Picking Up the Gauntlet:
(everything other than physics)
A biologically based information theory would ... require a definition of information which is compatible with the idea of information addition in going between levels of organization, as discussed earlier in this essay, and perhaps a definition which is independent of a known catalogue of possible states, since it is uncertain whether such a catalogue is a priori enumerable for biological systems.
For physics, see
- Siegried, Tom The Bit and the Pendulum, 2000
- von Baeyer, Hans Christian Information: The New Language of Science, 2004
Boltzmann/Shannon - Entropy is "missing" information:
- it will differ for observers with different capabilities
- the information is in principle present (there IS a "real" microstate and each microstate can be unambiguously assigned to one of a finite number of macrostates)
The Black Hole Problem ... "information loss" in physics
(the origin in the 1990's of the interest of physicists in information)
The Black Hole Information Loss Problem, Warren G. Anderson, 1996
Black Hole Evaporation and Information Loss, Daniel Gottesman, 1997
Information loss, Gabor Kunstatter, 1999
Information loss, Gabor Kunstatter, 2002
The Information Paradox (reversibility), student page, 1998
Physical Laws Collide in a Black Hole Bet, George Johnson, NYTimes, 1998
Black Holes and the Information Paradox, Leonard Susskind, Sci Am, the Edge of Physics, 2003
Information Paradox Solved? If So, Black Holes Are Fuzzballs, SpaceDaily, 4 March 2004
Fuzzy black holes may (or may not) solve the physicist's problems but, regardless, the concern has exposed a serious problem and potential divide between physics and other sciences: can information be genuinely lost? ie, destroyed in a way that makes it non-recoverable? Are all processes (not only those related to matter/energy but also those related to organized matter/energy) reversible? describable in equations of one to one functions with time as a parameter? Could physicists be missing something because of their faith in the importance of reversibility?
"In the vernacular ..."
- Information "loss" due to filtering in linguistics
- Essential for the task ... abstraction/categorization
- Information loss due to lateral inhibition in neurobiology
- Also essential
- Is also genuinely non-reversible
- Original pattern not recoverable from filtered pattern
- True of all neuronal activity, because of threshholding
- Generally true whenever one goes from high dimensional signal (many degrees of freedom) to low dimensional signal (few degrees of freedom)
- Isn't just loss, is also addition, with resulting creation of something not otherwise there ... "a rose is a rose is a rose"
- Ditto for color
- Ditto for phonological categories
- No "sound" when tree falls w/o observer
The idea of information loss is not anathema in linguistics, biology (extinction), neurobiology. Indeed information loss AND information addition combine to create "new" information, and that compression/expansion cycle is fundamental to biological evolution and "information-processing" in living systems generally. The expansion frequently involves randomness but can occur deterministically. See
- Tor Norretranders, The User Illusion, 1991/1998
How seriously do we take this? How relates to information/energy link?
Reversibility maybe be a characteristic of energy/matter transformations, but is NOT a characteristic of information processing: 5 + 3 = 8 ... TRUE and FALSE = FALSE
Computation CAN be done reversibly, without energy cost
Laws of matter/energy have different character from laws of information? The latter needs to be consistent with but need not mirror the former.
Reversibility not a characteristic of transformations of "non-random organizations of matter/energy"?
Creation of "new" forms is?
How get irreversible outcomes from locally reversible processes?
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Tuesday, 15-Jun-2004 12:46:39 EDT