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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Steve Dufourny: on 2/19/19 at 12:08pm UTC, wrote Why we have a central supermassive Black Hole for our galaxies and this...

Steve Dufourny: on 2/19/19 at 11:55am UTC, wrote If the sphères are a reality at all scales, so we must consider their...

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John Merryman: on 2/17/19 at 13:58pm UTC, wrote Knowledge without wisdom. Not that people don't make similar mistakes,...

Georgina Woodward: on 2/17/19 at 2:19am UTC, wrote Even choosing the individual countries will basis for interpreting the...

Georgina Woodward: on 2/17/19 at 0:06am UTC, wrote AAAS: Machine learning 'causing science crisis' "Machine-learning...

Georgina Woodward: on 2/16/19 at 23:20pm UTC, wrote Priming is another interesting and perhaps relevant phenomenon. It isn't...

Georgina Woodward: on 2/16/19 at 22:43pm UTC, wrote The information obtained is not producing the final in/out outcome but...


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FQXi BLOGS
February 21, 2019

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Information as Fuel — A New FQXi Research Program [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Anthony Aguirre wrote on Feb. 13, 2019 @ 19:03 GMT
We're proud to announce one of our latest ventures: a research program investigating the theme of "Information as Fuel." We intend to award up to US$8million in this program, which has been sponsored by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. We are currently accepting initial applications for experimental projects on the topic, until March 31, 2019.

What do we mean by "information as fuel"? Since at least the nineteenth century, when people sought to understand how steam engines work and what limits their efficiency, it has been known that there is an intimate link between information and thermodynamics. Analysis of the physical limits of information acquisition and erasure has established a fundamental connection between information and the second law of thermodynamics. Inverting this relationship leads to the intriguing possibility that (ordered) information may serve as a resource—in effect, a type of fuel.

Expressed in the starkest terms, cutting-edge theoretical work implies that one could run an engine using information either as the fuel or as the way to dump entropy to satisfy the second law. Other conjectures have been accompanied by thought experiments that try to elucidate the implications of newly developed concepts. But while significant theoretical progress is being made, experimental study of the non-equilibrium thermodynamics of information generally has tended to trail some distance behind.

Fortunately, advances in experimental techniques are putting practical experiments with such systems within reach. Quantum information can be created and manipulated in a variety of implementations, ranging from trapped ions to solid state superconducting circuits to spin states of electrons. There is thus rich scope for applying concepts of quantum thermodynamics to quantum systems out of equilibrium.

With this in mind, FQXi has chosen to focus entirely on experiments in the Information as Fuel grant round. We intend to fund 4-8 research groups globally with three-year grants ranging from $500,000 to $2,500,000 per research group. Each group will design, perform, and report on one or more experiments, in which the group will incorporate a significant theoretical effort as part of the experiment’s motivation, design, and interpretation.

Both our large-grant and mini-grant programs are designed to particularly encourage new collaborations between experimentalists and theoreticians. The Information as Fuel theme will also be featured at a future FQXi international conference, and through essay contests. FQXi has always been committed to fostering a vibrant research community, and we envision that the Information as Fuel program will continue in this tradition.

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Feb. 14, 2019 @ 01:50 GMT
Energy is dynamic, while information is static. Though any effort to measure or define energy is information, but information is manifested by energy. Like the frequency and amplitudes of waves are the measure of the energy being expressed. Temperature, pressure and time are measurements of energy.

Think of reality as this dichotomy of energy radiating out, as form coalesces in. Galaxies are energy radiating out, as mass/structure coalesces in. As biological organisms, we evolved around a digestive and respiratory system to process the energy propelling us, along with a circulation system to carry it throughout the body, while the function of the central nervous system is to sort through the information this energy manifests, both internally and externally. Basically motor and steering functions.

We tend to think of the brain in terms of neurons firing, but keep in mind the blood flowing through and powering it. Our consciousness starts as emotion and intuition, bubbling up, to be clarified and quantified as thought and logic.

Those who spend their lives processing information seem to lose sight of its underlaying dynamic. The activity gets reduced to various maths, such as statistics, or geometry. Otherwise it would be blurry to our measurements and senses. Time, for instance, is not the narrative flow, from past to future, codified as measures of duration, but change turning future to past. Potential, actual, residual. There is no dimension of time, because the present effectively consumes the past, in order to be informed by it. Aka causality and conservation of energy. Civilization is built on narrative, but that still doesn't make it fundamental. Keep in mind we still see the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.

So no matter how much money, ie energy, is spent, information and energy are opposite sides of the coin. For all the collective wisdom, it is not academia running society, but the banks and energy companies.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Feb. 15, 2019 @ 05:01 GMT
A New Information Engine is Pushing the Boundaries of Thermodynamics The researchers needed a new theory of physics to explain their results.Chelsea Gohd January 21st 2018. I haven't read the original paper but had some thoughts about this idea as it was presented in the article. Firstly there is an energetic cost to employing a demon. This one requires light energy that is detected to provide information about particle location, The demon will also require energy to move keeping the particle trapped. Either it is part of the closed system, energy provided by the engine, in which case any efficiency gain must be offset against the energy cost of the demon. Or the demon is inputting energy to the closed system , either plugged in or supplied with batteries, which should be accounted for.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Feb. 15, 2019 @ 05:14 GMT
I don't think the information is being converted into work, it is directing the demon, the demon is providing improved efficiency but at a cost- it doesn't work for free.This is new to me, perhaps someone can explain if I'm thinking about this in the wrong way.

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Feb. 15, 2019 @ 11:23 GMT
Georgina,

I suspect it's further efforts to describe reality in platonically mathematical terms, that information is foundational, thus energy can be derived from it, rather than the other way around. That everything is digitized and quantized, even space and time.

Even our eyes have to process energy/motion, as static, in order to create clarity. Much like a camera freeze frames action, otherwise it is blurred.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Feb. 15, 2019 @ 21:42 GMT
Hi John, I agree that it doesn't seem right. Information is not constructing foundational reality, but can be used for construction of representations and simulations. It also seems like misuse of the term'fuel', which denotes stored energy that can be used for work. Thinking about a jigsaw puzzle of around 50 -100 pieces. It would be much easier to complete if the pieces had parts of the box picture on them rather than being blank and uniform in colour. The information on the pieces appears to increase the completion efficiency. However that doesn't take into account the cost of providing the additional information and processing cost. There is more to be processed, colour distribution and likeness not just shape of piece. I suspect the gain inefficiency is being paid for with unaccounted for increase in energy expenditure.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Feb. 15, 2019 @ 23:58 GMT
Too much information -the completion gets more difficult again. Such as when the jigsaw is two sided or the pattern very complex. I'm not thinking of the information literally as fuel however the analogy of flooding an engine springs to mind. "Too much brain 'fuel'".The information isn't fueling the process but is a limiting factor.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Feb. 16, 2019 @ 01:56 GMT
Georgina,

Keeping in mind what motivates this project being the quest for those quanta of social credits, aka money.

Not that one will ever penetrate the academic group think feedback loop. Though the older I get and the more integrated into the field of energy that is reality, the more it manages to teach me about how this whole thermodynamic loop of life radiates and condenses out these forms our brains focus on. Guess I haven't spent enough time staring at chalk boards to understand the physical.

How does all the political dis-integration feel, on your side of the pond?

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Feb. 16, 2019 @ 02:03 GMT
"Too much brain 'fuel'".The information isn't fueling the process but is a limiting factor.

Knowledge is information. Wisdom is editing.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Feb. 16, 2019 @ 03:18 GMT
Information is knowledge. Seems too much information decreases efficiency. A hazard of the 'information age'. I wonder what is the optimal number of cat videos for increased performance due to good mood!

Cut out it looks like i'm contradicting myself."Brain fuel" as in food for thought, comprehension, but not actual fuel; glucose and ketone bodies.

Its perhaps a bit like temperature and enzyme function. Too cool = very slow, warm = faster, too hot= slow, again. Best temperature optimizing the coming together of substrate and enzyme binding sites; not just increasing energy supply and getting proportional response in catalysis.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Feb. 16, 2019 @ 11:23 GMT
As mobile organisms, we think we are going somewhere, so we have this ideals based belief system, basically that if some is good, more must be better, whether morality, happiness, wealth, whatever, but nature is more into cycles, feedback, tension and balance of opposites. There is only the now, but it's dynamic, so it's a matter of reading and riding the wave, not thinking it can be dominated.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Feb. 16, 2019 @ 23:20 GMT
Priming is another interesting and perhaps relevant phenomenon. It isn't the information itself that is increasing efficiency but it is attuning the brain to pay attention to a particular kind of information or subject. Not like fuel but like the water put into a water pump to get it to draw water effectively when it has run dry or been serviced.

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Feb. 16, 2019 @ 02:09 GMT
Which is also an expansion/consolidation process.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Feb. 16, 2019 @ 03:34 GMT
The brain does a pretty good job of only filtering through most relevant information when functioning well. Maybe there is wisdom in selecting what to pay attention to, and what to remember as well as in actively dealing with the surpass information, editing and consolidation. While browsing I came across something about catastrophic forgetting by neural networks when new information is obtained. We take our own remembering and appropriate forgetting for granted, (until it misbehaves).How we do that balancing of remembering and forgetting is of interest to people working with neural networks.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Feb. 16, 2019 @ 11:26 GMT
Our minds evolved to survive, not become a recording of our entire lives, so it more a matter of learning the lessons and then entertaining ourselves with the excess mental space, until it is needed for more pressing purposes.

Which for me, is off to work....

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Feb. 17, 2019 @ 00:06 GMT
AAAS: Machine learning 'causing science crisis' "Machine-learning techniques used by thousands of scientists to analyse data are producing results that are misleading and often completely wrong.Dr Genevera Allen from Rice University in Houston said that the increased use of such systems was contributing to a “crisis in science”....Machine learning systems and the use of big data sets has accelerated the crisis, according to Dr Allen. That is because machine learning algorithms have been developed specifically to find interesting things in datasets and so when they search through huge amounts of data they will inevitably find a pattern."By Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Feb. 17, 2019 @ 13:58 GMT
Knowledge without wisdom.

Not that people don't make similar mistakes, like assuming narrative time can be reduced to measures of duration and correlated with measures of distance, to make spacetime.

We could use ideal gas laws to correlate volume with temperature and pressure, but that doesn't make them the 5th and 6th dimensions of space.

Time is an effect of action/change, turning future to past. Tomorrow becomes yesterday, because the earth turns.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 19, 2019 @ 11:55 GMT
If the sphères are a reality at all scales, so we must consider their motions and oscillations.A simple thing could be the sense of rotations also implying the stabilities instead of linearity of informations due to the opposite sense.The universe is simple in its generality.Even perhaps we can differenciate the electromagnetism with this gravitation, just a thought...

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 19, 2019 @ 12:08 GMT
Why we have a central supermassive Black Hole for our galaxies and this dark matter, because without them the galaxies d desintegrate Simply, they permit the equilibrium between gravitation and electromagnetism, now extrapolate the same logic for our quantum scale…...We must Indeed improve our standard model in superimposing these parameters Simply .

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