George writes

> Is the world fundamentally physical or can it be reduced to ideas? This 
> is an interesting issue. If a TOE exists then it would have to explain 
> the physics and the objects.
> 
> This reminds me of the Ether controversy. Is there a need for the Ether 
> for waves to propagate? The most up-to-date answer is that  waves carry 
> their own "physical substrate." They can be waves and/or particles. 
> Similarly there should be equivalence between information and 
> matter/energy. Thus a process or algorithm should have inherently within 
> itself its own physical substrate.

Well, that sounds good to me, but what do I know.

> Since information is observer-dependent (Shannon) this issue brings us 
> back to the observer. I think that eventually all observables will have 
> to be traced back to the observer who is in fact at the nexus of the 
> mind-body problem.

But why can't photographic apparatuses, or amoeba, count as observers?
(They don't have minds, right, or, uh, do they?)

I really confess to not understanding the claim that information is
observer dependent; if a region contained one of thirty-two possible
binary bit strings of length 5, it seems to me that it would contain
five bits, even if no light from it ever reached other parts of the
universe.

Lee


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