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Entropy 2016, 18(5), 193; doi:10.3390/e18050193

Entropy and the Self-Organization of Information and Value

1
Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, 18119 Rostock, Germany
2
Institute of Physics, Humboldt University, 12489 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Hermann Haken and Juval Portugali
Received: 18 March 2016 / Revised: 4 May 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 19 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information and Self-Organization)
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Abstract

Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, Rudolf Clausius, and Léon Brillouin considered certain “values” as key quantities in their descriptions of market competition, natural selection, thermodynamic processes, and information exchange, respectively. None of those values can be computed from elementary properties of the particular object they are attributed to, but rather values represent emergent, irreducible properties. In this paper, such values are jointly understood as information values in certain contexts. For this aim, structural information is distinguished from symbolic information. While the first can be associated with arbitrary physical processes or structures, the latter requires conventions which govern encoding and decoding of the symbols which form a message. As a value of energy, Clausius’ entropy is a universal measure of the structural information contained in a thermodynamic system. The structural information of a message, in contrast to its meaning, can be evaluated by Shannon’s entropy of communication. Symbolic information is found only in the realm of life, such as in animal behavior, human sociology, science, or technology, and is often cooperatively valuated by competition. Ritualization is described here as a universal scenario for the self-organization of symbols by which symbolic information emerges from structural information in the course of evolution processes. Emergent symbolic information exhibits the novel fundamental code symmetry which prevents the meaning of a message from being reducible to the physical structure of its carrier. While symbols turn arbitrary during the ritualization transition, their structures preserve information about their evolution history. View Full-Text
Keywords: entropy; information; emergent properties; self-organization; ritualization; symbols; code symmetry; information value; selective value; exchange value; money entropy; information; emergent properties; self-organization; ritualization; symbols; code symmetry; information value; selective value; exchange value; money
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Feistel, R.; Ebeling, W. Entropy and the Self-Organization of Information and Value. Entropy 2016, 18, 193.

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