Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information: The Proceedings of the 1988 Workshop on Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information Held May-June, 1989, in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Wojciech Hubert Zurek
Westview Press, Jan 1, 1990 - Science - 530 pages
A must have for those with a deep commitment to the second law of thermodynamics, entropy, and information theory.
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Page 14 - It has been brought to a close" by "an irreversible act of amplification." What we call the past is built on bits. Enough bits to structure a universe so rich in features as we know this world to be. Preposterous! Mice and men and all on Earth who may ever come to rank as intercommunicating meaning-establishing observer-participants will never mount a bit count sufficient to bear so great a burden. The count of bits needed, huge though it may be, nevertheless, so far as we can judge, does not reach...
Page i - Institute (SFI) is a multidisciplinary graduate research and teaching institution formed to nurture research on complex systems and their simpler elements. A private, independent institution, SFI was founded in 1984, Its primary concern is to focus the tools of traditional scientific disciplines and emerging new computer resources on the problems and opportunities that are involved in the multidisciplinary study of complex systems — those fundamental processes that shape almost every aspect of...
Page 9 - Physical objects are postulated entities which round out and simplify our account of the flux of experience, just as the introduction of irrational numbers simplifies laws of arithmetic.
Page 10 - Time and space are modes by which we think, and not conditions in which we live." What are we to say about that weld of space and time into spacetime which Einstein gave us in his 1915 and still standard classical geometrodynamics? On this geometry quantum theory, we know, imposes fluctuations [13, 14, 82].
Page 13 - Meaning is the joint product of all the evidence that is available to those who communicate.
Page 18 - A single question animates this report: Can we ever expect to understand existence? Clues we have, and work to do, to make headway on that issue. Surely someday, we can believe, we will grasp the central idea of it all as so simple, so beautiful, so compelling that we will all say to each other, "Oh, how could it have been otherwise! How could we all have been so blind so long!
Page 9 - ... has to postulate explicitly or implicitly, a supermachine, a scheme. a device, a miracle, which will turn out universes in infinite variety and infinite number" . Directly opposite to the concept of universe as machine built on law is the vision of a world self-synthesized. On this view, the notes struck out on a piano by the observer-participants of all places and all times, bits though they are, in and by themselves constitute the great wide world of space and time and things. Third no:...
Page 5 - It from bit. Otherwise put, every it — every particle, every field of force, even the spacetime continuum itself — derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely — even if in some contexts indirectly — from the apparatuselicited answers to yes or no questions, binary choices , bits. It from bit...
Page 156 - SIGMOIDAL RESPONSE FUNCTIONS, AND THE ON/OFF IDEALIZATION A short example demonstrates why a Boolean or on/off idealization captures the major features of many continuous dynamical systems. Many cellular and biochemical processes exhibit a response which changes in an...