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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Héctor Gianni: on 8/9/13 at 23:06pm UTC, wrote Dear Luigi Foschini: I am an old physician...

Paul Borrill: on 8/7/13 at 21:29pm UTC, wrote Dear Luigi, I have now finished reviewing all 180 essays for the contest...

Luigi Foschini: on 8/6/13 at 8:05am UTC, wrote Dear Charles, thank you very much for your nice review. However, I think...

Charles Card: on 8/6/13 at 3:55am UTC, wrote Late-in-the-Day Thoughts about the Essays I’ve Read I am sending to you...

eAmazigh HANNOU: on 8/6/13 at 0:22am UTC, wrote Dear Luigi, We are at the end of this essay contest. In conclusion, at...

Luigi Foschini: on 7/31/13 at 16:20pm UTC, wrote Dear Peter, thank you for your kindness and courtesy. I have read your...

Luigi Foschini: on 7/31/13 at 14:55pm UTC, wrote Dear Charles, thank you for your kind comment. Your question is...

Peter Jackson: on 7/30/13 at 14:20pm UTC, wrote Luigi, A great essay on an important aspect, and well written. Perhaps as...


RECENT FORUM POSTS

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FQXi FORUM
May 20, 2019

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: Where the it from bit come from? by Luigi Foschini [refresh]
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Author Luigi Foschini wrote on Jun. 10, 2013 @ 17:25 GMT
Essay Abstract

-

Author Bio

Astrophysicist at the INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera (Merate, Italy) and runner. More at http://www.brera.inaf.it/utenti/foschini/

Download Essay PDF File

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jun. 11, 2013 @ 17:08 GMT
Astronomer Foschini,

This is an exquisitely beautiful essay to read. You have done for English literature what your countryman Pavarotti did for opera.

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jun. 11, 2013 @ 17:18 GMT
Thank you very much for your kindness and courtesy.

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 09:23 GMT
Hello, dear Luigi!

Many thanks for a good essay that makes a look at the material world more widely and gives direction to research the farthest depths of meaning. You are right: «… it is now clear that the knowledge of the material aspect only is not sufficient to understand the problem of information.» «Grasp» nature of the information and «grasp» the structure of the world begins with a new interpretation and understanding of the Cartesian «Cogito, ergo sum», Kant's ideas about the concepts-figure synthesis, compression, and the restructuring of the entire information accumulated by mankind in all floors being. Good luck in the contest! Sincerely, Vladimir.

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 13:39 GMT
Thank you, Vladimir, for your kind words.

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Philip Gibbs wrote on Jun. 13, 2013 @ 17:03 GMT
Luigi, you have found a very different take on this subject by considering the importance of language and how it relates to reality through information, especially in the quantum context. I think you have raised some good points worth thinking about. Good luck.

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jun. 14, 2013 @ 09:15 GMT
Thank you!

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jun. 20, 2013 @ 19:06 GMT
Dear Luigi

I'm very interested in :"Without doubt, it is a problem of fundamental importance for any field of science, not just physics. The understanding that there a re linguistic and psychic issues, helps us to correctly contextualize the problem, avoiding to hunt for ghosts."

Wish you success.

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1802

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 07:04 GMT
Thanks! Best wishes to your essay too!

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basudeba mishra wrote on Jun. 21, 2013 @ 15:52 GMT
Dear Sir,

Your essay is a beautiful analysis on information and its relation to the physical world from the true perspective ending with an explanation of the poser presented in the beginning. It appeared to us as the twin of our essay “Information hides in the glare of Reality” published on May 31, though we approached the subject from a different perspective. Our essay complements...

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jun. 24, 2013 @ 09:47 GMT
Thank you very much for your comment. It is really interesting to read about ancient Indian linguistic books: do you know if there are current translations in English? I would be interested in reading those ancient treatises.

I have read your essay and found it very interesting. I like your definition that "Pictures are the inertia of motion generated in memory (thought) after a fresh...

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 04:31 GMT
Send to all of you

THE ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AND A SMALL TEST FOR MUTUAL BENEFIT

To change the atmosphere "abstract" of the competition and to demonstrate for the real preeminent possibility of the Absolute theory as well as to clarify the issues I mentioned in the essay and to avoid duplicate questions after receiving the opinion of you , I will add a reply to you :

1 . THE...

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Israel Perez wrote on Jul. 1, 2013 @ 04:13 GMT
Dear Luigi

I just read your nice and interesting essay. I just wanted to let you know that I share your view. Karl Popper reminded us that many times problems between man have their source on how we express our ideas. I do agree with you that the "it from bit" issue can be a problem of linguistics more than any other thing.

You: If physics is what we can say about the nature, as written by Bohr, then to wonder what happens by changing the parameters derived from experiments and observations is no more physics, but science fiction (or even pataphysics).

I agree with this too. By varying parameters to fit data we are not gaining knowledge of reality. In my work I make emphasis on these points. I'll be glad if you could take a look at it and leave some comments. There I give a nice example of how to get out of the present conundrum in physics, this has to do with the conception of space (or vacuum).

Best Regards

Israel

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jul. 1, 2013 @ 11:48 GMT
Thank you for your kind email. I have read your essay, and I am going to comment on your page. Thanks again.

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Michel Planat wrote on Jul. 1, 2013 @ 12:35 GMT
Dear Luigi,

I fully agree that the coupling between the mathematical symbol and physical quantities is precisely where scientific creativity is at work. The signs, and their correlations (one can have in mind Mermin's view of quantum mechanics) correspond to the language, and the latter is a property of the man. As Wigner told us, it is a bit miraculous that mathematics and physics fit (at least to some extend). I agree with you that "it from bit" has to do with creativity, and not only in the quantum world.

In my essay, I argue that the " it from qubit" is contextual.

Best wishes,

Michel

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 08:02 GMT
Thank you, Michel. I have read your essay and found it interesting. Good luck for the competition!

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 18:29 GMT
Luigi,

If given the time and the wits to evaluate over 120 more entries, I have a month to try. My seemingly whimsical title, “It’s good to be the king,” is serious about our subject.

Jim

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Antony Ryan wrote on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 00:36 GMT
Hello Luigi,

An interesting read and very relevant. I thought the cat and dog comprehension was a great way to exemplify your point.

I too agree that multiverse isn't as good an explanation as chance by quantum fluctuation.

Please take a look at my essay if you have the time.

All the best for the contest,

Antony

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 09:34 GMT
Thank you, Antony. Your essay is interesting too! Good luck for the competition!

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George Kirakosyan wrote on Jul. 5, 2013 @ 11:29 GMT
Dear Luigi,

You have presented nice work, I am enjoyed with your judgments and large informativeness of your essay. I have however my approach to Wheeler's statement and to topic of theme. Particularly, I am thinking it is obviously incorrect to examine next questions before of solution previous ones. I mean the ,,quantum facts,, that not yet explained completely (despite we have its qualitatively description), and we hurry for talking about quantized bits already! (This remark not connected with your work, I am just offended by such approaches)

Please to open my work Essay in your good time and just see is it interesting for you and can we have common points? Let my say once more - your essay is very attractive (I need to read it more carefully)

Sincerely,

George

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 10:12 GMT
Dear George,

thank you for your comment. I too have appreciated your essay. I understand your analysis of the current crisis in science (although it is a bit harsh...) and, perhaps, you might be interested in reading a recent post I have written in my blog on a similar topic.

There are in your essay many common points with mine, as the need to recall to a link with reality. Although, while you wrote:

[...] physicists must start from analyzing the physical essence of phenomenon before application of mathematics [p. 9]...

on the other hand, I do think that mathematics and tongue are the primary tools to understand phenomena. I don't think it was possible to analyze any physical phenomenon without operating on any type of sign. If you want to study anything, you have to define at least the names of what you want to study.

Good luck for the competition!

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George Kirakosyan replied on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 08:08 GMT
Dear Luigi,

Sorry, for delaying with the answer (I just think you will visit my forum!)

You says:

,,on the other hand, I do think that mathematics and tongue are the primary tools to understand phenomena. I don't think it was possible to analyze any physical phenomenon without operating on any type of sign. If you want to study anything, you have to define at least the names of what you want to study,,

My Dear! I am fully agree with you and have nothing against! Maybe here some small misunderstanding? And mainly I find in your work honestly stated questions and sincere aftermathes. Your style of narration also likely for me. Thats why I have rated your work as good work (nine only!)You see as it will be right!

Best wishes to you, I am impressed by Italian thinkers at all!

Good luck,

George

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 09:51 GMT
Dear George,

I am happy to read your message.

Chance coincidence: I too rated 9 your essay!

Good luck!

Luigi

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john stephan selye wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 13:31 GMT
Dear Luigi -

You frame information in terms of evolution and language, taking a biological perspective which I find very interesting.

You also arrive at what I call a Species Cosmos: 'It is the human being that, by assigning a meaning and creating a tongue with the signs so obtained, creates the it from bit.'

I believe you draw a parallel between a multiverse and the processes of the human mind. In my essay, I take up the same line, but in a different way: I express the relationship as one of Correlation, and deduce the nature of the participatory Cosmos from that.

As I say, a most interesting perspective - and I would love to hear what you think of my view.

All the best,

John

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 09:49 GMT
Thank you for your email. Your essay is nice. Best wishes for the competition!

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 16:42 GMT
Dear Luigi,

I have down loaded your essay and soon post my comments on it. Meanwhile, please, go through my essay and post your comments.

Regards and good luck in the contest,

Sreenath BN.

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1827

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Than Tin wrote on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 05:13 GMT
Luigi

Richard Feynman in his Nobel Acceptance Speech

(http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/19
65/feynman-lecture.html)

said: “It always seems odd to me that the fundamental laws of physics, when discovered, can appear in so many different forms that are not apparently identical at first, but with a little mathematical fiddling you can show the...

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 13:08 GMT
Hello Luigi,

A very good work and plenty of useful arguments. Although you don't agree that It can come from Bit, suppose "existence/non-existence" is one of the binary codes you are talking about in your essay and conforms to Shannon's description, will that change your mind?

Then, concerning “the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas”, consider this although I don't know your views about space: Is it being implied by the relational view of space and as suggested by Mach's principle that what decides whether a centrifugal force would act between two bodies in *constant relation*, would not be the bodies themselves, since they are at fixed distance to each other, nor the space in which they are located since it is a nothing, but by a distant sub-atomic particle light-years away in one of the fixed stars in whose reference frame the *constantly related* bodies are in circular motion?

NOTE THAT in no other frame can circular motion between the bodies be described in this circumstance except in the 'observing' sub-atomic particle.

Regards,

Akinbo

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Walter Smilga wrote on Jul. 27, 2013 @ 17:29 GMT
Dear Luigi,

You have written a beautiful essay, which I have read with great pleasure.

I like especially your statement: "...it is necessary and essential to study linguistics to understand certain fundamental knowledge." If this insight were common knowledge, a lot of meaningless discussions within this contest (and elsewhere) could have been avoided.

What we as physicists can learn from linguistics, is that meaningful information always consists of two things: The abstract carrier of information (e.g. a bit) and the semantic frame of reference, which gives the bit a physical meaning.

This seamlessly leads to the basics of elementary particle physics, if we only follow the good physical practice to choose a mathematical formulation that is covariant with respect to changes of the (semantic) frame of reference.

Best wishes,

Walter

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jul. 28, 2013 @ 08:44 GMT
Thank you, Walter, for your comment. It is intriguing your definition of "mathematical formulation that is covariant with respect to changes of the (semantic) frame of reference."

Best,

Luigi

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Charles Raldo Card wrote on Jul. 29, 2013 @ 04:42 GMT
Dear Luigi,

I have enjoyed your salient essay very much! I highly value your emphasis on the role of language in quantum theory and in this It/Bit discussion, in particular. Your distinction of "the material support" provided by language from the "meaning carried" by it, and your acknowledgement of the role played by conscious and unconscious structures in the human mind are both very insightful and useful aspects of your essay. I wonder, however, why you do not consider that a role may be played by nature itself in the storage and processing of information, given that humans are themselves a manifestation of nature? Is the ability to store and process information an exclusively human attribute or might aspects of it occur elsewhere in nature?

Sincerely,

Charles Card

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jul. 31, 2013 @ 14:55 GMT
Dear Charles,

thank you for your kind comment. Your question is intriguing. It reminded me the well-known barber paradox by Bertrand Russell. I think that the inanimate nature has no ability to store and process information, otherwise it would be necessary to think about nature as a living being with a coscience. For the moment, I can say that only humans have this ability. Animals have not. One could speculate about some extraterrestrial life form, but for the moment there are no proof of such beings. We surely know better as we will understand how coscience emerges.

Thank you again for your note.

Best,

Luigi

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jul. 30, 2013 @ 14:20 GMT
Luigi,

A great essay on an important aspect, and well written. Perhaps as we both look from an astronomical view we have similar perspective. I commend you particularly for the following;

"statistical mechanics had shown that maybe we were neglecting too many things"... ..."if you minimize the symbols used (i.e. only 0/1, yes/no), it is possible to neglect anything that has nothing to do with the binary code."... ..."above all, the key question is how the interpretation is generated?"... ..."mathematics is therefore a tongue with a reduced semantic field,"... ..."a mathematical tongue similar in structure to the spoken tongue allows you to do also

works of fantasy.", and ."...it is now clear that the knowledge of the material aspect only is not sufficient to understand the problem of information."

I too discuss the limits of representative symbols, or your better "signifiers", and propose a radical view as part of an ontology I hope I show has much power.

My dense abstract puts some off, but I hope comments such as "It is groundbreaking", .."has very sophisticated argument and serious work of a lifetime", .."wonderful essay", may tempt you to read, score and comment on it.

Very well done for yours. Strap in for the the Saturn booster! Good luck.

Best wishes.

Peter

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Jul. 31, 2013 @ 16:20 GMT
Dear Peter,

thank you for your kindness and courtesy. I have read your essay and it is indeed something very interesting. Good luck for the competition!

Best,

Luigi

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eAmazigh M. HANNOU wrote on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 00:22 GMT
Dear Luigi,

We are at the end of this essay contest.

In conclusion, at the question to know if Information is more fundamental than Matter, there is a good reason to answer that Matter is made of an amazing mixture of eInfo and eEnergy, at the same time.

Matter is thus eInfo made with eEnergy rather than answer it is made with eEnergy and eInfo ; because eInfo is eEnergy, and the one does not go without the other one.

eEnergy and eInfo are the two basic Principles of the eUniverse. Nothing can exist if it is not eEnergy, and any object is eInfo, and therefore eEnergy.

And consequently our eReality is eInfo made with eEnergy. And the final verdict is : eReality is virtual, and virtuality is our fundamental eReality.

Good luck to the winners,

And see you soon, with good news on this topic, and the Theory of Everything.

Amazigh H.

I rated your essay.

Please visit My essay.

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Charles Raldo Card wrote on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 03:55 GMT
Late-in-the-Day Thoughts about the Essays I’ve Read

I am sending to you the following thoughts because I found your essay particularly well stated, insightful, and helpful, even though in certain respects we may significantly diverge in our viewpoints. Thank you! Lumping and sorting is a dangerous adventure; let me apologize in advance if I have significantly misread or misrepresented...

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Author Luigi Foschini replied on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 08:05 GMT
Dear Charles,

thank you very much for your nice review. However, I think my view is not in favor of the it-from-bit, but rather the "it-from-humans-almost-independently-on-the-bit". Anyway, do not worry. There is no misunderstanding, meaning that any "misread" or "misrepresentation" is always rich of new information. In front of the same bits (the same material support, i.e. the letters I used for my essay) there are always interpretations (it) different from mine. Lacan wrote that what is communicated is not a meaning, but a drift of the meaning. Kurt Gödel instead told: "The more I think about language, the more it amazes me that people ever understand each other at all". So, do not worry: the richness of interpretations is the basis of creativity.

Thank you again for your nice post.

Best wishes for the competition.

Luigi

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Paul Borrill wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 21:29 GMT
Dear Luigi,

I have now finished reviewing all 180 essays for the contest and appreciate your contribution to this competition.

I have been thoroughly impressed at the breadth, depth and quality of the ideas represented in this contest. In true academic spirit, if you have not yet reviewed my essay, I invite you to do so and leave your comments.

You can find the latest version of my essay here:

http://fqxi.org/data/forum-attachments/Borrill-TimeOne-
V1.1a.pdf

(sorry if the fqxi web site splits this url up, I haven’t figured out a way to not make it do that).

May the best essays win!

Kind regards,

Paul Borrill

paul at borrill dot com

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Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Aug. 9, 2013 @ 23:06 GMT
Dear Luigi Foschini:

I am an old physician and I don’t know nothing of mathematics and almost nothing of physics. maybe you would be interested in my essay over a subject which after the common people, physic discipline is the one that uses more than any other, the so called “time”.

I am sending you a...

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