RE: virus: Nature of Information

Dave K-P (
Mon, 13 Oct 1997 02:48:17 -0400

At 04:07 PM 10/12/97 +0100, Robin Faichney wrote:

>patterning is that which allows the compression
>of information. (Where compression is
>distinguished from any gain in info carrying
>capacity provided by other means, such as the
>use of context.)

Why limit ourselves to compression? Patterning is also that which allows
the translation of information, too. There may be more, but that was the
first to come to mind.

>> Perhaps it was someone on this list, perhaps not, who said that if a
>> tree
>> falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, it makes a
>> compression
>> of air waves... that it is out there, but it takes two to tango.
>I understand and sympathise with the point you're
>making here, but I *don't* think that on the most
>useful definition of information, which I take to be
>the technical one, it is like sound in that sense.
>Even in the case of sound, the answer to that old
>question depends on exactly what you mean by
>the word: airborne vibrations or subjective
>sensation. It is only that ambiguity that makes
>the question interesting. (That and its
>resonance with deeper-seated issues regarding
>subjectivity and objectivity in general.)

I don't think it is the most useful definition, either, but that wasn't my
intent. I was about to argue that regardless of the amibiguity, there is
an objective element to the answer... however, I got to thinking of the
multi-farious ways of perceiving sound, that each necessitates it's own
technical definiton. Multiple personality disorders, for instance.

>But now you've raised that issue (and on second
>thoughts), this could explain the difference of
>opinion about patterns. To make the analogy
>with the case of sound, those of us who say
>patterns are "out there" are thinking of them as
>being like airborne vibrations, while those who
>say they are only "in here", see them as like
>subjective sensations. Both, of course, being
>correct within their own terms of reference.

Of course, its all relative! ;-)


P.S. Thought I'd toss in my defintion (slightly technical) of information:
anything that goes from A to B. Open to discussion.