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Switch to Forum Live View Is information causal?
3 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2011 - 10:28AM #41
Jiwe
Posts: 492

Nov 4, 2011 -- 9:10PM, Blü wrote:


mindis


It’s like Blu’s “materialism” that is sometimes explicitly Cartesian dualism


Really?  What part of the Smart/Armstrong definition of materialism entails Cartesian (body/'mind') dualism?



it can only be asserted but never concluded in a logical argument.


You've been given clear instructions on how to refute materialism.  What's stopping you?



You can reply to this in the Vacuity of Materialism thread rather than further distract this one.





Mindis1 never said that the Smart/Armstrong definition entails dualism. He said that yours does.


I think a more accurate assessment is that your position lacks the conceptual resources necessary to avoid a full blown implosion into idealism. That's because you have not provided any non-arbitrary way apart from a clumsily formulated axiom to maintain a distinction between what's subjectively real and objectively real. You get idealism since you conflate object and idea.


James

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2011 - 12:17AM #42
Blü
Posts: 25,075

James


you have not provided any non-arbitrary way apart from a clumsily formulated axiom to maintain a distinction between what's subjectively real and objectively real.


Please give me an example of a non-arbitrary way to maintain a distinction between the subjective and the objectively real that doesn't involve my axioms.


You get idealism since you conflate object and idea.


That's an odd thing to say.  You expressly refer to my axioms.  They are that -


- a world exists external to the self,
- the senses are capable of informing us about this world, and
- reason is a valid tool.


If you didn't agree with the first two, you wouldn't be posting here.


They distinguish quite clearly between objective reality and our mentation about it.


Yet having mentioned them, you assert that on the contrary my position entails a failure ('conflation') of that distinction - thus in one go contradicting yourself and displaying substantial ignorance, or substantial failure to understand, what I actually said.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2011 - 12:22PM #43
newchurchguy
Posts: 3,639

Nov 10, 2011 -- 2:50PM, mindis1 wrote:


Obviously what you are now doing is trying to use a vague concept of “information” to explain volitional acts, such as a person choosing to press a brake pedal. The problem with that is that vague ideas of information still don’t account for volitional acts--and it still doesn’t make an argument that information is causal. A person can choose to press a pedal or not regardless of the amount of information content might be in some channel.


It’s also weird that just a few days ago on the “Good News” thread, you claimed that Shannon information is identical to signals in a channel, whereas above you are apparently trying to suggest that information is something more akin to a meaningful “message” conveyed to a human. I find the fact that your idea of information keeps shape-shifting troubling; it suggests that you haven’t attacked the title question in a logical way.


The fact that you have not identified specific effects that have been shown to be caused by, not energy, but information suggests that you do not have an argument.  


Anyway, let us consider, hypothetically, that there just isn’t a way to argue that “information is causal”. What would that mean to you? Would it make information somehow less real? 



 


Yes - if all things described by the units of measure that delineate the many quantitications and qualifications of information science - could all be modeled only by physics and chemistry and their accepted units of measure - I would not be a Realist about information and patterned propensity. 


But of course - all that has been acheived since, when science did measure entropy, negentropy as syntax that encodes data and algorithmic complexity -- is proof of its reality.


Chapter 5 of Cybernetics and the Philosophy of Mind- Kenneth Sayre is entirely devoted to a review of Cybernetic Causality.  Rather than say - well my ideas are from this more indepth exposition - I have been trying to go with my own words.


I did find the article you just looked at, which followed the exact same pattern.


Markov source - Reichenbach inference about masking - feedback loops as Circular Causality.


Sayre published an update work in 1977 in Philosophy of Science.



Kenneth M. Sayre (1977). Statistical Models of Causal Relations. Philosophy of Science 44 (2):203-214.



A model of causation is presented which shares the advantages of Reichenbach's definition in terms of the screening-off relation, but which has the added advantage of distinguishing cause and effect without reference to temporal directionality. This model is defined in terms of the masking relation, which in turn is defined in terms of the equivocation relation of communication theory.



 

 There is no "shape shifting".  Physical events have two modes - matter and energy.

Information - is likewise exhibiting two modes - syntax (Shannon Entropy) and meaning (logical relations expressed semantically).

 

You can sort matter from energy and I trust you can - if you want - distinguish the 2 modes of information.   All your problems with the redlight example are not these issues - but hardware - software exchanges.  The driver stops when appropriately detecting the signal.  Shannon Entropy (information) is the right measure to address - noise in the channel and the power of the signal (size and brightness) to make sure at least 1 bit is communicated to trigger braking.

 

That the driver has a override - to the causal feedback loop - changes nothing in the flow of Shannon Information - only the probabalistic output.  A channel with a driver who completes the circuit - makes the channel non-deterministic - that's all. 




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3 years ago  ::  Nov 16, 2011 - 6:11PM #44
Blü
Posts: 25,075

ncg


mindis means you don't seem to know what you're talking about when you say 'information'.

Moderated by rangerken on Nov 16, 2011 - 11:22PM
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3 years ago  ::  Nov 17, 2011 - 6:23PM #45
mindis1
Posts: 7,929

Nov 16, 2011 -- 12:22PM, newchurchguy wrote:


Nov 10, 2011 -- 2:50PM, mindis1 wrote:


Obviously what you are now doing is trying to use a vague concept of “information” to explain volitional acts, such as a person choosing to press a brake pedal. The problem with that is that vague ideas of information still don’t account for volitional acts--and it still doesn’t make an argument that information is causal. A person can choose to press a pedal or not regardless of the amount of information content might be in some channel.


It’s also weird that just a few days ago on the “Good News” thread, you claimed that Shannon information is identical to signals in a channel, whereas above you are apparently trying to suggest that information is something more akin to a meaningful “message” conveyed to a human. I find the fact that your idea of information keeps shape-shifting troubling; it suggests that you haven’t attacked the title question in a logical way.


The fact that you have not identified specific effects that have been shown to be caused by, not energy, but information suggests that you do not have an argument.  


Anyway, let us consider, hypothetically, that there just isn’t a way to argue that “information is causal”. What would that mean to you? Would it make information somehow less real? 



 


Yes - if all things described by the units of measure that delineate the many quantitications and qualifications of information science - could all be modeled only by physics and chemistry and their accepted units of measure - I would not be a Realist about information and patterned propensity. 


But of course - all that has been acheived since, when science did measure entropy, negentropy as syntax that encodes data and algorithmic complexity -- is proof of its reality.


Chapter 5 of Cybernetics and the Philosophy of Mind- Kenneth Sayre is entirely devoted to a review of Cybernetic Causality.  Rather than say - well my ideas are from this more indepth exposition - I have been trying to go with my own words.


I did find the article you just looked at, which followed the exact same pattern.


Markov source - Reichenbach inference about masking - feedback loops as Circular Causality.


Sayre published an update work in 1977 in Philosophy of Science.



Kenneth M. Sayre (1977). Statistical Models of Causal Relations. Philosophy of Science 44 (2):203-214.



A model of causation is presented which shares the advantages of Reichenbach's definition in terms of the screening-off relation, but which has the added advantage of distinguishing cause and effect without reference to temporal directionality. This model is defined in terms of the masking relation, which in turn is defined in terms of the equivocation relation of communication theory.



 

 There is no "shape shifting".  Physical events have two modes - matter and energy.

Information - is likewise exhibiting two modes - syntax (Shannon Entropy) and meaning (logical relations expressed semantically).

 

You can sort matter from energy and I trust you can - if you want - distinguish the 2 modes of information.   All your problems with the redlight example are not these issues - but hardware - software exchanges.  The driver stops when appropriately detecting the signal.  Shannon Entropy (information) is the right measure to address - noise in the channel and the power of the signal (size and brightness) to make sure at least 1 bit is communicated to trigger braking.

 

That the driver has a override - to the causal feedback loop - changes nothing in the flow of Shannon Information - only the probabalistic output.  A channel with a driver who completes the circuit - makes the channel non-deterministic - that's all. 






Gee willies, NCG, you seem preeminently disinterested in approaching the title question in a way by which one concludes that information is causal by a logical argument. You see on this board what nonsense emits from those who are unable to use logic.


Rather than logically attacking the question you asked, it seems you are more interested in metaphysicalizing in outer space.


Moreover, it seems that you are trying to obscure whatever it is you are trying say with indecipherable piles of words. When I go to the trouble to write a sentence, I want readers to know and understand what I am trying to say, to understand the idea I wish to express. Except when done for artistic purposes, such as in James Joyce’s novels and Jorie Graham’s poetry, when I see sentences that are piles of words my immediate suspicion is that the writer probably doesn’t have a coherent idea to express, or else that the idea is just too trivial to express in a way that promotes comprehension of it. In academia, those who seem to be most guilty of this are philosophers.


I did say that, given the empirical evidence, I would help to state a logical argument by which to conclude that information is causal.


At Cornell’s e-print archive:


arxiv.org/


a search of the words information and causal yields 17,000 results. (I always use Google advanced search, since the archive’s search function is not good.) Some of the first results are entirely relevant to your question, e.g.,  


arxiv.org/pdf/0905.2292v3


arxiv.org/pdf/1010.3419


How about summarizing for us how the "principle of information causality" is a generalization of no-signaling theorems?


Of course, it seems likely that both of the above papers are wrong if it is true that neutrinos travel faster than light. The most recent experiment finding this superluminal velocity, which received a good deal of press, seemed to me to be a very good experiment--the paper on this neutrino study listed more than 150 authors, a seemingly unprecedented number of physicists who put their names on that paper.


Also, a number of physicists question the no-signaling theorems as circular or begging the question. See here:  philsci-archive.pitt.edu/8359/1/Polkingh... . Specifically:


The claim has been made that the principles of quantum theory alone suffice for proofs of the No-Signalling Theorems [13, 14, 26]. The most sophisticated proofs of these theorems are in term of quantum field theory and rely on the notion of microcausality or local commutativity, which means that operators which represent measurements performed on space-like separate parts of a physical system always commute, regardless of whether or not they would commute if operating locally (Peacock, 1991 [25, p. 56]).


The important observation is that this microcausality condition does not follow from some set of quantum principles, but is in fact postulated because it is “the mathematical statement of the fact that no signal can be exchanged between two points separated by a spacelike interval and therefore that measurements at such points cannot interfere” (Schweber, 1961 [27, p. 723]). Indeed, Stapp (1988, [33, p. 88]) admits that “relativistic quantum field theory . . . is constructed to ensure that its predictions do not depend either on the frame of reference or upon the order in which one imagines performing measurements on spacelike separated regions.” 


However, “a proof of a result based on a theory which was ‘constructed to ensure’ that result is no proof at all” (Peacock, 1991 [25, p. 70]). This conclusion has been endorsed recently by Mittlestaedt (2008, [19, p. 2]): “The micro-causality condition of relativistic quantum field theory excludes entanglement induced superluminal signals but this condition is justified by the exclusion of superluminal signals. Hence, we are confronted here with a vicious circle, and the question whether there are superluminal EPR-signals cannot be answered in this way.”


So, a “principle of information causality,” insofar as it is a generalization of question-begging no-signaling theorems, would itself be highly doubtful.


Be sure to note the quotes from Gisin in this paper. They sound like they could have been lifted directly from Whitehead.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 17, 2011 - 6:29PM #46
mindis1
Posts: 7,929

And for everyone else reading this, I don’t have time at the moment to respond to the replies to my posts on other threads. ASAP.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 23, 2011 - 10:42AM #47
newchurchguy
Posts: 3,639

mindis1,


 


Thanks for the links.  Yes, Gisin is on the same page with Whitehead.


) Should we adopt a new theory of time and of becoming?  Gisin (2010, [10]) claims that “quantum events are not merely the realization of usual probability distributions, but must be thought of as true acts of creation (true becoming)”, and in a related paper (2010, [12, p. 1358]) he mentions: “To put the tension [between quantum mechanics and relativity] in other words: no story in space-time can tell us how nonlocal correlations happen, hence nonlocal quantum correlations seem to emerge, somehow, from outside space-time.”  He continues (Gisin, 2010 [11]): “Note the implication for the concept of time.  Quantum events are not mere functions of variables in space-time, but true creations: time does not merely unfold, true becoming is at work. The accumulation of creative events is the fabric of time.” 



When you asked me what I meant by "manifest" physically - I think this emphasis on idea of physical reality being "created" from a probabalistic background - to a foreground of material existence we can measure.


I have another quote from math teacher John Ringland:


 Information is discernible difference and is thus a generalised concept for any discernible feature of existence. It can therefore manifest in any medium and be transformed between any mediums. When information flows in the same information space it produces effects that are 'material' in the current scientific sense of the word. This is the essence of quantum physics where there is only the flow and interaction of quantum information. Information is not 'matter' but what is matter? Can anyone coherently answer that? A simple analogy for the physicality of information is when a computer game character tries to walk through a computer game wall it is stopped in a very 'physical' sense. In this sense information is no less material than energy!



www.newciv.org/nl/newslog.php/_v550/__sh...


 


I have always said that inforamtion is casual in an informational environment, and described by math relations.  Just like physical causes are located in a physical environment.


 

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2 years ago  ::  May 02, 2012 - 3:46PM #48
newchurchguy
Posts: 3,639

Nov 17, 2011 -- 6:23PM, mindis1 wrote:


Gee willies, NCG, you seem preeminently disinterested in approaching the title question in a way by which one concludes that information is causal by a logical argument. You see on this board what nonsense emits from those who are unable to use logic.


Rather than logically attacking the question you asked, it seems you are more interested in metaphysicalizing in outer space.


I did say that, given the empirical evidence, I would help to state a logical argument by which to conclude that information is causal.


How about summarizing for us how the "principle of information causality" is a generalization of no-signaling theorems?


Of course, it seems likely that both of the above papers are wrong if it is true that neutrinos travel faster than light. The most recent experiment finding this superluminal velocity, which received a good deal of press, seemed to me to be a very good experiment--the paper on this neutrino study listed more than 150 authors, a seemingly unprecedented number of physicists who put their names on that paper.




mindis1,


Well ---- the faster that light neutrino data is now shown to be conclusively false.  Information as Shannon entropy can still be seen as causal - where no-signal travels faster than light.


Here is a quote from a most recent and definative paper by G. Tononi.



Information and causation


Finally, it is useful to examine some of the implications of the IIT concerning the relationship between information and causation.  The IIT assumes that causal structures (mechanisms) in a given state are intrinsically associated with certain integrated information structures, which they ‘specify’ irrespective of external observers.  Each integrated information structure is specified if and only if the causal mechanisms are in working order, that is, they can produce different outputs as a function of their inputs, meaning that the mechanisms can ‘choose.’   This implies a duality of causation and information: if there is causation, there is information and, conversely, there is no information without causation (Tononi 2010).   Note that, since integrated information supervenes upon causation - meaning that there cannot be differences in complexes/qualia without differences in the underlying mechanisms, but there can be different mechanisms that generate the same complex/quale - the relationship between information and causation is non-symmetrical.


Considering the relationship between causation and information more closely suggests striking similarities: information as defined here is a causal measure, in that it requires perturbing a system in all possible ways and checking the effects; on the other hand, the intuitive notion of causation has a strong informational aspect, in that it involves both reliability and specificity.




 


  

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2 years ago  ::  Dec 09, 2012 - 1:09PM #49
Adelphe
Posts: 28,736

Oct 5, 2011 -- 9:30AM, newchurchguy wrote:


In this analysis both aspects of information - its structure or syntax - and its more common usage as - meaningful data, which can be communicated as a message - need to be considered.  The first is formal information as governed by the math of the Mathematical Theory of Communication and the second as governed by the rules and laws of logic.  I see these two aspects acting holistically - as does matter/energy in physics.


Many deny that non-physical events can be causes, unless they are identical with their physical realizations.  Non-philosophers either avoid the issues by adopting various forms of reductionism (if they are scientists) or talk about levels of explanation, or emergence, without being able to give a precise account of how that is possible. I shall try to show how recent solutions to
engineering problems produce a kind of emergence that can be called “mechanism supervenience”, and conjecture that biological evolution produced similar solutions. -- Aaron Sloman





This is just so obvious to me (re thread title, "Is information causal"), ncg, that I (almost) don't understand why or how anyone could (or would?) argue otherwise.


We know what words (information) can do to people and physically--whether effect their emotions (and body temperature), what emotional/psychological abuse can do to the victim's brain physically, how words/information/reasoning can change ours and other minds, etc.  I mean just a basic example--information that causes the fight/flight response:


Catecholamine hormones, such as adrenaline or noradrenaline, facilitate immediate physical reactions associated with a preparation for violent muscular action. These include the following:[4]


What could be said to be uncaused here?  Of course information is causal.




Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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2 years ago  ::  Dec 09, 2012 - 1:13PM #50
Adelphe
Posts: 28,736

Oct 5, 2011 -- 10:35AM, teilhard wrote:


"Information" could be understood in Terms of Aristotle's "Formal" Causation ... and perhaps also, "Final" Causation ...




"Efficient", too--maybe even "material"!

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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