[e2e] a means to an end

Joe Touch touch at ISI.EDU
Thu Nov 13 07:41:36 PST 2008

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Hi, Bill,

bmanning at vacation.karoshi.com wrote:
> isn't location defined by a set of coordinates?

Sure. Potentially by a region expressed as a set of coordinates.

> and the coordinates are information?


> and they have to be found somewhere (e.g. stored)?

Not necessarily the way you might expect. The information of where my
stapler is located on my desk is stored only in the stapler itself; it
isn't represented in other storage.

However, in a computer system, it's generally fair to assume that
information is either:
	- stored in memory somewhere (where communication paths
	act like memory)
	- available at some external input/measurement device
	(e.g., a camera, keyboard, temperature probe)

Information can be built on information, e.g., the average temperature
of the US is the aggregate of the values of the individual probes, etc.
too. That second information doesn't exist in the absence of the
lower-level point measures, however.

Information can be spread out, but not infinitely (that would allow
infinite entropy, and since info is negative entropy, that would imply
zero info).

> and where they are stored is in itself a location w/ its own set of coordinates?

Sure - this is the resource discovery bootstrap problem. It's why every
DNS client:
	a) knows the location of its DNS server's IP address in memory
	b) knows the DNS server IP address
		e.g., either its server, or the set of root IP addresses

It also knows where it stores MAC addresses, it knows the MAC of
directly connected routers, or it knows the MAC to use to broadcast a
query to find them.

It's all just bootstrapping at that point...

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