Emergent Information. When a Difference Makes a Difference…
Keywords: Objectivism, Subjectivism, Materialism, Idealism, Externalism, Internalism, Subject-object-Dialectics, Emergentist Materialism, Perspectivism, Self-Organisation, Sign, Unified Theory of Information, Computing, Meaningful Technology, GSIS
AbstractGregory Bateson’s famous saying about information can be looked upon as a good foundation of a Unified Theory of Information (UTI). Section one discusses the hard and the soft science approaches to information. It will be argued that a UTI approach needs to overcome the divide between these approaches and can do so by adopting an historical and logical account of information. Section two gives a system theoretical sketch of such an information concept. It is based upon assuming a co-extension of self-organisation and information. Information is defined as a tripartite relation such that (1) Bateson’s “making a difference” is the build-up of the self-organised order; (2) Bateson’s “difference” that makes the difference is the perturbation that triggers the build-up; (3) Bateson’s difference that is made is made to the system because the perturbation serves a function for the system’s self-organisation. In semiotic terms, (1) a sign (= the self-organised order) relates (2) a signified (= the perturbation) (3) to a signmaker (= the system). In a third section, consequences of this concept for the knowledge about techno-social information processes and information structures will be focused on.
Special Issue: The Difference that Makes a Difference 2011
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