Assumptions about Communication

Noel Rude nrude at UCINET.COM
Thu Feb 22 00:59:19 UTC 2001


    Surely information without intention is not information.  So what's the
point of trying to talk about it devoid of intention?  Try to imagine
information on some planet where there has never been any intention.  No, I
donĀ¹t mean the information you might acquire were you able to observe the
situation -- I mean information completely devoid of all intention.

Seems to me that linguistics and mathematics and computer science and
semeotics and just about everything else is concerned with information --
and if it ain't intentional it ain't information.

If we think we are dealing with information it just may be that even
philosophically there is no other way to define it than by intention.  Even
algorithms such as the laws of physics are now being being discussed as
intentional -- with apparently the only alternative (to the much discussed
Anthropic Principle) being the Many Worlds Hypothesis.

But I suppose the hard core materialists would want to propose a mechanistic
model of intention.  Is it fundamental, say, some kind of "quantum
weirdness" (as Roger Penrose might speculate), or does it "emerge" at a
higher level?  If the latter then have the neurologists described it yet?  I
mean such that we might one day be able to program our machines with it?

Interesting stuff here folks!


on 2/21/01 9:36 PM, Tom Givon at tgivon at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU wrote:

> Not so fast, Sherm ol' buddy,
> Whoa, Hold your horses for just a spell. If you read Irene Pepperberg's
> experimental work with Alex (African Grey Parrot) even cursorily, you'd
> conclude that you could not take 'intention' out of avian communication.
> No bloody way. ... ...

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