Cosmology Information

Physicist: Information is basis of everything

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In a 2010 book. So, is the problem with the Theory of Everything that it doesn’t include information?

From The Guardian (2010):

Physicist Vlatko Vedral explains to Aleks Krotoski why he believes the fundamental stuff of the universe is information and how he hopes that one day everything will be explained in this way

Book. Blurb:

In Decoding Reality, Vlatko Vedral offers a mind-stretching look at the deepest questions about the universe–where everything comes from, why things are as they are, what everything is.

The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, he writes, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena. This view allows Vedral to address a host of seemingly unrelated questions: Why does DNA bind like it does? What is the ideal diet for longevity? How do you make your first million dollars? We can unify all through the understanding that everything consists of bits of information, he writes, though that raises the question of where these bits come from. To find the answer, he takes us on a guided tour through the bizarre realm of quantum physics. At this sub-sub-subatomic level, we find such things as the interaction of separated quantum particles–what Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” In fact, Vedral notes, recent evidence suggests that quantum weirdness, once thought to be limited to the tiniest scale, may actually reach into the macro world and make teleportation a real possibility. It is in quantum physics, he writes, that we really can find the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.

Vlatko Vedral is one of the key researchers in quantum science. In this book, he offers a mind-bending account of this leading-edge field.

Book vid. Reader asks, what light does it shed on consciousness?

Also, how is this different from the enigma of information?:

See also: What great physicists have said about immateriality and consciousness

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6 Replies to “Physicist: Information is basis of everything

  1. 1
    Jim Smith says:

    what light does it shed on consciousness?

    You can’t have information without a mind. Information is about something. You can’t create a representation without a mind. If information is at the root of the universe, there was a mind there first.

  2. 2
    jerry says:

    The Teaching Company or The Great Courses recently relaeased a course on Information, “The Science of Information: From Language to Black Holes”

    http://www.thegreatcourses.com.....#038;pos=5

    The author, Benjamin Schumacher, is a physicist who speciality is Quantum Information Theory and he invented the term qubit. He explores many of these same topics though teleportation and diet are not one of them.

    Just got the course since it was on sale today for a lower price.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    Wasn’t there just a conference discussing the nature of information? If there’s no agreement on what information is, how can we say that the Universe is made of it?

    And if information is only in a mind and about something then the something must precede the mind and the information. If there was some primordial mind that existed before anything else, what did it have information about?

  4. 4
    mike1962 says:

    Seversky,

    That will be wonderful to think about on your death bed

  5. 5
    GBDixon says:

    My schedule does not permit real-time conversations but I can’t help but chime in here. I’ve been grappling with the physics concept of information vs. mine, and what a physicist means by ‘information’, since he clearly does not mean stuff that informs someone or something.

    Dr. Vlatko’s video is helpful in this respect. He has conflated the idea of the ability, or capacity of a medium to convey information with information itself. One is the channel or vessel through which information can pass or be stored, the other is what gets passed.

    Shannon called his theorem the channel CAPACITY theorem for a reason. It gave a measure of how much information COULD be transferred error-free, not how much of what was being transferred was true information. It DID NOT imply the channel was carrying information…that is solely up to what gets stuffed into the channel. The theorem simply states what a channel is capable of. To make that calculation and call the result information is the same as implying a pitcher is water.

  6. 6
    Eric Anderson says:

    GBDixon:

    Well said.

    One of the unfortunate historical quirks of this area of study is that the Shannon metric came to be called “Shannon Information.” That has caused no end of confusion. We would all be better served and everything would be a lot more clear if it it were referred to as the “Shannon Measure” or the “Shannon Metric” or something like that.

    Oh well, trying to fight the inertia of historical nomenclature is probably a losing battle. The best we can do is try to help people understand what Shannon himself pointed out: that his measurement has nothing to do with meaning.

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