[Fis] "A Priori" Modeling of Information

Marcus Abundis 55mrcs at gmail.com
Thu Jun 16 12:53:24 CEST 2016

Thank you Pedro, and of course, thank you very much for your enduring
efforts in moderating this site . . .

Greetings to all,

This session covers the *a priori* modeling of information. It targets a
“meaningful void” named by Shannon and Weaver (1949). As such, it seeks to
frame a “theory of meaning” and a “unified theory of information” (UTI),
two thorny issues. *A priori* models can help as they often focus on
organizing principles. Also, a winning view should offer benefits that
equal or surpass gains seen from Shannon’s (1948) earlier work. For
example, firm notions of meaning and universality are key to founding a
*meaningful* AI, and to addressing hurdles in quantum mechanics/computing
and in material science (Aspuru-Guzik, 2015).

An *a priori* effort starts with “what comes *before* information,” using
analytic philosophy to frame core concepts, but it ends in a phenomenology
of useful information – two often opposed views. The session thus entails
divergent levels of analysis that may stir confusion. For example, disorder
at one level implies a type of order at a different level (type theory,
Bateson’s “differences themselves must be differentiated”), but framed by
one system of thought. Thus, to help guide this session and to initiate
group dialogue, a cursory model is offered. With the foregoing cautionary
notes in mind, I invite you to join this FIS session: together we will see
what unfolds. . . . .

The full version of this introductory text (1,600 words) is attached as a
PDF, or can be downloaded at:

The central goal of this session is – from an "a priori" perspective – to
name specific structural fundaments, and attempt some progress on modeling:
 1. An UTI that reconciles/synthesizes the works of Shannon (entropy),
Bateson (differences/distinctions), and Darwinian selection (e.g., Are
these the correct starting points and how do we proceed?)
2. How "meaning" can be framed in a *fundamental* manner that makes sense
within the diverse informational roles we now confront (minimizing
"higher-order" debate, re Deacon's [from IS4IS] "keeping our levels

I look forward to hearing your thoughts . . .

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