[Fis] Fwd: The 10 Principles

Pedro C. Marijuan pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es
Mon Sep 28 14:54:01 CEST 2020

Dear List,

Responding to Christophe, I was aware of the works of those research 
groups (some of my own country). Well, philosophically and theoretically 
it may be an interesting approach, but I fail to see a clear connection 
with the biomolecular themes that center my own research--not a single 
word on signaling systems, nor on the life cycle, nor on the information 
flow. I personally think cognition and meaning can also be approached 
differently, with a new "informational" interpretation closer to 
signaling science and systems biology. So to speak, those views are from 
the "top down", while my own preference is the "bottom up" accompanied 
by the exploration of a simpler, down to earth, conceptual apparatus. 
Actually, evolution has proceeded via "bricolage" (as François Jaconb 
put) and the innumerable interactions among living systems conducing to 
the evolutionary complexity-growth lack any top down design. The 
proposed constraint "to be alive" is but the very essence of life 
(together with reproduction), it means the "conatus principle" of 
Spinoza... So I respect those views but I do not share them.

About the other question, I see no objection to utilizing the constraint 
satisfaction in top-down designed artificial systems or agents. Then, my 
impression is that you can compare with the same tool both the 
artificial and the biological--but it is by using a "sanitized" top down 
version of the latter. Rather I voluntarily opted for "natural 
intelligence" in the 10 principles (the 9th one). As you well know, 
cognitive science and AI itself have had a serious conceptual trouble by 
following "the mind as a computer" metaphor, even potentially to be run 
in "any kind of hardware", and pretty soon downloaded in supercomputers 
(matrix style). Finally it is the substratum of tecno-utopism doctrines 
such as "transhumanism" and Kurt Wenzel "great singularity" ... 
Evidently you are not arguing in that direction, but I really see the 
need to take a separated stance.

Responding to Krassimir, I think my own position is very clear: 
information is contemplated from a biological perspective, with its 
(meaning&cognition) correlations associated to the advancement of a life 
cycle. But I do not deny a possible convergence with quantum information 
science new approaches. As Joseph and Karl have noted from very 
different angles, there are ways to explore further connotations of 
"adjacency", beyond the direct bio implications of 
molecular-recognition. (By the way, there was a great fis discussion 
session on "*Molecular Recognition and the Fundamental Laws of 
Information <http://fis-mail.sciforum.net/1069.html>*" by  Shu-Kun Lin. 
July 14, 2003). I often cite a quotation from Michel Conrad: /"when we 
look at a biological system, we are looking at the face of the 
underlying physics of the universe." /About the loop you mention in the 
definition of information proposed in Principle 1, there is a very clear 
starting point: the origins of life.

Best greetings

El 25/09/2020 a las 13:46, Christophe Menant escribió:
> Dear Pedro,
> It is true that using constraints relative to 3000 genes would bring 
> in a level of complexity difficult to manage. But the usage of the 
> Meaning Genartaor System is with higher level entities where the 
> constraints are of a generic type, like “Stay alive” and “Look for 
> happiness”. By the way, I’m not alone on that perspective. See 
> https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-01198-7_6#aboutcontentwhere 
> different type of “control constraints” are introduced at basic life 
> level, associated to “meaningful interpretation” and “significances”. 
> Also, theconcept of constraint satisfaction as an entry point to 
> cognition looks as accepted by the community (“a system is cognitive 
> if and only if sensory inputs serve to trigger actions in a specific 
> way, so as to satisfy a viability constraint” [Bourgine, Stewart 
> 2004]). So I don’t see very well why there is a reluctance to use a 
> system approach on meaning generation for constraint satisfaction. 
> What would be your position on that point?
> An advantage of the system approach is to allow the modeling of 
> meaning generation in artificial agents with derived constraints. 
> Meaning generation in living entities and in AAs can then be compared 
> with the same tool. This highlights some concerns relative to 
> artificial life and artificial intelligence, with ethical components 
> (https://philpapers.org/archive/MENTTC-2.pdf ).
> On that subject I do not see very well how the 10 principles are 
> linked to artificial cognition, which is, I feel, an important item 
> for principles of information in our world where artificial agents 
> participate more and more to all components of our lives. Could you 
> tell us more on that?
> All the best
> Christophe
> Bourgine, P. Stewart, J. (2004) ‘Autopoiesis and cognition’ Artificial 
> life, Summer 2004, Vol. 10, No. 3, MIT Press Journals. 
> http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/1064546041255557#.VJLBnCuG-UI
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *De :* Fis <fis-bounces at listas.unizar.es> de la part de Pedro C. 
> Marijuan <pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es>
> *Envoyé :* vendredi 18 septembre 2020 20:01
> *À :* 'fis' <fis at listas.unizar.es>
> *Objet :* 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 
> <https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fderef%2Fhttp%253A%252F%252Fdx.doi.org%252F10.1016%252Fj.pbiomolbio.2015.07.002%3F_sg%255B0%255D%3DnH-ziIzFNlPKAqMszwKA9aJSdUF_He_Rfcal3jUKXaF_lvDrbTWXcTEDtf5uNRaHZMzJ0MFczgM3J-aub54-p6oiQA.Vi1baoaYqIl4vlby-pQVd58ob8urom6m0dhZo1yJ26_NjwihWirad9bxSivcVUymzy-vS1FcL9dD4ZQ7UDtz_w&data=02%7C01%7C%7C13a6b1012e6746c2a97208d85bfd00a1%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637360489476081481&sdata=Gs6M4SxmClw83ShkAl9Vf7UIYyppHAAUxprvHFtZDRY%3D&reserved=0>the 
> very dimensions of this ontology problem.
> <https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fderef%2Fhttp%253A%252F%252Fdx.doi.org%252F10.1016%252Fj.pbiomolbio.2015.07.002%3F_sg%255B0%255D%3DnH-ziIzFNlPKAqMszwKA9aJSdUF_He_Rfcal3jUKXaF_lvDrbTWXcTEDtf5uNRaHZMzJ0MFczgM3J-aub54-p6oiQA.Vi1baoaYqIl4vlby-pQVd58ob8urom6m0dhZo1yJ26_NjwihWirad9bxSivcVUymzy-vS1FcL9dD4ZQ7UDtz_w&data=02%7C01%7C%7C13a6b1012e6746c2a97208d85bfd00a1%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637360489476091476&sdata=sVOZBlgJExzw%2F4z0j2flYw5BaV%2FXYR7jFcpIMyFnP3g%3D&reserved=0>
> 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!
> Best--Pedro
> 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  <mailto:pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es>
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Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group

pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es

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