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Reciprocating Bill

Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 04 2007,19:06   

WAD cites an article:
“The World as Evolving Information”
William Dembski

Here’s an abstract to a speculative article by Carlos Gershenson on information. It is relevant to how intelligence might enter and be expressed in evolutionary processes. The article was posted yesterday at

Read it here.

I gave it a squint. Strange stuff - not your father's information theory, although perhaps your grandfather's, if his name was, say, Edmund Husserl, given the thoroughly phenomenological approach Gershenson has conjured out of thin air: "Information is not necessarily conserved, i.e. it can be created (when an agent perceives it), destroyed (when no agent perceives it), or transformed (by an agent)."

I can see why WAD likes the article.  This guy makes up Laws, just like Bill:  The "Law of Information Transformation," The "Law of Requisite Complexity," the "Law of Information Criticality," and the "Law of Information Organization." Here are two:

"The Law of Information Propagation"

"Information tries to propagate as fast as possible. In other words, we can assume that different information has different “ability” to propagate, also depending on its environment. The “fitter” information, i.e. that which manages to persist and propagate faster and more effectively, will prevail over other information."

"The Law of information criticality":

"Transforming and propagating information will tend to a critical balance between its stability and its variability. Propagating information will try to maintain itself as much as possible, but transforming information will try to vary as much as possible."

Wow.  I didn't know information had so much personality.

Also, Bill is attracted because the guy likes to say stuff that sounds heavy, but is really all gas: "Certainly, there are different types of cognition. We can say that a rock “knows” about gravity because it perceives its information, which has an effect on it, but it cannot react to this information. Throughout evolution, information capable of maintaining its integrity has prevailed over that which was not. Robust information is that which can resist perturbations to maintain its integrity. The ability to react to face perturbations to maintain information makes information adaptive, increasing its probability of maintenance."

Whoa, pass that over here, dude.  (But I'm feeling sad for the rock.)  

Gershenson does admit that "The ideas presented here still need to prove their usefulness."  Another point where he and WAD are sympatico. "The explanatory and predictive benefits of this framework still remain to be addressed."  Really? That sounds SO familiar....

I recommend this article. It is relevant to how intelligence might enter and be expressed in evolutionary processes. It also sheds light on my argument that a Think without a Poof is incapable of interacting with matter/energy, is therefore undetectable, and hence must remain a theoretical abstraction.

Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  29999 replies since Jan. 16 2006,11:43 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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