From: Russell Standish
Sent: Monday, February 21, 2011 4:57 PM
Subject: Re: Vic Stenger on information models
There is something a bit different about information than the other
conceptions of reality. We must, by definition, interact with reality
by information - we cannot know any other reality.
What is possibly in doubt is our theories of what information is - but
I'm sceptical that the hard-won insights of the likes of Turing, von
Neumann, Shannon, Kolmogorov, Solomonoff, Chaitin et al. will be
In any case, I don't understand what Vic means by the following:
> If the universe is a digital computer, that computer still is made of
> elementary particles.
> Theologian Gregersen makes a key observation:
> The theological candidate that the divine Logos is the
> informational resource of the universe would be scientifically
> falsified if the concept of information could be fully reduced to
> properties of mass and energy transactions.
> Well, I don't know if this constitutes a falsification, but as far as
> I can tell, information does reduce to mass and energy transactions.
This seems pivotal to his HuffPosting. Maybe I should ask him.
On Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 10:53:28AM -0800, Brent Meeker wrote:
> This, from my friend Vic Stenger, might be of interest to you Bruno.
> -------- Original Message --------
> My latest HuffBlog is at
Could you elaborate on how "information does reduce to mass and energy
I am having trouble with this idea because it seems that that reduction
would amount to a isomorphism between information and mass/energy transactions.
This seems fine at first but things get complicated. For example, it is a fact
that for any given mass/energy transaction there exist multiple information
structures that can represent said transaction faithfully. Additionally, for a
given information structure there exist many different ways to implement that
structure. For example, say that we have a Rolls Royce Phantom automobile and
we which to describe it so that we can create copies of it or we wish to create
Virtual Reality version of the car that exactly matches its behaviors in many
different environments. Is there not more than one language that we could use
to accomplish this goal? Once we have the faithful description of the Phantom,
what media are we going to print the description on? What font, what scale,
etc.? None of these variables are necessitated by the mere existence of the
object. Now say that we have created a program that generates that Virtual
Phantom, what machine are we going to run it on? I hope you can see the idea
The fact that there does not exist just a single language and grammar for
all persons and the fact that we can implement a given description or VR
simulation of a given physical system seems to argue strongly against the
reduction of information to mass and energy transactions. What am I missing?
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