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Information 2012, 3(1), 68-91; doi:10.3390/info3010068

What Is Information?: Why Is It Relativistic and What Is Its Relationship to Materiality, Meaning and Organization

1
Department of Physics, University of Toronto, 60 Street George, Toronto, ON M5S 1A7, Canada
2
Strategic Innovation Lab OCAD University, Toronto, ON M5T 1W1, Canada
Received: 15 January 2012 / Accepted: 2 February 2012 / Published: 14 February 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Information: Its Different Modes and Its Relation to Meaning)
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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 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.
Keywords: information; language; Shannon; biology; relativity; meaning; organization information; language; Shannon; biology; relativity; meaning; organization
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Logan, R.K. What Is Information?: Why Is It Relativistic and What Is Its Relationship to Materiality, Meaning and Organization. Information 2012, 3, 68-91.

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