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

David P. Reed dpreed at reed.com
Wed Nov 12 16:13:12 PST 2008

You should be careful.  If the mole of gas is embedded in a larger 
system, its information is not separable from the larger system's 
information because there is no isolation.

Joe Touch wrote:
> 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.
> Joe
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