The Science of Existence (46) The Information Paradigm

The Information Paradigm

A century of physics has taught us that information is a crucial player in physical systems and processes. Regard the physical world as made of information, with energy and matter as incidentals. ~ Israeli theoretical physicist Jacob Bekenstein

As matter is made of energy, and energy is nothing more than an immaterial concept, theoretical physicists progressed to considering whether there is a meaningful essence of existence. Their answer: information.

Information Theory

The fundamental problem of communication is that of reproducing at one point, either exactly or approximately, a message selected at another point. ~ Claude E. Shannon

American mathematician Claude E. Shannon founded information theory in 1948 with a seminal paper on “a mathematical theory of communication.” Shannon sought to comprehend the fundamental limits of signal processing and communications operations, such as data compression. Information theory has since been applied to several sciences, including physics, genetics, evolutionary biology, intelligence physiology, and ecology.

Shannon treated information as meaningful content received from a message transmission. The potential problem is noise. Shannon used the term entropy to ascribe the inherent uncertainty of received (destination) information equating to transmitted (source) information.

Bizarrely, information theory ignores the most important aspect of information: that there must be both a source and a perceiver of it. With their ersatz information paradigm, physicists cannot pick the lock of significance because they overlook the key.

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Everything in our reality is made up of information. ~ Vlatko Vedral

Slamming into a dead end in trying to suss the nature of energy, Shannon’s information theory washed up on the shores of physics, with the notion that the universals of the universe were themselves information. Gerard ‘t Hooft proposed the idea in 1993. Instead of a law where energy was only transmuted in a closed cosmos, never created nor destroyed, the dicta morphed into a universe where no information is lost – a conceptual absurdity taken seriously.

Bytes of reality may have their bits scrambled beyond practical redemption, but alchemic physicists believe it is at least theoretically conceivable that some accounting trick might right a digital Humpty Dumpty. Otherwise, all is lost.

The whole structure of everything we know would disintegrate if you opened the door even a tiny bit for the notion of information to be lost. ~ American theoretical physicist Leonard Susskind