Still waiting for Carnot: information and complexity

Back in 2015, Lyn Robinson and I published an article in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology [1], which gave an analysis of the relation between information and complexity, showing that ideas of complexity, organization, and 'interesting order', were intertwined with concepts of information, and of entropy. In particular, we noted… Continue reading Still waiting for Carnot: information and complexity

Deep down things revisited: information and physics

This post gives an update on the development of the idea of information as a constituent of the physical world, and is a companion piece to earlier posts on information in the biological domain, on the conservation of information, on quantum information, and on the theory of relativity and its informational component. All are expressions… Continue reading Deep down things revisited: information and physics

Still awaiting the quantum turn: updated

Updated May 2019 Since this post was published, there has been an increasing interest in reformulating quantum mechanics in informational terms: an accessible introduction is given in an article in Quanta magazine by Philip Ball. Those who want to have a look at more technical examples might try a classic paper on an informational derivation… Continue reading Still awaiting the quantum turn: updated

What is life redux; information and biology

Readers of this blog will know that one of my interests is the links there may be between conceptions of information in different domains; see the Mind the Gap paper by myself and Lyn Robinson. The concept of information, albeit understood in rather different ways, seems to be gaining increasing acceptance in both the physical… Continue reading What is life redux; information and biology

Supporting truth and promoting understanding: knowledge organization and the curation of the infosphere

This is an updated text of a keynote address given at the Fifteenth International ISKO Conference, Porto, 9th July 2018. A brief account of the conference is given in an earlier blog post. Supporting truth and promoting understanding: knowledge organization and the curation of the infosphere David Bawden and Lyn Robinson Abstract This paper considers… Continue reading Supporting truth and promoting understanding: knowledge organization and the curation of the infosphere

Can information be conserved, and why would it matter?

The idea that information may be conserved may strike many of us interested in recorded human information information as faintly ridiculous. By 'conserved', we mean that there is a fixed amount of information in the universe, and that, while it may be changed, it can neither be created nor destroyed. This does not seem to… Continue reading Can information be conserved, and why would it matter?

Library and information science in an age of messages: Rafael Capurro’s comments

In a previous post, I gave a slightly modified version of a chapter written by Lyn Robinson and myself for a Festschrift in honour of Rafael Capurro. Capurro subsequently wrote an insightful and generous commentary on all of the book's chapters. Below, I reproduce a shortened version of his perceptive comments on our chapter: Thanks… Continue reading Library and information science in an age of messages: Rafael Capurro’s comments

Invented and discovered: mathematics in Popper’s World 3

I have always had an interest in mathematics. This is despite, or perhaps because of, never being very good at the subject at school, and avoiding it to the maximum extent compatible with getting a science degree at university. Not that I have any fondness for what is called 'recreational mathematics', which has always seemed… Continue reading Invented and discovered: mathematics in Popper’s World 3

Super-science, fundamental dimension, way of being: Library and information science in an age of messages

This is a slightly modified version of a chapter by Lyn Robinson and myself, published in Information cultures in the digital age: a festschrift in honor of Rafael Capurro. M Kelly and J Bielby (eds). Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2016, pp 31-43. Introduction Rafael Capurro’s body of writings encompass a wide and diverse set of issues… Continue reading Super-science, fundamental dimension, way of being: Library and information science in an age of messages

CoLIS 9 Uppsala

The latest in the series of CoLIS (Conceptions of Library and Information Science) conferences was held at the University of Uppsala at the end of June, following on from CoLIS 7 in London in 2010, and CoLIS 8 in Copenhagen in 2013. This is, I think, my favourite conference from the viewpoint of getting new… Continue reading CoLIS 9 Uppsala