## Physical question

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Hrvoje
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### Physical question

Is there an analogy, and is there a difference, between the ability to perform a task based on stored information, that can be called knowledge, and the ability to perform work based on stored work, that can be called energy?
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### Re: Physical question

Hrvoje wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:36 am Is there an analogy, and is there a difference, between the ability to perform a task based on stored information, that can be called knowledge, and the ability to perform work based on stored work, that can be called energy?
I think the difference is that one is a social phenomenon, the other, a physics phenomenon.

The analogy? Both types of work can only be performed by converting some sort of work into another type of work.

Re: analogy: In physics, the work converted to move a resting object from Point A to Point B must be derived from stored work or energy; no stored work, no movement of a resting object.

Re: analogy: in social sense, work can only be performed by applying previously stored, programmed, or otherwise acquired ability. A person can acquire, or is equipped with, ability to perform a task; but a table, a hammer, a carpet, a rock, can't acquire and is not equipped with any ability to perform a task.

Robots can work; they can be programmed or taught in the language they understand, to perform tasks that require a priorly acquired or inborn ability.

Analogy between work in physics, and work in the social sense: a prior "something" must exist to perform a task.

Another dissimilarity: in physics, the prior "something" gets reduced by equal number or quantity which is converted to perform the work; in the social sense of work, the prior "something" (knowledge, know-how, skill, etc.) does not get reduced, in fact, it can be increased by each performance of work.
Hrvoje
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### Re: Physical question

There are some good points that I agree with, but I will focus on the one that I don't. The fact of robots work, is that a social phenomenon, or a physics phenomenon? First of all, I don't think there is a sharp delineation between these two areas, I think it is an artificial, "man-made" distinction. There are physicists whose work in the area of information theory and knowledge theory wipe that line of separation of concerns. Such as David Deutsch, for example.
HexHammer
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### Re: Physical question

Routine ..dunno the latter.
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### Re: Physical question

Hrvoje wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:26 am There are some good points that I agree with, but I will focus on the one that I don't. The fact of robots work, is that a social phenomenon, or a physics phenomenon? First of all, I don't think there is a sharp delineation between these two areas, I think it is an artificial, "man-made" distinction. There are physicists whose work in the area of information theory and knowledge theory wipe that line of separation of concerns. Such as David Deutsch, for example.
Social-sense work always involves phyics work.

Physics work can act without being social-type work.

Most work in the universe involves only physics work, since man occupies such little of the known space. Social-sense work can't exist without man.

Robots perform physics work because they move stuff, they shape stuff, they change stuff. They perform social-sense work because they are programmed to do the work the way they do. Robots consume stored work (physics energy), and they apply skills and know-how that have been programmed into them.
Cerveny
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### Re: Physical question

Hrvoje wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:36 am Is there an analogy, and is there a difference, between the ability to perform a task based on stored information, that can be called knowledge, and the ability to perform work based on stored work, that can be called energy?
As I have written in another thread I see the information as an imaginary energy and processing of information as imaginary work (from this point of view we can see eg mixing of cards as their imaginary heating:) In addition I see money as a complex energy and money manipulation as complex work:)
Last edited by Cerveny on Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Hrvoje
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### Re: Physical question

-1- wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:52 am Social-sense work always involves phyics work.

Physics work can act without being social-type work.

Most work in the universe involves only physics work, since man occupies such little of the known space. Social-sense work can't exist without man.

Robots perform physics work because they move stuff, they shape stuff, they change stuff. They perform social-sense work because they are programmed to do the work the way they do. Robots consume stored work (physics energy), and they apply skills and know-how that have been programmed into them.
OK, how about catalysts, that is enzymes, that synthesize proteins? Their work is surely more information based, because they do it based on the information stored in DNA, than energy based, as their net balance in the process is zero, they neither provide energy for the process nor consume it from it, nothing like that, they are just there to utilize the information found in the DNA that stores it, and assemble proteins from proteinogenic amino acids found in the surrounding area. Is their work more social-type or physics-type?

As for the universe, we don't know how occupied it may be by some life forms alien to us. Does examination of their behavior (of aliens and their work) belong to social sciences or physics?
Last edited by Hrvoje on Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
Hrvoje
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### Re: Physical question

Cerveny wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:57 am As I have written in another thread I see the information as an imaginary energy and processing of information as imaginary work. In addition I see money as a complex energy and money manipulation as complex work:)
It is an interesting thought, I also see money more like energy type of thing, however, there is a saying that it is actually equivalent to time, something like "time is money".
Skepdick
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### Re: Physical question

Hrvoje wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:36 am Is there an analogy, and is there a difference, between the ability to perform a task based on stored information, that can be called knowledge, and the ability to perform work based on stored work, that can be called energy?
Perhaps I am reading between the lines of your question, but in physics there is a beautiful correspondence between the concepts of "work" in thermodynamics and the concept of "information" in information theory. See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle ... py#History
and also here: https://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/12/5346/htm

Fundamentally "storing and processing information" requires energy. So you probably want to read up on Landauer's principle.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landauer%27s_principle

More broadly I think the concept you may be looking for is "resource utilisation"? The idea being that all systems require resources and some resources are renewable and some are finite; or that resources can be traded off against each other.

For a formal system which attempts to reason about resources look no further than linear logic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_lo ... rpretation

The field of computational complexity deals with the question "how much time and memory is needed to run an algorithm to its conclusion?"

There is thread on it here: viewtopic.php?t=26759
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### Re: Physical question

Hrvoje wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:44 pm
OK, how about catalists, that is enzymes, that synthesize proteins? Their work is surely more information based, because they do it based on the information stored in DNA, than energy based, as their net balance in the process is zero, they neither provide energy for the process nor consume it from it, nothing like that, they are just there to utilize the information found in the DNA that stores it, and assemble proteins from nucleotides found in the surrounding area. Is their work more social-type or physics-type?
Chemical work can be reduced to physical work. It is not societal-type work at all. The information you spake of is not information; the expression used is a metaphor.

This is a fallacy of "equivocation". Information in DNA is not a program, or a changeable something. If a DNA is set, it keeps replicating itself exactly. It will produce over and over again the same functional proteins. We use the word "information" because the chemical commands contained within are different from individual to individual. But once it's set, it can't be changed.

So it is not information in the sense that societal work uses information.

It is, instead, a misnomer to call the unchangeable commands in DNA a set of information. Information is a communicated value; nobody communicates via DNA.
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### Re: Physical question

Hrvoje wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:44 pm
As for the universe, we don't know how occupied it may be by some life forms alien to us. Does examination of their behavior (of aliens and their work) belong to social sciences or physics?
Show me the/a/any alien or describe its behaviour, and I'll be in a better position to answer this question.
Hrvoje
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### Re: Physical question

Skepdick wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:40 pm Perhaps I am reading between the lines of your question, but ...
Not at all, you are right at the point. Very nice contribution, a lot of useful links that provide I believe a right insight, and a great obligation and assignment for me to study them all, so, thanks for that.
Hrvoje
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### Re: Physical question

-1- wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:33 pm Chemical work can be reduced to physical work. It is not societal-type work at all. The information you spake of is not information; the expression used is a metaphor.

This is a fallacy of "equivocation". Information in DNA is not a program, or a changeable something. If a DNA is set, it keeps replicating itself exactly. It will produce over and over again the same functional proteins. We use the word "information" because the chemical commands contained within are different from individual to individual. But once it's set, it can't be changed.

So it is not information in the sense that societal work uses information.

It is, instead, a misnomer to call the unchangeable commands in DNA a set of information. Information is a communicated value; nobody communicates via DNA.
OK, if you are so convinced about it, but I believe biochemists/geneticists/molecular biologists would not agree with you, with respect to the claim that this is misnomer or metaphor to call it information, or bioinformaticians, for that matter. And certainly is not unchangeable, otherwise it would not be a subject to mutation and damage repair. And without changes, evolution would be impossible.
Hrvoje
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### Re: Physical question

-1- wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:35 pm Show me the/a/any alien or describe its behaviour, and I'll be in a better position to answer this question.
At the moment, I am not in a position to provide requested information, but in a future, who knows?
But, how about animals and plants, do they exchange information/communicate? Their behavior is neither subject of physics nor social sciences. Where does that belong in your opinion?
Scott Mayers
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### Re: Physical question

Hrvoje wrote: Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:36 am Is there an analogy, and is there a difference, between the ability to perform a task based on stored information, that can be called knowledge, and the ability to perform work based on stored work, that can be called energy?
Hi Hrvoje, I'm trying to make sense more precisely of what you are getting at and see others responding with answers I agree with in parts but still not sure what you are asking. I'm thinking/feeling that this is a type of noun/verb distinction question and believe that money, as some have answered would be the possible type of meaning of your question:

Since money itself is 'information' that is only a medium for energy exchange, it represents information that is not literally energy itself since it is contingent upon external forces to assure an exchange is expected to occur. I can make private I.O.U.s and someone could trade my debt to another. But the meaning of exchange requires those using it to trust the information based on it to be a token for the energies it can be traded for. In this way it is indifferent to DNA. The notes themselves DO have intrinsic energy, as do DNA, but NOT when thought of as a medium, similar to the enzymes or other catalysts used to direct that path between energy exchanges.

You could possibly treat any information that acts as a medium as the "expected" presumed release of energy, such as "potential energy". This can still apply even if it is not literal energy contained in what it represents because even 'potential energy' is itself NOT ENERGY, something that often gets falsely treated as such. This is because the actual release of any potential is RELATIVE between two distinct points and ONLY when it is being exchanged for certain. This "potential difference" just creates the expectation of exchange IF some condition is met.

So money and DNA are appropriately "potential energy" relative to the difference between the expected exchange on an assumed path. But this is still not 'energy', just its potential. When 'kinetic', this is the actual information being used to make the REAL exchange. Relatively, the 'task' of interpreting the information as a representative of something else is just a point on the path between two other relative real possible exchanges.

As to the term, "knowledge", think of that term as meaning a "potential to acknowledge". I might have 'knowledge' to convey but though the symbols of it may mean something to me about how to exchange, they cannot assure force of my expectation. If it does, then the information I receive back about my expectation assures me that the reality (the message I expect) is relayed. So "knowledge" is just the confirmation of successful exchanges according to the expectation of that which USES any data it may store as a token indirectly about some other exchange.

Another way by analogy is to think of the difference between the vector concept of force and the scalar concept of energy. They are both directly related and neither can exist without the other. "Force" describes the DIRECTION expected with a potential exchange of its scalar value to do work where work is considered the expected exchange of communicating matter(s) from one point to another. Force and energy are thus a similar kind of way to think of the possible distinction you may be questioning. They are related necessarily but 'force' describes a strict direction as a 'verb' (dynamic exchange) where energy is the 'noun' describing a force acted on in an 'expected' distance between two points.