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information is physical

April 14, 2011 Leave a comment

from Wikipedia’s entry on Physical information:

Due to this connection with algorithmic information theory, entropy can be said to be that portion of a system’s information capacity which is “used up,” that is, unavailable for storing new information (even if the existing information content were to be compressed). The rest of a system’s information capacity (aside from its entropy) might be called extropy, and it represents the part of the system’s information capacity which is potentially still available for storing newly derived information. The fact that physical entropy is basically “used-up storage capacity” is a direct concern in the engineering of computing systems; e.g., a computer must first remove the entropy from a given physical subsystem (eventually expelling it to the environment, and emitting heat) in order for that subsystem to be used to store some newly computed information.

from the abstract for Rolf Landauer’s The physical nature of information:

Information is inevitably tied to a physical representation and therefore to restrictions and possibilities related to the laws of physics and the parts available in the universe. Quantum mechanical superpositions of information bearing states can be used, and the real utility of that needs to be understood. Quantum parallelism in computation is one possibility and will be assessed pessimistically. The energy dissipation requirements of computation, of measurement and of the communications link are discussed. The insights gained from the analysis of computation has caused a reappraisal of the perceived wisdom in the other two fields. A concluding section speculates about the nature of the laws of physics, which are algorithms for the handling of information, and must be executable in our real physical universe.

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curcio’s immanence of myth

April 13, 2011 Leave a comment

…to solidly re-define “myth” and provide the first glimpses of a “unified theory” of the elements of philosophy, psychology, media studies, anthropology and folklore which all overlap within this single concept of myth, and specifically immanent myth.

from James Curcio’s status update on his Immanence of Myth collection:

… and James’ list of questions on that link is just brilliant …

Looks like lots of other really really good stuff going on at the Modern Mythology blog: a quick favorite from Mr. VI’s Unlearning Reality : Afragility, Twitter, and Embodying Myth as Incunabula:

Because the tension between reality and fiction is manufactured in an attempt to avoid acknowledging the fact that the majority of existence has fictive qualities; that apparently fundamental things are actually agreed upon fictions.

In many contexts, the mythic is seen as exterior – the Otherland, the Outside or perhaps some transcendent realm. It can also be viewed as completely interior – all in the mind, unpossessing of an external reality.

Such a division is ridiculous.

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