[e2e] [SPAM] Re: a means to an end

Joe Touch touch at ISI.EDU
Wed Nov 12 13:50:38 PST 2008

Hash: SHA1

David P. Reed wrote:
> No, information is not the uncertainty in the outcome of an event (not
> least because that puts information as a "future" thing).  It's related
> to the number of possible states of a system as a whole.   Decomposing
> the state of a system into the state of parts (needed to assign a
> location to some piece of information) must be done carefully, because
> the states of parts may have invariant relationships, which reduce the
> number of states, and create the illusion of information where there is
> none.

There are numerous definitions of the term. Let's use your proposed one:

	"related to the number of possible states of a system"

Both the system and the states are represented physically, and thus have
a location.

> E.g.: the states of atoms that make up a one-bit storage cell typically
> are highly correlated.  Thus the cell contains a single bit of
> information, whereas the individual atoms contain no bits (or more
> properly, they contain contingent information, of the sort that the
> "majority" talks about).
> Similarly, the "temperature" of a mole of gas expresses a bounded number
> of bits of information, and that information is neither an event nor a
> place, and is not independent of the "pressure" and "volume" of the gas,
> each of which is dependent on the other.

The gas has a location. I never said that a bit correlated to an atom or
a *point* in space.

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