Month: April 2019

Information as a construction

The purpose of this review paper is to outline the constructivist approach to the notion of information from two perspectives. The first perspective explores the role of ‘constructed’ information in the ‘constructivist niche’ – a common name for the appropriate viewpoints in different science fields, such as cognitive and neuroscience, psychology, cybernetics and biology of cognition. The second perspective considers library and information science (LIS) papers in which information is treated as a constructed entity. This paper assumed the origin of the notion of information to be a construction as defined in the ‘constructivist niche’ that is based upon communication theory and cybernetics. Conversely, the origin of the notion of information as a construction as per LIS can be found in Bateson’s definition of information as a ‘difference which makes the difference,‘ as well as in the 1970s LIS definition wherein information is associated with the direction of a cognitive viewpoint, as in a ‘cognitive turn’. The study showed that ‘information as a construction‘, except in a few cases, did not play a significant role in the constructivist theories nor in LIS. LIS researchers reduce the concept of information to a subjective, socially-constructed entity which inherently results in different interpretations.

 

Information as a construction
Boris Bosancic, Marta Matijevic

Journal of Librarianship and Information Science

Source: journals.sagepub.com

Mind, Body, Quantum Mechanics

I discuss the following: The causal closure of classical physics implies that consciousness in a classical physics brain can at best be epiphenomenal. Quantum mechanics can break the causal closure of classical physics in two ways: measurement and a newly discovered Poised Realm. Conscious experience may be associated with quantum measurement. Here quantum mind has acausal consequences for the classical brain. I propose genetic experiments to test this. Entanglement may solve the “binding problem.” I believe these proposals unite mind and body in a new way and answer Descartes after 350 years of the Stalemate introduced by his dualism of Res cogitans and Res extensa.

 

Mind, Body, Quantum Mechanics
Stuart Kauffman

Activitas Nervosa Superior

Source: link.springer.com

Network properties of salmonella epidemics

We examine non-typhoidal Salmonella (S. Typhimurium or STM) epidemics as complex systems, driven by evolution and interactions of diverse microbial strains, and focus on emergence of successful strains. Our findings challenge the established view that seasonal epidemics are associated with random sets of co-circulating STM genotypes. We use high-resolution molecular genotyping data comprising 17,107 STM isolates representing nine consecutive seasonal epidemics in Australia, genotyped by multiple-locus variable-number tandem-repeats analysis (MLVA). From these data, we infer weighted undirected networks based on distances between the MLVA profiles, depicting epidemics as networks of individual bacterial strains. The network analysis demonstrated dichotomy in STM populations which split into two distinct genetic branches, with markedly different prevalences. This distinction revealed the emergence of dominant STM strains defined by their local network topological properties, such as centrality, while correlating the development of new epidemics with global network features, such as small-world propensity.

 

Network properties of salmonella epidemics
Oliver M. Cliff, Vitali Sintchenko, Tania C. Sorrell, Kiranmayi Vadlamudi, Natalia McLean & Mikhail Prokopenko
Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 6159 (2019)

Source: www.nature.com

Space: The Final Illusion

(…)  the takeaway lesson is that the intuitive idea that objects influence each other because they are close in space is soon to become another of those easy beliefs that turn out to be wrong when we look deeper. The smoothness of space is soon to become an illusion that hides a tiny and complex world of causal interactions, which do not live in space—but which rather define and create space as they create the future from the present.

Source: blogs.scientificamerican.com