2012-C&L-Information a multidimensional reality-p1By: José María Díaz Nafría (Universidad de León, Spain; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany)

Published in: Emilia CURRÁS & Nuria LLORET (eds.) (2012), Systems Science and Collaborative Information Systems: Theories, Practices and New Research, pp. 37-70, Hershey PA: IGI Global publication.

Abstract: Making an incursion in the forest of problems and theories of information, beyond observing a lack of mutual understanding among information theorists, we find out that information can be understood as a multifaceted reality. The variety of theories is in itself a reflection of the complex nature of information. A systematic approach to these theories, looking for common and divergent understandings render– so to speak – a cubist picture of what information really is, showing for instance its multidimensionality. In other words, when we say there is information in cables and organisms, in antennas and societies, in robots and mental states, we do not have to be mistaken: information is considered in each case in different aspects.
Delving into the nature of observation, we will find a solid ground to pose information as a bridge between objects and subjects, therefore providing the possibility to overcome the inveterate segregation of the objectivist and subjectivist understandings. As we will see, such vision also provides the possibility to articulate an understanding of information in its multifaceted reality.

By José María Díaz Nafría (University of León, Spain).

Published in: Rafael Capurro, John Holgate (eds.), Messages and Messengers – as an Approach to the Phenomenology of Communication, pp.197-229, Munich: Wilhelm Fink. DOI: 10.30965/9783846750476

Figure-6Abstract: Shannon and Weaver’s Mathematical Theory of Communication and also Kotelnikov’s Theory of Optimal Reception consider that communication is best described by the well-known model of transmission, corruption and recognition of messages known as Information Theory. However, the essential significance of the semantics and pragmatics in communication is omitted from this interpretation. Whereas Weaver considers that the same model of communication can simply be expanded, reproducing its schema in nested levels, research into culture, language and semiotics shows that the reality of communication has further requirements José María Díaz Nafría proceeds to compare this ‘transparent channel’ approach to communication to George Orwell’s Newspeak, a dystopian model of communication from the novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four,’ and to the theories of the French criminologist and early theoretician of public opinion, Gabriel Tarde (1901). Furthermore, he shows the connection between the related theory of optimal reception and the “truthful” recognition of forms in the Platonic tradition. Such ‘closed universes’ (of either messages or forms) are contrasted. For Diaz Nafría ‘understanding’ a message originally means the very fact of being able to provide correct answers to the possibilities offered by this message in a given situation. This ability evolves ‘over time’ from rudimentarily responding to messages, to a more complexly interpreting them.

 

By José María Díaz Nafría (University of León, Spain), Rainer Zimmermann (Munich University of Applied Sciences)

Though the hermeneutical cycle could be represented by the famous adagio of Heraclitus “the way up and the way down is one and the same”, in strict sense the cycle of interpretation is intrinsically irreversible. Such irreversibility is also inherent to thermodynamic and informational cycles, as well as to the evolution of complexity in the universe from the most elementary interaction of matter – as represented by spin networks – to the creation of molecules, biological structures, cognitive and social systems, as discussed in the first part. Such argued “skeleton-of-the-universe” provides as well an upwards path to the hierarchical evolution of complexity, as a downwards path to interpret and modify reality. The argued fundamentality in the emergence of regularities and meaning imposes essential constraints to the interaction with the world when we aim at interpreting it. One of these emergencies – relevant to our means of awareness – is represented by electromagnetic fields, which correspond to the regularity arising from the interaction of a more elementary level of matter. Our vision (even if assisted by microscopic techniques) is strictly constrained to the structural regularities of the electromagnetic fields. It is easy to show from the corresponding structural constraints that the world is not as we observe it. However, since we are products of the world as well – i.e. attached to the same skeleton-of-the-universe –, the very complexity of our mechanism of awareness has the possibility of creatively imagining reality, similar as the world creates it. Information – in a cognitive sense, which can be derived from a wider perspective of information in other natural processes – correspond to the actualization of this creative imagination while interacting with the world. This interaction imposes a non-reversible path in the interpretation of reality.

  • Access to the presentation at the interdisciplinary workshop on information and technology: “The Difference That Make a Difference” DTMAD-2010 at the Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, September, 2011

Juan Miguel Aguado (School of Information and Communication Studies, Universidad de Murcia, Spain)

By attempting to fix an observable magnitude, the concept of information involves a cognitive model that enables a double ontological rupture: between subject and world, on one side, and between cognition and action, on the other side. A genealogical approach to information as a simultaneously epistemological and cognitive crossroad highlights the centrality of observation theory in the resolution of its contradictions. The recursive nature of observation inherent to informational logics makes constructivist assumptions especially relevant as a key contribution for an epistemological revision of the ideas of information and communication.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008

Juan Miguel AGUADO (Universidad de Murcia)

By attempting to fix an observable magnitude, the concept of information involves a cognitive model that enables a double ontological rupture: between subject and world, on one side, and between cognition and action, on the other side. A genealogical approach to information as a simultaneously epistemological and cognitive crossroad highlights the centrality of observation theory in the resolution of its contradictions. The recursive nature of observation inherent to informational logics makes constructivist assumptions especially relevant as a key contribution for an epistemological revision of the ideas of information and communication.

Article

José María Díaz Nafría (Universidad de León)

An analysis of the wave manifestations of an object in a homogeneous environment shows that the information carried by such manifestations offers a constitutive fuzziness of the observed object. On the one hand, the details that can be specified concerning the object are strictly limited by the wave length; on the other hand, the volumetric details of the object (i.e. its bowls) are outlawed to the observer, not in virtue of the object opacity, but to the very dimension or complexity of the wave phenomenon in the space surrounding the object.

Given the nature of the limitations imposed by the wave phenomenon, they put forward some obvious epistemological consequences concerning: the constitutive indeterminacy of the object with respect to the information provided by the wave phenomenon; the absolute limit of the determinations that can be specified through observation; and the combined role of other concurrent or previous perceptions and some a priori knowledge in the image forming of the object by the subject.

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