Edwina Taborsky, co-editor SEED


The first issue of SEED in this year's series, dealing with The Integration of Information Processing, was focused around the informational dynamics of biological processes. The question was grounded within the obvious increase in complexity of organization of energy-to-mass within biological systems and the analysis was on the dynamics of a complex energy processing. Exploratory answers focussed around the rejection of a linear stimulus-response mechanical process and the requirement for networked levels of information processing. The network is then analyzed as 'a system of information processing', which is to say, it is a triadic, and therefore in the Peircean sense, it is a semiosic action.  Semiosis, again, is the transformation of energy to 'informed mass' by means of a triadic process of measurement or codification. This triad includes different measures of organizing energy to mass; including within 'habits of constraint', within actions of expansion by using free energy, and within actions of closure. Such a triadic set of processes, all affecting the same mass, provides a functionality far beyond the capacity of a linear mechanical interaction.

The next set of papers in this series looks more intensely at the energy dynamics of this measurement of energy to mass.

We begin with George Farre, who provides us with a brief outline of the complexification of matter. Importantly, we are reminded that we cannot understand this process within the Newtonian separation of energy and matter, which sees the two as separate forms of reality but must analyze energy dynamics within a quantum perspective; namely, their transformational identity, for energy exists within asymmetrical gradients of density organization and can be understood as either radiant or, in its localized form, as matter. We must also understand that these gradients are entangled and this reminds us of the first issue's focus on the flexibility of energy boundaries. This paper provides us with an outline of, without using semiosic terms, the triad of entangled energy gradients within a quantum causality that includes non-local constraints, local closure and free or redistributed energy.

We then move, with Koichiro Matsuno, into an examination of entangled energy gradients. Here, we have the concept of 'dynamics without boundary conditions', which means that energy gradients develop their own boundaries within their own measurements, that enable them to enter into networked relations with other mass. Again, a Newtonian separation of motion and mass is rejected. The means of organization of energy gradients, and their boundaries, is understood to develop within the networked interactions of the system. That is, the system itself must operate as an information dynamical process, and it does this by measuring its energy and the interactions of this energy, within different temporal phases: the present, perfect and progressive tenses. These tenses relate to the above-mentioned triad of energy operating within non-local constraints, local closure and free energy. Energy uses different temporal measurements on itself and as a result, develops gradients of matter. The triad is examined, empirically, within chemical evolution and muscle contraction.

With the next paper, that of Brian Josephson, we continue with the examination of networked complexity, and within a specific area, that of the brain. Josephson focuses in particular on one aspect of what this Web Site is considering as the triadic semiosic process. This is the process of abstraction that leads to the development of design, or formal temporally continuous 'normative habits'. Abstraction is understood as a means of energy organization, where a design is developed that constrains and moulds the other energy processes. Again, the focus is on a complex adaptive system that itself develops this abstractive level through its own processes of development. The case example is the development of language capacities within humans.

With the next paper, that of Leonid Perlovsky, we move further into the organization of the mind. Here, we are provided with an examination of a complex process of energy dynamics, modeling field theory, which is a multi-level, hetero-hierarchical system of information dynamics, including both the development of bounded closures or reasonably crisp concepts and the role of emotion as a dissipative and expansive action. Emotion as a dynamic process of energy expansion recalls the entropy dynamics of the first issue, and the radiant energy of the first paper in this issue. The method of relating these two kinds of energy, concepts and emotions (compare with mass and radiant energy), lies within a level of organization known as fuzzy dynamic logic, an apriori potentiality of constraining. It might be interesting to compare this fuzzy dynamic logic with the abstraction process outlined by Josephson and with the Peircean Thirdness of previous papers.

With the paper by Ricardo Gudwin, we come to a detailed semiosic examination of a complex adaptive information process within semiosis. Here, Gudwin sets up a triadic process of the object, sign and interpretant within internal and external spatial fields, setting up internal and external signal fields that are both 'containers of information' and also active agents in the processing of information. The taxonomy of entangled processes is heterogenous and hierarchical, enabling different types of interactions, with different informational results. A key term, a 'semion', is, like an atom, a wave and a particle, a process and a product, a signal and a transformative action. Its process action, somewhat similar to the Peircean semiosic process of interpretive action, has five phases, or five different types of measurement, which means that semiosic dynamics is an innately complex and multi-leveled process.

The final paper in this issue, by Bernard Testa, Lemont Kier and Andrzey Bojarski, moves informational dynamics from the chemical to the biochemical. The objective, as stated, is to explore how molecules can carry information to macroscopic levels. Again, the thesis is the acknowledgement of spatial asymmetries, a concept referred to in other papers in this issue; along with the requirement for differences in energy gradients, i.e., different levels of energy states and therefore different types of energy-organization. The architecture that develops is complex and contextually entangled and as such, it enables an interactive process that produces information and biological responses to that information.

As a set of papers, the basic theme is that information is a transformative, not a communicative, process taking place within all levels of reality, the abiotic, the biotic and the conceptual. It is also inherently complex, operating within an entangled architecture of different types of measurement and different gradients of energy.


August 2002