On 19 Sept 2017 at 1:26 AM Terrence W. DEACON wrote:


the science of information is still at an early stage and could be potentially 
held back by the hubris of certainty.


   Although I do not want to muddy the waters further, the distinction between 
information (to whom; or only to the statistician?) and physical sciences as we 
know them today may be in need of clarifying the nature of space and time 
underlying both the issues. So, suppose a fair coin toss game. If the tossing 
is repeated, the probability of heads or tails up would be just fifty-fifty. 
However, the outcome of each individual tossing-up would be either head or 
tail, and by no means in between like the fifty-fifty. What is more, the coin 
in focus assumes participation of a durable agent for repeating its toss-up.


   The statistician takes for granted the participation of the ordinary space 
and time or the static spacetime exclusive to the block-universe when the 
fifty-fifty probability is addressed. On the other hand, the agent involved in 
tossing the coin up is uncertain about the outcome of the next toss-up while 
the results of the preceding attempts already done remain definite. The future 
toward the capricious agent of tossing it up is open, while the content of the 
past has already been definitively fixed. The spacetime to such a playful agent 
is dynamically variable in distinguishing between the definite past and the 
indefinite future. The nature of the content of time differs between the past 
and the future. Information as an identifier of the distinction between the 
definite past and the indefinite future goes beyond the scope exclusive to the 
standard physics limited to the static block-universe, in the latter of which 
both the past and the future are definitively determinate at the present in a 
static manner. Nonetheless, there seems to be some hope in quantum mechanics in 
circumventing the present stalemate inflicting a heavy body blow on the stymied 
block-universe physics.   


   If both the occurrence of a pure quantum state and its measurement could 
happen to be likely in a natural or experimental setting, such a pure state may 
obtain its duration with probability unity under the conditions that the 
frequency of repeated measurements can be enhanced without facing any limit, 
thanks to the quantum Zeno effect. The quantum player underlying such a quantum 
toss-up game could turn out to be quite steady and durable rather than merely 
being capricious. Biology upholding a durable organization of a concrete 
particular nature seems to take full advantage of durable individual events of 
QM origin. 


   Although information seems to be quite a newbie in the 
philosopher-dominating time-honored discipline addressing the hard issue of 
what both space and time may look like, it might be able to enjoy some chance 
of bringing in something new empirically there.  


   Koichiro Matsuno





From: Fis [mailto:fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Terrence W. DEACON
Sent: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 1:26 AM
To: Foundations of Information Science Information Science 


All of these claims and counter-claims are null hypotheses - hypothetical 
axioms yet to be tested, both for logical coherence and empirical usefulness. 
Place your bets. Mine are on contrary assumptions: i.e. non-Turing 
computability, fundamental incompleteness, and a deep entanglement between 
information (including reference and functional value) and its necessary 
physical substrates. Of course for this to be science all need to eventually 
yield testable hypotheses. This level of controversy over basic issues 
indicates to me that the science of information is still at an early stage and 
could be potentially held back by the hubris of certainty.


— Terry


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