1. Standard memberPalynka
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    10 Nov '09 13:35
    I'm interested to see where you're going with this "information is orthogonal to space-time", so I decided to create this thread so we can talk a bit about it.

    To get the ball rolling, to reach some sort of meaningful communication we need to agree on what we mean by "information" (maybe we'll get to orthogonality further on).

    So, let's take wikipedia's articles as a starting point.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information

    There's a whole gamut of definitions there. But let's choose the one that concerns physics, which I think is the one you're thinking of (correct me if not):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_information
    Even here we see two competing definitions, the classical and the quantum one.

    So, we have that:
    - The instance of information that is contained in a physical system is generally considered to specify that system's "true" state.
    So the specification of the state of the system is what information is, according to both these definitions.

    We also have that:
    Quantum information specifies the complete quantum state vector (or equivalently, wavefunction) of a system, whereas classical information, roughly speaking, only picks out a definite (pure) quantum state if we are already given a prespecified set of distinguishable (orthogonal) quantum states to choose from

    So I don't see how information can be said to be orthogonal from space time if information is defined as a specification of the state of the universe (or any subset).

    Do you agree with these formal definitions of information? If not, what precisely do you mean by information?
  2. Cape Town
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    10 Nov '09 19:46
    Originally posted by Palynka
    So I don't see how information can be said to be orthogonal from space time if information is defined as a specification of the state of the universe (or any subset).

    Do you agree with these formal definitions of information? If not, what precisely do you mean by information?
    Can two subsets of the universe ever have identical states?
    If they can, then that which is common between the two subsets is not dependent on either and is essentially orthogonal to space-time.

    Information doesn't have to be the exact state of the universe (or any subset), but can also be more coarse grained - eg how many atoms in a region, or the density of those atoms.

    Information can be transfered, copied, manipulated etc more or less independently from its storage medium. Think about the whole Turing computer concept - the program in abstract is independent of the computer.

    Also we could essentially have a complete universe worth of information stored on a massive virtual machine - ie no matter or space required. To be realistic one could theoretically model the complete quantum state of an atom. The information could exist without the actual atom.
  3. Standard memberPalynka
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    11 Nov '09 10:151 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Can two subsets of the universe ever have identical states?
    If they can, then that which is common between the two subsets is not dependent on either and is essentially orthogonal to space-time.

    Information doesn't have to be the exact state of the universe (or any subset), but can also be more coarse grained - eg how many atoms in a region, or the de ...[text shortened]... del the complete quantum state of an atom. The information could exist without the actual atom.
    - A state is a property of a given system, so it does not make much sense to talk about different subsets having identical states. So my answer to your first question would be no.

    - I agree that it can be more coarse, but saying there are 121635789 atoms in A or there are 121635789 atoms in B is still not the same. The state of A and B cannot be said to be the same.

    - But here you're using information in another sense, not the classical or quantum one. Can you define what you mean by information here?

    - Again, the same use of information. You also cannot have a purely virtual machine, if you keep reducing it, you must eventually rely upon a physical support.
  4. Cape Town
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    11 Nov '09 10:54
    Originally posted by Palynka
    - A state is a property of a given system, so it does not make much sense to talk about different subsets having identical states. So my answer to your first question would be no.
    Obviously if two subsets have completely identical states then they are the same subset - as their space and time positions must be identical. But can two subsets have identical states except for their space time positions?

    I agree that it can be more coarse, but saying there are 121635789 atoms in A or there are 121635789 atoms in B is still not the same. The state of A and B cannot be said to be the same.
    So what do two atoms have in common that warrants them being called 'atoms' not 'quarks'? Surely they have partial state in common?

    But here you're using information in another sense, not the classical or quantum one. Can you define what you mean by information here?
    I am trying to explain it, and trying simultaneously to understand what your classical or quantum one is.

    Again, the same use of information. You also cannot have a purely virtual machine, if you keep reducing it, you must eventually rely upon a physical support.
    I am using the word 'information' to mean 'abstract state'. I guess I am making it orthogonal to space time by definition ie 'abstract state' is the state of an object without the space-time information.
  5. Standard memberPalynka
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    11 Nov '09 11:061 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Obviously if two subsets have completely identical states then they are the same subset - as their space and time positions must be identical. But can two subsets have identical states except for their space time positions?

    [b]I agree that it can be more coarse, but saying there are 121635789 atoms in A or there are 121635789 atoms in B is still not th ion ie 'abstract state' is the state of an object without the space-time information.
    [/b]So what do two atoms have in common that warrants them being called 'atoms' not 'quarks'? Surely they have partial state in common?

    Interesting point. I would say that it is our cognition and sensory apparatus that recognizes patterns and lumps them accordingly. This is pure taxonomy. A hypothetical being with a different cognitive and sensory apparatus might lump things differently as it does not seem a stretch of the imagination that their pattern recognition is different and would then generate a different taxonomy.

    I am trying to explain it, and trying simultaneously to understand what your classical or quantum one is.
    Same here. 😀 If I seem contrarian it's because I'm still trying to pin down what you're saying.

    I guess I am making it orthogonal to space time by definition ie 'abstract state' is the state of an object without the space-time information.
    But the state is about space-time information (in the classical or quantum sense)! See here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_%28physics%29
    Maybe you're using state in the thermodynamical (4) sense? As a collection of properties?
  6. Cape Town
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    11 Nov '09 12:05
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Interesting point. I would say that it is our cognition and sensory apparatus that recognizes patterns and lumps them accordingly. This is pure taxonomy. A hypothetical being with a different cognitive and sensory apparatus might lump things differently as it does not seem a stretch of the imagination that their pattern recognition is different and would then generate a different taxonomy.
    I disagree. As pointed out elsewhere, patterns and partial state can be transmitted, copied etc. There is something altogether more solid about it than our cognition.
    More importantly, what do you mean by 'pattern'? Taxonomy cannot be done unless there is something in common that is independent of the instances.

    But the state is about space-time information (in the classical or quantum sense)! See here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_%28physics%29
    Maybe you're using state in the thermodynamical (4) sense? As a collection of properties?

    An atom can move through time and space - yet its 'atomness' does not change. I do not believe that there is no connection between an atom at one point in time and the same atom a week later in another part of space and that the only connection is due to our cognition.
  7. Standard memberPalynka
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    11 Nov '09 15:351 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I disagree. As pointed out elsewhere, patterns and partial state can be transmitted, copied etc. There is something altogether more solid about it than our cognition.
    More importantly, what do you mean by 'pattern'? Taxonomy cannot be done unless there is something in common that is independent of the instances.

    [b]But the state is about space-time in ...[text shortened]... week later in another part of space and that the only connection is due to our cognition.
    [/b]
    Ok, we're not communicating. Nevermind.
  8. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    11 Nov '09 23:58
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I disagree. As pointed out elsewhere, patterns and partial state can be transmitted, copied etc. There is something altogether more solid about it than our cognition.
    More importantly, what do you mean by 'pattern'? Taxonomy cannot be done unless there is something in common that is independent of the instances.

    [b]But the state is about space-time in ...[text shortened]... a week later in another part of space and that the only connection is due to our cognition.
    Patterns and partial states - information - can be transmitted, copied, by making a similar pattern and partial state with different matter.
  9. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    12 Nov '09 00:171 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Obviously if two subsets have completely identical states then they are the same subset - as their space and time positions must be identical. But can two subsets have identical states except for their space time positions?

    I agree that it can be more coarse, but saying there are 121635789 atoms in A or there are 121635789 atoms in B is still not th ion ie 'abstract state' is the state of an object without the space-time information.
    Yes, two subsets can have identical states except for their space time positions.

    So what do two atoms have in common that warrants them being called 'atoms' not 'quarks'? Surely they have partial state in common?

    Yes, both are made up of the same three building blocks, which are made of particular arrangements of quarks. Matter/Energy in Space/Time (ME in ST).

    The classical definition of "information" has to do, roughly, with how much entropy is in the system. There are precise mathematical definitions but I haven't studied them.
  10. Cape Town
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    12 Nov '09 04:56
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Ok, we're not communicating. Nevermind.
    But I want to communicate, I want to understand your point of view. I am already starting to doubt my own position based on your points but I still don't see the alternative. I am starting to think that some information is orthogonal to space time and some isn't.
  11. Cape Town
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    12 Nov '09 05:01
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    The classical definition of "information" has to do, roughly, with how much entropy is in the system. There are precise mathematical definitions but I haven't studied them.
    Would you say that a given piece of information only exists where it is represented?
  12. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    12 Nov '09 10:001 edit
    Yes, I think. I'm not sure what "represented" means but if you mean in the DNA, ink letters on paper, etc. then yes...again, I think. Your question is a bit confusing.
  13. Cape Town
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    12 Nov '09 10:31
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Yes, I think. I'm not sure what "represented" means but if you mean in the DNA, ink letters on paper, etc. then yes...again, I think. Your question is a bit confusing.
    Lets say the sequence AACCGGTT occurs in my DNA. Would you say that that information never existed before life began?
  14. Standard memberblack beetle
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    13 Nov '09 06:42
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Lets say the sequence AACCGGTT occurs in my DNA. Would you say that that information never existed before life began?
    My ancestor said "We both step and do not step in the same rivers.
    We are and are not."
    😵
  15. Standard memberPalynka
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    13 Nov '09 09:46
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    But I want to communicate, I want to understand your point of view. I am already starting to doubt my own position based on your points but I still don't see the alternative. I am starting to think that some information is orthogonal to space time and some isn't.
    Ok, I'll try again later on... I'm feeling lazy these days.
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