is defined as an →Event that selects the states of a system – an event, thus, that exerts a selective influence on the →Structures of a system, triggering changes.

The capacity to process information depends on the capacity to orient towards distinctions [→Identity/Difference]: a message counts as information because there is a difference between what is received and what was expected. Information, therefore, is a difference.

The information thus triggers further differences in the resulting inner restructuring: the difference between the system’s actual and expected states forces numerous adjustments to be made in the structure of the system itself, which changes in order to take the information into account. Information therefore produces further differences within the system.

For this reason, we also say – using Gregory Bateson’s formulation – that information is a “difference which makes a difference”. Information is oriented towards distinctions; this means that it is only produced in the structures of a system that changes its own states as a consequence of the changes in other points in the same system.

Chiara Marletto

Marletto, Chiara. The Science of Can and Can’t: A Physicist’s Journey through the Land of Counterfactuals. New York: Viking, 2021, p. 76:

> Where Chiara Marletto explains how information can be completely captured within physics with two counterfactuals: the possibility of **copying** and **flipping**; where you encounter the counterfactual property of **Universality** and learn how it enables **universal computing**.


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