On Jan 26, 6:54 pm, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> On 1/26/2012 3:32 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
>
> > Ok, so how does it effect the entropy of the structures? The red
> > house, the white house, and the mixed house (even if an interesting
> > pattern is made in the bricks), all behave in a physically identical
> > way, do they not?
>
> No they don't.  They reflect photons differently; which is why you could use 
> the pattern
> to send a message.

True, although it's only relevant if you have photons to reflect. If I
turn out the lights (completely) does that change the entropy of the
red house? What if I turn the lights back on, has entropy been
suddenly reduced? Would a brighter light put more information or less
entropy onto the white house than the red house, ie, does the pattern
cost something in photons?

I'm just curious, not trying to argue with you about it. On a similar
note, I was wondering about heat loss in a vacuum today. With the
second law of thermodynamics, it seems like heat could only dissipate
by heating something else up. If there was nothing in the universe
except a blob of molten nickel, would it cool off over time in an
infinite vacuum? It seems like it wouldn't. It seems like you would
need some other matter at a different temperature to seek a common
equilibrium with. Or is the heat just lost over time no matter what?

>
> There seems to be a lot of confusion about information as defined by Shannon. 
>  Shannon's
> information is relative to the uncertainty in a message.  So it depends on 
> how you define
> the possible messages.  If different patterns of red and white legos 
> constitute the
> possible messages, then you can measure the information capacity of this 
> message system by
> Shannon's formula.  It's *not* the measure of some particular message - it's 
> the measure
> of the *capacity* of the message system.

That makes more sense. As long as the possibility of messages is
subjective, I don't have a problem with it. It's when information is
treated as an objective entity that I vote no,

Craig

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