Re: Seely's Views 2

From: <>
Date: Sun Sep 12 2004 - 10:07:59 EDT

I am going to have to take a break. you can have the last word. I am trying to get time to learn a language, and I just wrote a wonderful reply and it got lost. More time lost

---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
From: "Don Winterstein" <>
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2004 22:44:07 -0700
>DFW: People can often have a good idea of what is being shown on a TV screen even when it's very noisy. I can't quantify this, but I'd guess people can follow the story of a movie, for example, when errors from noise are much larger than 10%. (Psychologists long ago observed that people--unlike electronic devices--see patterns rather than bits.) And making a good picture perfect helps very little in communicating a story. So the important part of the communication persists even in the presence of very high noise, and eliminating the noise completely doesn't improve communication if the picture is already fairly good. What would Shannon say to this? <<<<<

Redundancy. English sends the same information several times. If I start a word with q you know that the next letter is u. If is start a word with st you know that the next letter is likely to be either an r or a vowel. thus you can use the redundancy to fix the message.

But with god's communicaiton we dont' have redundancy. Where is it? If God inspires a man to say 'eat more pork' but the man writes 'eat no pork', redundancy won't help.

The noisy channel system does apply to a compact communication channel, one which has no redundancy, but it tells you what redundancy you need to send in order to get your message across. Error checking is a form of redundancy. In the example I cited a few days ago, which had .081 bits/symbol communication speed loss, that is the amount of redundancy which must be sent in order to get the message across. In other words you need to re-send that many bits.

>I have a hard time seeing how Shannon applies to ordinary interpersonal communication, and you chose not to address this when I raised the issue earlier. Communication among humans obviously occurs despite high noise levels. Communication from God to humans likewise. Even animals with no capability for speech communicate effectively. I'd compare God's communication to a picture with some fuzziness: We can get the important part of the message despite the noise. Your argument that the picture is totally untrustworthy because it has some noise puzzles me, because that's not true to life. <<<<<

Redundancy again. Humans don't transmit at the highest possible rate because of the noise. so that is the answer.

>GRM: Once we allow
>accommodation and error into the information stream, at the receiving
>end, it is not safe to assume that communication has occurred. There is
>nothing one can do to reconstruct the correct message.
>DFW: The picture is fuzzy, but we can still pretty well make out what it's supposed to be; and our ability to do so indicates that communication has occurred. We don't know in fine detail what the picture is supposed to look like, but that's not important. What's important is that the communication has been adequate for God's purposes, one of those purposes NOT being to convey lots of interesting but unimportant facts.

How do you handle in your view of the flow of inspirational information the guy writing 'eat no pork'. There are only 3 letters difference between that and 'eat more pork'. In a case like that, the picture isn't at all what was sent.
Received on Sun Sep 12 10:33:41 2004

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