[Fis] FW: Informatic Principles (redux) - Reply to Christophe, Karl, and Francesco. Properties and Constraints

Joseph Brenner joe.brenner at bluewin.ch
Mon Sep 21 10:17:53 CEST 2020

CM; Something truly meaningless could exist in a place where there is no


Christophe’s last lines get at the heart of the matter: restated positively:
something truly meaningful could exist in a place only in place where there
are constraints.


CM: Can a trend to increasing complexity be considered as a constraint for a
post big-bang universe?


My answer is yes, but if the trend is inherent in the universe, increasing
complexity is a property of it. We are thus in a teleological discussion of
whether the ‘purpose’ of the universe is to increase its complexity, as
Gerhard Luhn has suggested. My conclusion is that property and constraint
are a dialectic pair, evolving, like information, with the unfiverse.


Best wishes,





From: Fis [mailto:fis-bounces at listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Christophe
Sent: dimanche, 20 septembre 2020 23:00
To: Marcus Abundis; fis at listas.unizar.es; Pedro C. Marijuan
Subject: Re: [Fis] Informatic Principles (redux) – Reply to Christophe,
Karl, and Francesco.


Dear Marcus and dear Pedro,

We all agree, I guess, that life manages meaningful information. A drop of
acid is meaningful for a paramecium who will get away to satisfy a « stay
alive » constraint.  But at the core of the meaning generation we do not
find life, we find the constraint. It is the constraint that justifies the
reason of being of the meaning, that justifies the action that will satisfy
the constraint. It is the constraint that justifies the fabricated
difference by using the received difference. The constraint is related to
the nature of the agent: stay alive (individual & species) for animals, look
for happiness for humans, act as programmed for robots. Meaning generation
is not limited to life. The Meaning Generator System is only a system (a set
of elements linked by a set of relations). It can be used for any system
submitted to an internal constraint. 
And to perhaps answer your concern, Marcus, local constraints can be a
starting point for an analysis of « meaning » in a pre-biotic universe, and
also as source of agency, teleology, and autonomy (
https://philpapers.org/archive/MENICA-2.pdf). Something truly meaningless
could exist in a place where there is no constraint. Can a trend to
increasing complexity be considered as a constraint for a post big-bang
universe? I don’t know....
Regarding human performances and human nature, my interest is with an
evolutionary scenario for self-consciousness where meaningful
representations (networks of meanings) make a thread for an
auto-representation leading to self-consciousness (
<https://philpapers.org/rec/MENCOI> https://philpapers.org/rec/MENCOI).
There is still a lot to do with these interesting subjects.

All the best



De : Fis <fis-bounces at listas.unizar.es> de la part de Marcus Abundis
<55mrcs at gmail.com>
Envoyé : jeudi 17 septembre 2020 11:15
À : fis at listas.unizar.es <fis at listas.unizar.es>
Objet : [Fis] Informatic Principles (redux) – Reply to Christophe, Karl, and




I found several interesting points in your 2020 brief. I note them here,
using your own numbering system:


> 1 c) No general coverage is available for the notion of meaning.<

Of course, superficially, you are right to state this, about 'general
coverage', but we can do better. The answer to this problem is that one must
use 'logical primitives', applied to diverse domains, in contrast to more
conventional 'material primitives' thinking. Indeed, it is Shannon's use of
a *logarithmic* logical primitive that supports Signal Entropy, and accounts
for the model's success. I use (S)ubject and (O)bject roles, and
(V)ariability in S-O roles, as my logical primitives.


> 2 c) Management of local constraint introduces information and meaning.<

I absolutely agree with this view, it is *exactly* on point (superficially)
– but I apply it in a different way than you do. You choose to limit this to
Life, but I go to the level of Physics. Part of the problem is that Life (to
me) seems imprecisely defined – are viruses 'alive' is Gaia 'alive', etc. –
the answer to these issues depends on how losely/firmly one defines
*underlying* (even lower-order) terms. So at what point do we say 'THIS is
the correct level for beginning our analysis?' I ask you to consider a
counter-question to your item '2 c)' – At what point/level is something
truly non-informatic and meaning-less, and how do you (or science)
define/present that level? This question is useful in developing an *a
priori* analysis. For me, everything *berfore* a quantum/functional
'wave-form collapse' is meaningless and non-informatic (Wheeler's quantum
foam). How do you answer this question for yourself? The view you offer
above is a nice framing *for me* as it can be applied equally to inanimate
Force and Energy, and elementary particles . . . in addition to applying to
Life – which then begins to approach 'general coverage' for informatic
meaning, thinking and modeling.


> 3 a) The word "meaning" is most of the time associated to human

You qualify this as 'most of the time' . . . leading me to wonder about
'other times' and how you address those other times? How/where is this
matter of meaning *firmly* bounded for you? As I do not agree the notion of
it being tied exclusively to Life, I find further discussion on this point
in your 2020 document unsatisfying. Hence, I ask for a more-precise framing.


> 3 b) The unknown nature of human mind makes human meaning a complex

One could as easily say 'the unknown nature of Nature' which seems to me to
be a more critical matter (in a simple to complex cosmos). In a *true*
scientific sense we succeed in modeling only a very small fraction of what
Nature presents us. Still, there is an unavoidable tendency to be fascinated
with Human Consciousness as one's focus . . . but this is an anthropocentric
approach, where there are much larger issues and dynamics to consider, and
with much more likely accessible solutions – even beyond Life, and surely
beyond humanity.



Interesting twist on magnetics as proto-informatic . . . but which might
equally be applied to all four fundamental forces, I think. At which point
is the application of any Force informatic in itself, and at what point is
it proto-informatic? The compass needle is an interesting analogy, but that
needle requires interpretation (which I think is your point), where I would
say the expression of *any* force is meaningful in itself (i.e., gravity
enables planets, which enables a moon, which enables rotation and wobble,
which enables cycles and seasons, which supports Life, etc.)



I found your note on DNA and viruses relevant and again pointing to (for me)
the innate imprecision of how Life is defined. I understand that others may
not accept Life is ambiguously defined – but for now, we will have to agree
to disagree on this matter, while I continue to pay close attention to the
matter. I hope I interpreted your note's meaning correctly.


This is my third post for the week, so I am 'out' until Sunday . . .


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