RE: virus: Translation

Robin Faichney (
Thu, 16 Oct 1997 19:14:38 +0100

> From: Brett Lane Robertson[]
> But
> symbolic information streams can share references,
> as well. There are no references in naturally-
> occurring information. (Robin)
> This doesn't sound right to me. It would seem that a river-bed is a
> reference to the water which flowed through the area...
You are confusing references with chains of events. These are
not the same thing. The river-bed can function, for us, as a
reference to the water that flowed over it, because we know of
the connection between them, and the sight of one makes us
think of the other. They are indeed connected by an event-
chain, but that only provides a reference for those who think
about such things. All references are in the mind of the
beholder -- there are none in nature. Reference is subjective.

> Also, if the definition for that which can be compressed and
> uncompressed
> without loss of information now refers to "patterned" instead of
> "pattern"*
> what is your new definition of "pattern"?
What I said earlier may be have been unclear, but I haven't
changed my mind. I never said a pattern could be
compressed, I said patterns allow compression. Not the
same thing. I have been perfectly clear, in my own mind
if not in what I wrote, that what's fundamental here is the
numerical identity of information, and that more than one
instance of a given pattern is required for compressability.
I don't say that "patterns allow compression" is the only, or
even the best definition of "pattern". In fact, given the
misunderstanding generated here, I'm now fairly sure that
a clearer account of all this is required, and I'll be working
on it over the next few days. But that will be in the context
of my book chapter "Information and Reality", and not
aimed in the first instance at presenting to the list.