Karl-Erik Tallmo on Wed, 7 Aug 2002 09:22:13 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> information design

Frank Hartmann"  wrote:

>[ I am working on a publication on signs and information and would
>appreciate comments on the following statement from a pre-nettime age. Yukio
>Ota did very remarkable pictographic design, back in the 70s. I have tried
>to reach him by fax, still waiting for an answer. Any information on Ota,
>his work, or the statement below is welcome / Frank ]
>Information Design: Definitions
>Yukio Ota, Tama Art University, Japan
>In 'Sign Communication' (Kashiwa Shobo 1989), which was compiled by Ryuichi
>Hamaguchi, Yoneji Masuda, myself, and others, a biological information and
>sign theory has been developed which considers 'information' along with
>'energy' and 'materials' as one of the three main elements which are
>indispensable for the survival of any organism.

Maybe you could get Yukio Ota's e-mail from Tama Art University's 
webmaster at wsc@tamabi.ac.jp ...

Interesting subject, BTW. Since one often defines life as something 
with 1) metabolism, 2) reactivity to stimuli, and 3) reproductive 
capacity; the information-energy-materials trichotomy could be seen 
as another aspect of those. But the boundary is hard to draw up, both 
within these types of classifications and between them.

There could be metabolic reactions to stimuli, for instance. Growth 
is often said to be another requisite for life, but growth could be 
an aspect of the reproductive function or a side-effect of metabolism.

Some also talk about homeostasis and adaption as requirements but 
these may not be entities descrete from the others.

Anyway, more and more "communication environments" are made 
metaphorically resembling, for instance,  human cell metabolic 
pathways, or our immune system's memory etc, so this is an 
interesting leap from old metaphors of windows and trash cans or 
extensions of the McLuhan type to maybe something more introjected. 
Click on my T-cell receptor!

Karl-Erik Tallmo



    KARL-ERIK TALLMO, Swedish writer, lecturer

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