# [Question] How does one recognize information and differentiate it from noise?

The normal methods of explanation, and the standard definitions, for ‘information’, such as the ‘resolution of uncertainty’ are especially difficult to put into practice.

As these presuppose having knowledge already comprised, and/​or formed from, a large quantity of information. Such as the concepts of ‘uncertainty’ and ‘resolution’.

How does one know they’ve truly learned these concepts, necessary for recognizing information, without already understanding the nature of information?

This seems to produce a recursive problem, a.k.a, a ‘chicken and egg’ problem.

Additionally, the capability to recognize information and differentiate it from random noise must already exist, in order to recognize and understand any definition of information, in fact to understand any sentence at all. So it’s a multiply recursive problem.

Since, presumably, most members of this forum can understand sentences, how does this occur?

And since presumably no one could do so at birth, how does this capability arise in the intervening period from birth to adulthood?

• 4 Aug 2022 13:53 UTC
1 point
0 ∶ 0

Its probably subjective. If I am trying to listen to Alice while Bob and Charlie talk over her, Alice is the signal, Bob and Charlie are the noise. But if I am trying to listen to Bob and while Alice and Charlie talk over him, Bony is the signal and Alice the noise.

The normal methods of explanation, and the standard definitions, for ‘information’, such as the ‘resolution of uncertainty’ are especially difficult to put into practice.

As these presuppose having knowledge already comprised, and/​or formed from, a large quantity of information. Such as the concepts of ‘uncertainty’ and ’resolution

Know-how or practical knowledge doesn’t have to be founded on know-that or theoretical knowledge.

• > Know-how or practical knowledge doesn’t have to be founded on know-that or theoretical knowledge.

It doesn’t. But your nervous system still had to receive and process information to acquire any ‘know-how’ or ‘practical knowledge’ as well.

Instinctual behaviours, such as the gag reflex, yawning, etc., may be encoded in the DNA and/​or epigenes, but even then some ancient ancestor must have learned both at some point via the same information processing.

• Instinctive behaviours don’t have to be learnt by individuals. They can arise through selection.

• How did they arise by selection without the aforementioned information processing occurring at some point in time? (Whether on the conscious or subconscious level)

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• Not confident enough to put this as an answer, but

presumably no one could do so at birth

If you intend your question in the broadest possible sense, then I think we do have to presume exactly this. A rock cannot think itself into becoming a mind—if we were truly a blank slate at birth, we would have to remain a blank slate, because a blank slate has no protocols established to process input and become non-blank. Because it’s blank.

So how do we start with this miraculous non-blank structure? Evolution. And how do we know our theory of evolution is correct? Ultimately, by trusting our ability to distinguish signal from noise. There’s no getting around the “problem” of trapped priors.