Information on information, something I have been trying to think about for some time now. I have run into some really interesting concepts. I will attempt to describe some of it and see what anyone else has to say.
Everything that exist can be looked at as an informational structure, a string or chain of information put together in a specific way that results in that specific thing. A change in the string of information changes the result and you end up with a different specific thing. The closer to the start of the string of information change occurs, the bigger the change in the result.
If everything can indeed be seen as an informational structure, then where does the information come from? My line of thought is this. If the universe can be looked at as an informational structure, then the information must have existed before the universe.
Wouldn’t that make information a constant within the universe. We may be able to rearrange the information to get different results, but can we “create” or bring new information into the universe? My assumption to this point is that we cannot.
Science tells us that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted. Is it the underlying information that cannot be created or destroyed? It seems pretty clear to me that the arrangement of the underlying information is how the energy is converted.
I hope that is enough to get a discussion going.
"If everything can indeed be seen as an informational structure, then where does the information come from?"
My thought is that this info comes from that "spark" within us. That thing that is always the observer, and never the observed. It's the one thing that cannot be classified as any kind of information: it's just there. In fact, its what allows us to even consider information itself at all. My guess is that the internal "spark" is infinite, and thus is the source of everything, even though I know that in reality it is impossible for us to intellectually comprehend what "infinite" means.
I am afraid I disagree to some extent. That "spark" within us is the observer, but, in my opinion, it is also the observed. That "spark" is the information, both within and throughout. Our universe (including us) seems to be a physical representation of it. By this line of thought, it would indicate that the information, as the source of our universe, preceded the physical representation.
I have an understanding of the concept of "never the observed" in that if there were only one thing, that thing would imperceptible. There would be nothing else by which to differentiate it, and as such unobservable.
Consider the cycle of life (as we know it), a single cell (or informational structure) divides itself into two. The second cell, a duplicate of the first. Except for the potential for some slight difference. So the informational structure is duplicated, but the information within the structure is strung together in a slightly different way. So in this way the observer could observe some essence of itself.
But can you describe that thing that is always looking out, and never in? Can you say you really have any information on it at all? I've never truly observed it.I can't tell you any actual information about it. I mean, can you? All that I can say about it is that I am it. That's all the information I have, if that even really counts.
It looks to me as if the "observer thing/essence/whatever" transcend information altogether.
And we never actual see that observer in others, we just see the effect of it. We assume that others have a consciousness like ours, but we don't really know for sure- all we can know for sure is that our own individuality has that "spark." If we're honest with ourselves, it's just taken on faith that others have it as well. (And on very good faith, I'd say...)
just a science footnote:
destroying 1 bit of information causes a release of energy independent of how the bit existed. It is a quantum effect in that one is guaranteed a release of at least a fixed amount of energy (lower limit).
Quantum Computing logic gates are made to always be fully reversible. that keeps the minimal heat release to zero.
(discovered in 1950's at an IBM think tank).