Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id OAA13969 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Sun, 24 Jun 2001 14:13:38 +0100 Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 14:10:13 +0100 To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: The Guardian on Information Message-ID: <20010624141013.A970@ii01.org> References: <20010622201057.AAA4142@email@example.com> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Disposition: inline User-Agent: Mutt/1.3.15i In-Reply-To: <20010622201057.AAA4142@firstname.lastname@example.org>; from email@example.com on Fri, Jun 22, 2001 at 04:10:45PM -0400 From: Robin Faichney <firstname.lastname@example.org> X-RBL-Warning: (orbs.dorkslayers.com) 188.8.131.52 is listed by dorkslayers.com Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Fri, Jun 22, 2001 at 04:10:45PM -0400, Wade T.Smith wrote:
> On 06/22/01 15:48, Robin Faichney said this-
> >Think "structure". Information theory in physics is the treatment of
> >structure as an element in itself.
> Structure is _still_ a product of _process_.
> The shape of a termite mound, a snowflake- the only 'information' or
> 'structure' required is the determinants of the process.
I think you meant "determinands". But see below.
> Time and material were required to arrive at this process, but the only
> information there or anywhere else is the invention of an observing
> entity, namely us.
> Perhaps it's semantics.
Of course it's semantics. Because communications theory a la Shannon
and thermodynamics have some abstract concepts and math in common, it
was found convenient to use the term "information" in thermodynamics.
Disputes about what information "really" is are meaningless. All it
"really" is, is a word.
> But even asking 'structure' to be required seems
> erroneous to me.
Process determines high level structure, but the process is simultaneously
determined by low level structure.
I don't yet fully understand it myself -- nobody does. But I'm betting
that Dan Dennett, Murray Gell-Mann and David Hull, along with countless
physicists, eventually turn out to be on the "right" side. (I.e. a
practically universal consensus is reached that treating physical
structure as information is more useful than not.)
-- Robin Faichney Inside Information -- http://www.ii01.org -- "a prime source of meta-memes"
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