Information does not exist as such

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Atla
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by Atla » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:33 am

uwot wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:45 am
Fair enough. So how do you think you and I think differently?
For example I don't "thingify", I don't project imaginary units, imaginary divisions onto reality. I don't use backwards thinking based on thing-ness. I don't see things as being fundamentally separate, held together by "interactions" and so on. I don't hallucinate a phenomena-noumena dualism. I don't see fundamental ontological divisions in reality. I don't see double, or double double etc.
As I said, empiricism is the acceptance that all we know for certain is that there are phenomena. Strictly speaking all that is absolutely certain is the current experience that gives the impression there is a you to experience it.
Which is why philosophically speaking, it's a delusion system. Because phenomena and noumena are one and the same.
Hang on a mo. I was the one who suggested that information is the lumps and eddies in stuff.
Stuff is stuff, all of it can be described as information, but then there is no stuff anymore. Lumps and eddies in stuff sounds like a double vision.
If you claim that there is stuff and " a description, an abstraction", you are a dualist.
No, that's also stuff.
Are you claiming that descriptions, abstractions are not part of the phenomenal world studied by empiricists?

uwot
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by uwot » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:30 pm

Atla wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:33 am
uwot wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:45 am
Fair enough. So how do you think you and I think differently?
For example I don't "thingify", I don't project imaginary units, imaginary divisions onto reality.
But you believe they are imaginary. That is the philosophical step you have taken that goes beyond empiricism, and it is the one you cannot prove.
Atla wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:33 am
Hang on a mo. I was the one who suggested that information is the lumps and eddies in stuff.
Stuff is stuff, all of it can be described as information, but then there is no stuff anymore. Lumps and eddies in stuff sounds like a double vision.
Well, if noumenal 'stuff' exists, it either has lumps and eddies in it, or it is completely smooth, which is what Parmenides thought.
Atla wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:33 am
If you claim that there is stuff and " a description, an abstraction", you are a dualist.
No, that's also stuff.
Are you claiming that descriptions, abstractions are not part of the phenomenal world studied by empiricists?
No. Like I said, I am suggesting that descriptions and abstractions are lumps and eddies in stuff. Unlike you though, I am not insisting that this view is correct, because, again, according to empiricism, any interpretation of the phenomena that isn't explicitly ruled out by the phenomena, could be true.

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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by -1- » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:56 pm

Atla wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:01 am
Nowadays many people share the belief that information is more than just knowledge, that it is a new kind of "something" that was discovered lately. That's what I'm arguing against.

For example many will say nowadays that there is matter and energy and information.

And of course just how deep the problem with dualism goes went way over your head too, just like everyone else's head on this board. But that's not your fault, because you can't understand that there is another form of human thinking, outside the entirety of Western philosophy.
So... I asked to please provide a definition of "information" in the sense that you use this word.

Your reply (as per above, I did not make this up):

information is more than just knowledge, ... it is a new kind of "something" that was discovered lately.

Thank you very much.

I wonder why sane and normal people with common sense argue against such a definition.

It is not defining anything. "A chair is ...somehting." This is not a definition.

"A chair is a four- or three- legged furniture with a flat surface about one to two feet above ground that people use to sit on, and it may or may not have a back and / or arm rests." This is a definition.

Why fight against something that has no meaning, no definition? Is that not a Quixotic battle to its most perfected expression? You are a sane and normal person. Why fight a concept that is not even defined?

"I don't know what you are saying, as your saying is meaningless", you could say to your opponents, who say information is something, "but I'm fighting you anyway."

Why is it important to fight something so meaningless as to lack a definition?
Last edited by -1- on Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by -1- » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:00 pm

Atla wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:01 am
And of course just how deep the problem with dualism goes went way over your head too, just like everyone else's head on this board. But that's not your fault, because you can't understand that there is another form of human thinking, outside the entirety of Western philosophy.
I would like to ask you to define or rather, to describe the problem with dualism. You don't need to strive to make me understand how deep this problem goes... just state the problem in your own words.

Please describe the problem with dualism. I am really eager to hear what that is.

Atla
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by Atla » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:07 pm

uwot wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:30 pm
But you believe they are imaginary. That is the philosophical step you have taken that goes beyond empiricism, and it is the one you cannot prove.
Well, first, empiricism also goes beyond empiricism by assuming that things are separate, even though there is nothing to base this belief on. We never found any actual separation in the universe.

Second, how do you explain quantum entanglement. Hard proves that at least some of the universe is non-separate, even beyond spacetime.
Well, if noumenal 'stuff' exists, it either has lumps and eddies in it, or it is completely smooth, which is what Parmenides thought.
If it's completely smooth then how can you be reading this sentence now? Wouldn't there just be one homogeneous nothing?

If it's not smooth then stuff is no longer needed, just the lumps and eddies. But stuff + lumps and eddies is a redundant double vision.
No. Like I said, I am suggesting that descriptions and abstractions are lumps and eddies in stuff. Unlike you though, I am not insisting that this view is correct, because, again, according to empiricism, any interpretation of the phenomena that isn't explicitly ruled out by the phenomena, could be true.
The scientific process has refuted dualistic thinking. So lumps and eddies in stuff is explicitly ruled out. You can use it in practice, but it's not "true" philosophically.

Atla
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by Atla » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:20 pm

-1- wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:56 pm
So... I asked to please provide a definition of "information" in the sense that you use this word.

Your reply (as per above, I did not make this up):

information is more than just knowledge, ... it is a new kind of "something" that was discovered lately.

Thank you very much.

I wonder why sane and normal people with common sense argue against such a definition.

It is not defining anything. "A chair is ...somehting." This is not a definition.

"A chair is a four- or three- legged furniture with a flat surface about one to two feet above ground that people use to sit on, and it may or may not have a back and / or arm rests." This is a definition.

Why fight against something that has no meaning, no definition? Is that not a Quixotic battle to its most perfected expression? You are a sane and normal person. Why fight a concept that is not even defined?

"I don't know what you are saying, as your saying is meaningless", you could say to your opponents, who say information is something, "but I'm fighting you anyway."

Why is it important to fight something so meaningless as to lack a definition?
You don't get it. Many people nowadays, including more and more scientists apparently, do believe that information is a newly discovered umm.. "substance". They think it really exists independently from stuff like matter and energy. And then they wonder how stuff and information work together.
I would like to ask you to define or rather, to describe the problem with dualism. You don't need to strive to make me understand how deep this problem goes... just state the problem in your own words.

Please describe the problem with dualism. I am really eager to hear what that is.
I described it 2-3 times already in this thread. Well actually the whole thread is about it, starting with the opening comment. Dualism in the context of information leads to percieving the same world twice, which leads to endless confusion and nonsense.

uwot
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by uwot » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:40 pm

Atla wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:07 pm
uwot wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:30 pm
But you believe they are imaginary. That is the philosophical step you have taken that goes beyond empiricism, and it is the one you cannot prove.
Well, first, empiricism also goes beyond empiricism by assuming that things are separate...
Once again: empiricism is the contention that the only things that definitely exist are phenomena. That is logically watertight-it cannot be thought or uttered without it necessarily being true. You cannot think there are no thoughts without there being at least one thought.
Atla wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:07 pm
...even though there is nothing to base this belief on. We never found any actual separation in the universe.
It may be that everything is connected, or 'one', but you can't prove it.
Atla wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:07 pm
Second, how do you explain quantum entanglement. Hard proves that at least some of the universe is non-separate, even beyond spacetime.
Well now you're getting into hidden variable theory. Some people believe that Bell's Theorem rules them out, at least locally. However, I am not the one making a knowledge claim. Since it is you that claims to know, it is you that ought to provide the proof. For all I know, you are right, but there is no phenomenon that can conceivably, conclusively prove there are no hidden variables. You are demanding that the world is as you conceive it; the progress of science in some ways is the history of such conceptions being proven wrong.
Atla wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:07 pm
If it's not smooth then stuff is no longer needed, just the lumps and eddies. But stuff + lumps and eddies is a redundant double vision.
Really? You think there can be lumps and eddies in nothing?
Atla wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:07 pm
The scientific process has refuted dualistic thinking.
It has not and cannot.
Atla wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:07 pm
So lumps and eddies in stuff is explicitly ruled out. You can use it in practice, but it's not "true" philosophically.
I have already said that I am not insisting that interpretation is correct. It is you that is insisting that your interpretation is correct, but you cannot prove it. You just happen to believe it.

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Greta
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by Greta » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:22 pm

uwot wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:40 pm
Really? You think there can be lumps and eddies in nothing?
Yes, what of regression?

Atla
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by Atla » Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:51 am

I know what's going on here. you have the delusion that separateness is not a knowledge statement. It is!
uwot wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:40 pm
You cannot think there are no thoughts without there being at least one thought.
That is your misinterpretation. The fact that thinking is happening, does not imply that there is such a thing as "one" thought.
It may be that everything is connected, or 'one', but you can't prove it.
There is no evidence to the contrary so far, so it is proven by everything known to science. You are the one making an outlandish claim - prove it.
Well now you're getting into hidden variable theory. Some people believe that Bell's Theorem rules them out, at least locally. However, I am not the one making a knowledge claim. Since it is you that claims to know, it is you that ought to provide the proof. For all I know, you are right, but there is no phenomenon that can conceivably, conclusively prove there are no hidden variables. You are demanding that the world is as you conceive it; the progress of science in some ways is the history of such conceptions being proven wrong.
You have to desperately defend your view, so you automatically assume that it's probably something about hidden variables. Local hidden variable theory is indeed pretty much ruled out, it's already established experimentally that quantum entanglement correlations work faster than the speed of light.
Really? You think there can be lumps and eddies in nothing?
That's still the double vision, you still don't get it. That's the main problem with Western philosophy.
It has not and cannot.
It has. The original idea of thing-ness in reality was refuted beyond any doubt.
I have already said that I am not insisting that interpretation is correct. It is you that is insisting that your interpretation is correct, but you cannot prove it. You just happen to believe it.
You do. Separateness is also an interpretation. There is no evidence for it, and yet you somehow have the belief that without evidence, separateness applies by default.

uwot
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by uwot » Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:43 pm

Atla wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:51 am
I have already said that I am not insisting that interpretation is correct. It is you that is insisting that your interpretation is correct, but you cannot prove it. You just happen to believe it.
You do. Separateness is also an interpretation. There is no evidence for it, and yet you somehow have the belief that without evidence, separateness applies by default.
Which bit of this:
At least twice I wrote:I have already said that I am not insisting that interpretation is correct.
do you not understand?

Atla
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by Atla » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:43 pm

uwot wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:43 pm
Which bit of this:
At least twice I wrote:I have already said that I am not insisting that interpretation is correct.
do you not understand?
On the surface level you didn't, but that wasn't the one in question. Let's call it quits and I apologize for being rude.

Paul Austin Murphy
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by Paul Austin Murphy » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:11 am

"Nowadays it is fashionable to believe that we have matter and we have information, and these two somehow work together.processes, etc. " - Atla

This position seems to take on a more extreme or radical form: that matter actually is information. Or, more broadly, that "systems", conditions, entities, etc. are information.

"... there is the natural world, which we can 1. describe, conceptualize as matter, or 2. describe, conceptualize as information." - Atla

Physicists would accuse some people of "semantic inertia" when they say that matter in and of itself can't be classed as "information". That is, concepts change and words change their meanings. But isn't this still the case? -

matter = that which can become information

We can of course stipulate that "that which can become inform" actually is "information" if we wish. And, from what I know about many physicists, this is the case. Though there are still philosophical (or only semantic) problems with this. For one, take a a chunk of matter that existed millions of years before human minds or which will exist millions of years after human minds. Is this still information in the same way that a highly-studied and highly-conceptualized electron or molecule is?

"... information is strictly physical information. It is impossible to find information without also finding matter." - Atla

I might have misinterpreted your position because that statement appears to back up what many physicists believe. (Many physicists won't bother at all with these philosophical and/or semantic debates.) Nonetheless, surely there's information that's not made up of matter. What about mathematics? What about logic? Indeed it can even said that the information imparted by human beings and indeed computers isn't material/physical - even if what brings it about is material/physical. In these cases, information can be seen as abstract; even if material beings and material structures are required in order to access that abstract realm. Of course all this depend on one's position on the abstract platonic (or Fregean) realm.

"Information tends to be more abstract, and if it's the abstraction of matter, then it's sort of an abstraction of an abstraction." - Atla

I agree that information can be seen as being abstract (as stated in the last response). The "abstraction of matter" is therefore like the hated "reductionism" - it uncovers what are deemed to be the essential elements of a given system, entity or chunk of matter. I'm not sure what you mean by "an abstraction of an abstraction". Do you mean that the matter that is (as it were) abstracted is already an abstraction?

uwot
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by uwot » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:57 am

Atla wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:43 pm
uwot wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:43 pm
Which bit of this:
At least twice I wrote:I have already said that I am not insisting that interpretation is correct.
do you not understand?
On the surface level you didn't...
Apart from here:
uwot wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:42 am
As Feynman says at 1:48:
"every theoretical physicist that's any good knows 6 or 7 different theoretical representations for exactly the same physics."
Here:
uwot wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:25 am
The point is not that a human thought does or does not refer to some actual state of being. It would be a very strange universe if some state of reality were not the case; the trouble is, we cannot tell from the phenomena which one it is. Technically, every explanation for the cause of phenomena is underdetermined.
Here:
uwot wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:42 am
...again as Feynman says: "Every theoretical physicist that's any good knows 6 or 7 different theoretical representations for exactly the same physics." Western thinking does not commit anyone to any particular representation, and certainly not to dualism.
Here:
uwot wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:21 pm
...there are all sorts of philosophical naïfs and charlatans flogging their own brand of snake-oil, but the fundamental precept is instrumentalism. Whatever people believe about the instruments they use, it doesn't alter the fact that all such instruments are ontologically underdetermined. I refer you again to the Feynman clip, specifically at at 1:48, where he says: "every theoretical physicist that's any good knows 6 or 7 different theoretical representations for exactly the same physics."
Here:
uwot wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:22 am
If anything defines western philosophy historically, it is the Socratic admission that you don't know, and nor does anyone else.
Here:
uwot wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:45 am
And the point about empiricism is that any interpretation that isn't flatly contradicted by the phenomena could be true.
Here:
uwot wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:30 pm
...I am not insisting that this view is correct, because, again, according to empiricism, any interpretation of the phenomena that isn't explicitly ruled out by the phenomena, could be true.
And here:
uwot wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:40 pm
I have already said that I am not insisting that interpretation is correct. It is you that is insisting that your interpretation is correct, but you cannot prove it. You just happen to believe it.
Atla wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:43 pm
...but that wasn't the one in question.
Then what are you talking about?
Atla wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:43 pm
Let's call it quits...
I don't think so.
Atla wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:43 pm
...and I apologize for being rude.
I wouldn't bother. I tried that once, and the thread was deleted.

Atla
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by Atla » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:32 am

uwot wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:57 am
Atla wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:43 pm
...but that wasn't the one in question.
Then what are you talking about?
Atla wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:43 pm
Let's call it quits...
I don't think so.
All of Western thinking is dualistic on one or more levels, I explained that several times. This way of interpreting reality was thoroughly refuted by the scientific process. Dualistic thinking has a lot of everyday practical value, but beyond some points it becomes unusable for interpreting scientific findings, and for deeper philosophy in general.

You have refused to go outside this system, which is normal, because it's hard to understand what the other kind of thinking is like, when you first encounter it.

I know damn well that any good theoretical physicist knows 6-7 or more interpretations of the same physics. The problem is that they are all dualistic interpretations. Look at quantum mechanics for example. It has dozens of interpretations and every single one of them is dualistic, even the current mainstream version of the MWI.

We have quantum information theories for example. What a joke.

Or for example all scientific theories talk about the phenomena. But the phenomena-noumena dualism was a misinterpretation in the first place. And now everyone with common sense in the West has a culturally split mind.

And there's the problem. On one hand scientific theories don't claim to really interpret their findings. On the other hand the way they interpret their findings does usually become the common sense anyway, the mainstream way of thinking in the Western world.

Atla
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Re: Information does not exist as such

Post by Atla » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:05 am

Paul Austin Murphy wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:11 am
I agree that information can be seen as being abstract (as stated in the last response). The "abstraction of matter" is therefore like the hated "reductionism" - it uncovers what are deemed to be the essential elements of a given system, entity or chunk of matter. I'm not sure what you mean by "an abstraction of an abstraction". Do you mean that the matter that is (as it were) abstracted is already an abstraction?
Hmm yeah I worded that badly and inconsistently. I'll edit the original post.

Should have been: if information is the abstraction of matter, then it's an abstraction of a conceptualization. Matter is already a basic conceptualization, because it is impossible to talk about reality, using language, without some kind of concepts.
I might have misinterpreted your position because that statement appears to back up what many physicists believe. (Many physicists won't bother at all with these philosophical and/or semantic debates.) Nonetheless, surely there's information that's not made up of matter. What about mathematics? What about logic? Indeed it can even said that the information imparted by human beings and indeed computers isn't material/physical - even if what brings it about is material/physical. In these cases, information can be seen as abstract; even if material beings and material structures are required in order to access that abstract realm. Of course all this depend on one's position on the abstract platonic (or Fregean) realm.
Well all mathematics is abstraction. All logic is abstraction. Abstractions are instances of abstract thinking. Abstract thinking is a type of thinking in the head, and the head is made of matter. So abstractions are made of matter.

Same goes for all information imparted by human beings and computers - it's all made of matter. Those who manufactured the first computers, realized this quickly enough.

So there is no such thing as information not made up of matter. Platonism, the idea that there really is an independent realm of the abstract, can be an attractive way of thinking, but it's incorrect.

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