[Fis] Fwd: The 10 Principles

Jose Javier Blanco Rivero javierweiss at gmail.com
Wed Sep 16 14:15:01 CEST 2020

---------- Forwarded message ---------
De: Jose Javier Blanco Rivero <javierweiss en gmail.com>
Date: mar, sep 15, 2020 12:14
Subject: Re: [Fis] The 10 Principles
To: Pedro C. Marijuan <pcmarijuan.iacs en aragon.es>

Dear Pedro,
Dear FISers Colleagues,

In general terms, I agree with both principles. However, there are two
issues I would like to raise. The first is a caveat referring to a source
of potential criticism (a). And the second is a distinction with the
potential to contribute to both principles (b).

(a) The following statement "*...the distinction term refers to the
capabilities of the subject or informational entity that is engaged in the
exploration of events or signals in its immediate environment.*" implies
some ontological and epistemological principles that should be avoided (in
fact, I think we should avoid ontology and epistemology altogether, but
that is another discussion).  The vulnerability of the former statement
consists in that it can only account for the "nature" of the *distinction*
but in metaphysical terms. I mean, if you ask: What sort of thing is a
distinction so that it belongs to a subject's "capabilities" and at the
same time it can be extracted by this very subject from its environment? I
cannot think but of a sort of substratum involving, embracing,
circumscribing both, the subject and its environment. And if the nature of
this substratum were to be accounted for, we would end up in an endless
recursive loop.
I believe that a distinction is an inherently associative operation which
can only be accounted for without contradictions at the abstraction level
of the system (be it social, biological or whatever). Distinctions can be
performed as system's operations because of the differences between system
and environment, namely, because there is a difference between
self-organization of whatever kind (thermodynamical, biological,
sociological) and a complex environment populated by every sort of
perturbation. We can think of differences in pressure and temperature
between a biological boby and the atmosphere, we can think of differences
in prices that drive investors from one country to another, we can think of
differences in legal regulations from one country to another that allow the
formation of dubious international commerce networks, and so forth.
But how can we explain the differences of differences, I mean how
differences are themselves organized so that we can straightforwardly
distinguish between the realms of the physical, the chemical, the
biological, the social. I believe that the distinction between medium and
environment can help us out. And that is my second point.

(b) The concept of medium sheds light on the issue we raised before. How
are the differences of differences structured? This question equals that of
how redundancy is organized, and as is well known, redundancy is related to
information. I argue that information is relative to a determined medium;
that media, by themselves, are information sources (I can provide you with
better arguments if you follow this link:
Information in the medium of public opinion is different from information
in the medium of power (see Luhmann's book entitled Power for this -there
is an English translation along with his writings about Trust). Information
in the public opinion is guided by the concept of "news", novelty and even
scandal. However from the standpoint of some power structure, only the
differences in resources and influence between the members of the power
network (or power circuitry as I like to call it) are informative. Power
and public opinion organize redundancy in different ways although both of
them "live" within the environment of the political system. I could go on,
but the subject is rather large. In short, there are environments, but the
environment describes in very broad terms the constraints surrounding some
system. However, media are a much more specific constraint quite relevant
for the study of information.



El mar., 15 sept. 2020 a las 9:38, Pedro C. Marijuan (<
pcmarijuan.iacs en aragon.es>) escribió:

> Dear FIS Colleagues,
> As promised I bring a new version of the 10 info principles (IPs). Just
> the first two ones.
> Previously I briefly comment on Marcus. My impression is that,
> notwithstanding an attractive & suggestive couple of points,  what he is
> crafting somehow reminds me the Peircean reinterpretation of Laws of
> Nature.  Given that only Objects and Interactions --Os and Ss-- are
> considered, and this is done putting together into the same sac fermions,
> genes, agents, people, etc. the origins of meaning in the "animate" are
> automatically lost, unless we assume a pan-pysicalist-pan-psychist stance,
> I think.  So I would have trouble with this point as such (one has to see
> the whole scheme and how "bio" or "neuro" are entered specifically). The B
> principle can be taken with less caveats, I think, and it looks bold and
> very direct although perhaps it is rather linked to the anthropocentric
> view & agency (like Yixin's views, at least in my opinion).  Of course, I
> do not pretend to get the two beers, for in any case I prefer wine &
> tapas... once the rest of the points are seen.
> Then I return to my own IPs.  I had the opportunity to discuss them in the
> Saturday Conference organized by our colleague Wukun plus Yixin and others.
> An interesting experience. As you have seen in Krassimir's and Marcin's
> messages, hopefully we will have a specific FIS participation in IS4SI
> virtual meeting... So here there are those two points:
> *1. Information is distinction on an adjacent difference.*
> *2. Information processes consist in organized action upon differences
> collected onto structures, patterns, sequences, messages, or flows.*
> Here, the *distinction* term refers to the capabilities of the subject or
> informational entity that is engaged in the exploration of events or
> signals in its immediate environment. The subject extracts logical
> distinctions out from the differences in the materiality of those events. A
> minimalist scheme of distinctional logic based on multidimensional
> partitions can be applied, as was discussed by this author (Marijuán et
> al., 1998). It is based on the logic of multidimensional partitions
> developed by Karl Javorsky, explaining how finally a consistent skeleton of
> logical “distinctions” may be obtained out from the elements composing the
> difference detected or interacted by the subject.
> The guiding idea is that, by following that logic (in itself based on a
> few principles), one can apply “multidimensional partitions” as formal
> descriptors of the discrete messages or the signalling flows. And that
> skeleton of partitions is what “receiving the information” preliminarily
> implies along this restricted communication logics. It is about how the
> informational entity may create streams of relationships associated to the
> material differences in the impinging signalling flows or discrete
> messages.
> The *adjacent* term refers to the physical contact to be achieved between
> the signalling event and the subject, and the need by the latter of
> counting with sensory elements or with excitatory surfaces to be physically
> impinged upon by the incoming signals. In living cells, information arrives
> via particles, molecules, atoms, photons, or phonons that impinge on
> specialized receptors. It is the same in all sensory surfaces of nervous
> systems. Increasing the adjacency, extending the territory covered by the
> communication processes with the environment is a formidable drive of
> biological evolution: cellular pili, flagella, cilia, arborisation of axons
> and dendrites, the neuronal multiplicity of sensors and receptors,
> specialized maps, sensing modalities, etc. By all means, adjacency is
> increased to the maximum supported by the biological system. We may notice
> something similar in human societies about the artifacts, means of
> communication, and scientific-technological apparatuses that transcend the
> immediate adjacency of subjects in the complex information flows of
> contemporary societies. By transcending the limits of immediate space-time
> adjacency, and creating *channels* that carry differences to build ad hoc
> distinctions, subjects may perform a myriad of further distinction
> extractions and cognitive operations (think of telescopes, microscopes,
> telegraph, etc.). By the way, curiously "channel" in the Shanonian scheme
> represents also that which brings information to the adjacency of the
> receiver.
> By the way: addenda to pont two for Krassimir: *data result from the
> measurement of an action* (or of an aggregate of multiple actions, or
> surrogates of actions).
> Best wishes to all
> --Pedro
> --
> -------------------------------------------------
> Pedro C. Marijuán
> Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
> pcmarijuan.iacs en aragon.eshttp://sites.google.com/site/pedrocmarijuan/
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