What is Information? (1)

What is information? (Part 1): Is information Subjective – Physical – Fundamental? Perception & Meaning




We are living in the Information Age. From the birth of the digital computer to 24-hour television, from our love affair with personal electronic devices to our second life in Cyberspace. There is no doubt that information plays a fundamental role in our lives. We are currently accessing, storing and processing information in a way that creates a degree of global inerconnectedness which humanity had never experienced before.

But could it be that information is actually something much more subtle and fundamental than our common conception associated with communication or technology?

For instance, we can think of the amount of information contained in a DNA molecule or we can think of the information contained in an electromagnetic field. We can attempt to relate the concept of information to the concept of time. We can even talk about consciousness as a purely informational field. And what about the concept of meaning? How does meaning arise?

Could it be that information can be described in such a way that it is indistinguisable from reality? Could it be that the most fundamental concept of all is that of information? Something from which everything else can arise: consciousness, space, time, matter, energy…

There is a growing sense amongst scientists that information plays a fundamental role in the description and our understanding of the universe. From computer science and quantum physics, to biology and neuroscience. Each day there are more and more scientists who use the informational approach to describe the universe. Not only that, but the concept of information is also increasingly being used by scientists and philosophers alike to explore the metaphysical and philosophical aspects of reality.

"So what is this video really about?", you may wonder. Right now you are watching the first part of a series of videos where I will use information as the main tool to explore the nature of reality. If so far all of this sounds Greek to you, don't worry; it probably should! In fact, there aren't that many videos around yet, at least in YouTube, that dig into physics and metaphysics from the digital physics perspective, so hopefully not only can I contribute to fill that gap, but also create a half-decent series of videos along the way, which are not only informative but also a great source of food for thought.

Just as with the "What is Time?" video, I asked myself a question which I attempted to answer as best as I could. This time I am dealing with information, a concept which I consider even more fundamental than time itself. Well, answering this question to the best of my ability has taken me about two months so far! The more I dig into the subject, the more amazing facts I uncover! The more questions I think I can answer,  the more puzzling questions that keep arising. And so the script just keeps getting longer & longer!

Right now, while I am recording the audio for this first video, I haven't yet finished the scripts for the next few videos, although I would say they are about 75% finished, so I think we are talking about a series of between 4 to 6 videos total (maybe more). Hopefully, the next video should be finished & uploaded within the next 3 to 4 weeks.

Ok, so what is this series about? Well, I will discuss quite a broad spectrum of ideas. While some parts may feel rather dense or technical to you, other parts will be much more enjoyable, entertaining and controversial. The technical bits are necessary not only for completeness but they will also help you understand the more exciting sections, so I encourage you to watch all the videos, even if you feel a bit lost at some points. I always try to keep the maths down to a bare minimum, so that everybody is able to follow the arguments without necessarily understanding the details of a particular equation.

Here is a brief summary of what will be discussed in this video, which corresponds to Part 1 of the series titled "What is Information?":

–  Information as creation of form or communication of data

–  Discussion of Gregory Bateson's definition

–  Information as perception + potential for knowledge acquisition

–  Difference between information and code symbols

– Information as a relational concept

– Information, classical realism & quantum mechanics

– Does information have intrinsic meaning?

– Is information subjective?

– Is information made of matter or energy?

– Is information physical?

– Association of the bit with Bateson's definition

– Information & maximisation of its potential for knowledge acquisition. The domain of sentient entities

– What are the key ingredients which allow meaning to arise and life to evolve?

– Reality as informational relationships between its constituent entities, sentient or non-sentient

– Reality as information

This is only a tiny part of what is to come. Here is a brief summary of what will be discussed in the rest of the video series:

-Quantifying information: Information Theory

-Claude Shannon's Entropy: relating information to probability

– Information as reduction in uncertainty

– Norbert Wiener: information as measure of organisation

– Erwin Schrödinger: life and negative entropy

– Wiener's vs Shannon's information

– Information quality vs information quantity

– Definition of physical entropy

– Relationship between physical entropy and Shannon's entropy

– Second Law, Maxwell Demon, Information Erasure and Black Hole Physics

– Quantum Information and Flow of Information into Space-Time

– Quantum information theory

– Classical information vs quantum information

– The Qubit

– Christopher Timpson's accessible information vs specification information

– What is non-locality?

– Distinction between two different realms where information can operate  (local vs non-local).

– Classical information's local constraints

– Entropy, Information, Second Law of Thermodynamics & Determinism

– Quantum computation, entanglement & teleportation

– Ontology of Information and Reality

– Discussion of physical vs non-physical, abstract vs concrete, measurable vs non-measurable, real vs illusory, existent vs non-existent, natural vs supernatural… Where do we draw the line? How arbitrary is this line?

– Is information Physical? Rolf Landauer's statement and discussion

– Can information be created ex-nihilo (out of nothing)? But what is "nothing" anyway?

– Views from Vlatko Vedral, Paul Davies, Seth Lloyd, David Deutsch, Anton Zeilinger, Christopher Timpson…

– Views from the founders of quantum physics, plus views from Bernard d'Espagnat, David Bohm, John Wheeler, Edward Fredkin, Tom Campbell…

– Is information fundamental?

– Laws of physics and information

– John Wheeler's It from Bit, Meaningful Information, Participatory Universe and the role of the conscious observer

– Revisiting Maxwell demon; more ideas related to the Second Law, quantum computers and information

– D'Espagnat's Veiled Reality & Bohm's Implicate Order

– Consciousness: physical or non-physical? Emergent or primary?

– Information and Consciousness. Can consciousness be modelled as a self-aware, self-organising (add more) information field?

– Information, Consciousness and Non-locality: ESP and altered states of consciousness (remote viewing, meditative states, near-death & out of body experiences, psychedelics).

So…this is pretty much what this series of videos aims to cover. After I have finished with these, I would like to create a few videos that discuss quantum mechanics and measurement, the role of the conscious observer, determinism, materialism, realism, and idealism in depth, perhaps linking some of these concepts to the informational approach. And after that, I'd like to create a series of videos that explore the VR or simulation hypothesis; the idea that our universe (and other possible universes or realities) can be modelled as a virtual reality or simulation. Hopefully, that should keep me quite busy for at least a year!

As you may have noticed, I always try to cover the whole spectrum of science; from mainstream science to fringe science and everything in between, while also exploring the nature of reality from the metaphysical and philosophical point of view. This is what I love doing! In addition, I feel that combining physics, metaphysics and philosophy can provide a much bigger picture of reality, which helps make the videos more enjoyable and it also encourages discussion of a much wider variety of topics; topics which tend to matter to pretty much everybody.

However, I am aware that many people are not comfortable with any approach that goes beyond physics and maths, or with anything that is not mainstream. If this is the case, then this channel may not be for you. If you want to listen to just mainstream science, for instance, there are plenty of good channels around that do this job very well, such as Minute Physics or Veritasium, which I thoroughly recommend.

On the other hand, if you are happy exploring our universe, life, and what may lie beyond not only from the mainstream science point of view but also from other open-minded, non-dogmatic perspectives, well, you have definitely come to the right place! Another channel that explores both science and metaphysical concepts using quite an open-minded approach is Imagining the 10th Dimension, which I also recommend.

Now, I would like to take you on an incredible journey where we'll be able to explore reality in a way you may have never done before. As always, my aim is to make you think outside the box, to show you alternative ways to look at the world and yourself, so that you have the opportunity to consider new ideas and perspectives, even if you don't necessarily agree with them. So, without further ado, let's begin!


Finding a Good Definition of Information:

So what is information? The word information can be defined and used in many different ways. In this video series I will cover those definitions which I consider more relevant, so that we can create a solid basis upon which we can then build a series of concepts about the nature of reality that I find absolutely fascinating.

Information is commonly understood to be simply a collection of facts or data. It can also be interpreted as the communication, and subsequent reception of data, a process which can then lead to increased knowledge.

But let's take a look at its etymology first: information is derived from "informare", a Latin verb which literally means to "give form to the mind", or to "form an idea of something". Personally, I love this definition, because it suggests two very important things to me: first, that information is somehow fundamental. It can be viewed as something from which everything else can be derived – something from which "form" and meaning can arise.

Secondly, because it is implied that the act of giving form and meaning is intimately related to an agent who can pick up the data and interpret it. And this in turn suggests that there is not much value in information itself unless a meaning can be assigned to these forms that arise.

So we have this double notion of information as being both the facts (the raw data) plus their communication and the potential interpretation that can be given to these facts. Information can therefore be defined as data, as content, as a message, to which a meaning can be assigned and from which knowledge can be acquired.

Note something important here: don't confuse the term "information" with the code symbols used to transmit it (for example: the letters of the alphabet and the words written on a book or a screen are code symbols, not information).

Ok, now let's try to pin it all down to what the essential meaning of information should be. For this, I will start with a definition that I quite like, and will then modify it until it truly represents what I think information should be at the core.

Information was famously defined as a "a difference that makes a difference" by cyberneticist Gregory Bateson. But what does this definition really mean? Well, here's my interpretation.

At the most basic level, information can be though of as the distinction or difference between two states. This distinction then leads to a an acquisition of knowledge in the agent who receives the information; so this acquisition of knowledge represents a difference as well. Hence we say information is a "difference that makes a difference".

Now, I'm going to modify Bateson's statement in two steps. First, let's change it to information is a "difference that can make a difference".  This makes more sense to me, for the very simple reason that, at the lowest possible level of complexity, what we have is the differentiation between two states; but this difference only has the potential to create knowledge (that is, it doesn't necessarily create knowledge but it has the potential to do so…it is a difference that has the potential to create a difference).

Let me clarify. Say we have an entity which is capable of perceiving the distinction between two different states. For example, think of the state-pairs up/down, open/closed, disturbed/undisturbed, on/off, split/not-split, 0/1 and so on. The actual state can be thought as "the difference" and the potential interpretation of the meaning of this state can be associated to the bit "that can make a difference". Information is therefore a difference that can make a difference.

But I will now modify the definition even further. I say that information is actually "a perceived difference that can make a difference". This effectively gets rid of the idea that information is something which is a thing, or even a state or property which is somehow "out there". Information is not a thing, it's not a state or a property belonging to the external world, but the perception or experience of the world we think is out there.

Let's see how this works. A perceived difference involves, at the most basic level, the ability to differentiate between two states, "this" versus "that", 0 versus 1, up versus down and so on. This perceived difference can make a difference to the agent who perceives it – in other words, the agent can potentially interpret the data, assign a meaning, and therefore can learn, can acquire new knowledge. In this way, information is linked to perception, and it is a process, a relationship, a connection, a potential for knowledge. This is important: information is a relational concept.

Now, let's use an example. Imagine you have a cell which can perceive the distinction between different levels of acidity in the immediate environment. To make it simple (at the risk of oversimplifying here), but let's say the cell can perceive the difference between the states acidic and non-acidic. What is information in this context? Information is not the environment's property of acidity or non-acidity. Information is the perceived state of acidity or non-acidity by the cell. Information is therefore linked to the ability to perceive this difference between the two states, and whatever interpretation is potentially assigned to that perception by the cell (and given this interpretation, the cell can then act accordingly).

Here's a second example. Imagine you see a line of black dots against a white background. What is information in this context? Information is not the black dots nor the white background. Information is the perceived black dots against the white background, it is the perceived difference, it is the perceived pattern, it is the perceived contrast and so on…. All of this plus the connection of the dots (metaphorically speaking now), that is, the potential interpretation and meaning you assign to these perceived black dots against the white background.

And finally, a third example; this one is a bit more complex. Think of the word "love". You can read this word on paper or a on a screen. Or you can hear it as a sound. The information contained in the word "love" is not the characters that make up the word love, nor the ordering of these characters. It is not the ink on the paper nor the pixels on the screen. It is not the vibrational waves or the frequency of these waves… It is not the arrangement of atoms that make up the paper or the ink, it is not the electrons that hit the screen, nor the individual movement of the air molecules…

The information contained in the word "love" is the perceived shapes, patterns or vibrational sounds that make up that word, plus the potential meaning that can be assigned to these.

These patterns can be perceived by, say, an electron microscope, a sound-recording device, a bird or a person. The characteristics of these perceived patterns will be different, depending on whether the agent is an electron-microscope, a sound-recording device, a bird or a person.

In addition, the potential meaning assigned to these patterns will also be different depending on the agent perceiving them. Even though an electron microscope and a sound-recording device somehow process the perceived information, they will not be able to assign any meaning to this information they have interacted with. On the other hand, the bird and the person will each come up with their own subjective interpretations and so will be able to assign a meaning to it. The meaning a bird can assign to the sound of the word love is likely to be very different to the meaning you and I would assign to it. However, it is clear that a bird has the capacity to interpret and assign meaning, whereas currently, a machine doesn't.

So it is clear that the information contained in the word love is 100% observer-dependent. Information is in essence a subjective process because it has no value whatsoever unless a meaning can be assigned to it. Information is, therefore, a perceived difference that can (but doesn't necessarily) make a difference.

All these changes I made to Gregory Bateson's definition of information represent, first of all, the rejection of the idea that information is a thing made of physical matter or energy. As cyberneticist and mathematician Norbert Wiener said "information is information, not matter or energy". We'll come back to Wiener later.

Secondly, the modifications represent the rejection of classical realism, that is, the notion that there is an objective reality "out there" which is well defined prior to observation. As quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger puts it, "It is operationally impossible to separate reality and information", a conclusion he has reached thanks to the results of numerous quantum mechanical experiments, many of which clearly show that realism, as we used to know it, has pretty much been falsified and that the observer and the observed are intimately related.

Quantum mechanics has shown us that neither microscopic nor macroscopic objects can be thought to have well defined properties or states prior to observation. I will cover quantum mechanics and realism in detail in one of my next videos but if you want more information right now, just google "violation of Bell inequalities" and "violation of Leggett-Garg inequalities".

Finally, the modifications also represent the very important fact that information is ultimately subjective, a relational concept not only dependent on subjective perception but also dependent on subjective interpretation. Information doesn't really have any intrinsic meaning. Instead, information has the potential of being interpreted and hence the potential of being assigned a meaning – a meaning which depends on the interpreter.

This is a indeed a crucial point I think. Some people think that information has intrinsic meaning. Personally, I don't think it is wise to define information as having intrinsic meaning. Simply because meaning is totally subjective; meaning just can't be objectively engraved or embedded in the content of a message.

The act of informing and information itself, is a subjective, an observer-dependent process, given that perception and meaning do not exist independently of the receiver's own interpretation; meaning is unique to the receiver. Information is a process which requires the subjective interpretation of perceived raw data, which is ultimately relative to context, experience, previous knowledge and so on. I will repeat it again because this is important: information has no real value, it is in fact meaningless, without interpretation!

Another important thing I would like to point out is that, given that information is not the same as the physical code symbols or signals used to encode the data, that it is not physical matter nor energy, but it is the actual perceived content, the perceived pattern, and its potential subjective meaning, one can conclude that information is, in essence, non-physical. This is another important concept: information is non-physical!

This last statement is actually a very controversial one, as we'll see later on, because it appears to contradict the view held today by many physicists. I will come back to this fascinating topic later on when I talk about physicist Rolf Landauer, his famous statement, and what do we mean exactly by physical and non-physical.

Let's do a brief summary: information is at the very core a perceived difference that can make a difference, it is not a thing made of physical matter or energy but a perceived distinction or pattern, it is a process, a relationship, a connection, and a potentiality for meaningfulness and knowledge acquisition. Information is non-physical and it has no intrinsic objective meaning or value in the absence of interpretation.


Associating the Bit with Bateson's definition, Use of the word Perception, Sentient Life and Meaning

Now that we have defined information in a qualitative manner, how do we go about quantifying it? Is there a basic unit of information that we can associate with Gregory Bateson's definition?

Well, as you may know, information is typically measured in bits. Bit is a just short for binary digit. The bit is a basic unit of information, it is a variable which can have only two possible values, which we represent by the digits 0 and 1. This binary digit can represent the basis of differentiation we talked about earlier. And this is precisely what information is at the very core, as per our previous definition. The perceived distinction between two different states or properties which has the potential to create a difference.

As we discussed in the previous section, consider the distinction between these states or concepts: up vs down, on vs off, open vs closed, yes vs no, distorted vs undistorted, etc… This basic difference can be represented by a digit that can take the value 0 or 1. So we see that the bit is a very useful unit which can successfully represent what information is at the most basic level. The binary digit, in the context of Bateson's definition, can therefore represent the quantification of the most basic type of differentiation, although it can't really quantify the potentiality for meaningfulness.

At this point, I would like to clarify something which I think may have created some confusion. So far I have been using the verb "to perceive" or the noun "perception" in a very broad sense. These are just convenient terms so that the concept of information can be used to describe all of reality, to describe the interactions and relationships between all of its constituents. Here "perception" is used in a way that doesn't necessarily imply we are dealing with a conscious or a sentient being. In this way, an electron-microscope, a golf ball, a DNA molecule or a living cell can all be thought as being able to "perceive" a distinction between different states, that is, different properties in their external environment or within themselves, if applicable.

The use of the word perception in the case of non-sentient entities such as a microscope or a golf ball is used as a metaphor, a way of speaking. A golf ball, for instance, can be described as an entity which perceives information related to the physical laws which tell it how to move; for example, it can perceive the information related to a particular gravitational field and move accordingly. A golf ball can't perceive changes in the environment in a conscious way; it simply follows physical laws. Let's be careful not to antropomorphise.

In our definition, we have been careful not to assign intrinsic meaning to information, only the potential for meaningfulness. Non-sentient entities can be thought of as being able to "perceive" changes, although they cannot assign a meaning to these changes; they simply follow physical laws.

I realise that using the word "perception" in such a way can sometimes be a bit confusing, but I repeat, I am not in any way implying that non-sentient physical matter is endowed with free will or consciousness. It's just language, a metaphor. I am using these terms so that we can generalise the definition of information in a way that can be used to describe the whole of reality as relationships, as interconnections between its different constituents (whatever these might be, sentient or not).

Now, have you noticed that here we have uncovered a very important aspect of information?  It is precisely when information is used in such a way that its full potential can be maximised that we enter the domain of life, of self-awareness, sentient beings… and ultimately, the domain of free-willed consciousness.

Meaning is assigned in such a way that information can then be used as a learning tool, to grow, to self-modify, to provide feedback, to evolve… An increase in knowledge can take place.

The evolution of life is possible because the potential use of information has been maximised. Sentient beings have the ability to store and retrieve information as well as the ability to process information.

The meaning that sentient entities attribute to new information can therefore be based on their experience, that is, on memory. In this way, the potential acquisition of knowledge and learning are maximised; evolution can take place. What are the key ingredients that enable this potential use of information to be maximised? What are the elements which support this capacity to learn and evolve? How do complexity and meaningfulness arise? What gives an entity the ability to assign meaning to information?  For now all I will say is that, in my opinion, consciousness and free will are the key ingredients. But how do consciousness and free will arise? Are they emergent or fundamental? This is another fascinating topic which hopefully I will be able to cover in future videos.

Finally, I would like to mention Steven Kaufman, who has written a book called "Unified Reality Theory", which attempts to explain the nature of reality from an idealistic point of view. While I don't necessarily agree with all the elements of his theory, I have found it very interesting. As a matter of fact, Kaufman doesn't really use the word information at all. However, in my opinion, what he describes as the basic framework upon which our reality arises is in fact, nothing other than information: a perceived difference which can make a difference. Up vs down, on vs off and so on. Reality is the experience, the perception of these states in relation to each other.

Kaufman describes our experience of this universe as being nothing more than an underling reality forming relationships with itself. Here is a little excerpt from his book:

"We experience up as up, and so we tend to think that up is independently up, unaware that up can exist as such only in relation to a coexistent down. (…) The same is true for everything else that we experience, in that whatever we experience something to be, it can be that only in relation to and in dependence on some other aspect of existence which is not that. (…) Everything that is happening in the universe represents some relationship that existence has formed with itself, some form of relative existence."

That is an interesting way to describe reality, I found, which encapsulates the essence of the informational approach, don't you think?


Summary for Part 1

So, to finish off Part 1 of this series of videos, I'd like to do a little summary related to what we have discussed so far.

We have defined information in a way that helps us describe reality as a web of relationships, a web of interconnections between its constituent entities. Reality can be thought of as being made up of information; the perception of properties in relation to other properties. In this way, information is essentially a relational concept, not only because it provides the connection between different perceived properties but also because it helps us define reality in a way which pretty much eliminates the classical dividing line between the observer and the observed.

We have also defined the basic unit of information, the binary digit or bit. The bit encapsulates the most basic type of differentiation, that is, the differentiation between two distinct states, which we describe by a digit taking the value 0 or 1.

Finally, we have defined information as something devoid of intrinsic meaning. Information only has the potential to be interpreted and being assigned a particular meaning. This potential can be maximised by sentient entities; in this way, the ability to store, retrieve and process information together with the ability to assign meaning becomes the perfect tool for gaining knowledge, learning, self-modifying and evolving.

So, can information be used as the fundamental currency to describe all of reality? Well, I think that we have defined information in such a way that it is indistinguishable from reality. There is no such thing as an objective reality out there but only interconnectedness, relationships, subjective perception and subjective interpretation.

Reality IS information


References and recommended further reading: to be added soon

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17 comments on “What is Information? (1)
  1. Adnan Khan says:

    Dear Madam

    I watched both of your videos. Very nice, I know a lot of efforts went in to these two videos, its not an easy thing to do, but you did it, cong. I too believe information is the key to understand the 'reality'. I don't know you know Jose Silva, but if you can I appreciate and highly recommend to read his Book specially the one which was published in 1977 or 1978, titled "Silva Mind Control Method". Now I know title may lead  you to believe its some sort of nonsense, but its totally different Book.

    His problem back then to make sense of all what we today learning as possible facts of reality, he was not a trained Physicist, but what he discovered by the ultimate reality. You see it seems to me that information was able to raise consiousness, and this consiousness was able to see the information. He discovered that using our mind, by simply imagining a future event you can manifest it exactly as you create. I know many today would call it Pseudoscience but if we all start believing mainstream scientist, we would not go far, we already reached our limits, we need to open our perspectives. I am sure once you read his Book, you will finally find the lats key to unlock the mystry finally and forever. I know you have shown courage even by showing interests in metaphysics, you will not be disappointed. I find it quite funny when these scientist called all the Psedoscience, but when you ask them to prove evidence of strings in string theory, you just have to believe them ? Why in double slit experiment there are so many mystries ? Yea right, we just have to  believe it ! I am sorry, I need prove for their theories, if they have guts to call my observations and experiments as Psedoscience.

    Please have a look on this small but ultimate truth in his Books, you already know many things, what is missing is perhaps, is a key to bring them all together in one nice and elequent theory. Have fun and all the best



  2. Andreas says:

    Hi Dolors. Yet another great video ('What is Information? (1)'); I think you are a great mind of our time but also, very importantly, a great teacher, I really appreciate your work, thanks! Your short introduction video was great too, and it put a pretty face to the brains 🙂

    Come to think about what information actually is, which I haven't done until I saw your latest video, I think your definition is plausible, well structured, well explained and I can very much agree and relate to it. "Information is the perceived difference that has the potential to make a difference"… great, simple, true, yet so deep. Thanks for making that clearer to me 🙂

    I wanted to reply to Kc Wong's ["According to the proposed definition, are the perceived states information? or only the perceived difference of the states information"] and your 'Uploader Comments' on YouTube but I don't seem to be able to do so 🙁    Can I put a comment here?

    I think only the perceived DIFFERENCE between the states can be considered 'information'. Once a receiver asigned 'properties' to / assosciated 'something' with that information, the information manifests itself by 'defining' that particular 'state' out of the indefinite potential, which IS the 'reality', the present moment of that particular receiver based on the chosen asignment / association.

    Therefore, the receiver defines it's own 'reality'.

    I think I would rather say 'Reality WAS Information', as information must be 'asigned' with a meaning / interpretation first, as otherwise information is meaningless and not 'real' only potential. 'Reality' is a 'state' (a sum of (consecutive?) states) chosen out of the potential.

    Dolors, I also wanted to write down some thoughts about 'one implies the other', 'one can not understand happiness without having a concept of sadness' and so forth but it got a bit late and I have to come back to this another time, sorry.

    Again, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and all the hard work you put into this. I will try to support you (once the next payslip is in 😉 )!

    Kind regards and talk to you soon,


    • Dolors says:

      Hi Andreas and thanks so much for your insights 🙂

      There are so many philosophical questions that arise from the analysis of subjective perception and meaningfulness. The approach I am using is very idealistic (as opposed to materialistic) so it causes a lot of conficting and confusing contradictions to those who try to understand my ideas from the materialistic point of view.

      Intangible "things" such as the concept of information, are very difficult to reconcile with  certain (still prevailing) paradigms, without going round in epicycles.

      But nonetheless, I am trying my best to contribute with my little grain of sand. I am answering my own questions as I go along, while creating the videos… so this is more a reflection of my own thought processes, and how they evolve, rather than an educational tool. But inspiring others and creating debate is always good. So rather than a teacher, I see myself as a student of life, sharing my thoughts with the world 🙂

      Please do share your thoughts on the rest of the issues you wanted to disscuss. I may not reply immediately, so I apologise for that, but I always read all the comments as they are posted.

      And thanks ever so much for your help (you know exactly what I am talking about). Never taken for granted, these acts of kindness will never be forgotten 🙂


  3. Praveen says:

    Hello Dolors,

    I am repeating the comments I posted on youtube as I feel this is more appropriate place. I did not know that you have a website. So sorry about this. But please let me know where you would prefer the comments to come in. So here we go…

    First of all let me congratulate you on having produced a very interesting video. The topic chosen for these videos isn't easy to present. And you have carefully chosen slides to along with it. I can see it takes lot of hard work as well as PASSION. Also all the best for your future videos. I studied Physics myself and I share an interest in these topics and would be following you. Having said all this, I have specific issues to rise. Please put up with me.

    You seem to think that QM, rules out OBJECT REALISM. You think we cannot talk of a physical entities to have had a specific measurable property before had measured them. Am I right ? You and you also think Bell Inequality and the experiment to test this support you. But consider this. I have a devise that emits a single photon. In front of it I will put a Polarizer oriented toward the direction say.. UP. Now, if a photon passes through this Polarizer and if I put a second Polarizer. What is the probability that the photon passes through the second polarizer also oriented in the direction UP ? You know the answer. Its 100 percent. I have CERTAINTY even before measurement that if I choose to orient the second polarize in the direction UP, the photon will pass through it. Am I wrong in calming that this property of photon is OBJECTIVELY REAL even before measuring it ?

    Second, suppose I were to assume whats called "Super Determinism". That is I assume that though we perceive non-local entanglement in Bell / Delayed Choice experiments, Reality has been DETERMINED transcending our notions of space-time, and all my choices including choice to measure has been fixed. Free Will is absent, then I can get away with REALISM independent of consciousness. Bell himself recognized this point. Now this interpretation cannot be TESTED and hence not scientific, but then so are other non-local interpretations QM. The possibility exists.

    Also my notion of Objective Realism is this. Suppose you and I agree that Reality exists independent of our perception, and we also agree on some properties (or laws) describing this reality, then we have objective realism. Objectivity itself isn't independent of human cognition. But it is something we can all agree upon, hence OBJECTIVE. I do not see how Bell / Delayed Choice experiments rule this out.

    Finally, an addition to my you tube comments. How did we get from information is "precieved difference that can make a difference" to "Reality is information?" !  Information as defined by you becomes a property of reality, not reality itself. May be you can explain here or in the next videos?

    Keep up the good work. All the best.

  4. Casimir Bruce says:

    The statement that Reality is Information can be stated another way, by saying that Information is Potential observed. This follows from the understanding that consciousness is potential, which I say in acceptance of my own ignorance.


    Dolors, this is another great video. It is accomplishing what you set out to do. Continue to take your time, they were both well done.

  5. Hello Dolors, thank you for such a great video. I can tell you worked hard on it, your passion is evident throughout, start to finish.

    I am not what one might call an intellectual, but I do try to expand my mind everyday. I also enjoy the benefits of meditation, and am drawn to the realm of metaphysics. I'll admit to some skepticism in that arena, although, I do not discount many of it's more intriguing ideas. For instance, I have had a near death experience. Actually, I suppose one might even call it a death experience. Mine was minutes, rather than hours, in length. I did have a total out-of-body experience, though.

    I digress–I just wanted to write to let you know that I think you're the bomb, Dolors! Ha ha ha /;-).  Please keep the vids coming, I do enjoy them. The one about time I had to watch twice, and I still need another viewing, I'm sure. Keep up the great work. Bravo!

  6. Chua says:

    Hi Dolors,

    Your videos are wonderful and I really appreciate the fact that you are willing to share your thoughts with us and at the same time keeping an open mind. I'm sure you've done plenty of research and reading on classical and contemporary physics. I noticed most people tend to become dogmatic after they claimed to have acquired "sufficient" knowledge. However, from your replies on some comments, I can tell that you practise what you preach, which I totally admire. 

    About the video, I like your definition of "information". I especially agree with the second part of the definition, which is that information has the potential to make a difference. And I like the fact that "meaning" was brought into context as I personally think that it is one of, if not the fundamental building block of information. However, as I ponder on the meaning of information itself, I found that there is another term that seems to fit the defintion: stimulus. It seems reasonable to me if we define stimulus as a perceived difference that has the potential to make a difference. Stimulus is completely subjective as a stimulus has no value without a receptor. My question is, how do we differentiate stimuli and information? I'm pretty sure they are different but at the moment I couldn't figure it out. Perhaps there are some concepts about information that I could've missed out.

    Looking forward to your reply as much as your next video Dolors!


  7. Peter Renwick says:

    Dear Dolors,

    I am thrilled to have come upon your videos and website.  Well Done!!

    I feel I have been contemplating the subjects you discuss much of my life and truly appreciate the manner in which you are presenting this "information."  The fact that you have listed the full script is exciting to me and I will print this out soon and read your words very carefully.  Many of your comments are quite pithy and I find myself wishing I could engage with you and other like minds about these very thought provoking ideas. I guess this blog will be my best attempt, for now.   But please know I am very interested in continuing the conversation.

    Keep up the great work. I look forward to following your insights.



    i truly look forward to 

  8. Eddie says:

    Hi Dolors,

    I appreciate people that want to live an examined life … it is rather refreshing. Finding and sharing one's own understanding to the big questions and difficult topics requires passion and a willingness to validate all perspectives or at least perspectives that are commonly taken. I consider myself a student of life. Maybe too much so….

    Your last statement that "reality is information" is very interesting. Isn't reality a little more than just information? Could reality be more knowledge than information? Of course, what is knowledge compared to information? My definition of knowledge is the synthesizing of information into something that has value. Knowledge, therefore, has intrinsic value. Reality has intrinsic value. Each person's perspective of reality has value.

    Reality evolves as we understand or become more aware. Who or what created the physical laws of this universe? Who or what determines what is possible or not? Who or what created or defined information? In simple terms, I believe what we are calling information is created by consciousness being aware of itself. Life is consciousness expanding or becoming more aware of itself.

    Do you believe that a tree is aware itself? I do. And I also agree that a rock is aware of itself. Do you agree that everything in the universe is made up of energy? I do. I also believe that consciousness is energy. It has always been here and always will be here.

    I guess it is a matter of perspective. Do you see the world out of reflection or creation? Do you believe you create reality or are a consequence of it? Your answers will follow whichever perspective you have. There is really no right or wrong answer. There is only perspective, which is part of life.

    I really like your videos, but I don't necessarily like debates. Debates usually reflect the opinions of the ego, which has a tendency to want to be right at all costs.

    With Aloha,


    P.S. I would like to quote you in my book. If that is okay with you, could you send me your full name?

  9. Hello Dolors!

    Such Great Work!

    More people should be exposed to this level of thought and the world would become much better place.

    Your work is so impressive In fact, that I would like to quote you in a new book that I am writing about metaphysics and business.  Please contact me via my email if you would be willing to discuss this.

    Best regards,

    Iron Dane Richards

  10. E says:

    Hi Dolors,

    Interesting topic(s)! I am looking forward to reading more about your perspective.

    The words information and knowledge and even data are also subjective. They convey the relationship of the person's understanding to what is being perceived.  What one person sees as information another person sees as knowledge. To properly define information you also need to define what data and knowledge are. You need to define what information is not. You could even take this one step further and define what wisdom is.

    Knowledge has intrinsic value in the context of its acquisition. It is information, as you define it, that did make a difference. Since it made a difference, it has value in the context of how it was used. Those who understand and applied the knowledge have the potential to gain wisdom.

    Wisdom in my opinion is knowledge that an individual has internalized to the point where the knowledge is understood intellectually and emotionally. The knowledge has changed their perspective.

    When you say the reality IS information this is your current perspective of or realtionship to reality. You have not fully understand the purpose or value of reality or perhaps the intelligence behind its creation.

    A lake to one person is a great place to fish. To another person it is a great place to go boating. To another person it is a great view. To the life of the fish it is their home. To a town it is their water supply. Etc… Each different perspective of the lake is different. The person fishing has experienced the value of catching fish and the town understands the value of the lake by the water they drink and so on….

    Anyway, I enjoy your posts and the thought-provoking ides behind them.

  11. Sarvil says:

    awesome work man…it would have taken me a lot of years to put all dis together…about information part…if something falls into a blackhole .information is lost about it…how is this possible…i m a beginner so dont have have much idea about it…u may want to help me!!!


  12. Ron Pinder says:

    Delightful, insightful and so refreshing. Thanks so much for doing this. Looking forward to watching your other videos and hearing more of your ideas, thoughts and musings.

    Its nice to know that a view I've come to on my own is shared by others.  I can't help wondering how your thinking fits in the with Tegmark's MUH (btw – he's finally written a book on it, "Our Mathematical Universe <http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/mathematical.html> ", launches on Jan 7th) or Tononi's Integrated information theory of consciousness <http://www.biolbull.org/content/215/3/216.abstract>? Apologies if you've covered these topics in material I have yet to view.

    From the posts looks like you've been a bit quiet lately.  We hope to hear more from you soon.

    Some may say that information and perception – and I do mean your (our?) definition of perception – as more fundamental than the physical violates common sense*.  Oddly, it was common sense, well, at least my version of it, that brought me to this outlier view of life the universe and everything.

    I'll send you some money for a coffee or two.

    Cheers, Ron In Canada

    * If we used what many call common sense to be the final judge of ideas we would still think the world is flat and the sun goes around it.  Makes me think that cracking the common sense nutshell is what it all about and lots of fun, too.  And so it goes.

  13. Matthew Cole says:

    Hi Dolors! First off I want to thank you for creating your wonderful videos and your amazing website! I stumbled across them today when I was searching on youtube for more information about the things I've been thinking about for sometime now, and it was wonderful to find someone who's been thinking so much about these things too. Have you read Lothar Shafer's book: "Infinite Potential: What Quantum Physics Reveals About How We Should Live"? He says some interesting things, in particular his suggestion that thoughts originate from the invisible world of potentiality, just in the way that subatomic particles 'actualise' from invisible quantum wave functions. I wonder about this, since I can produce a continuous stream of information (as I am now), which requires a storage medium in the empirical world such as a hard drive or flash memory, and yet if you were to dissect my brain, you wouldn't find this information. So where does it come from? Do my thoughts as well as information and matter manifest from the invisible world of quantum potential? Is the brain a quantum computer? At the momemt I'm thinking of the brain as a kind of transducer which automatically rearranges raw information into sequences which are useful and/or meaningful to us, and as such I agree with you that information may not necessarily be useful or meaningful. It is by our use of meaningful concepts as tools that we are able to interact with the world, and it is by doing so that we incorrectly think that objects and ourselves are seperate from each other. Our concepts are literally everything we see, rather that the world as it really is, which I'm sure we couldn't make sense of if we were able to see it directly. Robert Lanza and Bob Berman's book: "Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe" also has some interesting things to say, in particular the idea that space and time are nothing more than artificial creations of the human mind. Space is refuted via quantum entanglement and non-locality, whilst the arrow of time is refuted by virtue of the idea that the concept of what constitutes order or disorder as employed in the second law of thermodynamics is in fact an artificial qualitative judgement which we superimpose on what's there, when in fact all there is is change, which can't be said to flow in any particular direction. I would love to know your thoughts on these things. In the meantime, thanks again, and please keep up the good work!

  14. Mindy Block says:

    Hi Dolors, 

    From my understanding of the video, objective reality to a nonsentient object like a rock predominately follows classical physics, but for a human being life has layers of meaning based on information received and interpreted. This really helps me improve my abilties to "think like the other," and so improve, I hope, my fundraising for Quality Parks.   With great words of encouragement, be well, Mindy… and …


  15. nice video Dolors.
    I want to clearly understand what you mean. The duality of subjet-object is erased because information is subjetive, and "information is reality" ? what about the "constituent entities", these are objetive?

  16. collin237 says:

    Yes, in a sense the universe is made of data. But information, in the theoretical sense, is data with a size. It's the claim of there being a size that's physically untenable. If such sizes are claimed as anything but Russel's Teapot fallacies, there would have to be a way to observe them, at least in principle, however indirectly. But the size would depend on how the data is implemented. And that question is meaningful only if there are entities to perform such an implementation. And all that we know about physics suggests that no such entities exist. So physical data cannot have a size — not even a non-conserved size.


    Information theory is utterly non-physical and useful only for the economics of human artifice.

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  1. […] enlightening post by a undergraduate student that she calls herself, Dolors. Her BLOG can be found here. I’ve asked for her last name, but she did not give it to me. She also has some other cool […]

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