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Information, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2012), Pages 1-174

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Introduction to the Special Issue on Information: Selected Papers from “FIS 2010 Beijing”
Information 2012, 3(1), 16-20; doi:10.3390/info3010016
Received: 15 December 2011 / Accepted: 30 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
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Abstract
During the last two decades, a systematic re-examination of the whole information science field has taken place around the FIS—Foundations of Information Science—initiative. With the occasion of its Fourth Conference in Beijing 2010, a group of selected contributors and leading practitioners of those
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During the last two decades, a systematic re-examination of the whole information science field has taken place around the FIS—Foundations of Information Science—initiative. With the occasion of its Fourth Conference in Beijing 2010, a group of selected contributors and leading practitioners of those fields have been invited to contribute to this Special Issue. What is the status of information science today? What is the relationship between information and the laws of nature? Is information merely “physical”? What is the difference between information and computation? Has the genomic revolution changed the contemporary views on information and life? And what about the nature of social information? Cogent answers to these questions and to quite many others are attempted in the contributions that follow. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "FIS 2010 Beijing")

Research

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Open AccessArticle Self-Organized Complexity and Coherent Infomax from the Viewpoint of Jaynes’s Probability Theory
Information 2012, 3(1), 1-15; doi:10.3390/info3010001
Received: 13 December 2011 / Revised: 28 December 2011 / Accepted: 29 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper discusses concepts of self-organized complexity and the theory of Coherent Infomax in the light of Jaynes’s probability theory. Coherent Infomax, shows, in principle, how adaptively self-organized complexity can be preserved and improved by using probabilistic inference that is context-sensitive. It argues
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This paper discusses concepts of self-organized complexity and the theory of Coherent Infomax in the light of Jaynes’s probability theory. Coherent Infomax, shows, in principle, how adaptively self-organized complexity can be preserved and improved by using probabilistic inference that is context-sensitive. It argues that neural systems do this by combining local reliability with flexible, holistic, context-sensitivity. Jaynes argued that the logic of probabilistic inference shows it to be based upon Bayesian and Maximum Entropy methods or special cases of them. He presented his probability theory as the logic of science; here it is considered as the logic of life. It is concluded that the theory of Coherent Infomax specifies a general objective for probabilistic inference, and that contextual interactions in neural systems perform functions required of the scientist within Jaynes’s theory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information and Energy/Matter)
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Open AccessArticle Chemical Affinity as Material Agency for Naturalizing Contextual Meaning
Information 2012, 3(1), 21-35; doi:10.3390/info3010021
Received: 15 December 2011 / Revised: 6 January 2012 / Accepted: 9 January 2012 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chemical affinity involves the integration of two different types of interaction. One is the interaction operating between a pair of reactants while forming a chemical bond, and the other is the prior interaction between those reactants when they identify a reaction partner. The
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Chemical affinity involves the integration of two different types of interaction. One is the interaction operating between a pair of reactants while forming a chemical bond, and the other is the prior interaction between those reactants when they identify a reaction partner. The context of the environments under which chemical reactions proceed is identified by the interaction of the participating chemical reactants themselves unless the material process of internal measurement is substituted by theoretical artifacts in the form of imposed boundary conditions, as in the case, for example, of thermal equilibrium. The identification-interaction specific to each local participant serves as a preparation for the making of chemical bonds. The identification-interaction is intrinsically selective in precipitating those chemical bonds that are synthesized most rapidly among possible reactions. Once meta-stable products appear that mediate chemical syntheses and their partial decompositions without totally decomposing, those products would become selective because of their ongoing participation in the identification-interaction. One important natural example must have been the origin and evolution of life on Earth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information and Energy/Matter)
Open AccessArticle If Physics Is an Information Science, What Is an Observer?
Information 2012, 3(1), 92-123; doi:10.3390/info3010092
Received: 9 January 2012 / Revised: 23 January 2012 / Accepted: 10 February 2012 / Published: 16 February 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (320 KB)
Abstract
Interpretations of quantum theory have traditionally assumed a “Galilean” observer, a bare “point of view” implemented physically by a quantum system. This paper investigates the consequences of replacing such an informationally-impoverished observer with an observer that satisfies the requirements of classical automata theory,
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Interpretations of quantum theory have traditionally assumed a “Galilean” observer, a bare “point of view” implemented physically by a quantum system. This paper investigates the consequences of replacing such an informationally-impoverished observer with an observer that satisfies the requirements of classical automata theory, i.e., an observer that encodes sufficient prior information to identify the system being observed and recognize its acceptable states. It shows that with reasonable assumptions about the physical dynamics of information channels, the observations recorded by such an observer will display the typical characteristics predicted by quantum theory, without requiring any specific assumptions about the observer’s physical implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information and Energy/Matter)
Open AccessArticle Toward a New Scientific Visualization for the Language Sciences
Information 2012, 3(1), 124-150; doi:10.3390/info3010124
Received: 31 December 2011 / Accepted: 29 January 2012 / Published: 20 February 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (557 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
All scientists use data visualizations to discover patterns in their phenomena that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Likewise, we also use scientific visualizations to help us describe our verbal theories and predict those data patterns. But scientific visualization may also constitute a hindrance
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All scientists use data visualizations to discover patterns in their phenomena that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Likewise, we also use scientific visualizations to help us describe our verbal theories and predict those data patterns. But scientific visualization may also constitute a hindrance to theory development when new data cannot be accommodated by the current dominant framework. Here we argue that the sciences of language are currently in an interim stage using an increasingly outdated scientific visualization borrowed from the box-and-arrow flow charts of the early days of engineering and computer science. The original (and not yet fully discarded) version of this obsolete model assumes that the language faculty is composed of autonomously organized levels of linguistic representation, which in turn are assumed to be modular, organized in rank order of dominance, and feed unidirectionally into one another in stage-like algorithmic procedures. We review relevant literature in psycholinguistics and language acquisition that cannot be accommodated by the received model. Both learning and processing of language in children and adults, at various putative ‘levels’ of representation, appear to be highly integrated and interdependent, and function simultaneously rather than sequentially. The fact that half of the field sees these findings as trivially true and the other half argues fiercely against them suggests to us that the sciences of language are on the brink of a paradigm shift. We submit a new scientific visualization for language, in which stacked levels of linguistic representation are replaced by trajectories in a multidimensional space. This is not a mere redescription. Processing language in the brain equates to traversing such a space in regions afforded by multiple probabilistic cues that simultaneously activate different linguistic representations. Much still needs to be done to convert this scientific visualization into actual implemented models, but at present it allows language scientists to envision new concepts and venues for research that may assist the field in transitioning to a new conceptualization, and provide a clear direction for the next decade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognition and Communication)
Open AccessArticle The Causal-Compositional Concept of Information Part I. Elementary Theory: From Decompositional Physics to Compositional Information
Information 2012, 3(1), 151-174; doi:10.3390/info3010151
Received: 9 February 2012 / Revised: 2 March 2012 / Accepted: 2 March 2012 / Published: 16 March 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (818 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This first part of the study introduces an elementary concept of information. Our interest for newness, our curiosity in the new, will be considered as a main building block of information, and of reality itself. A typical definition of information (the reduction of
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This first part of the study introduces an elementary concept of information. Our interest for newness, our curiosity in the new, will be considered as a main building block of information, and of reality itself. A typical definition of information (the reduction of uncertainty) needs to be fundamentally inverted: Information is a compositional activity, including the inconsistent, the paradox, the contradiction and the incoherent meaning. This study expands on the analysis of the composition of new structure (new macrophysical laws), and the analysis of the causality and causal state of such structures (“causally active symbols”). The classical, scientific-objective, passive understanding of information gives meaning to the fact that modern information technology does not by itself lead to an increase of human values. However, our social and moral stance is an informational one, and our informational, active conscious process holds the power to mediate and to enforce this process towards an enriched life. The indicator for such enrichment is given to us by information, and the knowledge about this process will feed us with energy to move towards an active spirit of ethics, and towards the information society. Part I of this study expands on the fundament basis and on our intrinsic responsibility to release the forces that are based on the active dimension of information. Those forces are required in order to reveal the so-called information society from its metaphorical character (Part II). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information and Energy/Matter)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Strategies for Successful Information Technology Adoption in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises
Information 2012, 3(1), 36-67; doi:10.3390/info3010036
Received: 31 October 2011 / Revised: 22 January 2012 / Accepted: 31 January 2012 / Published: 13 February 2012
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Information Technology (IT) adoption is an important field of study in a number of areas, which include small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Due to the numerous advantages of IT, SMEs are trying to adopt IT applications to support their businesses. IT adoption by
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Information Technology (IT) adoption is an important field of study in a number of areas, which include small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Due to the numerous advantages of IT, SMEs are trying to adopt IT applications to support their businesses. IT adoption by SMEs differs from larger organizations because of their specific characteristics, such as resources constraints. Therefore, this research aims to provide a better and clearer understanding of IT adoption within SMEs by reviewing and analyzing current IT literature. In this research, the review of literature includes theories, perspectives, empirical research and case studies related to IT adoption, in particular within SMEs from various databases such as Business Premier, Science Direct, JStor, Emerald Insight and Springer Link. The proposed model of effective IT adoption is believed to provide managers, vendors, consultants and governments with a practical synopsis of the IT adoption process in SMEs, which will in turn assist them to be successful with IT institutionalization within these businesses. Full article
Open AccessReview What Is Information?: Why Is It Relativistic and What Is Its Relationship to Materiality, Meaning and Organization
Information 2012, 3(1), 68-91; doi:10.3390/info3010068
Received: 15 January 2012 / Accepted: 2 February 2012 / Published: 14 February 2012
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (155 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We review the historic development of concept of information including the relationship of Shannon information and entropy and the criticism of Shannon information because of its lack of a connection to meaning. We review the work of Kauffman, Logan et al. that shows
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We review the historic development of concept of information including the relationship of Shannon information and entropy and the criticism of Shannon information because of its lack of a connection to meaning. We review the work of Kauffman, Logan et al. that shows that Shannon information fails to describe biotic information. We introduce the notion of the relativity of information and show that the concept of information depends on the context of where and how it is being used. We examine the relationship of information to meaning and materiality within information theory, cybernetics and systems biology. We show there exists a link between information and organization in biotic systems and in the various aspects of human culture including language, technology, science, economics and governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information: Its Different Modes and Its Relation to Meaning)

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