Pragmatic Semiotic Information (Ψ)

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Jon Awbrey

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Aug 21, 2018, 3:40:22 PM8/21/18
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Cf: http://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2018/08/21/pragmatic-semiotic-information-%cf%88/

Ontologists, Systers, Modelers,

I remember it was back in '76 when I began to notice a subtle shift of
focus in the computer science journals I was reading, from discussing X
to discussing Information About X, or X → Info(X) as I came to notate it.
I suppose this small arc of revolution had been building for years but it
struck me as crossing a threshold to a more explicit, self-conscious stage
about that time.

And thereby hangs a number of tales ...

Jon

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Ken Lloyd

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Aug 21, 2018, 6:10:02 PM8/21/18
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When speaking of most things, say x, we are indirectly referencing all the meta-levels of x - meta signifying beyond which can include higher levels of abstraction as well as lower levels of realizations.
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Aleksandar Malečić

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Aug 22, 2018, 4:20:45 AM8/22/18
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In your opinion, how (and why) will Kent Palmer's work on schemas (http://schematheory.net/) be remembered in some distant future? Or Len Troncale's Systems Processes Theory (http://lentroncale.com/?page_id=30)?

Aleksandar

Jon Awbrey

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Aug 22, 2018, 9:32:28 AM8/22/18
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Ken,

Thanks for the comment. It made me realize that the notation Info(X) is
probably not the best. It tends to mislead us into thinking we already
have X in hand, in other words, that we already have perfect information
about X and are merely abstracting Info(X) as some derivative of it.
But that is not the sort of situation we are concerned with here.

It might be better to say that Info is all the information we have at
a given moment of investigation and X abstracts the portion of Info
that has to do with X. That might lead us to notate it as X(Info).
This brings to mind the way we speak of observables in physics,
as operators on the total state or wave function or whatever.

If I had to concoct an informal linguistic example — which I'd do solely by way
of rough analogy to the formal mathematical situations we'd have much hope of
resolving in our lifetimes — I'd say the sorts of X we're facing here are what
used to be called “definite descriptions” like “Desdemona's infidelity” or
“Manafort's guilt on the 10 mistried counts”.

In those sorts of situations, discussed to death in years gone by,
what a modicum of pragmatic-semiotic insight adds to the mix is that
all descriptions are indefinite to some degree, all syntax is lax to
some extent.

There are, as usual, clear foresights of that insight in Peirce.
And that is what I'll be getting around to prescently.

Regards,

Jon

Lenard Troncale

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Aug 22, 2018, 12:32:47 PM8/22/18
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In my humble opinion (IMHO), neither has a distant future unless they write books and publish them.     Len

George Mobus

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Aug 22, 2018, 2:30:00 PM8/22/18
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Exactly Len. And the IFSR book series with Springer is great venue.


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University of Washington Tacoma

Street mail: 1900 Commerce St. Tacoma, WA 98402-3100 Box 358426
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From: syss...@googlegroups.com <syss...@googlegroups.com> on behalf of Lenard Troncale <lrtro...@cpp.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 9:25:21 AM
To: syss...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [SysSciWG] Pragmatic Semiotic Information (Ψ)
 

Jack Ring

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Aug 22, 2018, 4:44:07 PM8/22/18
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Len’s SPT will bebremembered and applied widely because it leads to pathology detection and prevention.
Jack Ring

Jack Ring

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Aug 22, 2018, 4:44:57 PM8/22/18
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Although books are effective, scripts for computer-based learning environments may be moreso. c.f., audio books and the Kahn Academy. 
Currently books have an advantage because they undergo a “proofreading and editing (second opinion)" phase. Perhaps the alternatives will learn to include a pathology prevention phase as well..
Jack

Ken Lloyd

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Aug 22, 2018, 7:38:10 PM8/22/18
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WRT to Kent Palmer’s and Len Troncale’s work, I see these as some of the many dots in a very large pointillist painting from which a “picture” emerges.

 

Ken Lloyd

 

From: syss...@googlegroups.com [mailto:syss...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Aleksandar Malecic


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Ken Lloyd

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Aug 22, 2018, 7:42:41 PM8/22/18
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Hopefully, in whatever medium we find it, we can avoid the “Pablum” in the pabulum of knowledge. Adequate communication is hard task.


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Lenard Troncale

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Aug 22, 2018, 9:07:24 PM8/22/18
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Jack,

Thank you for your suggestion in answer to Alex Malecic’s question. Re: that, I fully agree, and that is why perhaps INCOSE Foundation funded our group to produce an open source, computerized, online relational data base on Systems Processes Theory. We are building a website to introduce the SPT-RDB as well as one on Systems Pathology itself as well as one on Systems Processes Theory in overview (to join the four related websites we already have up).

We are also collaborating with the Monterey Phoenix group at Naval Postgraduate School and Odum’s ISAER groups to develop “mini-models” in EXTEND for each isomorphy of the SPT. We also hope to engage many in group or cloud research on using these. You should also go to
if you have not already done so, as it is the website shell for our effort to establish a new International Society for Systems Pathology (which was also partially funded by one of the first INCOSE Foundation grants)(and for which you were the FIRST Founding Member).

Of course, following my own advice I am now writing two books entitled:
Systems Processes Theory: The Other Theory of Everything,             and
Introduction to Systems Literacy: From Systems Thinking to Systems Science
and after being pushed by Wilby and Singers and Tuddenham, I am re-publishing my first book Nature’s Enduring Patterns from 1978 in the Lawson Systems Engineering series. Or at least I will offer it to them.
Of course, my friends and colleagues will also tell you I have been working on those titles for years and they will never come about interrupted by my passing.

If all or any of these come about, then we will have followed your suggestion and mine and Malecic to enable a legacy for SPT. And remember you were the beginning of it all by introducing me to INCOSE and setting up the first Webinars (for the Fellows and for the CAB).

Of course, I also should say that “these are the opinions of the author and not necessarily of the sponsor” to protect you from fallout.

Len

Aleksandar Malečić

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Aug 23, 2018, 6:05:54 AM8/23/18
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I didn't mean to hijack the topic by mentioning Kent Palmer and Len Troncale. I think that pragmatic semiotic information ("contained" within or learned from natural and engineered entities) is the making or breaking point of their approaches, the place where they gain or lose their validity.

Aleksandar

Jack Ring

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Aug 24, 2018, 6:33:10 AM8/24/18
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All good news. TKU.

Be aware, though, that I do not qualify as Sponsor. More like the guy who, according to General George S. Patton Jr., rides in the chariot behind the Conquerer and whispers in his ear a warning: that "all glory is fleeting"

I understand that ISSPath dues are $100 annually. Sending today. More for the Patho part tha SPT.

Onward.
Jack

Jack Ring

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Aug 24, 2018, 6:34:37 AM8/24/18
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Which is interpreted in a variety of ways by various observers. The important issue is ‘how shall ‘we’ cohere?’
Jack Ring

Jon Awbrey

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Aug 24, 2018, 10:30:35 AM8/24/18
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Systems Science, Structural Modeling,

Here's my blog rehash of a couple earlier comments on the Ontolog list that
may help to explain my use of the term "pragmatic semiotic information".
I forgot that I hadn't shared those comments here, so sorry about that.

Inquiry Driven Systems • Comment 5
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2018/08/19/inquiry-driven-systems-%e2%80%a2-comment-5/

Re: Ontolog Forum • Bruce Schuman
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/ontolog-forum/vo8CmL8jt30/2zAl5v_zDQAJ

I would call that the pragmatic-semiotic point of view
and not find anything shocking in it.

One can find earlier foreshadowings — Plato’s Cratylus and the Stoic lekton
are often mentioned in this connection — but the clearest precursor of the
pragmatic-semiotic perspective occurs in Aristotle’s recognition of the
triadic sign relation, most succinctly in his treatise On Interpretation.

Here’s the little essay Susan Awbrey and I wrote on that, tracing
the continuities of pragmatic semiotics from Aristotle up through
Peirce and Dewey and teasing out the intimate relationship between
the theory of signs and the theory of inquiry.

Interpretation as Action : The Risk of Inquiry
https://www.academia.edu/1266493/Interpretation_as_Action_The_Risk_of_Inquiry

Regards,

joseph simpson

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Aug 24, 2018, 7:58:19 PM8/24/18
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Jon:
Interesting section of your paper:

"We discuss the role of the interpreter in the activity of interpretation. 
Aristotle assumes that objects and impressions in the mind are constant across all interpreters. 
Confronting this assumption with the needs of hermeneutic and educational practice, we argue that a comparative 
and developmental understanding of interpreters is required. This in turn demands the more complete theory of 
signs envisioned by Peirce and Dewey, which continues to be developed in the semiotic and pragmatic traditions."
We are working on a paper that addresses different kinds of languages, each that have a 
different type of interpreter.  The augmented model-exchange isomorphism (AMEI) provides a
framework in which the semantics of a given natural language relationship may be evaluated and 
explored to identify a common isomorphic expression across all thee language types.

The ability to convert a informal language (natural language) into a formal language in an isomorphic
manner is very valuable for a number of reasons.

At this time we are addressing three natural language relationships that are at the heart of systems science and systems engineering.  These three natural language relationships are:
  1) Part-of  (Necessary to discuss a system with more than one part, part <=> whole)
  2) Precedes (Necessary to discuss a time based process, like creating a system)
  3) Influence (Necessary for the evaluation of system interaction.)

The plan is to have the paper up on Research Gate in a  few days and present the paper contents 
at the September 1st Structural Modeling Project video conference at 9 AM Pacific time.

Take care, be good to yourself and have fun,

Joe

Lenard Troncale

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Aug 26, 2018, 8:17:01 AM8/26/18
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Well, Jack,

as always IMHO, I do not have to worry about “glory” because I am still decidedly unknown, and a guru to no one (I hope). Still, it is always a very good thing to be advised that glory is fleeting qualified by the telling “all.” (thank you)

I do understand that you are interested mostly in the Systems Pathology application than the original Systems Processes Theory (SPT). Although I have to say that SysPath derives from SPT. It is the detailing of the “mechanisms” (processes) that have resulted in sustainable natural systems for billions of years that is the KEY. Once one has a detailed version of the “steps” in each isomorphic process from studying the science behind it, then it is easy to derive “mistakes” or “dysfunctions” in the process that lead to the many manifestations of human complex system problems I collected in the SE lists (n=151). And I didn’t even include the many cited in Gall’s opus because they require analysis and synthesis first. Great progress would be made, again IMHO, and power attained by associating the actual systems process CAUSES (etiologies) with identified systems dysfunctions (SYMPTOMS).

 I wonder if you will sign or agree with the Systems Manifesto? Let me send a draft to you first.

Len

Jon Awbrey

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Sep 2, 2018, 9:54:42 AM9/2/18
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I've been following the discussion on the SysSci list that asks
the question, “What Is Systems Science?”. I haven't found the
free time to join in yet but it is very interesting to me on
account of the fact my work on Inquiry Driven Systems for the
last 30 years or so can be seen to ask the converse question,
“How Is Science A (Cybernetic or Dynamic) System?”.

The idea that the sciences operate as (some order of) cybernetic systems
is of course nothing new but there is a lot of work to do detailing that
insight and especially building intelligent software systems that assist
scientific research by availing themselves of that task and user model.

Regards,

joseph simpson

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Sep 2, 2018, 10:12:26 AM9/2/18
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Jon:

Many interesting view points and aspects associated with the methods, goals and artifacts associated with science.

Our next focus is the refactoring and refinement of the existing structural modeling software.

Things are moving along slowly, but moving in the right direction.

Take care, be good to yourself and have fun,

Joe
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joseph simpson

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Sep 3, 2018, 6:05:49 PM9/3/18
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FYI ..
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: John F Sowa <so...@bestweb.net>
Date: Mon, Sep 3, 2018 at 12:01 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Re: Pragmatic Semiotic Information (Ψ)
To: <ontolo...@googlegroups.com>


On 9/2/2018 9:54 AM, Jon Awbrey wrote:
> I've been following the discussion on the SysSci list that asks
> the question, “What Is Systems Science?”.

Systems science, like every other science, is applied semiotic.
The primary difference between the sciences is the subject matter
to which they are applied.

The reason for differences in terminology is historical and
egotistical.  The names that are given to things depend on changing
circumstances, historical accidents, popular fads, and egotistical
desires by people who want to claim that they made a novel discovery.

For example, where are the boundary lines between psychiatry,
psychology, behavioral science, cognitive science, social science,
sociology, educational psychology, and anthropology?

Answer:  It all depends on which textbook you use.

However, there is one basic distinction:  all sciences, whether
the scientists know it or not, are versions of applied mathematics.

Fundamental reason:  Pure mathematics does not depend on any empirical
observation.  Every other subject, including so-called common sense,
use math (formal or informal) to analyze some observable phenomena.

See the attached cspsci.gif.  Note that formal logic and formal
semiotic are two names for the same branch of pure mathematics.
The distinction is whether you call logic a subset of semiotic or
semiotic a subset of logic -- if undecided, flip a coin.

John

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cspsci.GIF

joseph simpson

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Sep 4, 2018, 8:07:59 AM9/4/18
to Aleksandar Malečić, Sys Sci, structura...@googlegroups.com, mjs...@gmail.com
Aleksandar:

You wrote:

"Aren't all sciences versions of applied Knowledge Representation Ontology also known as the Sowa Diamond? http://www.jfsowa.com/ontology/toplevel.html"

Great question.

Sowa wrote:

"However, there is one basic distinction:  all sciences, whether
the scientists know it or not, are versions of applied mathematics.

Fundamental reason:  Pure mathematics does not depend on any empirical
observation.  Every other subject, including so-called common sense,
use math (formal or informal) to analyze some observable phenomena."

It seems that there needs to be some empirical observation somewhere in the mix.

Take care and have fun,

Joe

On Tue, Sep 4, 2018 at 3:17 AM Aleksandar Malečić <ljma...@gmail.com> wrote:
Aren't all sciences versions of applied Knowledge Representation Ontology also known as the Sowa Diamond? http://www.jfsowa.com/ontology/toplevel.htm

Aleksandar

Jon Awbrey

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Sep 4, 2018, 10:20:21 AM9/4/18
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Ontologists, Systems Scientists, Structural Modelers,

What I find lacking in these ontological bat-capping games is the
dynamic, functional, transformational side of scientific inquiry,
the process that produces the product. If sciences are bodies
of organized knowledge, what is the physiology of those bodies?
That is the variety of systems theory I learned in my schools,
focusing on the states of systems and how they change over time.

When we apply that systems perspective to information systems,
knowledge systems, systems of belief, received opinion, whatever,
the state under investigation is a state of information, knowledge,
and so on, and the question becomes, “What influences and operations
actually do and optimally ought to update that state of info over time?”

For ease of reference, here is my blog rehash of my last post,
seeing as how the main point of it somehow got snipped out:

Pragmatic Semiotic Information • Discussion 2
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2018/09/02/pragmatic-semiotic-information-%e2%80%a2-discussion-2/

Regards,

Jon
>>>> I've been following the discussion on the SysSci list that asks
>>>> the question, “What Is Systems Science?”.
>>>
>>> Systems science, like every other science, is applied semiotic.
>>> The primary difference between the sciences is the subject matter
>>> to which they are applied.
>>>
>>> The reason for differences in terminology is historical and
>>> egotistical. The names that are given to things depend on changing
>>> circumstances, historical accidents, popular fads, and egotistical
>>> desires by people who want to claim that they made a novel discovery.
>>>
>>> For example, where are the boundary lines between psychiatry,
>>> psychology, behavioral science, cognitive science, social science,
>>> sociology, educational psychology, and anthropology?
>>>
>>> Answer: It all depends on which textbook you use.
>>>
>>> However, there is one basic distinction: all sciences, whether
>>> the scientists know it or not, are versions of applied mathematics.
>>>
>>> Fundamental reason: Pure mathematics does not depend on any empirical
>>> observation. Every other subject, including so-called common sense,
>>> use math (formal or informal) to analyze some observable phenomena.
>>>
>>> See the attached cspsci.gif. Note that formal logic and formal
>>> semiotic are two names for the same branch of pure mathematics.
>>> The distinction is whether you call logic a subset of semiotic or
>>> semiotic a subset of logic -- if undecided, flip a coin.
>>>
>>> John
>>>

joseph simpson

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Sep 4, 2018, 11:10:55 PM9/4/18
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Jon:

Interesting point of view and approach.

Another interesting approach was taken by John Warfield.

John's approach explored the minimal, necessary context needed to support the activity of science.  The necessary contextual, environmental components are:
 1) Human beings (more than one)
 2) Language
 3) Reasoning through relationships
 4) Archival representation of artifacts.

These four components are given as the "Universal Priors to Science," in Chapter 2 of "A Science of Generic Design."

The ability of a given group of human beings to clearly communicate and reason has a significant impact on the development of any type of science.

It may be that expending effort on refining and developing these contextual components will have a great impact on the quality and quantity of science produced.

Take care, be good to yourself and have fun,

Joe






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Lenard Troncale

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Sep 5, 2018, 12:36:46 PM9/5/18
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Joe and Teams,

I think your summary of Warfield’s “minimal, necessary context for support of the activity of science” 4 components indicates why John and I had so many disagreements about systems science in our day. Please note that all 4 are on the human level ONLY. There is nothing there about experiments, applying the scientific method, hypotheses, past results, falsifiability, measuring & empirical approaches, or arranging nature to tell us how SHE works and not how WE HUMANS work. Missing these might explain the human role in trying to do science, but it does not explicate in any way the essentials of doing science IMHO. And so his tools might be great for helping humans begin to recognize how their human problems are really systems-level problems, but they do little to harvest and apply the “way nature has settled down to work” or its prescriptions to our newly developing human systems.

Len

Jon Awbrey

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Sep 8, 2018, 11:00:36 AM9/8/18
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Ontologists, Systems Scientists, Structural Modelers,

A question arising on another blog, perhaps incidentally, perhaps of the essence,
bought to mind recent discussions in these forums regarding the nature of systems,
variables, and the measurements that give systematic state variables their values.
My current focus being what it is, I couched my answer in pragmatic semiotic terms.



Measurement is an extension of perception.
Measurement gives us data about an object
system the way perception gives us percepts,
which we may consider just a species of data.

If we ask when we first became self-conscious about this
whole process of perception and measurement, I don't know,
but Aristotle broke ground in a very articulate way with his
treatise “On Interpretation”. Sense data are “impressions”
on the mind and they have their consensual, communicable
derivatives in spoken and written “signs”. This triple
interaction among objects, ideas, and signs is the
cornerstone of our contemporary theories of signs,
collectively known as “semiotics”.



Regards,

Jon Awbrey

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Sep 10, 2018, 10:54:11 AM9/10/18
to ontolo...@googlegroups.com, Azamat Abdoullaev, SysSciWG, Structural Modeling
Azamat, All,

Of course it's not that simple. I called it a cornerstone
not a whole building but it gives us a starting point and
a first approach to a pragmatic semiotic architecture
still being built as we speak.

There is more detail and a trace of semiotic's later development in this paper:

• Awbrey and Awbrey (1995), “Interpretation as Action : The Risk of Inquiry”
https://www.academia.edu/1266493/Interpretation_as_Action_The_Risk_of_Inquiry

We began by quoting the founding paragraph from Aristotle:

<QUOTE>

Words spoken are symbols or signs (symbola) of affections or impressions (pathemata) of
the soul (psyche); written words are the signs of words spoken. As writing, so also is
speech not the same for all races of men. But the mental affections themselves, of which
these words are primarily signs (semeia), are the same for the whole of mankind, as are also
the objects (pragmata) of which those affections are representations or likenesses, images,
copies (homoiomata). (Aristotle, De Interp. i. 16a4).

</QUOTE>

We used the following Figure to highlight the structure of the triadic
relation among objects (pragmata), affections or impressions (pathemata),
and symbols or signs (symbola, semeia) as given in Aristotle's account:

• Figure 1. The Sign Relation in Aristotle
https://inquiryintoinquiry.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/awbrey-awbrey-1995-figure-1.png

The triadic nexus marked “R” in the Figure is what graph theorists
would call a node or point of degree 3 and it provides a graphical
picture of a relational triple that can be taken in any convenient
order so long as we keep it constant throughout a given discussion.
For example, we could take Aristotle's object, sign or symbol, and
impression in the order (o, s, i), mostly just because I find that
convenient in later developments.

Diagrams of that sort, whether triangular or tri-radial in form, have long been
in common use for conveying the properties of triadic sign relations. But the
intervening years have taught me to my dismay that people tend to be led astray
by pictures like that, often getting stuck on square one, or rather triangle one.
That is, they get stuck on single triples of sign relations rather than grasping
them as they should, as prototypical examples of a whole class of ordered triples.

Regards,

Jon

On 9/10/2018 3:23 AM, Azamat Abdoullaev wrote:
> It is not so simple.
> There are generally two kinds of signs: conventional and natural.
> Mental ideas and images are also signs, natural signs, being themselves
> meanings and intentions, or "mental words".
> Natural signs are causally related.
> Natural signs are the source of meaning for conventional signs.
> Thus the mind is the medium through which words signify things.
>
> On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 4:55 AM Jon Awbrey <jaw...@att.net> wrote:
>
>> Ontologists,
>>
>> A question arising on another blog, perhaps incidentally, perhaps of the essence,
>> brought to mind recent discussions in these forums regarding the nature of systems,
>> variables, and the measurements that give systematic state variables their values.
>> My current focus being what it is, I couched my answer in pragmatic semiotic terms.
>>
>> ⁂
>>
>> Measurement is an extension of perception.
>> Measurement gives us data about an object
>> system the way perception gives us percepts,
>> which we may consider just a species of data.
>>
>> If we ask when we first became self-conscious about this
>> whole process of perception and measurement, I don't know,
>> but Aristotle broke ground in a very articulate way with his
>> treatise “On Interpretation”. Sense data are “impressions”
>> on the mind and they have their consensual, communicable
>> derivatives in spoken and written “signs”. This triple
>> interaction among objects, ideas, and signs is the
>> cornerstone of our contemporary theories of signs,
>> collectively known as “semiotics”.
>>
>> ⁂
>>
>> Regards,
>>
Awbrey & Awbrey 1995 -- Figure 1.png

joseph simpson

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Sep 11, 2018, 10:39:45 PM9/11/18
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Jon:

Interesting collection of concepts and insights.

It appears to me that it is very difficult to fully grasp the fundamental issues associated with pragmatic semiotic information when the natural language of the individual conducting the inquiry is the main object of study.

I find that the analysis of the languages supported by the "Talking Drums" of Africa help me understand the signaling process at a deeper level.

John Carrington produced some work in this area in the 1940's.
See:

A key feature of these "sign exchanges" or "communication events" is the use of redundant signs or "signal phrases" to eliminate the uncertainty associated with the information exchange.

The physical medium of communication (drum, impact vibration, air pressure) is different between human speech and drum speech.

Human speech has much greater pitch control and tonal variability than "drum speech."  The information loss associated with the restricted drum mechanics is compensated for by repeating many phrases that only make logical sense if they are interrupted in a specific manner.

For example, assume drum speech can not make a clear distinction between the words baby and tree.  

If the drummer wanted to communicate about a tree then there would be statements like, 'Go climb high in the XXX' or 'The fruit is on the XXX."

If the drummer wanted to communicate about a baby the there would be statements like, 'Feed the XXX' or 'The XXX is little and smart."

This type of redundant sign transmission may be used to achieve the semantic goals of the communication. 

However, the redundant sign transmission is just preparing the state of the interpreter.

There are interesting connections between Shannon's information theory and Carrington's analysis of the talking drums.

It would be interesting to map these different views of information exchange to the components of your Figure 1 - The Sign Relation in Aristotle.  Another task to add to the very long "to do" list.

Given the structure of your Theme One Program, you may have already given this type of approach some consideration.

Take care, be good to yourself and have fun,

Joe

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joseph simpson

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Sep 12, 2018, 10:47:09 AM9/12/18
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This section above:
"The information loss associated with the restricted drum mechanics is compensated for by repeating many phrases that only make logical sense if they are interrupted in a specific manner."

Should read:

"The information loss associated with the restricted drum mechanics is compensated for by repeating many phrases that only make logical sense if they are interpreted in a specific manner.

H

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Sep 12, 2018, 12:17:19 PM9/12/18
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Len

I could not agree more. 

Hillary

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Jon Awbrey

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Sep 12, 2018, 3:10:37 PM9/12/18
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Joe, All,

The subject of natural languages and their relation to formal languages,
for example, logical calculi, logical graphs, and programming languages,
has come up periodically in our discussions and I've been struggling to
arrive at something both cogent and coherent to say about it. But what
the heck, here's a few thoughts off the cuff.

We naturally use our mother tongues as metalanguages to talk among ourselves
in fora like these, not only about well-formalized object languages but also
about the object domains that supply them with semantic substance, in a word,
“meaning”. Nothing about that makes “the natural language of the individual
conducting the inquiry ... the main object of study”. At least, that is not
how I'd personally understand the main task at hand.

I started using the run-on formula “pragmatic-semiotic point of view” during
a few exchanges with Bruce Schuman and John Sowa as a way of alluding to the
line of thinking about signs stretching from Aristotle to Peirce, Dewey, and
pragmatists of that stripe. Here's a link to my blog rehash of that episode:

• Inquiry Driven Systems • Comment 5
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2018/08/19/inquiry-driven-systems-%e2%80%a2-comment-5/

Have to break here ... to be continued ...

Jon

Janet Singer

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Sep 12, 2018, 4:53:55 PM9/12/18
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Len, Hillary,

I appreciate your concerns. But with all due respect I think you are jumping to conclusions, mixing apples and oranges (or arguing ‘an elephant is like a vine’ vs ‘an elephant is like a wall’).

Warfield‘s PhD was in electrical engineering with a specialization in communications engineering. He was also well-read in the history of science, and certainly appreciated the importance of the elements you listed – experiments, applying the scientific method, hypotheses, past results, falsifiability, measuring & empirical approaches, etc.

What Joe cited was Warfield’s characterization of the “minimal, necessary context needed to support the activity of science”.

Question 1: Do you not agree that each of the elements you listed (as above) requires every one of Warfield’s four factors?
 
 1) Human beings (more than one)
 2) Language
 3) Reasoning through relationships
 4) Archival representation of artifacts.

Question 2: Note that Warfield said the universal priors are necessary to support scientific activity: he did not say they were sufficient to qualify an activity as ’scientific'. What are candidates for a set which is minimally sufficient as well as necessary?

Janet

Lenard Troncale

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Sep 12, 2018, 7:37:20 PM9/12/18
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Well, Janet, I am happy to agree with most everything you say here. For science, as practiced by this species of sentient beings on this planet, those four are certainly necessary, but insufficient, prior conditions. I just maintain we should keep very open minds that something like science may exist in many other places and times; and may actually be different in these priors (so they are NOT universal). But the most important “attributes” of science (that distinguish it from many other practices of our species) are those you mention in your Paragraph Two. Without those, pure philosophical debates and many alternative theories would be science because they fulfill the priors. So JW’s priors may be useful to think about, but they are not a really good place to begin debates about what is science and what is not. Perhaps the most alarming item  is #3. It is the very technique used in many other human logical pursuits and arguments, and raw observations (like the sun moves around our position and our sky during the day)  and has been the source of many errors in our civilization history. Perhaps we were mostly reacting to not leaving it just at those. Or in the hands of ANY GURU of the past.

Len

Janet Singer

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Sep 12, 2018, 8:37:14 PM9/12/18
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Len, I think we can safely assume that Warfield was concerned with clarifying the foundational factors of science as practiced by humans on this planet. (Presumably that restricted universe of discourse is the focus of the Linz ‘What is Systems Science’ group as well?)

As for your answer, are you saying *all* the factors you listed are necessary elements of *all* human science? 

joseph simpson

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Sep 12, 2018, 11:02:12 PM9/12/18
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Jon:

My phrase:

"pragmatic semiotic information when the natural language of the individual conducting the inquiry is the main object of study."

Is cryptic and may not convey my original meaning (semantics), but I think it is close.

The drum example is designed to highlight a small number of ideas and aspects of communication. Two of these aspects are:
1) Multiple language encoding processes combined with two or more communication channels.
2) One communication channel having a higher rate of uncertainty that the other communication channels.  How does the rate of sign (or symbol) uncertainty impact the form and semantics of a specific message.  With an uncertain channel, the message form can be changed to support the intended semantics.  

Next, I will outline another  example based on highway signs.

During a construction and repair event involving a draw bridge and a number of interconnecting surface roads, temporary road signs were placed along the roadway. The existing permanent signs were covered with black plastic to block out the sign messages.  This specific work area was congested and contained many permanent traffic signs among which the temporary traffic signs were dispersed. 

The combined collection of temporary and permanent signs created a situation where the existing "blanked out" permanent signs blocked some areas of the temporary signs.  When I was driving down the road a temporary sign displayed the following:
"Reduce speed to 'blocked out'  5."

So what is the new speed limit?  The speed limit can not be read from the sign.

However, the new speed limit can be estimated using the following contextual information:

Speed limits are given in steps of 5 miles an hour.

The current speed limit is 40 miles an hour.

Traffic ahead appears to b going over 20 miles and hour.

So, the new speed limit is either, 25 or 35 miles an hour.

The information from the road signs is combined with:

Known rules,
Current observations,
Analytical process,
to produce the highest valued estimate of the new speed limit.

So the new speed limit is either 25 or 35 miles an hour.

In this case, the interpreter selects the relevant decision elements from existing the existing knowledge base and contextual facts and makes a decision to reduce speed.  The only question is how much to reduce speed.

In this case symbols exist but the message is incomplete.

Information theory allows some insight in to the value of the message.

These ideas are not well formed yet, but I wanted to send out an initial message to capture these first ragged thoughts.

Jon Awbrey

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Sep 14, 2018, 4:48:27 PM9/14/18
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Joe, All,

JS: It appears to me that it is very difficult to fully grasp the
fundamental issues associated with pragmatic semiotic information
when the natural language of the individual conducting the inquiry
is the main object of study.

That one took me a double take, but if I understand the “when” clause
as a hypothetical condition, not the assertion of a fixed intention
then I'd naturally agree:

IF the natural language of the individual conducting the inquiry
is the main object of study
THEN it is very difficult to fully grasp the fundamental issues
associated with pragmatic semiotic information.

It is naturally worth the effort to reflect on the properties of our
embedding languages but we normally meet with limited, partial, and
well-circumscribed success on any given trial. That is why we study
formalized object languages as microcosms of the enveloping spheres.

So we'll continue on that understanding ...

Regards,

Jon

On 9/11/2018 10:39 PM, joseph simpson wrote:

joseph simpson

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Sep 14, 2018, 11:22:38 PM9/14/18
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Jon:

Great restatement and comments.

I have three general communication event types that I need to describe.

The Talking Drums communication event is Type One. (Preliminary description of this event is in progress.)

The Draw Bridge Sign event is Type Two. (First cut at describing this event is complete.)

The Native American Language event is Type Three. (This event is not described yet.)

Natural language derives meaning from contextual information.  The Talking Drums and Draw Bridge events are designed to help establish a rich event context that is needed to explore the impact of changing context information on event semantics.

Formal language derives meaning from two sets of rules: 1) Syntax rules detailing allowable symbols and 2) Semantic rules that detail the meaning of the symbols.

My goal is the establishment and refinement of three standard event communication types to serve as a rich contextual foundation that supports natural language to formal language analysis.  The event descriptions are simple stories that provide context.  

The ideas associated with the events and event descriptions are just forming now so, things may be in a dynamic state for a short while.

We will see if these ideas prove useful.

Jon Awbrey

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Sep 17, 2018, 3:54:11 PM9/17/18
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Joe, All,

The concept of a triadic sign relation, say L ⊆ O × S × I where O
is the object domain (think “universe of discourse”) and S and I
are domains of signs (think “channels” or “languages”) that we
are using to talk and think about O, is most often applied in
one of two ways.

1. S and I are really the same channel, language, medium, set of signs,
or state space of a system we are using to convey information about O.
In cases where S = I we are often concerned with transformations taking
place within a single set of signals and we may write I = S′ to signify
our focus on sign relational triples of the form (o, s, s′) where s′ is
a sign that follows s in a logical or temporal sequence, in short, where
s′ is the “next state” of s.

2. S and I are two different channels, languages, media, sets of signs,
or state spaces of systems being used to convey information about O.
In this case the issue is one of translation or “interoperability”.

So I think I'd start out viewing your “drum” example under the second case,
but when you really think about it you realize the first case is there, too.

Your “highway sign” example sounds like a traffic control version
of the issues they study in the subject of error correcting codes.

Regards,

Jon

joseph simpson

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Sep 17, 2018, 11:59:49 PM9/17/18
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Jon:

Thanks for your detailed reply.

I have had a few interruptions, in the last couple of days, and have not had time to provide the third case as a story or think about your response.

However, I think these context rich "stories" will help communicate the fundamental aspects of formal languages, natural languages and the communication process.

In any case, I hope to have a better response in a day or two.

Take care, be good to yourself and have fun,

Joe

joseph simpson

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Oct 1, 2018, 8:28:58 PM10/1/18
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All:

It has obviously been more than a couple of days and I still am engaged in a process that has expanded to requiring that we move out of our home for a couple of weeks.  Contractors need to address some damage to our home and this has been much more disruptive than I had  anticipated.  

Bottom line:  We will be in a disrupted state until late November.

My top priority is working the OSSMTools requirements development and conceptual code development.

See Github repo at:


I will return to the development of these three rich context examples when and as I get time.

However, it looks like it will be between a few weeks to a couple of months.

Take care, be good to yourself and have fun,

Joe


Jon Awbrey

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Oct 3, 2018, 11:15:40 PM10/3/18
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Joe (and all),

I am sorry to hear of the difficulties on your home front.
I know we all wish you the quickest of returns to comfort.

I'll also be experiencing intermittent interruptions from
now until the moving vans come and probably a while after
but I'm hoping things will settle down by Thanksgiving.

For the moment I'll just post a few links to matters I've
been trying to get back to and hope to develop further as
time goes by.

The topic named in the subject line is the same thing I used to call
just Semiotic Information but I added the Pragmatic to emphasize the
continuity with Aristotle's pragmata and to point up the intentional
or object-directed dimension of semiotics. Various excursions along
those lines are linked on the following Survey page:

• Survey of “Semiotic Theory Of Information” (STOI)
https://inquiryintoinquiry.com/2018/08/30/survey-of-semiotic-theory-of-information-%e2%80%a2-3/

Regards,

Jon

On 10/1/2018 8:28 PM, joseph simpson wrote:
> All:
>
> It has obviously been more than a couple of days and I still am engaged in
> a process that has expanded to requiring that we move out of our home for a
> couple of weeks. Contractors need to address some damage to our home and
> this has been much more disruptive than I had anticipated.
>
> Bottom line: We will be in a disrupted state until late November.
>
> My top priority is working the OSSMTools requirements development and
> conceptual code development.
>
> See Github repo at:
>
> https://github.com/jjs0sbw/OSSMTools
>
> I will return to the development of these three rich context examples when
> and as I get time.
>
> However, it looks like it will be between a few weeks to a couple of months.
>
> Take care, be good to yourself and have fun,
>
> Joe
>

Jon Awbrey

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Nov 21, 2018, 1:35:18 PM11/21/18
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Re: Pragmatic Semiotic Information • Discussion 10


Artem Kaznatcheev posted an interesting discussion on his blog under the title “Models as Maps and Maps as Interfaces” that I saw as fitting under this head  A reader of Peirce may recognize critical insights of pragmatic thought cropping up toward the end of his analysis, prompting me to add the following comment:


Map and “mirror of nature” metaphors take us a good distance in understanding how creatures represent their worlds to themselves and others.  But from a pragmatic semiotic point of view we can see how these metaphors lock us into iconic forms of representation, overstretching dyadic relations, and thus falling short of the full power of triadic symbolic relations that support practical interaction with the world.


Regards,


Jon

kall...@gmail.com

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Nov 22, 2018, 10:13:06 AM11/22/18
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Perhaps a different approach that should be investigated is represented here:

http://rsfs.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/8/6/20180041.full

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Jon Awbrey

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Nov 22, 2018, 10:54:49 AM11/22/18
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Everything was in confusion in the Oblonskys' house.

Also the Awbrey house ...

Too much going on at present to reply in detail. But here’s a link to one of my earliest attempts to find common ground between Peirce’s and Shannon’s theories of information. 

Semiotic Information
http://intersci.ss.uci.edu/wiki/index.php/Semiotic_Information

Regards,

Jon

joseph simpson

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Nov 22, 2018, 1:33:46 PM11/22/18
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Jon:

Interesting analysis and viewpoint.

An interesting question associated with this topic is:

"What happens when a sign (or message) does not reduce uncertainty?"

Uncertainty is not reduced when the message receiver (or sign interpreter) already has that information.

The same message (or sign) could provide information for one sign interpreter ( or message receiver) and provide no information to a different message receiver (or sign interpreter.)

We use the absence of information to reduce both computational complexity and cognitive complexity.

For example:

Using a binary matrix to assign connections between and among objects, empirical and/or logical information is needed to determine if a specific matrix cell should be occupied with a one (1) or a zero (0.)

Once an initial matrix configuration is developed, then the task is to determine the highest value matrix configuration.  If the matrix of interest has rows or columns that are either completely filled or completely empty, then these specific rows and columns may be removed from the matrix.  These rows and columns are removed from the configuration analysis because the final configuration for these rows and columns are already known.  No amount of computation or configuration analysis will add additional information.

After these no-information rows and columns are removed, the remaining matrix components may be analyzed to select the highest value configuration.  The no-information rows and columns may then be recombined with the  selected matrix configuration using a variety of recombination rules and approaches.

Take care, be good to yourself and have fun,

Joe
 








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--
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“Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. 

Unreasonable people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. 

All progress, therefore, depends on unreasonable people.”

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Jon Awbrey

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Nov 22, 2018, 7:36:27 PM11/22/18
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Joe, All —

If I recall correctly from a long ago coding theory course, in dealing with transmission through a noisy channel the simplest sort of error-reducing code amounts to simply repeating the bit or message again since the probability of getting the same error twice is lower.  Of course, more efficient error-reducing codes are possible but the principle of exploiting redundancy is the same. 

When you really think about it, the measures of uncertainty and information used in this application remain within the purely syntactic sphere and something more is required to address the object-referent dimension of pragmatic semiotics. 

More on that when I get more time …

Regards,

Jon

Aleksandar Malečić

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Nov 23, 2018, 7:20:35 AM11/23/18
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Kenneth Lloyd: Perhaps a different approach that should be investigated is represented here:

http://rsfs.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/8/6/20180041.full


It looks to me like a walk through that "maze" (a metaphor I'm still using even though only I like it) from the "mainstream" side towards Robert Rosen and Terrence Deacon (but still not Ilya Prigogine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilya_Prigogine#The_End_of_Certainty) and Wolfgang Pauli). See also Daniel Dennett's intentional stance (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intentional_stance). I mean, where else to look for General Systems Theory? Although many people will probably forever see systems as human constructs, I'll forever be fine with calling consistency and causation in all shapes and forms systems theory.


Aleksandar

Jon Awbrey

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Nov 23, 2018, 8:24:25 AM11/23/18
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Joe, All —

Re: Pragmatic Semiotic Information

The thing that interested me about AK’s blog post was that practical reflection on map metaphors in his field led him to the threshold of fundamental insights about the role of signs in inquiry that we find in Peirce’s logic, pragmatism, semiotics. 

In my current understanding (and insufficiencies thereof) there are many open questions about Peirce’s approach to information and how it relates to Shannon’s.  When I get past my current preoccupations, closing on the sale of a house and all that fuss, I’ll be returning to my last breakpoint in that effort.  There are some hints of how far I got in the series of blog posts beginning here:

Information = Comprehension × Extension


Later,

Jon


On Nov 23, 2018, at 1:04 AM, joseph simpson <jjs...@gmail.com> wrote:

Jon:

It appears that I was not clear in my original post.

Two properties of information are being addressed.

The first property is the amount of information (number of transmitted messages or signs.)

The second property is the value of information (impact on the message receiver or sign interpreter.) 

If we consider discrete messages in a noiseless channel, then a quantitative measure of the amount of information in a message may be constructed.

However, the value of information in a discrete, noiseless message is dependent on the state and context of the message receiver. The value measure could be different for each message receiver.

Take care and have fun,

Joe

kall...@gmail.com

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Nov 23, 2018, 8:49:13 AM11/23/18
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Aleksandar,

 

There are a couple of informational aspects that any system can “tell” us, while at the same time cause us to ask “How does that work?”. These (usually non-equilibrium*) exchanges happen all along a dimension of abstraction --> concretization. I come from a Brussels-Austin (Prigogine) non-equilibrium systems background which can be very different (physical and mathematical) than the purely philosophical approach most in this discussion have adopted. This is not to say that those perspectives cannot converge – they can – but they are very different.

 

The one area I caution about is in re: the connection of a symbol, like “GST”, to a (one or a small number) of persons identified by their names and philosophies. The problem is that any one perspective – Prigogine, Rosen, Bertalanffy, Popper, Penrose, Aristotle – is incomplete, and each contains errors and omissions (yes, and noise).   Yet there is value in each perspective. Can and do these sometimes incongruent perspectives ever converge? It depends, but often yes.

 

For example, consider the Lorenz Equations (aka Lorenz System of 3 coupled non-linear equations). At some parameters, these do converge at a deterministic result. Others seemingly don’t converge, they vacillate between different attractors (“strange” attractors). Yet, the areas of that attraction are, indeed, identifiable, even if they are never reached (similar to Newton-Raphson or Runge-Kutta). This is a system at (minimally) two levels of abstraction. It is a mathematical system that represents a (actually several) physical systems. More abstractly, it functions as a conceptual system. As we expand or understanding of “system” beyond the “thing” in front of us, the concept of a system emerges by convergence usually at a higher and higher levels of abstraction. It is difficult to “focus in” on any but a small part of that dimension of abstraction.

 

The concept of a system is an abstraction of patterns we recognize (from the informational patterns “communicated to us” when not at equilibrium) in physical and all “other” systems all along the homological chain from abstract to concrete existence. The problem seems to occur when we conflate “abstraction” with “generalization” (as in General Systems Theory - very different and incomplete perspective). What we need is not a General Systems Theory, but a more correct, more complete Abstract Systems Theory.

 

*Non-equilibrium of what? Ans. – matter, energy, information or entropy.

 

Ken Lloyd

Janet Singer

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Nov 23, 2018, 9:03:24 AM11/23/18
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Ken – You wrote
For example, consider the Lorenz Equations (aka Lorenz System of 3 coupled non-linear equations). At some parameters, these do converge at a deterministic result.

What do you mean by equations converging on a ‘deterministic’ result?

kall...@gmail.com

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Nov 23, 2018, 10:12:46 AM11/23/18
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One might ask, “Is this a system”?

 

“From a technical standpoint, the Lorenz system is nonlinear, non-periodic, three-dimensional and deterministic. The Lorenz equations have been the subject of hundreds of research articles, and at least one book-length study.[11]

 

For example, values of rho < 1, it reaches equilibrium at the origin. There are values that have no periodic behavior.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenz_system

https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0469%281963%29020%3C0130%3ADNF%3E2.0.CO%3B2

Janet Singer

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Nov 23, 2018, 10:27:38 AM11/23/18
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I’m asking why you used ‘deterministic’ to characterize the result of the converging case. 

kall...@gmail.com

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Nov 23, 2018, 11:40:41 AM11/23/18
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It is the term used by Lorenz the discoverer of the phenomenon:

 

Please click on the hyperlinked word “deterministic” in my original post. It will explain what the word means.

 

See also Sparrow, Colin (1982). The Lorenz Equations: Bifurcations, Chaos, and Strange Attractors. Springer. Referenced by the quote below.

image001.png

Duane Hybertson

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Nov 23, 2018, 11:56:28 AM11/23/18