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Toward a Calculus of Redundancy: Signification, Codification, and Anticipation in Cultural Evolution

34 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2017  

Loet Leydesdorff

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

Mark Johnson

University of Bolton

Inga Ivanova

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: September 1, 2017

Abstract

Whereas the generation of Shannon-type information is coupled to the second law of thermodynamics, redundancy—that is, the complement of information to the maximum entropy—can be increased by making further distinctions. The dynamics of discursive knowledge production can thus infuse the historical dynamics with a cultural evolution. Providing the information with meaning first proliferates the number of options. Meanings are provided with hindsight at positions in the vector space, as against relations in the network space. The main axes (eigenvectors) of the vector space map the codes of the communication spanning horizons of meaning; the codes structure the communications as selection mechanisms. Unlike hard-wired DNA, the codes of non-biological systems co-evolve with the variation. Discursive knowledge can be considered as meta-coded communication which enables us to entertain models of the processing of meaning and information. This reinforces the hindsight perspective and can turn codification reflexively into coding anticipation. The dynamics of information, meaning, and knowledge can be evaluated empirically using the sign of mutual information as an indicator.

Keywords: redundancy, discursive knowledge, incursion, options, meaning, codification

Suggested Citation

Leydesdorff, Loet and Johnson, Mark and Ivanova, Inga, Toward a Calculus of Redundancy: Signification, Codification, and Anticipation in Cultural Evolution (September 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3030525

Loet Leydesdorff (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) ( email )

PO Box 15793
Amsterdam, 1001 NG
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.leydesdorff.net

Mark Johnson

University of Bolton ( email )

Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Inga Ivanova

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

20 Myasnitskaya St.
Moscow, 101000
Russia

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