InterJournal Complex Systems, 229
Status: Rejected
Manuscript Number: [229]
Submission Date: 981210
Revised On: 990316
Control Information: A Meaningful Alternative to Information Theory
Author(s): Peter Corning

Subject(s): CX.02, CX.07, CX.41, CX.43, BG.00

Category: Brief Article

Abstract:

ABSTRACT: Although information theory in the tradition of Claude Shannon and others has made many valuable contributions and has many important uses, it has been criticized ever since day-one for its blindness to content and meaning. Here a radically different approach to information theory is described. After briefly critiquing the literature in information theory, a new kind of cybernetic information will be described, which we call "control information." Control information is not a "thing" but an attribute of the relationships between things. It is defined as: the capacity (know how) to control the acquisition, disposition and utilization of matter/energy in purposive (teleonomic) processes. We will briefly elucidate the concept and we will propose a formalization in terms of a common unit of measurement, namely the quantity of "available energy" that can be controlled by a given unit of information in a given context. Some illustrations will be provided and we will also briefly discuss some of the implications.

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