From Bencze, the plight of the man-moth:
Sometime between 1934 and 1936 American poet, Elizabeth Bishop wrote a poem titled “The Man-Moth” about some sort of strange creature inhabiting the storm drains and subway tunnels of New York city. From the poem:
he flutters, and cannot get aboard the silent trains
fast enough to suit him. The doors close swiftly.
The Man-Moth always seats himself facing the wrong way…
She added a footnote to that poem stating “Newspaper misprint for ‘mammoth’.” So the inspiration for this poem came from a random misprint that she had encountered somewhere in the newspapers or advertisements of 1930s New York. The New Criterion (Nov. 2021) devotes a six page article to research on exactly where she might have encountered the misprint and what might have caused it. (“the right shoulder of the ‘m’ may have sheared off or been worn away”)
Can we say that this random mistake created information even though it is clearly a “loss of information” type of mutation similar to those we encounter in the DNA of living things? I suppose we could except for the fact that it required the highly imaginative efforts of a skilled poet to transform it into something meaningful. Of all the millions of intelligent agents reading the misprint only Elizabeth Bishop noticed anything wonderful about it. So even in this rare case of a random mistake seemingly creating information the ability of an intelligent agent to notice and respond was critically important.