John K Clark (
Fri, 26 Jun 1998 12:29:04 -0700 (PDT)

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- On Thu, 25 Jun 1998

>>even in the unlikely possibility that there is something more
>>fundamental than information we need not worry about it because
>>we'll never understand it. Information on the other hand we
>>understand, in fact it's the only thing we can understand.

>It does not follow from the fact that X is that which allows
>definitions to exist that X cannot be defined.

Well, if you look up the definition of "beautiful" in a dictionary and learn
it's something that has beauty you won't be much the wiser, but it's really
irrelevant because in my original comments I never said anything about
definitions. People rarely have definitions for the concepts they use every
day and rarely need them. Nearly all our knowledge, and all the really
important stuff, comes to us by way of example not definition.

>What we're looking for is information about the ontological status
>of information.

Yes, information about information, exactly correct, that's all we're ever
looking for.

>Is information fundamental? That's the kind of question to be
>resolved by the parent of all empirical sciences, philosophy

I think Astronomy is the parent of all Science, philosophers have been big on
theory but notoriously poor at empirical science, Aristotle was a complete
embarrassment as a scientist. And I still maintain we'll never discover
anything more fundamental than information, you'll never prove that you and I
and the entire visible universe aren't just a software program running on a
hyper computer somewhere. I'm not saying that's what's happening, I'm saying
it could be and we'd never know. Besides, even a hyper computer can't operate
without information.

>I'm not sure that it would be correct to characterize pure
>mathematics as the study of information about information. Numbers
>need not necessarily inform us of anything but themselves.

If something informs us about anything then it can only be one thing,

John K Clark

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