List, Sorry I haven't been able to respond to the interesting remarks on my last post, but it took a while to digest them, and my current health concerns take up a lot of my time, so I haven't had time to come up with responses that are properly thought out.
In the meantime, here is an interesting Nature news report about Hawking's (and Strominger's) recent proposal for how information can be preserved in black holes (which his 1976 paper set up as a problem for the laws of physics, which imply information conservation at the most basic level. The solution involves a way empty space can carry information in QM via "soft particles". The answer is apparently not completely worked out as yet, and there are critics. http://www.nature.com/news/hawking-s-latest-black-hole-paper-splits-physicists-1.19236?WT.ec_id=NEWS-20160128&spMailingID=50572206&spUserID=MTc2NjY1MTQ2NQS2&spJobID=843774519&spReportId=ODQzNzc0NTE5S0 Seth Lloyd described a different possible explanation in his book Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the Cosmos<https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Programming_the_Universe>, Knopf<https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Alfred_A._Knopf> (2000) that involves taking into consideration the information in boundaries, which I found plausible, since the information preservation in physics follows from consideration of basic laws together with the constraints of boundary conditions, neither alone. Perhaps the two approaches are not really distinct. They may eventually cast light on each other. For the time being the Hawking/Strominger proposal also looks like it can solve the "firewall" problem as well, which has the Black Hole boundary being very hot (again, contrary to physical expectations), because information can be transferred into radiation instead of energy, so the information transfer doesn't require a high temperature at the black hole boundary, unlike other forms of radiation production. All of these explanations, and even stating the problem, require information notions, not just energy as in classical physics. John Collier Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Associate University of KwaZulu-Natal http://web.ncf.ca/collier
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