[Fis] a simple question. A simple (?) answer. Non-adjacent differences

Joseph Brenner joe.brenner at bluewin.ch
Mon Sep 21 17:48:12 CEST 2020

Dear Krassimir, Dear All,


1. Perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, I have concluded that this is a very good
question, to which I propose the following tentative answer. In the real
world, information is co-emergent with the universe. Today, no real
informational event, that is, no event, takes place without reference to an
earlier state. For those who, like me, do not believe that our current
universe is expanding from a singularity, the problem of the apparent
disparity in the size of the universe at the end of an expansion cycle and
the start of a contraction cycle is solved in the Cyclic Conformal Cosmology
of Penrose. Even if the simplistic ‘Big Bang’ model of the universe is
retained, which, I repeat, I think it should not be, the start of
Krassimir’s series is not information (0) but information (n), where n is an
obviously very large but transfinite, not infinite, number.


In other words, the concept of an information (0) is, to all intents and
purposes, a completely idealized construction. It has the value, for the
purposes of this discussion, of being a further demonstration of the failure
of classical arguments, scientific or philosophical, based on an infinite
logical regress to a limit, 0, 1, or ‘infinity’, as the case may be.


Therefore, we may retain Pedro’s First Principle with the understanding that
the movement is always between n and n+1, since n (0) is inaccessible. 


2. The second point I would like to raise relates to the requirement, which
I have accepted without thinking about it that information refers to a
distinction on an adjacent difference.

Why adjacent? Any difference of which I become conscious has become
‘adjacent’, otherwise I could not make a distinction on it. In other words,
any relations I may have to non-adjacent differences are purely
epistemological. Is this correct? Is there a direct relation between
information (n) and information (n+2)? I conclude there is not, and Pedro’s
Principle stands as written. QED.


Thank you and best wishes,






I still do not agree with the first principle.

Joseph had written and Pedro had confirmed that :

“information (2) is produced in MAKING a distinction on an adjacent
difference = information (1)

In other words, information (n) is created from information (n-1).

This is simple series which we may write as follow:

information (0) –> information (1) –> ... –> information (n-1) –>
information (n) –> ....

A Simple Question:


Who creates information (0) ?


Friendly greetings








From: Joseph <mailto:joe.brenner at bluewin.ch>  Brenner 

Sent: Friday, September 18, 2020 11:19 PM

To: 'Krassimir Markov' <mailto:markov at foibg.com>  

Cc: fis <mailto:fis at listas.unizar.es>  

Subject: RE: [Fis] Fwd: The 10 Principles. Information as Process


Dear Pedro, Dear Krassimir,

For me, the problem is clearly a result of using a common noun, information,
to describe a complex process rather than a participle form –
informationing. Then, “information IS a distinction” should be replaced by
“information (2) is produced in MAKING a distinction on an adjacent
difference = information (1). Then, of course the 1st principle is
recursive, but correctly so! 





From: Fis [mailto:fis-bounces at listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Krassimir
Sent: vendredi, 18 septembre 2020 21:40
Subject: Re: [Fis] Fwd: The 10 Principles


Dear Pedro,


I still not agree with the first principle.
In this form it is recursive!

Information needs itself to became information, because difference could not
be distinguished without information.
In this form, the first principle sound like this:


Information is distinction of information !   



Friendly greetings






From: Pedro <mailto:pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es>  C. Marijuan 

Sent: Friday, September 18, 2020 9:01 PM

To: 'fis' <mailto:fis at listas.unizar.es>  

Subject: Re: [Fis] Fwd: The 10 Principles


Dear All,
Thanks to Jose Javier for his comments. Regarding the loop you mention about
distinction, you are right, but this is a very characteristic of life (see
that Maturana and Varela already said something pretty similar in their Tree
of Knowledge). In the other biological principles that follow (below)  I try
to clarify that notion in several directions, particularly concerning
signaling systems, a concept which was completely ignored until well in the
1990s. Your second comment may be partially responded looking at those
further principles dealing with the symbolic communication via language and
the social narratives, not far from what you have pointed. Thus I include
the whole principles herein.

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.

3. Information flows are essential organizers of life's self-production
process –the life cycle– anticipating, shaping, and mixing up with the
accompanying energy flows.

4. Proto-phenomena of meaning, knowledge, and cognition (& intelligence)
emerge via signaling systems of living cells, fully developed in the
action/perception cycle of central nervous systems.

5. Information/communication exchanges among adaptive life-cycles underlie
the complexity of biological organization at all scales.

6. It is symbolic language what conveys the essential communication
exchanges of individuals —and constitutes the core of human "social nature."

7. Human information can be transformed into efficient knowledge by
following the "knowledge instinct", further enhanced and delimited by
collectively applying rigorous methodologies.

8. Human cognitive limitations are partially overcome via "knowledge
ecologies", where knowledge circulates and recombines socially in a
continuous actualization that involves "creative destruction" of theories,
practices, and disciplines.

9. Narratives become encapsulated forms of “natural intelligence”, tailored
to capture collective attention and memory, and essential for the cohesion
of social, political, and economic structures.

10. Information science proposes a new, radical vision on how information
and knowledge surround individual lives, with profound consequences for
scientific-philosophical practice and for social governance.


Briefly referring to the other discussion track (Christophe), I quite agree
with situating the origins of (genuine) meaning with living beings, but have
some trouble with "constraints" when generally applied to biological
cognition. I think they may be more useful in other fields (originated in
kinematics, they become more and more volatile as used in Dynamic Systems
Theory, and similarly weakened when going from AI to biological cognition).
For instance,  given 3,000 genes in Ecoli, organized in mixed clusters of
fiendish complexity, how do you establish meaningful constraints? Or can
even attribute separate "functions"? You may see in DOI:
10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2015.07.002   the very dimensions of this ontology

Regarding Marcus' comment on life as imprecisely defined (and whether
viruses or Gaia are 'alive'), the fundamental issue in natural sciences is
"explaining" rather than defining. And fortunately the advancement in our
explanations of life in last decades has been fantastic. Life can now be
characterized in every basic aspect with amazing depth. One cannot give a
precise definition of life, but one can provide a list of essential
characteristics, and at the center are the informational ones. Empirically,
the point is that information appears to be so ingrained in the molecular
organization of life that scores of new bio-disciplines have been recently
launched around it: bioinformatics, bioinformation, biocomputation, all the
"omic" fields, signaling science, etc. Biosemiotics could be included too,
but Hélas, most biosemioticians continue to "read" the DNA meaning via the
genetic code, rather than exploring the "signals" abduced from the
environment and "distinctionally worked out and transcribed in genes--from
which ultimately "meaning" emerges. About viruses concretely, they have been
essential in the origins of eukaryotic complexity and in the dynamic balance
of marine and terrestrial ecosystems... irrespective on how we consider
their degree of "aliveness". And finally "non comment" about some (baiting?)
expressions in your previous reply. 

I see right now the careful "review" by Loet: better for a next occasion!


PS. The Three Messages per Week are counted following the international
business week (from Monday to Sunday included).

Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es



Libre de virus.
gn=sig-email&utm_content=emailclient> www.avast.com 


Fis mailing list
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 informacisn sobre como tratamos sus datos en el
siguiente enlace:
Recuerde que si esta suscrito a una lista voluntaria Ud. puede darse de baja
desde la propia aplicacisn en el momento en que lo desee.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listas.unizar.es/pipermail/fis/attachments/20200921/5c9ec8a3/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Fis mailing list