Object Discernment by “A Difference Which Makes a Difference”

Biosemiotics 11 (1):27-40 (2018)

Gregory Bateson is well known for defining information by stating “In fact what we mean by information – the elementary unit of information – is a difference which makes a difference…” This conceptual perspective has the merit of simplicity and generality. Simplicity, in addressing the complexity of information. Generality, in seeking applicability to any and every field of human experience. The purpose of this paper is to focus the applicability of this conceptual approach by Bateson and use it to perform a calculation of taking the difference between two grey-level digital images that are shifted one relative to the other. The digital images take the place of the field of view that a human being would have access through her sense of vision at two different spatial/temporal instances. The results show that it is possible to highlight the edges of the objects under scrutiny, as well as to highlight other differences within the object. Bateson’s “difference that makes a difference” would seem to provide a first step in the elusive meaning making process of humans.
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DOI 10.1007/s12304-018-9315-1
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