On 16 Mar 2012, at 18:43, Guy A Hoelzer wrote:

Greetings All,

While I like to think that I am not limited to reductionistic thinking, I find it difficult to understand any perspective on information that is not limited to physical manifestation. I would appreciate further justification for a non-physicalist perspective on information. How can something exist in the absence of physical manifestation?

If you are realist about elementary arithmetic, that is if you agree that elementary arithmetical proposition like "17 is prime" are true independently of you, then, by arithmetic's Turing universality, you can show that the numbers exchange information relatively to universal numbers, which are playing the role of relative interpreters.

I am not interested in a metaphysical perspective here, which might have heuristic value even if it is not 'real'. The issue of 'content' and 'meaning' strikes me as entirely physical, so mentioning those issues doesn't help me understand what non-physical information might be. I would say that if information is physically manifested by contrasts (gradients, negentropy, …), then content or meaning refers to the internal dynamics of complex systems induced by interaction between the system and the physically manifested information. If there is no affect on internal dynamics, then the system did not 'perceive' the information. If the information merely causes a transient fluctuation of the internal dynamics, then the perceived information was not meaningful to the system. At least this is a sketch of my view that I hope illustrates why the notions of 'content' and 'meaning' does not depart the physical realm for me.

I can prove that if we are machine at some description level, then the physical is both ontologically and epistemologically emerging from numbers relation. The hypothesis of mechanism can be shown logically incompatible with very weak form of materialism. Physics can not be fundamental, it emerges from mathematics, indeed from what has been called the sharable part of mathematics (sharable between classical logicians and intuitionist logicians, it is basically arithmetic or something recursively equivalent). We can already derive propositional quantum logic from classical number self-reference. Arithmetic is full of life at the start, and matter appears to be arithmetical truth as seen from "inside".

Poetically, to be short, numbers dreams, and physical realities are dream sharing. The quantum emerges, if mechanism is correct, from a statistics on all computations. This makes both matter and consciousness NON Turing emulable. In particular digital physics can be shown self-contradictory. Those (actually old) results are not well known but have been verified by many people. I don't think there is a flaw, but we never can be sure, of course.

Bruno Marchal

PS see below for a concise version of the proof:



From: Pedro Clemente Marijuan Fernandez <pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es<mailto:pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es >>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2012 04:19:31 -0700
To: Foundations of Information Science Information Science <fis@listas.unizar.es <mailto:fis@listas.unizar.es>>
Subject: Re: [Fis] Physics of computing

Dear discussants,

I tend to disagree with the motto "information is physical" if taken too strictly. Obviously if we look "downwards" it is OK, but in the "upward" direction it is different. Info is not only physical then, and the dimension of self-construction along the realization of life cycle has to be entered. Then the signal, the info, has "content" and "meaning". Otherwise if we insist only in the physical downward dimension we have just conventional computing/ info processing. My opinion is that the notion of absence is crucial for advancing in the upward, but useless in the downward. By the way, I already wrote about info and the absence theme in a 1994 or 1995 paper in BioSystems...



walter.riof...@terra.com.pe<mailto:walter.riof...@terra.com.pe> escribió:

Thanks John and Kevin to update issues in information, computation, energy and reality.

I would like point out to other articles morefocused in how coherence and entanglement are used by living systems (far from thermal equilibrium):

Engel G.S., Calhoun T.R., Read E.L., Ahn T.K., Mancal T., Cheng Y.C., Blankenship R.E., Fleming G.R. (2007) Evidence for wavelike energy transfer through quantum coherence in photosynthetic systems. Nature, 446(7137): 782-786.

Collini E., Scholes G. (2009) Coherent intrachain energy in migration in a conjugated polymer at room temperature. Science, vol. 323 No. 5912 pp. 369-373.

Gauger E.M., Rieper E., Morton J.J.L., Benjamin S.C., Vedral V. (2011) Sustained Quantum Coherence and Entanglement in the Avian Compass. Phys. Rev. Lett., 106: 040503.

Cia, J. et al, (2009) Dynamic entanglement in oscillating molecules. arXiv:0809.4906v1 [quant-ph]




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Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
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50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Telf: 34 976 71 3526 (& 6818) Fax: 34 976 71 5554

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