- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Information1' during my Thesis research, as from end March 2018.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 29/05/2020 18:50:24): Information
- Information Theory is an important topic in its own right, but I’m only interested here in it as far as it informs my Thesis on Personal Identity.
- Items that immediately come to mind include:-
- The transhumanists4 seem to assume that we are information, in that some of them imagine and hope that we5 will one day be able to be uploaded6 to a computer and dwell therein.
- The primary variants of Teletransportation7 assume that we can be converted to information, beamed up to our destination and reconstituted as the very same individual.
- Brain State Transfers8 are another variant on this theme.
- Andy Clark is particularly keen on this sort of idea, claiming that we are9 “patterns in information space”.
- I don’t go along with any of this, adopting the animalist10 approach that we are essentially embodied in the one body we will ever have.
- I should remark that Richard Dawkins claims that Life11 is information (as distinct from “protoplasm” in that DNA is information, and living organisms exist to perpetuate their genes, as he says in "Dawkins (Richard) - The Blind Watchmaker" and elsewhere). While this is an important idea, and contains much truth, I don’t think it has the right emphasis, though it’s all a bit “chicken and egg”.
- I note in passing that Robert O. Doyle styles himself “The Information Philosopher” and argues that information is at the root of, and the solution to, all philosophical ills. I have my doubts, but haven’t seriously engaged yet with what he has to say.
- For a Page of Links12 to this Note, Click here. There are far too many “false positives” for an updating run, but I’ll use it to cherry-pick items when I get further into this topic.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read13 include the following:-
- "Christian (Brian) - The Most Human Human: A Defence of Humanity in the Age of the Computer", Christian14
- "Clark (Andy) & Kuhn (Robert Lawrence) - Aeon: Video - Andy Clark - Virtual immortality", Clark & Kuhn
- "Dretske (Fred) - Knowledge and the Flow of Information: Preface", Dretske
- "Dretske (Fred) - Communication and Information", Dretske
- "Dretske (Fred) - A Semantic Theory of Information", Dretske
- "Graziano (Michael) - Endless fun", Graziano
- A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with:-
- "Adriaans (Pieter) - Information", Adriaans
- "Andrews (Edgar) - Information, stupid! The origin of life", Andrews
- "Dretske (Fred) - Knowledge and the Flow of Information", Dretske
- "Gitt (Werner) - In the Beginning was Information", Gitt
- "Godfrey-Smith (Peter) & Sterelny (Kim) - Biological Information", Godfrey-Smith & Sterelny
- "Midgley (Mary) - Wisdom, Information & Wonder - What is Knowledge For?", Midgley
- "Penzias (Arno) - Ideas and Information", Penzias
- "Shannon (Claude) & Weaver (Warren) - The Mathematical Theory of Communication", Shannon & Weaver
- "Vedral (Vlatko) - Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information", Vedral
- This is mostly a place-holder15.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (29/05/2020 18:50:24).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- See Chapter 11: “High Surprisal”.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020