Here’s a good topic:
Is information physical?
For the sake of discussion, let’s assume physical is anything tangible or concrete to the senses.
Consider these discussions a form of imaginative play. We’re playing a game, so you can act on whatever assumptions necessary to make the game fun and progress towards an end, which is understanding.
I was listening to a lecture this morning and the speaker referenced Claude Shannon, a pioneer in information theory, who posited that information was physical. I thought this was interesting. I never thought of information as physical. I guess I thought it was objective. Like, physical bodies have physical information. Eg Arrangement of atoms have geometrical shapes, and that is information encoded into the physical structure
But I just found the idea that information is physical as unintuitive.
Like information seems to be purely psychological, like an idea. But it seems to exists outside of us, in the physical world.
Just something curious that made me think
If it is physical, it needs to obey the laws of physics. Which is Interesting.
Going back to information theory, all these philosophical or science based discussions (or books and lectures etc) are meant to, for all intensive purposes, augment or strengthen or modify the interpreter/receiver in our heads. Call it reason, and the associated algorithms and heuristics we use to process. What’s interesting with information theory is it’s vast applications.
Electronics is the most obvious. The better the signal, the better the receiver, the less noise, the better information capture
The receiver is our senses in some respect, but it’s also our ability to perceive.
The destination does some post-processing of the signal to tune into the correct pattern we’re trying to perceive/capture. Ie our minds. Much like you do signal processing to reduce noise and identify relevant wave form information.
I just started reading a book titled An Introduction to Cybernetics by W Ross Ashby. Written in 1956, it has some extremely fascinating insights into information theory relating to communication and controls.
I really had no idea what “cybernetics” was prior to picking up the book. Sounded like an outdated sci-fi term. But it actually has tremendous relevance to automation, for living and non living machines.
Cybernetics is defined as “the science of communications and automatic control systems in both machines and living things.” I see lots of parallels with consciousness and biomechanics and AI etc.
I also have been a big fan of Terrence W Deacon. I bought his book The Symbolic Species, which I have only scratched the surface of, but contains so much insane insights into how humans developed the capacity for language, which is an information processing mechanism.
But I recently bought his book Incomplete Nature, which delves into the evolutionary origins of biosemiotics (signs and symbolic systems of biological organisms), consciousness, and the nature and origins of “life” more generally.
Only read the preface, but I am enthralled by his novel thinking and interdisciplinary approach to solving the most difficult problems of science, which revolve around the subjective mind which makes sense of the world, and can’t be entirely be extricated from science’s objective conclusions.
Why pose these questions? Why the fervent anxious scramble to make sense of the world?
Regarding anxiety, I’m not so sure it’s entirely bad. I think it has tremendous utility if you possess self awareness, if you learn to master and guide it, rather have it master and guide you.
It’s a physiological response to existential threats.
I think channeling this can be extremely productive.
Learning to toggle or throttle it seems like a smart way to leverage this evolutionary adaptation to perceived stress.
Channeling anxiety to achieve a “flow” state seems useful, regardless of whatever ends you choose.
Going back to the perceiver,
If a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?
No, it doesn’t, because sound is an anthropomorphized conception of vibrations we can perceive.
A tree falls, energy is transmitted.
That’s all we can say objectively, I think?
Energy is being emitted all the time. There is a vast spectrum of how we capture or measure or perceive energy.
The range of energy being emitted by all living or non living matter may as well amount to pure chaotic noise in the scheme of things.
Without a mind to apply a context, to delineated and draw boundaries on what’s relevant or irrelevant to a set of value based ends, all this pulsating energy “means” nothing. Is nothing. It’s a soup of vibrations, on a scale that’s difficult to fathom, and likely impossible to make sense of, beyond our human biological based prerogatives.
The mind creates order.
Or does order create the mind? Is there a god like energy force guiding these patterns, impressing this order?
Or is consciousness or life more generally adhering to physical laws which produce the illusion of order?
I was reading last night and the author was talking about “energy”. I need to find the book i was reading, but he was speaking about how energy is always referenced, but no clear definition exists.
What is energy?
When you stop to really reflect, it’s almost mystical.
Is energy finite, or infinite? Ie does the universe contain a finite amount, or does it spring from nothing? I think we concluded it’s finite, but… is it?
What is energy?
Where is the source? Matter is energy. Vibrations are energy.
Matter is just a bunch of vibrations.
Everything is a vibration.
Quantum Decoherence is what allows for matter. Collapsing wave forms.
Everything is music, in that everything is vibrations.
Motion is energy. Forces are energy. Gravity is a force, so it’s energy. Vibrations are a transference of energy.
Motion? Is Kinetic energy… energy just changes forms, but what it is… is kinda mysterious. Energy: magnetic, internal (thermal), chemical, kinetic, electrostatic, elastic, potential, gravitational potential, nuclear…. but… what IS it.
Motion must always have a frame of reference. We’re moving around the earth, moving around the sun, moving around the Milky Way galactic center, moving away from other space objects.
The source. Where is the source.
And what can consciousness teach us about this “source”.
If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.
Weird thing is we can’t see energy. We can only see how it manifests.