Energy is objective: a robust scientific concept described in precise mathematical terms
Atomic doctrine separates material world from perception, even though our understanding is based on observation.
atoms in the void => human senses => theory in brain (should this also be reversed?)
Idea: information connects matter (real) to mind (ideal). E.g.,
Feynman: the atomic hypothesis itself conveys a great deal of intuitive information!
From an operational definition of temperature it took 250 years to understand its real meaning as average speed of molecular constituents.
Science: shape, or (complex) relationship between parts
Example: in orbital motion it is both spatial and temporal.
Literature: patterns of words
Music: temporality of tones
Painting: spatiality of colors
Conclusion: form expresses relationships, and therefore information is the transfer of form between mediums. It is not in the symbols themselves, but rather what they can convey by the relationships between them.
Tentative: a flow of relationships with encoding-decoding.
Shannnon invents a mathematical formula (unlike the physical apparatus of a thermometer) to measure quantity of information. It is a technical definition which has nothing to say about meaning.
Weaver's assigns three levels of analysis [e.g. 'Fire!']
Analogy to Piaget's stages of mental development
observation-measurement => model-formula => law-principle
1. planetary motion eventually led to general relativity
2. the (apparently retrograde) story of matter eventually led to quantum field theory sitting alongside
Both these great theories make unbelievably accurate predictions, but what is a field ? -- perhaps an Aristotelian form based on Principle of Least Action. First formulated by Maupertuis, who felt that the perfection of the universe was made manifest by an economy in nature.
GR: least distance/time (over geodesics)
QM: least energy (over possible paths)
Life beyond anatomy -- the road to molecular genetics
Physics: Planck's explanation of thermal radiation based on a quantum hypothesis, followed by Einstein's explanation of the photoelectric effect (photon)
Mendel discovered mathematical laws of heredity remarkably similar to stoichiometric ratios, which eventually led to postulating a granular explanation:
Can the study of bits reveal the true nature of information?
The particulate nature of matter doesn't fully explain its behavior -- what's missing is relationships.
Weinberg (a particle physicist) refers to this as a petty (component properties) versus grand reductionism (derivation from universal laws).
Anderson (condensed matter) disagrees and says new laws only become evident (or even defined) in the aggregate and emerge from complex systems -- statistical mechanics.
Wilson advocates consilience:
understanding through levels of organization
Can we get from bit all the way to information?
Einstein: equation E = mc2 is from a deterministic theory
Bohr: simple model was replaced by indeterministic theory Is there objective reality? Copenhagen interpretation: NO.
Information is quantified in terms of probabilities. Not about ontology but epistemology (limits to knowledge).
Bottom line: certainty Versus doubt
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