I’ve often noted that I hold an information monism – its processing & communication – to be underlying both the physical and the mental. In fact as recently as my previous post, I include it in a summary of my position linking information & entropy with systems & cybernetics. My “What, Why and How do we Know?” epistemological journey started in Sept 2001, and I made my first explicit reference to the fundamental nature of information and (quantum) computation in Jan 2002 – Dr Brian Josephson, Dr David Deutsch and BCS Cybernetics in one post.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Particularly fascinating this week is a new 2023 edition of “Complexity, Entropy & the Physics of Information” published by Santa Fe as the proceedings of the May/June 1989 workshop of that name, itself part of that history. The original foreword by editor Wojciech Zurek and new preface by original participant Seth Lloyd also provide a history of the subject.
Beautifully produced and indexed, some of the 32 individual papers have been available elsewhere, the collection includes Wheeler and Kaufmann as well as Zurek and Lloyd. And we find Boltzmann, Shannon & Wiener in the opening para of the historical preface.
Herman Melville presaging Gödel in the opening disclaimer “I promise nothing complete; because any human thing supposed to be complete, must for that very reason infallibly be faulty.” Gödel is one of Zurek’s references too, not to mention Melville and Gödel in my recent Goldstein and Spinoza post.
And also announced this week, starting in May, a six-part course “Physics as Information Processing” by Chris Fields” at the Active Inference Institute.
It’s all connected.