Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Information, information theory: A character or a character combination contains information when it is clear to the recipient that this character or the character combination appears instead of another possible character or a possible character combination. The supply of possible characters determines to a part the probability of the occurrence of a character from this supply. In addition, the expected probability of the appearance of a character can be increased by already experienced experiences of regularities. The amount of information transmitted by a character depends on the improbability of the occurrence of the character.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
Author Item Summary Meta data
II 83
Information/Language/Wiener: it is theoretically possible to develop the statistics of semantic and behavioural language in such a way that we obtain a good measure of the amount of information in each system. In any case, we can generally show that phonetic language contains less overall information in relation to the input of data...
II 84
or in any case it does not contain more than the transmission system leading to the ear and that semantic and behavioural language contains even less information. This fact is a form of the second principle of thermodynamics and is only valid if we consider the transferred information at each stage as maximum information that could be transmitted with an appropriately encrypted receiving system.
II 121
The right of ownership of information suffers from the necessary disadvantage that information intended to contribute to the general state of the Community's information must say something substantially different from the community's previous general possession of information.
II 122
The idea that information can be stacked in a changing world without noticeably reducing its value is wrong.
II 123
Information is more of a dynamic matter than a stacking affair.
II 124
The time factor is essential in all assessments of the information value.

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Brockman I 155
Information/Wiener/Kaiser: [Wiener borrowed Shannon’s insight]: if information was like entropy, then it could not be conserved – or contained. (>Information/Shannon).
Conclusion/Wiener: it was folly for military leaders to try to stockpile the “Scientific know-how of the nation in static libraries and laboratories.”(1)
Brockman I 156
Since “information and entropy are not conserved,” they are “equally unsuited to being commodities.”(2)
Brockman I 157
KaiserVsWiener: what Wiener had in mind, was not what Shannon meant with “information”. Wiener’s treatment of “information” sounded more like Matthew Arnold in 1869(3) than Claude Shannon in 1948—more “body and spirit” than “bit.”
Brockman I 158
[Today] [i]n many ways, Wiener has been proved right. His vision of networked feedback loops driven by machine-to-machine communication has become a mundane feature of everyday life.


1. Wiener, N. (1950) The Human Use of Human Beings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
2. ibid.
3. Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, ed. Jane Garnett (Oxford, UK: Oxford University
Press, 2006).


Kaiser, David “”information” for Wiener, for Shannon, and for Us” in: Brockman, John (ed.) 2019. Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI. New York: Penguin Press.

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Brockman I 179
Information/Wiener/Hillis: “Information is a name for the content of what is exchanged with the outer world as we adjust to it, and make our
Brockman I 179
adjustment felt upon it.” In his words, information is what we use to “live effectively within that environment.”(1) For Wiener, information is a way for the weak to effectively cope with the strong.

1. Wiener, N. (1950) The Human Use of Human Beings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 17-18.


Hillis, D. W. “The First Machine Intelligences” in: Brockman, John (ed.) 2019. Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI. New York: Penguin Press.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

WienerN I
Norbert Wiener
Cybernetics, Second Edition: or the Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine Cambridge, MA 1965

WienerN II
N. Wiener
The Human Use of Human Beings (Cybernetics and Society), Boston 1952
German Edition:
Mensch und Menschmaschine Frankfurt/M. 1952

Brockman I
John Brockman
Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI New York 2019


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2019-09-18
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