It’s in the information

Any true science fiction fan will immediately recognize the featured image to this post as The Matrix – the late 90s trilogy where humans are stuck living in a simulated reality, which is aptly named the Matrix. In the film we enter a world where all experiences humans have; the taste of food, the feeling of a gust of wind or the solidity of surfaces is nothing more than coding embedded in the Matrix. We are led to the conclusion that once an individual is consciously aware of the existence of the Matrix, it is possible to manipulate the programming to perform feats that defy the known laws of nature on Earth – which is fine when you are living within a computer. One of the main characters, Neo, gains such a deep understanding of the Matrix that he is able to see things for the coding they are, rather than the simulated reality.

thematrixincode99

There are individuals who firmly believe this is the reality – here is a buzzfeed is titled “12 Stories Of People Experiencing A Glitch In The Matrix That’ll Freak You Out”. Perhaps a more apt title would be “1 Story of Humans Taking A Film For Reality That’ll Depress You” – these people are mad and we are not here to make Wachowski’s fantastic imagination reality. Instead what I offer is a real and short introduction to information theory through which you can look at the universe through a very different lens. I offer no red pill, but you will be pleased to know the rabbit hole does go very deep.

Information theory

If you have something you wish to tell me, you have information you wish to transfer. You may simply speak to me and tell me, but there are a huge number of other ways you could communicate with me. You could write to me, send me an email or perform a song. You may even design a code with which to transfer the information to me, which again is a set with a huge number of different permutations; ciphers, Morse, enigma and so on. These communication methods to the human are fundamentally different – if you are sat in a job interview you are unlikely to get very far if you answer with a cipher, and emailing your responses to the questions may somewhat loose the personal touch. A song could go either way – kudos if you have the neurological dexterity to react that quickly, but it may well be too quirky. Such is the difference in these methods of communicating information, that it is easy to overlook similarity – but it is vital that you see that the differences are all human societal norms. If the person we are communicating information to cares for nothing expect the information received then these methods are identical. In a universe born long before human existence, it is highly unlikely that human societal norms shape the texture of reality.

Now we are flirting with information theory.

We are all acutely aware that we can roughly grade how much information we have. For example, we would set aside more time to read a large novel compared to a very short one. When we buy our iPhone we are comfortable that the 64GB model should cost more than the 32GB model, and we generally appreciate that devices have limited storage. With all these capacities there must be a way to weigh information in the same way that we can weigh the individuals in a lift, to ensure the maximum capacity is not breached. This is the bit – which is the fundamental unit of information and is nothing more than the answer to a yes/no question. It is the summation of all these answers which provides the overall block which we are calling our information – the more individual bits, the heavier the information. Information should not be seen as matter nor energy – it is information and it is fantastic. Huge complex assemblages of yes no questions.

The historical birth of information theory comes from Claude Shannon’s 1948 paper “A Mathematical Theory of Communication”, which really is foundation to the modern digital age. The core idea of information communication is something like: I take an input, use a coding table to make a code which I then send, and decode elsewhere. Information gets from one place to another via some coding. Now you might think “make a code” is very heavy handed – how do we make a code? What even is a code? The reason I am broad in my vocabulary is that the answer is truly very broad as we will show now.

Every time I hit a key on this keyboard, I create a code which can be sent via the internet and decoded into nice human letters. The following table is the coding language we use, which is well known – this is binary code, binary of course meaning “comprising of two things” – a 1 and a 0.

ascii-binary-chart

One of the concepts I used to struggle with when I thought about binary code is what the hell is a 1 or a 0 stored as!? You want to tell me that their code definition is nothing more than the individual items themselves – that’s way too circular, no sir. Well thankfully there are many different binary ways in which things can be stored – a common way being temporary north and south magnetic charges. Really you can do it with anything that is binary – so 101 is just as good as NSN; the same information is stored and it can be decoded identically. Crisis resolved.

Code runs deep inside you too, and not in some arty metaphorical sense we are talking literally – take a look at the next example of code and see if you have any idea what this sample comes from?

haeiii_dna_code

This is genetic coding, the coding that coils inside every single cell in your body, which contains all the information on how to build you – which is decoded by your clever little cells shaping every part of your physical existence and an appreciable portion of you personality. This is code taking information from A to B – fundamentally different in application, but breathtakingly similar in theoretical underpinning.

The interesting bit starts now. If we were communicating by speaking to each other from two sides of the room what volume would we speak at? The question is of course unanswerable, it totally depends on the amount of background noise in the room. If the room is very noisy we may have to speak loudly, repeat certain words or sentences and miss parts of what each other is saying. The exact same principle is true of sending any message down any channel – there is noise which can alter my information and change the message I was trying to send. Now the huge leap comes when applying the mathematics – the formula for noise in a system it turns out the exact same form as this one below:

S = k_\mathrm{B} \ln W \!

10 points to anyone who got it – that’s the formula for the entropy in a system according to the laws of thermodynamics (see A Descent Into Chaos). To quote the most obnoxious man on the planet, “What the hell is going on?”.

Well it seems the link between entropy and noise is an intimate one – yet another example of how gases can help us model the world around us. Much in the same way that entropy is an increasing disorder in a system, which is irreversible, noise introduced into a communication channel is irreversible disorder. You may filter it or disguise it but you cannot delete it. Things can at first appear confusing since if we have noise in a system it may look like we have more information and not less, because the noise in itself is information. Well that is true however remember that we can never separate the noise from the original signal – once the original message is clouded by noise the specific information is gone. So 1 has less information that 010 – but if my message was 1, it is not disguised, it’s hidden by its fat friends on either side. So the information within a system is not simply there because we have more information, it’s preservation depends on the preservation of the structure of the original signal. Noise is always bad – we try to achieve no noise in a perfect system.

I suppose the final piece left to discuss in a brief introduction is the way in which things are coded. Coding happens in layers – which if you think about it is sort of obvious. Let us use this post as the overall information. Now this post is split into paragraphs, which is then split into words, which are split into letters, which are split into strings of 1’s and 0’s which are split into spots of magnetic charge carried by electrons. The code is created from the top level downwards (which it has to be) and then decoded from the bottom layer – I receive the code as the electrical information and use this to rebuild the 1’s and the 0’s which then rebuilds the structure of my post.

You hear that a file has been corrupted on your computer now and then, but what does this actually mean? Well it generally means that there is an error in one of the layers of coding which has been altered that means the other layers cannot flow through – if you try to edit a WordPress post in HTML view, you are deeper than you are if you are in visual view. Whilst you are not that much deeper, there are some key differences – pictures, bold text and hyperlinks are not the same any more:

16-02-2017-15-10-44

You have to write in the language of the layer you are editing in – try to mess around with any layer in the wrong language and you will screw the whole thing up. You encode top down, you decode bottom up. If anything goes wrong in a layer, you have corruption.

What does this all mean?

I started with The Matrix, and promised the rabbit hole went deep – and since you have come this far I will not disappoint. Computing has come a long way since we were jumping for joy because we could send a fax – we are now at a point where we can create virtual reality. Virtual reality is a highly immersive experience, where the person may at times be tricked into thinking they are really there – horror is much scarier in virtual reality so there is a degree of extra “realness”. Given the fact that we have only been messing around with computers for decades, it is not unrealistic to think that in centuries we may be able to use computers to simulate a reality that the user, unless they specifically remember being inserted, can not distinguish from the previous “reality” they came from. To that human the simulated reality now becomes their own reality – a world which is build entirely from information.

These ideas are of course extrapolations of current trends – predictions not fact, however they do take the ideas from The Matrix and make them look far less whimsical. Of course, when you go out hunting for the real base reality, you need to purge yourself of bias from science fiction and stay withing the realms of science – it’s stranger than fiction anyway. This is why I find it depressing people are looking for The Matrix, when there is a far bigger playground out there.

There is no real need to run off and try and look for direct evidence we are in a simulation – whatever we are in, simulation or reality the game has rules, which you need to understand before you can use them to your advantage. This fact does not change, if the laws are the inherent laws of nature or the simulated rules of a computer – I truly believe that in full mastery of these rules the nature of reality is revealed in one way or another. We must keep an open mind the flip side; if true mastery of these rules will not reveal the nature of reality then the human race will never know. This is a depressing thought, so we live in hope and enjoy the thrill of the chase; we either get a prize or have a very fun time playing.

These ideas are seriously wacky – the one thing that stands in the way of intelligently debating them in the mainstream is humans and the inherent embarrassment we feel these zany ideas. Ironically, this could be evidence for simulation! An inbuilt control where the inhabitants of the game feel uncomfortable with ideas that might unveil the puppet master. Let’s get real – I am not saying we are not in base reality right now, I am just saying it seems unlikely. I believe the most important and inspiring message a human being can be given is;

No theory, known to any being we can communicate with is currently adequate to explain the universe in marooned in isolation. 

It’s very easy as we sit there with iPad’s and the internet, living in heated homes, going into space and masterfully manipulating the rules of quantum mechanics to feel like champions. Whilst it is of great use to take stock, and congratulate accomplishment we must never lose sight of the fact that there is more. We are currently trying to express the laws which our universe obeys, which we cannot do with anything we currently have. Einsten, Feynman, Witten – the list goes on, great brilliant minds who accelerated the human race forwards centuries yet the final prize eludes us (if there is indeed any meaning in such a phrase). I feel a great sense of adventure and freedom when we consider the fact that the “obvious” has already been explored, along with a good portion of the absurd and no solution has been revealed. The answer is out there, and it’s lurking in the weird and wonderful.

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

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63 responses to “It’s in the information

  1. I am amused by your indication on truth and impossibility in view of the famous Arthur Clarke comment “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And magic, of course, is impossible.

    One of the problems of information is probably related to the assumption that white noise contains all information, something the NSA has to contend with by collecting such a mass of information that picking out what is relevant and what is not becomes more of a difficulty than even the computers can handle. It’s the fifty million monkeys thing. That the CIA has famously missed such massive changes as the fall of the USSR indicates there is still a ways to go to even discern proper limited information within familiar human culture. The universe is something else again. I have heard it said that the progress of science depends upon the death of previous authorities. Einstein seems to have experienced this.

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    • Thank you for you comment! I do wholeheartedly believe in the Arthur Clarke quote, I have used that one a few times myself it is a great quote. This difference between information and useful information is an interesting distinction – much like there is a key difference between useful energy and useless energy. Such that whilst the total energy in the universe may remain indeed a constant, the eventual spread of this energy renders it too sparsely distributed to make anything happen. Similar idea with the noise, in the sense that we still have the same original information – but this time it is too crowded to make any useful sense of it. Thank you for reading!

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      • I have wondered if a jigsaw puzzle might be fun if any piece could be mated with any other piece or perhaps several groups of pieces but the patterns on the face could form various pictures as you chose to link them in different ways. This is the problem in dealing with the universe where even phlogiston had its day.

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      • One existing example of a puzzle with multiple solutions we may not acknowledge is the Rubic Cube which can be rearranged in all sorts of ways exhibiting color relationships and patterns on each face which, without an understanding of a previous pattern metaphor, may look entirely random to an unsophisticated mind. This a miniature information universe full of unsuspected patterns just as the real universe offers us revelations we cannot comprehend.

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  2. Maybe you’re heading towards the idea that intelligence underlies and designs reality (ie creation/universe) Joe? After all, what’s the purpose of information if not put to use? And does it exist because of random action?? Moreover, why are we designed specifically with the capacity for learning about and understanding all material and immaterial data?

    Thanks for the buzzfeed link too. The stories remind me of several anecdotal tales told by, for example: Bobby Conner (Southern Baptist ordained teacher with strong gift of prophecy) – how time dilated by an hour or so upon driving home after landing at the airport. His car somehow arrived at bottom of their road in no time at all!

    Heidi Baker – her truck once miraculously ‘shrunk’ between a long high wall and lamp-post as she and her team had to drive along pavement to escape a murderous mob! (She and husband are missionaries to Mozambique and have brought Muslim provinces to Christ through miraculous healings.)

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    • I don’t believe I have strayed into the arena of the creator just yet, but if you were going to pick an argument I must admit that simulation theory is the most compelling! I believe information in it’s rawest form exists through random action, but useful information most certainly does not. Those tales are certainly most interesting and I have to admit there is a part of my brain which would like those things to be true; it certainly would make the world a little more exciting would it not! However the only times I have ever seen people have experiences which break the laws of Physics are all at Glastonbury Festival – and the case studies have indulged in various chemicals! Although if you do take a simulation view of the world, which I am not ready to, I suppose one could argue that experience not real, or just a deeper layer of simulation. All very interesting thoughts!

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      • Am just making observations Joe and, yes, life can be most exciting. There’s so much more outside Glastonbury – and drug-free! Not heard of simulation theory so perhaps you could provide a useful link in due course – thanks again.

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      • I think the main grief I have with such stories is that I don’t have anything with which to test the evidence. I just have one persons account. So as a scientist, it is impossible to form a scientific view on if something is true or not. If I can’t do that, I tend not to have a view!! This guardian article is interesting

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      • Appreciate the difference and its so frustrating that it’s not possible to test. All we can go on is a person’s known integrity for their account – but it does get very exciting when ‘anomalies’ happen to oneself.

        Also, discussed your point with Mekhi in Are We But A Brian? and referred to statistics of successfully activating prophecy/words of knowledge (ie. information), but which lack the empirical approach for scientific purposes.

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      • OOps! Readers may have grinned at my earlier remark’s typo in the title of Mekhi’s post ‘Are We But A Brain?’ within the last word. Maybe my mistake’s a super-subconscious spark from real reality by alluding to ‘The Life of Brian’ – the comical film on Jesus Christ’s life. As our Maker has a sense of humour, I could answer ‘Are We A Brian?’ with ‘Yes’ as believers are ‘Brians’, ie, ‘in Christ’ as taught by those who knew him.

        AND if that’s so and He’s the one who also made/maintains the universe (Hebrews 1:3), then so too may we when we get into that reality.

        This may seem batty, if not complex – but I’m tending towards entertaining Rich Terrile’s remarks as stated at the end of the link you gave on Simulation theory

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      • The Life of Brian is indeed a great film, I am glad you see the humour in it! And I would never worry about tending towards the batty, this is a safe haven for debating the weird, wonderful and batty!

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      • Actually the latest indications are that the universe was made on a low budget by an inexperienced contractor which is why it’s so full of holes. I feel confident that when the repair crew finally comes by to bring it up to snuff we will see some decent improvements like chrome plated planets and a more convenient light speed so we can set up travel agents for affordable vacations to the nearest galaxies.

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  3. interesting stuff. though your conclusion bothers me (& i don’t mean to sound like a silly troll): i may have misunderstood, but you seem to imply an end stop point at which everything is figured out. do you think that is the purpose of science? if so, why does that appeal to you?

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    • Not at all like a silly troll – an interesting question which in part I had perhaps not given much thought but the implication is there which has certainly got me thinking! So I would say, my overall view on the purpose of science is to observe, understand and and explain as much as we can about the universe around us on the most fundamental level possible. The next question that naturally arises to your comments is do I think there is an end point in this? It seems that putting aside paradigm shifts, progress happens in smaller and smaller increments as time goes on – does this tend to infinity or does it tend to a limit. My inclination tells me that it tends to a limit – however I think the human race are unlikely to ever hit this limit. In addition I think there are phases – one must first understand before they can use. There may come a point where we understand a large percentage of what the universe has offered up – who knows, but at this point there will most certainly be plenty we can do to manipulate and use these things to our advantage. The helicopter was theoretically conceived long before it was used. There may well come a day where the chase takes a turn from finding out the rules, towards playing the game to our advantage. Thank you for reading – very interesting comment.

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      • what is the point in learning about the universe though? where does it get us? the Upanishads taught me more about the universe than any science: that it is simply there & does nothing to solve the problems here. not in so many words of course. the Rig Veda is a humble admission of ultimately not knowing. i am no Hindu, but it made me think: what use is it to know the infinitesimal or the hyper-destructive? it seems to lead to people like Elon Musk (idiot that man is) to dreams of leaving earth rather than solving it. it averts our gaze from the tangible. people are more interested in their video games being more realistic than experiencing their world. this concerns me.

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      • I think the answer to where it gets us, and the most exciting part about it is truthfully no-body knows. There is one truth with regard to reality but there isn’t a human alive who knows what it is. Now you raise some interesting points – how do we weigh up the costs of our advancements? We have a whole host of benefits we can list out that computers have given us, but as you rightfully point out there are those who seem to spend more of their life inside a computer game, which is concerning to me too. It seems it is virtually impossible to have anything in this world without someone using it badly to the detriment of others – this has happened for a very long time, it is nothing new from peeing upstream to polluting the planet! Whilst we need to do everything we can to limit these negative effects, we just have to ultimately decide is the benefit of progress worth the negative costs. I believe it is, but can accept why others may think it is not.

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      • One point that occurred to me recently is that human imagination strangely configures, to an extent, the real future. The gadgets and even massive social technological changes were long ago portrayed in imaginative fiction and many of the films and stories I saw illustrated the technological realities we see all around us now. This might be an indication that some of us can grasp the future or on the other hand it might show that human minds think along parallel lines and even scientific theories of workable reality conform to the limitations of the human nervous system. Thus a meeting with an extraterrestrial alien mind of scientific maturity might present such a different way to understand things that no human mind could encompass it.

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      • Although I also have no ambitions about inhabiting another planet like Mars which makes the Sahara desert look comfortable I would be cautious about denigrating minds like Musk who would extend our territory. Perhaps we would have to make radical changes in our physiology to be successful in those efforts. This wonderful Earth which nurtured us can just as easily transform itself into an alien planet in ways that seem to be accumulating now. When the poles lose their ice and the polar bear ceases to exist along with the penguins, who can tell if we are not far behind? Just in the last few days reports are indicating a lowering of the Earths magnetism and if that goes we will fry in solar radiation. If there is anything obvious about the universe at large it is a total lack of compassion.

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      • I to must say whilst I question some of Musk’s moral fabric, I do too support expanding our territory. It is human nature to want to build a family and most families want to have more children than parents – I understand that and population will grow… it just seems like a basic human right to be able to raise a family the size you want to and we are going to have a population crisis in the distant future. Any ways to ease that without negatively impacting peoples freedom is hugely welcome – be it innovation on Earth or in space.

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      • It’s important to grasp when one speaks of the universe one refers, not just to the stars and all that strange space inbetween with the forces that substantiate the larger reality but also the carrot you bite and chew and floor you stand on and the wind in the trees. We all are in integration with every breath we take in and every popular song that dances through our mind. The universe penetrates every atom in our body.

        GAME

        I used to think that mystery
        Hung somewhere out among the stars
        Like silver bells and mirror balls
        On the celestial Christmas tree.

        But understanding changed my views.
        To know how much you know reveals
        That what is known is not too much,
        And this is not too happy news.

        So mystery crept here from night.
        It rolled like mist up from the dusk
        To blur and smear the sharp and clear,
        Enticing with a subtle fright.

        It did not hold out in the stars
        But moved in close at breakfast time
        To stare across the coffee pot
        With one foot here and one on Mars.

        Here its one-toothed finger points
        To objects, thoughts, things solid, bright.
        Sharp edges fuzz, ideas fall flat.
        Frozen, I sit, world out of joint.

        Yellow Eyes surveys my house
        Where I have lived quite rigidly.
        He turned construction into cheese
        Transforming God to Mickey Mouse.

        Now I play cards with Yellow Eyes.
        The coffee pot has gone quite cold.
        I sometimes, even, win a hand
        To his chagrin and my surprise.

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  4. Very much like opening shot with the Matrix. I was reminded of that at the close of the film Interstellar when the main character looked into a kaleidoscopic matrix of events and implied possibilities of outcomes. All like a multi-dimensional library of information which, to my mind, may suggest a deeper way of understanding time and space. Fascinating!

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  5. Joe – your reply to jiisaand: “…I do too support expanding our territory. It is human nature to want to build a family”.
    Do you realise you’ve now “strayed into the arena of the creator” as that’s the principle thrust of the Book of Genesis? It tells how God wanted a family made from flesh and so He created a global territory and a couple to rule it, be His own family and walk with Him – which is why we call Him ‘Father’ (as did Jesus).

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      • Know what you mean Joe, but you’re most welcome on my blog. Imo many Bible-based folk can’t yet appreciate science, hence my interest in its conjunction with scripture. A number of mystics the cutting-edge of Christianity (whom I’ve blogged about occasionally) grasp and harmonise with your ideas.

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  7. Steven Pinker in the end of his book ‘ How the Mind Works ‘ speculates that a mind , like ours created by natural selection , was fashioned to survive and it may not be capable of unravelling some problems. Some however dispute that the Mind of man was created by natural selection but declare it was made in the image of God.

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    • There is another good book in a similar ilk you might like – “What we cannot know” by Marcus du Satoy. Very interesting topic to theorise over – although there seems almost something contradictory about knowing you can never know something!

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      • Recall reading about him, perhaps on tv too, some years ago but never had time to read. You’re right about contradiction and, following up my reply to jiisand, we know from principles of counselling (and of prophetical declarations) that spoken assumptions and vows engender subconscious and spiritual actions upon ourselve and others. This hampers growth and brings self-fulfilling prophecies. So we needs beware of, eg, brainwashing by repetition of media headlines and jaundiced reporters.

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  8. Personally I don’t believe that we live in a simulation, because there would have been a day in which we would have asked ourselves “what am I doing here? I don’t remember anything before this moment”.
    But I may believe that we live a memory.
    Simulation is more an Alien creation than God’s endless power. Your brain is in a machine or whatever ruled by an Alien that you don’t even know, which you’ve never met, who doesn’t even want you to know him. Practically you’re an experiment who doesn’t even deserve to know its creator.
    Some people think (I’m not entirely agreeing with it) that the world has already ended and what we’re living, is a memory of what we have previously lived – for example God is showing it to us as a proof for some reason, that’s why we can’t turn back in time or go forward.
    But the fact that everything is information to us, I agree completely, now what we do with that information is what we are and how we behave toward others and ourselves.

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    • A very interesting comment! The idea of living in a memory is interesting, however I would suppose that there isn’t a large amount to distinguish between the memory idea and the simulation idea… it is still the idea that we have something happening which is not “real” and all the feeling is simulated. I suppose the key difference is that the simulation would be seen to be a new roll of the dice, whereas the memory would be a repeat of dice already rolled. All very interesting stuff!

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      • As someone else observed, it takes time to fit nerve impulses through the information filter we each maintain to select which impulses are relevant and which must be discarded as not conforming to our understanding matrix to form what we appreciate as reality. Therefore we all live in the past which is memory. It is most probable that great portions of the discarded material contain novel patterns of possible understanding that is yet to be appreciated as relevant.

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      • It is a good point that yes we can never truly “live” in the present; although I am not sure I am ready to take the conceptual leap that it becomes a memory, since a memory has to be relative to an individual, and that individual has not had the experience yet

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  9. Reblogged this on Richard's Watch and commented:
    In this post and his conversational comments Joseph unwittingly opens up insights into the Bible’s foundational verses as the origin of all information: ie. ‘God Said’, ‘In the Beginning was the Word…the Word was God…’ (Genesis 1, John 1 and 1 John 1 – see also Fresh Insights on Jesus’ Role in Creation). Also, the communication of information describes the prophetical nature of ‘divine data’.

    In my opinion, Joseph’s “The code is created from the top level downwards…” implies the pre-existence of intelligent consciousness behind the purpose, content and function of information; giving possible tacit support for claims about Bible codes’! (More on this later)

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    • Aside from taking the Bible literally, the idea that words reign supreme in the matter of creation raises all sorts of questions as to the proximity of language to reality. A good many assumed profound philosophical questions get tangled with grammar and the various grammars of all sorts of languages have dubious relations to reality. Even with experts within one language which mutates remarkable over time legalities and other linguistically subjugated disciplines are almost pathologically entangled with interpretations. Perhaps God spoke mathematics which might have had better inherent consistency if He had had the insight to create the zero before humankind worked it out. I presume He was familiar with calculus since that is a prerequisite when one designs a universe.

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      • Fair comment jiisand, but pardon my delay, as don’t live on phone, and my LOL because God IS mathematician-scientist extraordinaire! (When I said so in a Christian Union meeting a colleague chided me. I replied it’s better not to show ignorance.)

        And yes, God KNEW OF ZERO long before we did, as shown by including the Euler Identity’s in Genesis!!!! (http://wp.me/p1Y1yB-8JY on Joseph’s post refers. My blog also has a Science & Scripture hub – must get on with the 2nd part on geometrical connection between those Books).

        The link I’d provided for the re-blog (especially its PS) looks at the language issue. I take your point but Genesis refers to a unique utterance unlike any human speech – one that included all the known and unknown technical aspects of electromagnetic and ‘dark’ energy. So human linguistic arguments are not essential on this topic: moreover, we know ordinary speech creates the full range of blessing s and curses upon our lives.

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  10. Holy hell, you are brilliant. This discussion is on point from beginning to end. Absolutely fascinating. I was going to say I feel stupid, but at least I hung on through the brilliance. By the way the second to last picture has a coding issue

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    • Why thank you very much! I am glad you have enjoyed the post – it is a favorite topic of mine to write on. Thank you for spotting that – and how ironic! What I have done is embedded a LaTeX formula that isn’t supported in mobile and iOS browsers – levels of code!

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      • Yes, I got you. Clearly your passion showed. Don’t usually pay attention to that sort of thing, but you pulled me in. Omg, into your matrix. You sonofagun

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  11. I’ve actually heard of information theory before, as a matter of fact, but this is a really cool, in depth explanation. I think the main reason people believe we could just be in a virtual reality is because of this information, because information must come from somewhere. If you take a piece of paper and place it in a safe, then come back in a hundred years, it would still be just a piece of paper with nothing written on it. No matter how long you waited, only someone who found the code, opened the safe and wrote on the paper could change the fact that the paper is blank. Thus, information must come from intelligence. To return to a point you made before, that there is a ton of information in our genes, well yes there is. Technically, you could fill an entire library with the information found in a single cell. Therefore, because that is information, and an incredible amount, because of our premise, that information must have a source, they know that the logical end must be that an intelligent being or group of beings created the information within us. Since this is the case, and since many today are afraid of looking at the much older option of a God or of gods (for in fact, Aristotle reasoned out that there must be one, single, perfect being, an un-caused cause, that started off the universe,) they look to virtual reality. I believe someone wrote our cells, wrote the plants and trees and wrote the earth, and that that someone is trying to communicate something. We just have to look at the information to see it.
    (This was a very long comment, thank you for taking the time to read it anyway.) 😄

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