Terrence Deacon “How information lost its meaning (and how to recover it)”
The technical concept of information developed after Shannon (1948) has fueled advances in many fields, from fundamental physics to bioinfomatics, but its technical precision has come at a cost. This has undermined its usefulness in fields distinguished by the need to explain functional significance and reference, such as evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, and the social sciences. To formulate a more adequate concept of information ironically requires attending to the physicality of information media. I argue that recognizing the interdependence of the two distinctively different uses of the concept of entropy (informational and thermodynamic) is the key to a concept of information that incorporates it semiotic function.