Information is a precise concept that can be defined mathematically, but its relationship to what we call "knowledge" is not always made clear. Furthermore, the concepts "entropy" and "information", while deeply related, are distinct and must be used with care, something that is not always achieved in the literature. In this elementary introduction, the concepts of entropy and information are laid out one by one, explained intuitively, but defined rigorously. I argue that a proper understanding of information in terms of prediction is key to a number of disciplines beyond engineering, such as physics and biology.
Comments: 19 pages, 2 figures. To appear in Philosophical Transaction of the Royal Society A
Subjects: Adaptation and Self-Organizing Systems (nlin.AO); Information Theory (cs.IT); Biological Physics (physics.bio-ph); Quantitative Methods (q-bio.QM)
Cite as:arXiv:1601.06176 [nlin.AO] (or arXiv:1601.06176v1 [nlin.AO] for this version)
Many of you may have already heard, but I’m publishing books under the Boffo Socko Books imprint and our first release, a satirical novel entitled Amerikan Krazy written by Henry James Korn, is being put out on February 22, 2016, just in time to “celebrate” the race for the Presidential Election of 2016.
For a limited time, we’re giving away five free signed copies of the advanced reader edition before the official launch of the book. Along with major book review outlets, you’ll be able to have and read a copy weeks before the official launch.
You can sign up for the giveaway by January 15, 2016 at GoodReads.com.
As it was published, I had read Kevin Hartnett’s article and interview with Christoph Adami The Information Theory of Life in Quanta Magazine. I recently revisited it and read through the commentary and stumbled upon an interesting quote relating to the history of information in biology:
For those interested in reading more on this historical tidbit, I’ve dug up a copy of the primary Forsdyke reference which first appeared on arXiv (prior to its ultimate publication in History of Psychiatry [.pdf]):
Abstract: Today’s ‘theory of mind’ (ToM) concept is rooted in the distinction of nineteenth century philosopher William Clifford between ‘objects’ that can be directly perceived, and ‘ejects,’ such as the mind of another person, which are inferred from one’s subjective knowledge of one’s own mind. A founder, with Charles Darwin, of the discipline of comparative psychology, George Romanes considered the minds of animals as ejects, an idea that could be generalized to ‘society as eject’ and, ultimately, ‘the world as an eject’ – mind in the universe. Yet, Romanes and Clifford only vaguely connected mind with the abstraction we call ‘information,’ which needs ‘a vehicle of symbols’ – a material transporting medium. However, Samuel Butler was able to address, in informational terms depleted of theological trappings, both organic evolution and mind in the universe. This view harmonizes with insights arising from modern DNA research, the relative immortality of ‘selfish’ genes, and some startling recent developments in brain research.
Comments: Accepted for publication in History of Psychiatry. 31 pages including 3 footnotes. Based on a lecture given at Santa Clara University, February 28th 2014, at a Bannan Institute Symposium on ‘Science and Seeking: Rethinking the God Question in the Lab, Cosmos, and Classroom.’
The original arXiv article also referenced two lectures which are appended below:
[Original Draft of this was written on December 14, 2015.]
Over the past several months, I’ve been helping to set up an affinity group for the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association to bring together alumni who work in areas related to the entertainment industry.
For the past several weeks, we’ve been making plans for our first official event to be held in conjunction with a week long Intersession course being offered by the Film and Media Studies Program at Hopkins. We’re happy to announce the details for this event on January 7th and hope everyone can join us. There will be a panel discussion as well as ample time to chat with a variety of fellow alumni, current students, and faculty.
Are you a member of the Arts, Entertainment, Media, or Entrepreneurship communities in Los Angeles?
Join us as we welcome Linda DeLibero, Director of the Hopkins Film and Media Studies Program, and current Film majors from the Film and Media Studies Intersession Course for a diverse and dynamic panel discussion featuring creative and successful Hopkins alumni working in the industry. Learn relevant information, make connections with fellow LA area alumni and talk with the current students.
This week-long course in Los Angeles gives students inside access to the entertainment industry through daily meetings and workshops with key figures in film, television, new media, and music, many of them JHU alums: directors, producers, screenwriters, studio executives, agents, exhibitors and more. We will visit studios, major agencies and production companies, and will end the week with a JHU networking event and panel discussion with alumni who work in film and television.The course runs from January 4 -8. Open to all Film and Media Studies majors and minors, with preference given to seniors. Students outside FMS may apply if slots remain open after all FMS students have registered.
The event was a wonderful success. I wanted to share a few of the photos I took during the panel discussion:
Fellow Johns Hopkins Alumni come join us as we welcome Linda DeLibero, Director of the Hopkins Film and Media Studies Program, and current Film majors from the Film and Media Studies Intersession Course for a diverse and dynamic panel discussion featuring creative and successful Hopkins alumni working in the industry. Learn relevant information, make connections with fellow LA area alumni and talk with the current students.