[lit-ideas] Re: What is information?

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2006 09:39:47 -0700

After taking in the flurry of posts on this subject, yesterday I read further in Victoria Finlay, "Color; A Natural History of the Palette." It's a compendium-of-note-cards kind of a book, a things-I-found-before-and-after-the-contract-was-signed kind of a book. But at one point she thought of what to me was an interesting question: why was it that many Chinese painters made a move comparable to Japan giving up firearms; why did they give up color? She thinks the answer lies in the Daoist text "Dao De Jing" which "warns that dividing the world into five colors (black, white, yellow, red and blue) would 'blind the eye' to true perception." She then adds, "The message is that we would all think so much more clearly if we didn't divide the world at all."

From this flip comment, I passed to the possibility that information may be the world, divided.

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

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