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David Haig (Harvard): “Making sense: information and meaning” (Foundations of Evolutionary Theory Seminar)
1 July 2022, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
This event will take place in person on LSE’s campus. However, those unable to attend in person will have the option of taking part online. Please contact Tom Dickins at T.Dickins@lse.ac.uk to receive the Zoom link.
Important: we are trialling hybrid technology – please excuse any audiovisual problems.
Please note that these events are routinely recorded, with the edited footage being made publicly available on our website and YouTube channel. We will only record the audio, the slides and the speaker and will not include the Q&A section. However, any question asked during the talk itself will feature in the final edit.
Abstract: An interpreter is a device that uses information in choice. It couples uncertainty about the state of the world with indecision how to act in the world. Its uncertainty measures the number of things it could observe. Its indecision measures the number of ways it could act. An interpreter’s uncertainty is resolved by an observation of the world (information). Its indecision is resolved by choice of action in the world (meaning). Interpretation is the evolved or designed mechanism that couples information to choice of action. The chosen action is the meaning of the information for the interpreter.
David Haig is George Putnam Professor in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University.