RE: virus: MS Weapon

Robin Faichney (
Mon, 13 Oct 1997 10:16:23 +0100

> From: Tadeusz Niwinski[]
> Robin wrote:
> >> From: Nathaniel Hall[]
> >>
> >> I think at this point a definition of a pattern would be useful.
> Any
> >> takers?
> >>
> >Yuz
> >
> >An information stream contains a pattern if and only if
> >it can be compressed and reexpanded without loss,
> >otherwise it is random. (See Dennett's "Real Patterns"
> >in the Journal of Philosophy 1991, though he gets it
> >from someone else, whose details I don't recall right
> >now, but can get if required.)
> According to this definition a pattern is not the same as information.
> A stream of information:
> "whatever whatever whatever"
> contains a pattern and it can be compressed to:
> "3*whatever".
> The resulting stream does not contain a pattern, it is "only" an
> information
> stream. It still contains information.
Correct. All patterns are information. All information is
not patterns.

> >I guess maybe what we're really arguing about is the
> >nature of information: does it exist "out there",
> >independently of us, or is it only in our minds. I go
> >along with the information theorists, physicists, etc,
> >and say it's out there, though, of course, the
> >argument is at least partly about definitions, as
> >seemingly always.
> We are in fact arguing about three aspects of reality...
> for independent existence as we give to matter and energy.
> I think it was Lord Rutherford who compared equations for particles
> and
> waves, and "just for the fun of it" assumed matter and energy to be
> the same
> thing, which eventually led to Einstein's E= mc^2. Can we, just for
> the fun
> of it, think of equalling information to matter and/or energy?
Yes, but we're reinventing the wheel. This is standard practice
in a number of disciplines. Not that I know very much about
them, but I *think* statistical thermodynamics is a good
example, in which information is explicitly linked to matter and
energy. These are different aspects of one reality. A good
reference, unfortunately out of print, is Cybernetics and the
Philosophy of Mind, by K Sayre. The feedback/control arm of
a cybernetic feedback loop is conventionally considered as
information, but that's just a functional distinction, because
there is no qualitative difference between the feedback flow
and the main energy flow. My own take on this all stuff,
though in first draft form only and far from perfect, is
available to those who ask *very* nicely, in TeX dvi or PS

Thanks for a constructive contribution, Tad!