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FQXi BLOGS
May 22, 2019

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: FQXi's 4th International Conference [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Jan. 7, 2014 @ 03:35 GMT
Photo courtesy of Gerardo Adesso.
FQXi's 4th International Conference on Vieques Island is now underway. This year's topic is the Physics of Information.

There'll be more soon, including links to slides from all the talks, videos, and posts. But for now, here's a photo, courtesy of Gerardo Adesso, of the lovely location. And if you want to see more photos, visit our Facebook page.

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jan. 7, 2014 @ 09:19 GMT
Best wishes for a fruitful conference. It would be nice to see "dissenters" among the Speakers, Panelists and Moderators and to know how their queries are satisfactorily answered by the Orthodox participants but I can't see any (at least in even one of the sessions). Foundational Questions must get satisfactory Foundational Answers, not more of the same.

Regards,

Akinbo

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Pentcho Valev replied on Jan. 7, 2014 @ 10:03 GMT
Dissenters ?!? On Vieques Island ?!? Oxymoron. Dissenters are here, desperately writing their dissenting messages that the FQXi elite do not read at all.

Pentcho Valev

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Akinbo Ojo replied on Jan. 7, 2014 @ 13:25 GMT
With the brilliant people in attendance, all the FQXi 2013 essays, both winning and non-winning, 6 days on such a beautiful and serene island, the least to expect and demand from the FQXi elite, if they prefer tackling the foundational issues on their own terms are DEFINITE ANSWERS to:

What IS information? What is its relation to “Reality”?

How does nature (the universe and things therein) “store” and “process” information?

Is information “discrete”? How does a continuous or discrete description of a physical system relate to its information content and processing? Can information theory shed light on open “discrete” questions such as the nature of space?

How does understanding information help us understand physics, and vice-versa?

We cannot afford to be re-enacting this kind of jamboree and asking these SAME questions every year and nothing concrete coming out of the exercise in terms of definite answers or a communique on the Questions, the purpose for which the conference is held, even if the answers are qualified and there are minority views. The answers must subsequently become available for cross-examination by all, including dissenters and the dissenting messages must be read and satisfactorily responded to. I even suggest that to put the shoe on the other foot, FQXi floor members should nominate, vote and judge the FQXi elite for a change!

Meanwhile, we floor members continue our own conference on this forum, thanks to FQXi

Akinbo

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali replied on Jan. 7, 2014 @ 14:28 GMT
Hi Akinbo and Pentcho,

"The answers must subsequently become available for cross-examination by all, including dissenters and the dissenting messages must be read and satisfactorily responded to. I even suggest that to put the shoe on the other foot, FQXi floor members should nominate, vote and judge the FQXi elite for a change!"

I like this suggestion! I do think the FQXi members will attempt to answer exactly the questions that you have listed, but because of their nature (the questions that is, not the members) -- as you've guessed -- they probably won't be able to agree on definite answers.

In another post (coming later today) I will provide some of the first material coming from the conference: a panel discussion. I'll invite you all to ask any further questions that you want to push the participants on. I can't guarantee they'll be able to answer them, but I will pass them along.

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Jan. 7, 2014 @ 13:30 GMT
Information is the message. Energy is the medium. As in two sides of the same coin. Energy manifests information and information defines energy. No information in a void, or energy.

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John R. Cox replied on Jan. 8, 2014 @ 01:22 GMT
Bravo! Merryman!

Now that's a statement you can model. jrc

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jan. 8, 2014 @ 02:53 GMT
John C,

Thanks. I guess I better stick to modeling it in English. E=I.

Or how about I+E=R(eality)?

Regards,

John M

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Charles H. Bennett wrote on Jan. 8, 2014 @ 08:58 GMT
Unable to attend the Vieques conference in person, I am following it online from chilly New York. Seeing that this afternoon's topics include biological complexity, I wanted to highlight the need for a mathematically rigorous and non-anthropocentric definition of that which increases when a self-organizing system organizes itself. Many have tried to treat such complexity as a kind of "organized information" (in distinction with mere randomness) and measure it in informational units like bits, but I think that is a mistake, in part because it is hard to draw clean distinction between organized and disorganized information. Stimulated by Sean Carroll's and Scott Aaronson's thoughts on the topic at a previous FQXi conference, I argue that the proper measure is "logical depth," the computation time (or other dynamic computation resource) required by a universal computer to generate the object in question from a near-incompressible description. -Charles H. Bennett

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Florin Moldoveanu replied on Jan. 8, 2014 @ 12:54 GMT
Could this lead to advances to prove that P =/= NP?

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Anonymous wrote on Jan. 8, 2014 @ 13:31 GMT
Well done, Zeeya. I was able to hear the Podcast loud and clear on what quantum information is really good for? It appears at the moment, the consensus was 'good for nothing'. My message to Vieques Island, for whatever it is worth...

A magician struts unto a stage, shows an empty hat then brings out and reveals a rabbit (1) to audience applause, he next proceeds to put the rabbit...

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali replied on Jan. 8, 2014 @ 13:41 GMT
Thank Akinbo. I like the rabbit example. If you're sending questions, it's also worth copying them to the comment section of Ian's Durham's latest thread too.

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Jan. 8, 2014 @ 17:34 GMT
Akibo,

You write, "Can Nature not express reality and the discrete nature of space by manipulating information of this type?"

To what purpose? Physical information -- those quantities that result from measurement events (such as quantum correlations) -- differs from the qualitative information that sentients assign to phenomena. E.g., adaptive organisms select information that aids...

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John R. Cox wrote on Jan. 8, 2014 @ 23:23 GMT
John Merrymann,

Sounds great. Following your schematic to it's logical conclusion, all you have to do to live forever is to remain active....because you've got all the energy in the universe? It's really a circular argument, and it can as easily be countered with the argument that it's a long way from the revolutionary yet rudimentary laboratory of Lavoisier to intergalactic space; and that energy emerges from the stress between the three dimensions of space and the single dimension of time ( 2 dimensions if you accept reversibility ). Creation of energy which can be seen as more profoundly transient than time, could also explain the essentially steady state you describe without sacrificing entropy.

But it's your model to have time emerge, and information to be energy. Is there a time frame then, that you emerge with the mathematics to support your model, or has that information been erased? I like the info : energy paradigm, how does it work in an equation that I can transport as an element in my lines of reason? A theoretic model is an analog of reality, and from that analog a faithful replication of reality can be projected for the purpose of analysis and refinement. But firstly, the model must be an analog of points of reference in reality which rigidly correspond to points in the model. It is that rigid relationship which forms the armature for the clay of epistemological dialectic defining terms, that maintains the analytical form. A model fashioned ideally from only allegorical illustration, may slump where nature remains firm.

A buddy just commented that I'm "throwin' down my blog". You can hit me back, jrc

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jan. 9, 2014 @ 04:20 GMT
John C,

Actually I think to live forever, it would be more a matter of being as inactive as possible. Action is generally, if not always, a feedback loop with one's context. Given one's context will always have more resources than any individual, active lives go through a life cycle of accumulating energy and conforming it to the information which defines that individual, then losing it as...

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Anonymous replied on Jan. 9, 2014 @ 05:45 GMT
John Merryman,

Philosophically I am in much agreement with you, but in applicability it does not satisfy. Nor is it fair to presume upon the sculptor for whom a person models. The sculptor never imagines the wire he shapes for the armature, or the clay he molds unto it to portray the shape of the posed figure, to be the reality. And to be truthful in his fashioning the form of the model he is creating, is to never confuse the model with the reality of the person modeling poise. So I believe it should be for me in theorizing.

I was, and am enthusiastic about your information paradigm in a specific regard. That of the coalescence of energy in an amorphis continuum of variation, precipitating a mass. Using a concept like 'the certainty of information is proportional to the density of energy where I = Ec^2 and the value of certainty is 1, the communication of itself by the continuum of energy variation in a closed system is a flow of information which then translates the inertia of the Ec^2 square density quantity throughout the whole energy quantity volume of a rest mass.' Not unlike Mach's principle, but thus discretely measurable.

Personally I try to steer clear of shaggy dog stories, unless they are riotously amusing, in particular the ones about whether the chicken came before the egg. In an ealier life the denizens of The Epistemological and Metaphysical Society of Lower Woodruff Avenue, would call that sort of thing, 'picking fly poop (polite) out of pepper.' best jrc

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jan. 9, 2014 @ 10:59 GMT
John C,

If you want to use any of these ideas, more the power to you. Mine's a open source world.

Having been raised in a somewhat feral situation, farm, 5th of 6 siblings, not much emphasis on education, I start out with a somewhat naturalized and organic appreciation for physics, rather than mechanistically precise, so fuzzy connectivity isn't just a poor view, but the tendrils holding it all together. Yes, I do agree wisdom is the editing though.

Regards,

John M

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