Topological Semiosis and the Evolution of Meaning

Introduction and Overview

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My own personal oddyssey from physics to semiotics may have unconsciously suggested to me that the evolution of complex systems, including living ones, may have followed a similar path.

Two biases in our traditions make it harder for us to see HOW:

But physics now provides for quanta and bifurcations, and various other ways to make the transition between continuous and discontinuous/discrete aspects of material dynamics; and my own research in multimedia semiotics shows that language is not typical: there is a second semiotics of meaning by degree.

This textweb develops arguments for the possibility that having both conventional, i.e. discrete-typological, and this second topological semiotics can help us bridge the gap between physics and the infodynamics of biological and social systems.

I have developed the later stages of this argument with examples from the area of bio-semiotics, both because it presents these issues in particularly interesting ways, and because of the themes of the WESS 1998 conference. But my ignorance of biology is a serious handicap in elaborating properly on the details; please help me improve the analysis.