John Landon nemonemini at
Tue Feb 27 20:37:02 MST 2001

Some musings on info theory...
In case of difficulties press delete button.

There was a recent work called User Illusion (Author?
cf. Amazon) that dealt with the many confusions of the
information concept in relation to thermodynamics. It
is really tricky stuff, the confusion with entropy
concepts being a long lost secret of the term's rigged
definition stemming from Johann Von Neuman advising
Shannon.(For a summary cf. the panspermia site, The attempt to extend
reductionism with the information concept is both
valuable, and yet still limited, another hope to
mechanize meaning. The information concept is already
a cover term in many texts on genetic evolution for
statements about dna being meaningful computer code.
Perhaps they are defensive in relation to the current
design fad. That shouldn't be a problem, but it ends
up spooking people.  It is safe to say that none of
these theories will ever get it right, because, apart
from factors of ideology, they all decide to get it
wrong. However, as P. Davies outlines it in The Cosmic
Blueprint, and The Fifth Miracle, the tandem relation
of software evolution and hardware evolution seems the
crucial distinction.
At this point, it might be good to escape the
idealism/materialism duality and slip away into the
software/hardware dynamic.
Consider my approach (another blurb on eonic

Dawn of the Age of the Computer Mouse (brass band

Since the name of the game is the influence of
technological metaphors on social theories,
consider the computer mouse. This shows the 'dialectic
of freedom', believe it or not, in the alternation of
the user and the machine, i.e. variable degrees of
'free activity' and 'system activity' in alternation.
The latter is one of the few solutions to the
contradication that wrecks all theories of society,
and, remarkably, we see it in history if we know where
to look.
 These hybrid approachs are the only way to seriously
model a social construct, and we see the result in
'sequence stages' visible in none other than Karl
Marx's 'stages of history', as an intuitive
The point is that every effort to scientize social
realities has always failed, will always fail, if we
mean by that the pure 'causal analysis', whatever that
means, entailed by 'scientific progress'....etc, blah
blah. Hegel, with whom we might disagree, finished
this off two centuries ago with a snort about
The answer, as in the computer mouse, is a new type of
model, descriptive, that shows the alternation, or
hybrid character of system and user.
Consider a symphony. Why waste research funds trying
to produce a causal theory of art and a model for this
obscurity, the sequence of musical notes? Waste of
time? Yet this is ultra simple compared to a social
system. What we can do is count on our fingers, ie.
study periodization in history, the 'tempo' of the
'music'. This takes the form of a discrete continous
model and shows the relation of system action (tempo,
or temporal stages) and free action, i.e. the creative
element of realization. The factor of stages (e.g.
socialism) and their realization (e.g. the quality,
form, and freely created outcome within the stage.)
This requires more work, but the model of the computer
mouse in fact hints at a solution to the problem that
is bedevilling all theories which are wasting the
brain power of endless cadres of social scientists.

More on this at eonix site:


Do You Yahoo!?
Get email at your own domain with Yahoo! Mail.

More information about the Marxism mailing list