Re: Information and the 'physical universe'

From: Marchal <>
Date: Mon Feb 5 06:33:48 2001

Hi James,

>In conversations with friends, I am often asked why the minimal Kolmogorov
>complexity of Tegmark's schema has any relevance to the physical world. Why
>should information theory tell us anything about the 'real' world? What
>grounds do we have to believe that the stuff of the 'physical' world is
>Bruno, without referring me to your excellent paper, could you provide me
>with your succinct answer?

I don't understand what you mean by 'real world', still less 'physical
world'. I feel only the presence of persons, embedded in stories,
trying to share (with partial success *locally and apparently*)
experiences, from joy to conviction, from hope to humor, etc.
I have not the slightest ground for believing in any form of substancial
stuff ... I believe in numbers, joy, persons, dreams, hope, fear, chess,
justice, meaning, ... and even in photon, orbitals, and black holes, but
as stuffy things (decomposable or undecomposable).
I believe in the softness of velvet and the aroma of coffee. In that sense
I am a materialist, but I don't belief in the aristotelian substance.
Here is a provocative statement : matter has been invented for making us
believe that bread and wine are part of Jesus' body, and nothing else!
Information (in a large sense) is what remains when you abstract from
material superstition, (or when the dream becomes lucid).
Kolmogorof complexity is useful for having rigorous talk on randomness,
(All this without comp, but with comp all this can be made more precise,
and, sure enough, more palpable).

Does this help you ? It is not that we have grounds for believing that
the stuff of the world is information, it is that we have no grounds
that there is any stuff at all ... (we have only propaganda).

Received on Mon Feb 05 2001 - 06:33:48 PST

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