of what goes on in there, what we have is a
general concept. You only hope, some day, to see Neuro Science track a meme
through every neuron and synapse, all the way through it's transformation.

But on one fine day when this is finally accomplished, will they have
explained away intelligence, or will they end up understanding how
intelligence works in detail?

Reductionism accepts a limited idea of truth, i.e., correspondence to
reality. Truth, according to reductionism, is very little more than point by
point correspondence of elements and events to a statement describing them.

Gestalt Anti-Reductionism, however, has a different view of truth. That real
truth that is more than trivial is more and even less than point by point
correspondence of elements and events to a statement describing them. More
in that it requires comprehension of the complex interrelationships and
their ramifications. Less, in that lengthy itemization every detail is not
the be all and end all, and less important than gaining understanding.

According to Reductionism, the whole is no more than the sum of it's part.
According to Gestalt anti-Reductionism, the complex whole is, indeed, more
than the sum of it's parts.

A true copy is one that accurately corresponds to the original, such that
the statement "statement a only restates statement b" will be a true
statement. The question is, what is truth and therefore information content?
You yourself argue that information content transcends the identity of
copying. This suggests an identity that must first be understood in order to
be affirmed. Comprehension, then, is necessary to test memetic fidelity,
mutation, or out and out failure and still birth.

But what of transformation itself? Transformation is an operation of the
brain. So, will Neurology vindicate Reductionism or Gestalt? Will they have
explained away intelligence, or will they end up understanding how
intelligence works in detail? I support Gestalt, because Reductionism is
falsified. It fails to explain. It will fail to explain the complexity of
the brain. Neuro Science will strive to explain intelligence. Intelligence
will not be explained away. The whole is often exponentially more than the
some of it's parts.

> >This leaves the question of
> >such a task being performed by a computerized robot of some
> sort. But even
> >to what degree that succeeds, what then accrues? Objective information?
> >
> >For that matter, what is objective information?
> Physical information is objective.
> >Truth is a quality of a
> >statement of correspondence to reality. Understanding, or information
> >content, is a more useful form of truth, the correspondence to reality of
> >interrelationships and their ramifications.
> You're confusing subjective (context/decoding dependent) and objective
> (physical) information.
No, you are. Observe:
Decoding and re-encoding for information content is context dependant, and
even involves inter-subjective transmission between individual
Phenomenological contexts. These inter-subjective acrobatics belongs to the
subjective activity of comprehension. Physical information (information in
the Physicist's sense of the word) cannot be memetically transformed without
these processes. Comprehension, in some form, becomes indispensable.

> >So, where is your objective information to which consciousness is
> >irrelevant?
> Under your nose.
> This is all explained at
> --
> Robin Faichney
> Get Your FREE Information at

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