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# Evolving New Information

Author Topic:   Evolving New Information
Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2576 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

 (1)
 Message 431 of 458 (544299) 01-25-2010 10:54 AM Reply to: Message 429 by LucyTheApe01-25-2010 9:42 AM

Metric!
I have said this before to no avail, getting no attention from either side. What Percy is basically saying is that any useful definition of information requires you to provide a metric.

It MUST satisfy those exact properties or else you cannot use that definition to do useful things such as build an algorithm that tells you when one thing has "more" or "less" information than another thing. Or equivalently, to tell if information has "increased" or "decreased".

Without proving that your metric satisfies all 4 strong properties of a metric:

1. non-negativity
2. identity
3. symmetry
4. triangle inequality

You cannot use words such as "more", "less", "increasing", "decreasing".

In particular, byte counts are an invalid metric because they do not satisfy the 2nd property which is pretty significant.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. --Thomas Jefferson

 This message is a reply to: Message 429 by LucyTheApe, posted 01-25-2010 9:42 AM LucyTheApe has not yet responded

 Replies to this message: Message 433 by cavediver, posted 01-25-2010 11:16 AM Jazzns has responded

Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2576 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

 Message 434 of 458 (544315) 01-25-2010 11:54 AM Reply to: Message 433 by cavediver01-25-2010 11:16 AM

Re: Metric!
But it is the silver bullet to the whole information argument. I don't get why our fellow anti-IDers beat around the bush so much.

There is the constant call to IDers to provide a definition of information when the real question should be, "how do you measure information (regardless of what IT is)".

If using your measuring tool I can measure the information of two different things yet get the same measurement, then your measurement tool is crap. QED.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. --Thomas Jefferson

 This message is a reply to: Message 433 by cavediver, posted 01-25-2010 11:16 AM cavediver has responded

 Replies to this message: Message 435 by cavediver, posted 01-25-2010 12:30 PM Jazzns has responded

Jazzns
Member (Idle past 2576 days)
Posts: 2657
From: A Better America
Joined: 07-23-2004

 Message 436 of 458 (544325) 01-25-2010 1:04 PM Reply to: Message 435 by cavediver01-25-2010 12:30 PM

Re: Metric!
Yes you are right, I was a bit too harsh but only because I backed off of the definition I am trying to drive home which is a distance between two points. Really I was just plain using an incorrect analogy. I should have talked about a measuring tool by which the difference of information between two things is concerned.

My main point still stands though that I think this is a more effective line of argument against the whole "information" gambit. Show me exactly how you tell that one thing has more or less information than another thing, regardless of what "information" really is, and then we can BEGIN to have a discussion about if it is possible for it to increase or decrease.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. --Thomas Jefferson

 This message is a reply to: Message 435 by cavediver, posted 01-25-2010 12:30 PM cavediver has responded

 Replies to this message: Message 437 by cavediver, posted 01-25-2010 1:54 PM Jazzns has not yet responded

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