In September of 2009 I started a new document on my computer entitled “A System of Symbols”, where I was going to write about the part of design theory that interested me the most – that is, the representations that are required for self-replication (von Neumann, Pattee). My goal was to inventory all the physical conditions necessary for one thing to represent another thing in a material universe. I wrote and rewrote that essay for more than four years — reading, learning, and sharing along the way. As it turns out, writing that essay was my way of coming to understand the issues, and I spent a great deal of that time trying to articulate things I had come to understand conceptually, but could not yet put into words. Eventually I came into contact with the types of scientists and researchers who had substantial experience with these issues, up to and including those who had spent their entire careers on the subject. It was a humbling experience to share my thoughts with people of that caliber, and have them respond by sending me papers of their own that reflected the same concepts.
Then In 2014, I retired that essay and began writing Biosemiosis.org in its place. Since that work is available to any reader, I won’t recapitulate it here, but there are a couple of concepts I’d like to highlight – particularly the discontinuity found in the translation of recorded information. Read More
[I’d like to thank Barry and Uncommon Descent for allowing me to publish this introduction to my two projects]