[Fis] The 10 Principles--Replies

Xueshan Yan yxs at pku.edu.cn
Sun Sep 20 16:08:06 CEST 2020

Dear Dai,


I read most of your posts in the past decades and agree with your views about the investigation of information. Fortunately, we can share the different ideas by FIS currently and this channel was not partitioned by the mentioned firewall temporarily.


Best wishes,



From: fis-bounces at listas.unizar.es <fis-bounces at listas.unizar.es> On Behalf Of Dai Griffiths
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2020 8:58 PM
To: fis at listas.unizar.es
Subject: Re: [Fis] The 10 Principles--Replies


I am entirely in agreement with Loet that

"As you know, I am against this program. Reducing society to a meta-biology reduces the social sciences to a commentary. They can be sui generis. The application of biological systems theory to society (sociobiology) to be resisted. ... The rule of law cannot be reduced to biology."

Nevertheless, I am still tempted to think that there are patterns that connect across different fields. For example, since the introduction of social media something has happened to patterns of communication, to shared meaning making, and to politics. I would think that, in addition to the social phenomena which lead people to behave in one way or another in a particular culture or society, there are also relevant rules that we can discover about the dynamics of communication which are applicable in a wider context. For example the ideas of variety management, amplification and attenuation help in understanding the control structures which different societies create (whether this is a team of Facebook moderators, or the Great Firewall of China). If this is not the case, then we are forced to believe that these social changes are unrelated to the development of mobile computing, which I don't find credible.

Mapping these kinds of connections was the ambition behind the development of those involved in cybernetics and their fellow travelers. To me, this is a more acceptable program than "Reducing society to a meta-biology".


On 20/09/2020 09:41, Loet Leydesdorff wrote:

This may be the case for biological evolution, but communication technologies enable us to include non-adjacent distinctions. 

--Nope. As said above, we may only imply that those media or techno info are non-local only AFTER THEIR CARRIERS HAVE "TOUCHED" OUR RECEPTORS and we have built thousands and thousands of micro-distinctions flowing bottom-up and top-down that produce a meaning and finally they make us say, "oh, yes, this is non-local info about the US politics". It may take barely an instant, and all of those processes are transparent for us.

Dear Pedro, 


It seems to me that you reason most about information carriers, but not about information. The carriers can also transform the information. For example, the receptors can be expected to filter.


By the way, curiously "channel" in the Shanonian scheme represents also that which brings information to the adjacency of the receiver. 

The commonality exhibits, in my opinion, the mathematical character. Once one abstracts from materiality, a mathematical definition becomes unavoidable. Only math (and logic) can be used across domains. Do you have such a definition, equivalent to the Shannon H?

--Interesting, but do you think the Shannonian metrics is the only thing in common?

There is a number of these measures. Shannon-type is relatively simple and elaborate. Essentia non sint multiplicanda.  The alternatives are not essentially different.


But my point revolves about a better understanding of sharing a life-cycle (& its experiential load--a culture for instance) as a powerful level-playing field in social and biological communication. It dissolves eons of complexity.

As you know, I am against this program. Reducing society to a meta-biology reduces the social sciences to a commentary. They can be sui generis. The application of biological systems theory to society (sociobiology) to be resisted. For example, we don't wish the strongest to be the fittest. The rule of law cannot be reduced to biology.





Fis mailing list
Fis at listas.unizar.es <mailto:Fis at listas.unizar.es> 
Ud. recibe este correo por pertenecer a una lista de correo gestionada por la Universidad de Zaragoza.
Puede encontrar toda la información sobre como tratamos sus datos en el siguiente enlace: https://sicuz.unizar.es/informacion-sobre-proteccion-de-datos-de-caracter-personal-en-listas
Recuerde que si está suscrito a una lista voluntaria Ud. puede darse de baja desde la propia aplicación en el momento en que lo desee.

Professor David (Dai) Griffiths
SKYPE: daigriffiths
Phones (please don't leave voice mail)
   UK Mobile +44 (0)7491151559
   Spanish Mobile: + 34 687955912
   dai.griffiths.1 at gmail.com <mailto:dai.griffiths.1 at gmail.com> 
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listas.unizar.es/pipermail/fis/attachments/20200920/17276ddb/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Fis mailing list