A Mutable Log

Medium and information

I have been thinking about medium and information lately. Everything around us can be distilled into these two broad categories. Medium represents something physical, having characteristics derived from the material, but whose reason for existence is to sustain information. Due to the fact that it exists, medium assumes a life of its own.

Information is the abstract, the software, shall we say, supported by the medium. It is in information that we find the codes required to create, sustain, and destroy the medium.

These are just some examples of medium and information we observe around us

Like the yin and yang, chicken and the egg, it is a thoroughly philosophical exercise to discuss what came first, what is more important. The medium has no meaning without information, and the latter cannot exist without the medium.

We have been able to extract information from some media and transpose to other, such as text from paper to the magnetic disc, but the essence remains the same. Maybe that is a distinguishing characteristic of information, it can survive in different media, lifeless, requiring an external agent to interpret it. An agent that can assimilate information and change. Maybe we are that, or along the path to that - a perfect combination of both.

Stretching that thought a lot further - is the entire universe such an agent? Maybe at some level - like mass and energy - media is information, and information is all that is!

Here’s a parting thought…

A Foundational Principle for Quantum Mechanics

Anton Zeilinger in his paper A Foundational Principle for Quantum Mechanics