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An interdisciplinary team of scientists is presenting a new paradigm: all existing structures on earth are the consequence of information processing. Since these structures have been evolved over the last five billion years, information processing and its systems have an evolution.This is under consideration in the book. Starting with a basic paper which summarizes the essential hypotheses about the evolution of informaion processing systems, sixteen international scientists have tried to verify or falsify these hypothesises. This has been done at the physical, the chemical, the genetic, the neural, the social, the societal and the socio-technical level. Thus, the reader gets an insight into the recent status of research on the evolution of information processing systems. The papers are the result of an interdisciplinary project in which scientists of the classical disciplines have been invited to collaborate. Their inputs have been intensively discussed in a workshop. The book is the output of the workshop. The first goal of the bookis to give the reader an insight into basic principles about the evolution of information processing systems. This, however, leads directly to a very old and essential question: who is controlling the world, "matter" or an "immaterial intelligence"? Several authors of the papers are arguing that there is a basic concept of information processing in nature. This is the crucial process, which, however, needs a material basis. The reader has a chance to understand this paradigm as an approach which is valid for all levels of inorganic, organic and societal structures. This provocative concept is open to debate.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Basic Concept

Frontmatter

Evolution of Information Processing — Basic Concept

Overview
At the moment we are in the middle of dramatic developments in information processing: whereas up to the 1950s all information processing was done by natural systems only, there has been, since the invention and the coming into widespread use of computers, a continuously changing balance between human thinking and technical information processing. This is emphasized by the political notion that we are on the way towards an “information society”, a type of society in which merely commodities in the form of information and services for the social sphere are produced by people, but hardly any material goods. Classical goods and services are produced by computers in fully automated firms.
Klaus Haefner

Contribution to the Concept of Information

Frontmatter

Information: Course and Recourse

Abstract
The principal aim of this paper is to find guidelines, for the author himself and also possibly for the wider community of information theorists, along which to arrange conceptually the various ideas on information. At the surface level, there seems to be no fundamental unity that links these papers; mine is no exception. Every author assumes this or that particular meaning for the term “information”, then, in turn, they discuss an entailed twin evolution through geological and cultural ages: in other words, the genesis and recognition of information. What is this thing “information”, after all? We could perhaps say “scientific information” instead. This technical term was introduced by Leon Brillouin (1956), perhaps the first to think systematically about the difference between “information” understood in the narrow sense of a measure, and the other thing, which everybody talks about. In fact, he suggested distinguishing entropic (“bound”) and “free” information, and he argued that the latter is just arbitrary. So information is anything we wish. Now I shall reconsider the question in an even wider context to seek another meaning.
George Kampis

Aspects of Information

Abstract
This definition of internal information uses the general features of the known and knowable universe as a framework. It is an “ontological” as opposed to “epistemological” (or methodological) definition. Its rationale lies not in the exercise of abstract reason but in the presumed logic of the observable world.
Ervin Laszlo

Mathematical Aspects of PANINFORMATICA

Abstract
Three basic essences of the modern universe — matter, energy, information — correlate to different views and pictures of our world.
Alexei Semenor

Process, Information Theory and the Creation of Systems

Abstract
This paper can be but a fragment or an introduction. I set forth the view that information has two essentially different aspects, and I try to analyse the consequences. I think information involves, on the one hand, the knowledge and the possession of some records, and on the other hand, a process and an action that brings forward the former, that is, a physical agent that makes it possible to have knowledge about something.
George Kampis

Mega-Evolution of Information Processing Systems

Abstract
The project “Evolution of Information Processing” is not the first attempt to describe evolution in an interdisciplinary context, since the extension of the biological theory of evolution to inorganic nature on the one hand and to human society on the other is a logical consequence of this theory already recognised by Darwin. He explicitly said that “the principle of life will be recognised as part or sequel of a universal law” [1]. His contemporary Spencer even tried to formulate such a general law and turned it into the basis of a synthetic evolutionary philosophy, which was based, however, to a large extent on speculations not empirically verified. In this general law, development and evolution are conceived of as an increase in complexity, i.e. as a process leading from unspecified and incoherent homogeneity to specified coherent heterogeneity [2]. With the formulation of such a law Spencer went a step beyond Darwin, who had considered the origin both of life from inorganic matter and of the human mind to be unanswerable questions.
Erhard Oeser

Information Processing Systems at the Physical Level

Frontmatter

From “Matter-Energy” to “Irreducible Information Processing”: Arguments for a Paradigm Shift in Fundamental Physics

Abstract
The following represents an abridged version of a more detailed investigation I made for the project EIP. The Study was devoted to the question of whether concepts of information theory and cybernetics play or will play a deeper role in the foundation of the epistemological framework on which the regime of physics has been based.
Manfred Requardt

Inorganic Matter As One of Four Levels of Natural Information Processing

Abstract
This paper introduces an interdisciplinary model for the evolution of information processing. Due to the topical range associated with its interdisciplinary character, there are interfaces to a number of specialist scientific fields and disciplines. Although desirable, it naturally is quite beyond the scope of this paper to deal in depth with all these fields and disciplines; however, in many cases, it can provide food for thought which may lead to further investigation.
Hans-Werner Klement

The Concept of Information Seen from the Point of View of Physics and Synergetics

Abstract
The word information is used with quite different meanings, for instance in ordinary language in the sense of message, etc., or in the scientific sense of Shannon. In the present contribution information is understood as a property emergent in complex systems and several possibilities for its interpretation are discussed. In order to attribute semantics to information, the way a message acts on a receiver is studied in the frame of dynamical systems. Another approach is suggested by synergetics where the concepts of order parameters and enslaving can be used to study the emergence of an information field which acts on the individual parts of the same system. In a way, here the receiver is identical with the emitter of information. A comparison between the role of this sort of information in the physical system “laser” and the biological system “slime mold” exhibits interesting aspects with respect to the interpretation of the meaning of information. As it appears, the meaning of information or its semantics is not fixed in an objective manner but depends on our human interpretation.
Hermann Haken

Dynamical Systems, Instability of Motion and Information Processing

Abstract
In this essay we develop some connections between information processing (IP) on the one hand, and self-organization and nonlinear dynamics on the other hand. The principal idea we want to convey is that IP is to be viewed as an emerging property associated with a self-organization phenomenon. In other words, IP is not only a prerequisite allowing a system to undergo self-organization, but is also the end point of a complex evolutionary process leading from the state of “no information” to the state of “information”.
Gregoire Nicolis

Pragmatic Information in Nonlinear Dynamo Theory for Solar Activity

Abstract
Active magnetic stars act as complex Information Processing Systems (IPS) because their dynamics results from a complicated feedback between the magnetic fields and the motion of charged particles. With the aid of a truncated nonlinear model obtained from dynamo theory we can reproduce some rather peculiar features which have been observed particularly for the global activity of our sun.
Jürgen Kurths, Ulvike Feudel, Wolfgang Jansen

Information Processing in Biological Systems

Frontmatter

Thermal Proteins in the First Life and in the “Mind-Body” Problem

Abstract
Our general understanding is that biological information first arose in pre-biological molecules. The two kinds of macromolecule that are suitable candidates for initial bioinformation are nucleic acids and proteins, since these are the informational molecules of present-day biological systems. A logical case with some qualifications can be made a priori for each of these types of macromolecule as the original source of information (Schmitt, 1962; Lehninger, 1975). It is nevertheless true that special difficulties arise when one seeks to understand how either DNA or RNA could originally have served not only as a source of information but also as processing agents for that information, e.g., to synthesize nucleic acids and proteins, and cellular systems with or without template. Also, no one has explained satisfactorily by experiment how DNA or RNA could have arisen without prior protein (Fox, 1988, Waldrop, 1989).
Sidney W. Fox

Remembering and Planning: A Neuronal Network Model for the Selection of Behaviour and Its Development for Use in Human Language

Summary
A description is given of the frame/content relationship between the various temporal orders of magnitude in behaviour, from long term contexts down to the duration of single synaptic potentials. The time frame model of motor organization, consisting of nested levels operating at different time scales, is based on this description and deals with how long term contexts influence instantaneous motor output. This model can be simulated by a neuronal network based on the Hopfield algorithm. The time frame approach and the same algorithm can also be used for memory, resulting in a general model for remembering and planning actions in animals. Simple elaborations of this model, consisting of replication and new interconnections of existing components, lead to symbolization and increased categorising power and so allow application of the model to human memory and motor organization. These elaborations are both evolutionarily plausible and supported by neurological findings. Further, it is shown that language can also be described in terms of time frames and that words may be organized in the same way as actions. Thus, the model can also be extended to remembering and planning choice of words in language.
Jenny Kien

Nature and Origin of Biological and Social Information

Abstract
The concept of information has not been created by biologists, nevertheless there are important areas in biology where it is widely used without any epistemological solicitude. The briefest of excursions into the subject of molecular biology, which is concerned with probing the secrets of life, reveals that the subject is entirely dominated by the language and techniques of data and data processing. The two sorts of scientist who can really understand each other are molecular biologists and computer programmers. Based upon this success there are many ventures, mainly in the fields of popular sciences, which generalize the findings of molecular biology and try to base all biological sciences on the concept of information. These attempts have provoked the objections of biologists who are interested in development (Oyama 1985) or other traditional fields of biology. As far as I am concerned I am sure that a proper concept of information can be worked out for the biologist and this paper is a preliminary endeavour.
Vilmos Csányi

The Evolution of Information Processing Systems at the Social Level

Frontmatter

Unitary Trends in Sociocultural Evolution

Abstract
The new sciences of systems and complexity — cybernetics, information and communications theory, chaos theory, dynamical systems theory, nonequilibrium thermodynamics, and general systems and general evolution theory — have made great progress in the detailed understanding of the laws and dynamics that govern the evolution of complex systems, regardless of whether they are physical, biological, ecological or human. The new insights contradict the facile views that we have reached the end of history, and that the future is made by mere “bricolage.” The course of history has a logic of its own; a logic that is not rigidly predetermined and yet not the plaything of chance. This is a logic that governs not only the evolution of human societies in history but also the evolution of life on earth, and even the evolution of the cosmos in the observable universe.
Ervin Laszlo

The Replicative Model of the Evolution of Business Organization

Abstract
A remarkable period of transition in business organization, which we call the formative period of American business enterprise manifested itself in the United States of America in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The most obvious indication of change was the appearance of large integrated enterprises; administrative coordination began to assume the role of impersonal markets, and management was detached from ownership.
Mika Pantzar, Vilmos Csányi

The Evolution of Information Processing Systems at the Sociotechnical Level

Frontmatter

Information Processing at the Sociotechnical Level

Abstract
All developments in societies have been determined heavily by information processing in human brains. This is particularly true for human organization: raising children, living in a family, organizing business, setting up local and regional administrations, building national governments, developing scientific and technical insights, organizing the military, establishing religions, developing culture, etc. For all those activities the human brain has to cope with information.
Klaus Haefner

From Neural Information Processing to Knowledge Technology

Abstract
Since the emancipation of cognitive science as an autonomous discipline an integration model allowing for the representation of the contributions of the individual subject fields has become necessary [1]. But as yet such a stable model does not exist. Perhaps one will never be established, since the perspectives and points of view for such an integration are so different.
Erhard Oeser

Epilogue and Bibliography

Frontmatter

Epilogue

Abstract
Our approach towards understanding information processing and its evolution in nature and society can only be considered a very first attempt to tackle a sophisticated set of scientific problems. Although it is possible to get some insights as shown in Chap. I, Basic Concept, and the various contributions to this book — we are far from a general theory of information processing and its evolution. Such a theory, however, seems to be a crucial prerequisite to an understanding of the evolution of the broad variety of real information processing systems in more depth.
Klaus Haefner

Backmatter

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