Information2014, 5(3), 479-507; doi:10.3390/info5030479 - published 18 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper uses an approach drawn from the ideas of computer systems modelling to produce a model for information itself. The model integrates evolutionary, static and dynamic views of information and highlights the relationship between symbolic content and the physical world. The model includes what information technology practitioners call “non-functional” attributes, which, for information, include information quality and information friction. The concepts developed in the model enable a richer understanding of Floridi’s questions “what is information?” and “the informational circle: how can information be assessed?” (which he numbers P1 and P12).
Information2014, 5(3), 451-478; doi:10.3390/info5030451 - published 11 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper aims to introduce a developed reading of Roederer’s interpretation of pragmatic information as a good candidate for a Unifying Information Concept required for an as-yet-unavailable Science of Information. According to pragmatic information, information and information processing are exclusive attributes of biological systems related to the very definition of life. I will apply the notion to give new accounts in the following areas: (1) quantum interpretation: based on a modified version of David Bohm’s interpretation of quantum mechanics, I propose an ontological, information-based interpretation of quantum mechanics which, unlike Roederer’s interpretation, satisfies all conditions of pragmatic information; (2) artificial intelligence: the notion successfully distinguishes natural living systems from artifacts and natural non-living systems, providing a context to pose an information-based argument against the thesis of Strong Artificial Intelligence; (3) phenomenal consciousness: I will use pragmatic information to modify and update Chalmers’s Double-aspect Theory of Information to be explanatorily more powerful regarding the physical aspect of his theory; (4) causation: based on pragmatic information, I pose a new account of causation which differentiates causation in biology from causation in natural abiotic world.
Information2014, 5(3), 440-450; doi:10.3390/info5030440 - published 4 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In this paper, we look into knowledge leakages and ways to address them. It is conducted from the point of view of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as their specific attributes create unique challenges. Based on a discussion of the relevant fields, ways are presented in order to reduce the danger of knowledge leakages. In view of practitioners, the paper’s findings may enable an increased awareness towards the areas where existing knowledge is at the mercy of “leakage”. This can assist managers of SMEs to better cope with risks related to knowledge leakage and, therefore, better exploit the (limited) knowledge base available.
Information2014, 5(3), 424-439; doi:10.3390/info5030424 - published 21 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Biological systems represent a unique class of physical systems in how they process and manage information. This suggests that changes in the flow and distribution of information played a prominent role in the origin of life. Here I review and expand on an emerging conceptual framework suggesting that the origin of life may be identified as a transition in causal structure and information flow, and detail some of the implications for understanding the early stages chemical evolution.
Information2014, 5(3), 404-423; doi:10.3390/info5030404 - published 14 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We argue that a critical difference distinguishing machines from organisms and computers from brains is not complexity in a structural sense, but a difference in dynamical organization that is not well accounted for by current complexity measures. We propose a measure of the complexity of a system that is largely orthogonal to computational, information theoretic, or thermodynamic conceptions of structural complexity. What we call a system’s dynamical depth is a separate dimension of system complexity that measures the degree to which it exhibits discrete levels of nonlinear dynamical organization in which successive levels are distinguished by local entropy reduction and constraint generation. A system with greater dynamical depth than another consists of a greater number of such nested dynamical levels. Thus, a mechanical or linear thermodynamic system has less dynamical depth than an inorganic self-organized system, which has less dynamical depth than a living system. Including an assessment of dynamical depth can provide a more precise and systematic account of the fundamental difference between inorganic systems (low dynamical depth) and living systems (high dynamical depth), irrespective of the number of their parts and the causal relations between them.
Information2014, 5(3), 389-403; doi:10.3390/info5030389 - published 8 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A consensus is emerging that the multiple forms, functions and properties of information cannot be captured by a simple categorization into classical and quantum information. Similarly, it is unlikely that the applicable physics of information is a single classical discipline, completely expressible in mathematical terms, but rather a complex, multi- and trans-disciplinary field involving deep philosophical questions about the underlying structure of the universe. This paper is an initial attempt to present the fundamental physics of non-quantum information in terms of a novel non-linguistic logic. Originally proposed by the Franco-Romanian thinker Stéphane Lupasco (1900–1988), this logic, grounded in quantum mechanics, can reflect the dual aspects of real processes and their evolution at biological, cognitive and social levels of reality. In my update of this logical system—Logic in Reality (LIR)—a change in perspective is required on the familiar notions in science and philosophy of causality, continuity and discontinuity, time and space. I apply LIR as a critique of current approaches to the physical grounding of information, focusing on its qualitative dualistic aspects at non-quantum levels as a set of physical processes embedded in a physical world.