Re: Information

Felix Ungman (
Fri, 26 Jun 1998 14:07:55 +0100

>Hmmm... My first thoughts about what someone means about information would be
>that they refer to a set of facts about a thing, not a series of bits.

The word "information" is almost as tricky as the word "organic", that has
caused great flame wars between the chemistry literate and the environmental

>I disagree. I think that there has to be information to be gained via
>interpretation. In other words, there must be information before there can be
>any interpretation, but there cannot be interpretation without information (no
>matter how trivial it might be).

But information must exist somewhere, it must be encoded as patterns of
matter, energy or information. A pattern is meaningless without the
encoding/decoding, ie the interpretations. In this sense you may decompose
information into pattern + interpretation. (I believe Anders touched on this

>As an aside, Einstein has already shown the equivalence between
>energy and matter, while Michael Nielsen's comment regarding error
>correction for reversible architectures (he describes error correction as
>a procedure for lowering the entropy of a physical system, which
>consequently results in heat ie. energy being dissipated into the
>environment) is an example that shows there are strong connections
>between 'energy' and 'information'. (Another exampe, the entropy of a
>physical system is calculated in terms of energy in joules or calories,
>while the entropy in information theory is in terms of bits).

So information theory really supports calorie restriction?