Neither Matter nor Energy: Could Information be the Foundation of the Universe?
The universe’s nature just may be based on the constant exchange of information.
The popularization of some of the ideas of modern physics has sensitized us to notions about the origins of the universe, and the roles of matter and energy during that wonderful and still incomprehensible time in the development of the cosmos.
No matter how much we may know of what the Big Bang is, or whether we have some idea of Einstein’s theory of relativity, we need still to consider that a lot remains to be discovered about the nature of the Universe.
Toward such ends is a little-known proposal which posits that information just may be the fundamental element within the constitution of physical reality. Not matter or energy, but that everyday thing we call information.
The origins of this idea can be found in the scientific research of one Claude Elwood Shannon, a mathematician who, in the mid-20th century, laid the foundations for what would later become today’s “digital environment”. This is largely because his research in mathematics applied to information, and he deduced that this could be best understood as measurable units in which the informational content is but one option among other probable options.
His idea revolutionized both the concept of information and its uses and did so simultaneously in communications, too. In fact, based on this early work, Shannon later proposed a theorem which made the transition from analog communications to digital communications possible. It took us from was a way of processing information continuously over time (analogically) to a new method in which processing is possible through sampling and quantification.
Under Shannon’s idea, practically the entire universe can be understood as information units and, therefore, of being processed as such. A subatomic particle, for example, is not so much the sum of the elements making it up as it is the exchanges of information occurring between them (these exchanges are, in turn, information, too).
There’s still a lot to learn about the composition of the cosmos, its behavior, and its phenomena, but on this grand scale and at the more modest level of our daily lives, perhaps we can begin to change the paradigm of our thinking. Understand that, more than a sum of parts, we’re also combinations of interactions. This already puts us on the path to better understanding the phenomena surrounding us.
When ancient rituals became religion
The emergence of religions irreversibly changed the history of humanity. It’s therefore essential to ask when and how did ancient peoples’ rituals become organized systems of thought, each with their
Seven ancient maps of the Americas
A map is not the territory. —Alfred Korzybski Maps are never merely maps. They’re human projections, metaphors in which we find both the geographical and the imaginary. The cases of ghost islands
An artist crochets a perfect skeleton and internal organs
Shanell Papp is a skilled textile and crochet artist. She spent four long months crocheting a life-size skeleton in wool. She then filled it in with the organs of the human body in an act as patient
A musical tribute to maps
A sequence of sounds, rhythms, melodies and silences: music is a most primitive art, the most essential, and the most powerful of all languages. Its capacity is not limited to the (hardly trivial)
The enchantment of 17th-century optics
The sense of sight is perhaps one the imagination’s most prolific masters. That is why humankind has been fascinated and bewitched by optics and their possibilities for centuries. Like the heart, the
Would you found your own micro-nation? These eccentric examples show how easy it can be
Founding a country is, in some ways, a simple task. It is enough to manifest its existence and the motives for creating a new political entity. At least that is what has been demonstrated by the
Wondrous crossings: the galaxy caves of New Zealand
Often, the most extraordinary phenomena are “jealous of themselves” ––and they happen where the human eye cannot enjoy them. However, they can be discovered, and when we do find them we experience a
Think you have strange reading habits? Wait until you've seen how Mcluhan reads
We often forget or neglect to think about the infinite circumstances that are condensed in the acts that we consider habitual. Using a fork to eat, for example, or walking down the street and being
The sky is calling us, a love letter to the cosmos (video)
We once dreamt of open sails and Open seas We once dreamt of new frontiers and New lands Are we still a brave people? We must not forget that the very stars we see nowadays are the same stars and
The sister you always wanted (but made into a crystal chandelier)
Lucas Maassen always wanted to have a sister. And after 36 years he finally procured one, except, as strange as it may sound, in the shape of a chandelier. Maassen, a Dutch designer, asked the