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3 years ago  ::  Apr 24, 2012 - 4:02PM #1
newchurchguy
Posts: 3,642
From elite scientist Anton Zeilinger:

What are the philosophical implications of your work?
 The quantum state represents measurement results; it represents information about a concrete situation, and it allows me to make predictions about future measurement results. So it is information both about a situation that I know and information about the future. I often say that quantum theory is information theory, and that the separation between reality and information is an artificial one. You cannot think about reality without admitting that it’s information you are handling. So we need a new concept that encompasses the two. We are not there yet.




discovermagazine.com/2011/jul-aug/14-ant...


I know the idea that information is as real as kicking a stone (at a different level or levels of abstraction, of course) is difficult to have grasped in mainstream discussions.  Yet, each year, which goes by -- the data is stronger, clearer and is being expanded into practical application.


Is it just this simple - what is known as "spirituality", is just discovering aspects from the effects of structured information in physical, mental and moral environments?
      
  

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 25, 2012 - 6:08PM #2
Faustus5
Posts: 2,023

In the sciences it still remains a fact that information is always a measure of some property of matter/energy.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 26, 2012 - 9:51AM #3
newchurchguy
Posts: 3,642

Apr 25, 2012 -- 6:08PM, Faustus5 wrote:


In the sciences it still remains a fact that information is always a measure of some property of matter/energy.




Thanks for the response.  First, let me acknowledge that your stance is the majority opinion at this time.  And for physics and chemistry I readily answer - "yes, data from physical measurements are physical".  Your fact is tautologically true; in that subset of phenomena.


But each year going by - I think you may admit, that the "informational turn" in science and philosophy is getting stronger and qualifies as a generalized second opinion.


I would point out that the soft sciences that deal in motivation, social communication and appropriate behavior are dealing pretty strictly with a different level of abstraction (LoA)  At the pyschological LoA - the data is not directly about matter/energy and is about more complex interaction and relative to the the local and current cultural environment.


Are facts there, strictly physical?  A reductive materialism can make a good case that they may well be.  But you have stated that you are a non-reductive physicalist.


And - to the point made by Zeilinger - who is a experimental physicist and not just a theorist - what about his data that are about abstract information.  These strucutral relations are by definition not about matter and energy.  Are pyschology and information science - not science.  Are their factual predictions and identified structures not facts.


 



 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 26, 2012 - 10:11AM #4
amcolph
Posts: 18,012

Apr 26, 2012 -- 9:51AM, newchurchguy wrote:

.


And - to the point made by Zeilinger - who is a experimental physicist and not just a theorist - what about his data that are about abstract information.  These strucutral relations are by definition not about matter and energy.  Are pyschology and information science - not science.  Are their factual predictions and identified structures not facts.


 



 




Since you have long since rejected the notion that "information" has the same ontological status as "mass" or "energy,"


I can only assume that what you are proposing is that information exists independently of that underlying structure of objective reality which gives rise to the latter two of those concepts.


That is, if there was no mass/energy, no space-time  manifold, there would still some how be information?


And that, further, if we deny the proposition, we are denying ipso facto that psychology and IT are science?

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 26, 2012 - 10:54AM #5
newchurchguy
Posts: 3,642

Apr 26, 2012 -- 10:11AM, amcolph wrote:


Since you have long since rejected the notion that "information" has the same ontological status as "mass" or "energy,"  I have not - this is your confused view (your offered strawmen) of what I express.  I clearly state time and time again that there are four primary components -- mass, force, information as formal syntax and meaningful relations all operating on a LoA, which is ontological and interactive.  (meaningful relations being my "out of the box claim")


I can only assume that what you are proposing is that information exists independently of that underlying structure of objective reality which gives rise to the latter two of those concepts.




Amcolph - you can assume what you want.  I am reporting - not proposing that information is a known variable in science.  This is presented as fact; as its properties have been assigned units of measure and data from these measurements are seen as science.  That as variables information structures are independent - in larger and smaller degrees - to energy states and material conditions.  In this context information is measured as ordered states of logic, organization of processes and as communication.  Each of these with appropriate units of measure.


Rather than attack me personally, why not comment on the A. Zeilinger article?  I am being firm, because your past behavior has clearly been interest in me personally or my religion  - rather than the ideas appropriate to the forum.


What do you think Zeilinger meant in the posted quote? 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 26, 2012 - 11:47AM #6
amcolph
Posts: 18,012

Apr 26, 2012 -- 10:54AM, newchurchguy wrote:


Apr 26, 2012 -- 10:11AM, amcolph wrote:


Since you have long since rejected the notion that "information" has the same ontological status as "mass" or "energy," 


I have not
- this is your confused view (your offered strawmen) of what I express.  I clearly state time and time again that there are four primary components -- mass, force, information as formal syntax and meaningful relations all operating on a LoA, which is ontological and interactive.  (meaningful relations being my "out of the box claim")



You have indeed, emphatically and with considerably snottiness on more than one occasion.  You have gone on to insist that I must believe that objective reality consists of hard little beads of something called "matter" circulating in "empty space"--a world view which has been obsolete for a hundred years.  Naturally, I am curious as to what motivation gives rise to such bizarre behaviour.  If you do not wish to discuss it, fine.  We will let it go.


As to "straw men," I don't have any.  I only propose various scenarios for your comment to help me understand what your position really is because, frankly, I am still baffled by it and the various quotes you present to us seem to have nothing to do with it.


How can "information" exist independently of objective patterns and relationships any more than "mass" can exist independently of massive bodies or "energy" exist independently of objective energetic phenomena?  If I don't believe it does, why do I "hate science?" (sorry--that is a question of motivation which you are free to ignore).


Amcolph - you can assume what you want.  I am reporting - not proposing that information is a known variable in science.  This is presented as fact; as its properties have been assigned units of measure and data from these measurements are seen as science.



Agreed, with the distinction that it is the units of measure and data which constitute "information" rather than the objective patterns and relationships which they measure.


Rather than attack me personally, why not comment on the A. Zeilinger article?



I'm not.  I'm just indignant at the shabby treatment you afford me.  As to Zeilinger, I agree with him--we're not there yet.


Personally, I don't believe in the objective reality of either mass or energy.  To me, they are mental constructs which we have created to deal with objective reality.  My opinion of "information" is the same, but no doubt that is too eccentric for you.  That's why I merely take the postition that they all have equal ontological status.


I am being firm, because your past behavior has clearly been interest in me personally or my religion  - rather than the ideas appropriate to the forum.



I don't care about your religion.  I just wish that you would leave off imputing to me your antique notion of Materialism as the only possible alternative to your idea of Informational Realism, whatever that may be. 


 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 26, 2012 - 3:43PM #7
newchurchguy
Posts: 3,642

Apr 26, 2012 -- 11:47AM, amcolph wrote:


I clearly state time and time again that there are four primary components -- mass, force, information as formal syntax and meaningful relations all operating on a LoA, which is ontological and interactive.  (meaningful relations being my "out of the box claim")


I only propose various scenarios for your comment to help me understand what your position really is because, frankly, I am still baffled by it and the various quotes you present to us seem to have nothing to do with it.


How can "information" exist independently of objective patterns and relationships any more than "mass" can exist independently of massive bodies or "energy" exist independently of objective energetic phenomena?


As to Zeilinger, I agree with him--we're not there yet.


Personally, I don't believe in the objective reality of either mass or energy.  To me, they are mental constructs which we have created to deal with objective reality.  My opinion of "information" is the same, but no doubt that is too eccentric for you.  That's why I merely take the postition that they all have equal ontological status.




Amcolph,  there is a non-realism Zeilinger writes about.


It is very different than the nominalism you so want to speak about.  I have no problem with you stating your beliefs.  Unlike you, regarding my accounts, I feel I have an understanding of what you say and how it fits into a school of thought.


Information, in the context Zeilinger is using it - is the information as formal syntax, "the objective patterns" in your terms and how entangled particles can interact with logic gates to create computation.


There are two distinct levels of abstraction in this: as you say ""mass", "energy" as mental constructs -- symbols or representations.  Level 1


The  "deal with objective reality" out there at a physical level or Level 2.


Is the information that Zeilinger is measuring -- on Level 1 or 2?, in your considered opinion.


 


 




 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 29, 2012 - 7:40PM #8
stardustpilgrim
Posts: 5,318

Apr 25, 2012 -- 6:08PM, Faustus5 wrote:


In the sciences it still remains a fact that information is always a measure of some property of matter/energy.




Or could we also say that it is information that orders matter and energy? (and thus has priority over)


sdp

The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.
The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton

A map is not the territory. Alfred Korzybski
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3 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 8:20AM #9
amcolph
Posts: 18,012

Apr 29, 2012 -- 7:40PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


Apr 25, 2012 -- 6:08PM, Faustus5 wrote:


In the sciences it still remains a fact that information is always a measure of some property of matter/energy.




Or could we also say that it is information that orders matter and energy? (and thus has priority over)


sdp




The third, and apparently widely despised, option is that information as well as mass and energy are equally measures of objective reality, whose nature we cannot know directly.


Or, they are all "level one" as NCG would have it.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 30, 2012 - 11:54AM #10
newchurchguy
Posts: 3,642

Apr 30, 2012 -- 8:20AM, amcolph wrote:


Apr 29, 2012 -- 7:40PM, stardustpilgrim wrote:


Apr 25, 2012 -- 6:08PM, Faustus5 wrote:


In the sciences it still remains a fact that information is always a measure of some property of matter/energy.




Or could we also say that it is information that orders matter and energy? (and thus has priority over)


sdp




The third option is that information as well as mass and energy are equally measures of objective reality, whose nature we cannot know directly.


Or, they are all "level one" as NCG would have it.




Thanks for the reply!  It is pretty much the received view in recent years.  A. Zeilinger has helped "solidify" the status of information as objective and measurable.


There is level 2 or representation.  Here is where confusion comes in - is when information as "meaning" is part of the picture. Semantic meaning in words and numbers are the definition of Level 2.


I have suggested, for some years, that the target of the semantics - is identifying a property in objective reality that is likewise a "level one" measure.  Logical relations.


That being put aside, hopefully with some clarity -- can you comment on the implications of the Zeilinger quote about how formal information and reality are connected. 


I think that "It from Bit" doesn't make formal inforamtion better or more important than manifest physical events and activity - but just prior in time.




 

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