Vlatko Vedral: Everything is information

Was listening to the Sun, 11 Jul 10 edition of the BBC’s The Forum program, in which Physicist Vlatko Vedral was a participant. Decided to look at some of his stuff and found this: Vlatko Vedral: Everything is information

Here Vedral explains why he believes the fundamental stuff of the universe is information – and how he hopes that one day everything will be explained in this way.

He has recently published a book title Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information.

Looks interesting, but I should read my copy of Seth Lloyd’s Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes on the Cosmos before I get another book on the matter.

An Analysis of Informational Relevance

Am currently working on a paper to be given at this years AAL conference. Tentative details:

Title: An Analysis of Informational Relevance

Abstract: In this presentation a logical definition and analysis of informational relevance is given. Relevance is taken to be agent-oriented/epistemic, where the relevance of a piece of information is determined in terms of how well it satisfies an agent’s request, how well it answers their question. Firstly, a general metric is outlined whereby the relevance of a statement is measured in terms of its truthlikeness measure. Secondly, a logic is given in which a relevance operator is defined and investigated. The erotetic foundation for this logic is Hintikka’s approach to analysing questions as requests for information in terms of epistemic modal logic, which is then combined with a logic of intention.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

The Logic of Being Misinformed

Have just uploaded a draft of a paper I am working on, titled ‘The Logic of Being Misinformed’, which can be downloaded here. Feedback welcome. Following is the abstract:

It is well established that the states of knowledge and belief have been captured using systems of modal logic. Referred to respectively as epistemic and doxastic modal logics, they have been studied extensively in the literature. In a relatively recent paper entitled ‘The Logic Of Being Informed’, Luciano Floridi does the same for the state of being informed, giving a logic of being informed also based on modal logic. In this information logic (IL), the statement Iap stands for ‘a is informed that p‘ or ‘a holds the information that p‘. After a review of Floridi’s logic of being informed, including an explication of the central concept of semantic information, I go on to develop a complementary logic of being misinformed, which formally captures the relation `a is misinformed that p‘.

A Question Concerning Data

The rejection of dataless information in accordance with the General Definition of Information leads to the following modest thesis of ontological neutrality:

There can be no information without data representation.

This thesis can be, and often is, interpreted materialistically, with the equation of representation and physical implementation leading to the following:

There can be no data representation without physical implementation.

which leads to

There can be no information without physical implementation.

This is the view of Landauer. A related discussion of the matter can be found here.

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Epistemology and the Value of Knowledge

The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Survival, a paper I have just looked at which impressively supports the view that knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief, a view which I support.

A copy of the draft from the author’s website can be found here.

Being a proponent of informational epistemology, one of the things that interests me is how informational accounts of knowledge and general informational notions applied to epistemology can address the Value Problem in epistemology.

Dissecting the General Definition of Information (GDI)

According to the General Definition of Information (GDI), X is an instance of information, understood as semantic content if and only if (1) X consists of n data, for n >= 1 (2) the data are well-formed (3) the well-formed data are meaningful. So information is made of data, whose nature is itself an interesting topic. ‘Well-formed’ here means that the data are composed according to the rules (syntax) governing the chosen system in question and ‘meaningful’ means that the well-formed data comply with the meanings (semantics) of the chosen system. All this seems straightforward enough, though it does raise some questions.

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