[Fis] defining information - Goal, Methodology, Steps ...

Pedro C. Marijuan pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es
Mon Mar 9 19:37:34 CET 2020

Dear Krassimir and FIS colleagues,

Most of the recent messages look in Sync. The consensus points, under 
different names, towards information as secondary, relative, 
undefinable... and particularly towards the need, when defining it, of 
including the context in which the definition is established. Personally 
I am more interested in the concerns about empirical information matters 
in different disciplines: we have heard snippets from computer science, 
maths, biology, neuroscience (Jose Luis--could you please send me that 
very interesting paper? It it is not an open access) ... My traditional 
position is that the "informational coupling" of life forms with the 
abduced parts of their environment (signals, communication, etc.) in the 
advancement of their own living cycle should be considered as the 
proto-phenomenon of information. Agents, agency, are an abstraction in 
other disciplines (computer science, economics) derived from the former 
proto-phenomenon, unfortunately depriving it of some of its most 
interesting qualities. So rich is in every generative aspect: Conatus 
principle (Spinoza), fundamental coding (Rosen), genetic algorithms 
(Holland), sel-constructing "machines" (von Neumann), neural 
topodynamics (Friston)...

The above central "informational coupling" appears as valid along the 
complexity growth: procaryots, eukaryots, multicells, nervous systems, 
societies... in each of these realms, and in multiple ways, we can point 
to "info definitions" and contexts tailored to the particular 
phenomenology. From cellular signalling systems to the bonding 
structures of our societies, or to the adaptive role of emotions. For 
instance, I have various research papers on the intriguing info content 
of laughter and its enigmatic relationship to the life cycle (it is 
omnipresent in our lives). Why?? A neural network can detect with more 
than 90% success from just a bunch of your laughs whether you are 
falling in depression or not (Navarro et al. 2014). Entropy of the 
frequencies involved is a major key.

Developing consistent empirical research on information "caught in the 
act" is crucial.


El 06/03/2020 a las 19:25, Krassimir Markov escribió:
> Dear Pedro and Colleagues,
> First of all, I apologize again to Yixin for asking postponing this 
> discussion and to Joseph for my silence in January.
> As you all see now, this one is very intensive and it was possible to 
> interrupt the New Year Lecture of Joseph.
> In addition, Joseph had moderated it very nice and we receive very 
> good collection of examples of disinformation, misinformation and etc.
> From my point of view, it is just what we need now.
> Well, let’s go further.
> *1. What is our goal* - to give one or more definitions of concept 
> “information” or to establish useful information theories to be 
> applied to practical domains to understand and solve real problems?
> From my point of view - the last is our goal.
> Because of this it doesn’t matter how much definitions we will have.
> It is important to see that the concrete definition may be applied to 
> a concrete domain to explain a concrete phenomenon.
> In other words, I expect to see examples as more as possible.
> *2. We need methodological**knowledge* to establish new concepts and 
> theories.
> First of all, we need to clear what kind is our new concept - primary 
> or secondary.
> Concerning the concept “information”, it may be introduced as a 
> primary, as well as, as a secondary concept.
> If it is a primary concept, it has to be introduces by series of well 
> known examples.
> If it is a secondary concept, the primary concepts, which will define 
> it, need to be chosen precisely and again to be introduced by 
> corresponded series of examples.
> For me, the “information” is a secondary concept!
> If we assume it as a primary concept, it will be direct way to well 
> known concepts of “Got” and modern variants, such as 
> “Information-space-time continuum”.
> If one believes in “Information”, he/she may explain many of real 
> phenomena.
> But in the same time, he/she will fall down in some kind of dogma. 
> (Dear Gordana, elections are the same case!).
> *3. I propose to follow the next steps* when we propose definitions of 
> “information”:
> 1) to point clearly if it is a primary or a secondary concept;
> 2) if it is a primary concept, to stop further discussion and to try 
> to understand the examples given by the author(s);
> 3) in the second case, to introduce clearly the primary concepts and 
> step by step to present the theory.
> *4. No problems if we will have many theories* for the same phenomenon.
> It is well known that, for instance, the Geometry is not a single theory.
> You may know at least several geometries:
> - Euclidean (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclidean_geometry);
> - Non-Euclidean: hyperbolic or elliptic 
> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Euclidean_geometry);
> - Spherical geometry (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_geometry),
> etc.
> This point of view, in 1993, I had included in the name of the first 
> ITHEA^® International Journal calling it “Information Theories and 
> Applications” .
> Friendly greetings
> Krassimir

Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group

pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es

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