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VaguelyFamiliarVoice t1_iwpsct1 wrote

“The information bit has therefore the characteristics of a scalar boson particle with no charge, no spin, no any other properties except mass / energy.”

Okay. I’m going to go ahead and just enjoy my cup of coffee and let others unwind this.


Chimalez t1_iwptvpo wrote

From what I can gather, since dark matter seems to literally just be unobservable mass, it may make sense for it to be information since information bits have no charge or spin, therefore they can't really interact with much in the physical world and would just appear as a point of mass/energy- much the same way we think dark matter does.


drLagrangian t1_iwq1342 wrote

I think the idea that information has energy comes from calculations involving the entropy of the medium the information is in when the information is there vs when it's not. So a hard drive filled with information would have a mass of M+I, while the hard drive that has been erased would have mass of M.

Am I right?

So it would be subservient to the energy/mass of the medium.

Unless anyone theorized about information existing without a medium... What would that even look like. How would it get there? How would it get out?

Could an advanced tech let you encode your porn onto space itself?


RightHandedAndEvil t1_iwqe8os wrote

But a hard drive that's erased had the same amount of information in it that a "full" one has - it's just information that's not readable/useful to us.


RacerX00 t1_iwqqzka wrote

I mean, not readable/useful is objectively false if we can observe its interaction with galaxies and discern its properties as a result. It's both readable in a sense and useful in explaining the natural world.

That's a representation of the information, just not at the resolution that you find satisfying. Just like a JPEG isn't a direct copy of every pixel and you get a full sense of the picture despite the blending of pixels underneath compared to an uncompressed image, the same is true of dark matter.

JPEGs do a much better job of painting a picture, sure, but dark matters effects on the natural world is still a picture.


RightHandedAndEvil t1_iwqvbq5 wrote

Yes agreed. Was just pushing back against the idea that a "full" hard drive had more information in it than an "empty" one, where full and empty are more about human perception. The actual information content is the same (as you point out).


salbris t1_iwry2dx wrote

I feel like this is a very poetic interpretation of reality but not really accurate. Information isn't really anything but a specific pattern of other things. A thought in our brain isn't a collection of spinless particles it's just the patter of our neurons and their chemical and electrical signals. Same as a JPEG on a harddrive. It's just a collection of electrical (magnetic?) charges in a particular pattern.


ComradeAllison t1_iwssemx wrote

Actually, the term information is a bit misleading, as it carries different meanings to different people. The information being used in this sense is a physical, measurable thing which ties very closely with entropy and even has conservation laws associated with it.


rucksackmac t1_iwsxayq wrote

Oof. Now we're tiptoeing into an ontological realm of the mind-body question, the hard problem, and other philosophical conundrums.

Careful with that word "just". How exactly is that thought "just" anything? What are the coordinates of these neurons, which synapses fire each time when I think "blue." Is it different than the word? Or the color? Or the idea of the color? What is the thing that it feels like to be?

Comparing our brain to a jpeg on a hard drive is far from accurate, and not very poetic either I might add. :P


salbris t1_iwt5yv5 wrote

I don't need to know the exact coordinates of every air molecule to know the wind is blowing and that it's an emergent property of the weather and the microscopic forces of temperature and the movement of atoms. The brain is no more magical. We don't yet understand the patterns and and systems of the mind but they are basically as simple as some data stored on a harddrive. The only major difference is the process by which memory is constructed. It's not likely to be a singular thing like a file on a computer is.


House13Games t1_iwtoz81 wrote

Since we dont actually know how it works, saying its basically as simple as some data stored on a hard drive is rather speculative.

Some theories suggest that the operation of neurons depends on quantum effects. And quantum stuff is influenced by the observer, so it potentially could get a bit tangled. Personally I think these tangled systems are most interesting, and that by reducing the brain to a classical computer type device, we miss the more interesting possibilities for how consciousness and awareness (information) might be some fundamental aspect of reality rather than an emergent property of it. Eastern mysticism has for a long time said that consciousness and an external reality arise simultaneously, and are intrinsically linked. To me at least, it seems western science is only starting to describe the same thing, albeit from the reality side of this duality, where eastern thought took it from the consciousness side. But both suggest that both sides are somehow intertwined and co-dependent.

For example, the idea of consciousness being the thing which divides a cosmic oneness into dichotomies (true/false, this/that, real/unreal, etc) is strikingly similar to quantum probabilities being collapsed by the actions of an observer. So striking in fact that I find it hard to believe it's not the same underlying thing simply being described in multiple ways.


rucksackmac t1_ixcii2r wrote

I said nothing of magic, friend. Why would you hand wave away great fields of thought and discovery as "magic?" That doesn't sound very sciencey!

The "computer" metaphor, so to speak, has been long outdated, and widely understood by neuroscientists as a pointless comparison.

If you're open to some light reading, these are pretty good eli15 places to start.

Calling our brain a computer is "just" a cliche that people have come to purport as hard truth and fact because the brain is so difficult to understand, while transistors sending signals in a CPU is not.

It's easier to tie it up in a neat bow and say "oh there it is. Done." But I don't see any Bladerunner level robots running around, and there's good reason for it. If we ever hope to achieve such a feat, we have to accept that the brain is still an incredible mystery, and our colloquial comparisons to my laptop or even some kind of marketing AI or digital art ai is simply not comparable by any stretch of the imagination. But I'm just some Redditor, read up on the matter because if you're open to expanding your understanding I actually think you'll find it quite interesting. Personally it only makes me further curious about what AI could look like 1000 years from now and what we might need to get there.


themonkeymoo t1_iwssp8m wrote

It doesn't, though. At least, it doesn't for entropic and quantum definitions of "information", which are the only ones that matter in this context.


House13Games t1_iwto1iw wrote

Not really. It has the same amount of bits, but different organizations of bits have more or less informational entropy. You can randomize the bits, for very low amount of information. You can set them all to 0, which is more ordered, and so contains more information than the random sequence. Or you can have files and folders, which contains a gigantic amount more structure and patterns of information, on many different levels. This concept is important in cryptography for example, where you can take a random looking string of letters, and calculate the entropy of it, to determine whether it contains less or more information, ie, work out if it is actually a random sequence, or if it is a coherent message in a natural language like english, even if you cant yet work out what the message actually is.


Twoducktuesdays t1_iwq1l6a wrote

But are m and i different things? Isn’t m+i simply m with changes.


drLagrangian t1_iwq745u wrote

The mass information theory says that information itself has energy, which means it also has mass. So those changes imply the mass of the information.

But I don't know if the mass of the information can exist on its own or if it needs another mass to act on. Sort of like how an electron in a higher orbital has more mass than a lower energy electron because it has more energy in it. But that energy associated with the excited electron can't exist on its own unless it is emitted as a photon... Where it becomes a different form of energy.


Chimalez t1_iwq4h91 wrote

Yeah he specified he meant the mass would be "m + i" implying "m" is the mass of the unfilled hard drive's mass and "i" is the information mass, added together you get m-total.


AdSpecialist4523 t1_iwrfg6p wrote

Isn't an "unfilled" hard drive just a hard drive filled with data that doesn't translate to anything usable? Like all 1s or all 0s? Or simply deleting the record that says there's data on it. Adding mass to a battery by charging it makes sense, but I'm having a hard time with the concept of an unfilled hard drive being a thing that can exist.


Chimalez t1_iwq57vy wrote

I think you're absolutely right. It's an interesting thing to think about, where information may actually be relegated to how much energy space itself contains. Maybe it implies the "dark matter" regions are areas where space contains massive amounts of energy which allows "information" to exist there. The "information" we see in dark matter could just be a product of some huge cosmic energy system.


drLagrangian t1_iwq8f1z wrote

I started a thought in another reply. But the question is, can the information exist on its own? Because in the universe we understand, the hard drive has mass, then you add energy to it to record information on it, so that information now has energy associated with it and therefore mass, and you transformed the energy you had into information.

I started an analogy saying that it was like an electron. Add energy to it and it gets excited and has more mass, but that extra mass can't exist that way without the electron - or at least, the mass of the higher energy state can't exist without the electron.

but the electron can emit the energy in the form of a photon, which carries electromagnetic energy. So the question is: can an information carrying object emit the energy of the information in a way that preserves the information? There by producing a "dark energy, informationish particle". Or, can the information carrying object only release the information energy in a way that destroys the information or combines it with something else, like by radiating the information out encoded as light, or dispersing into heat?


Chimalez t1_iwqb7y7 wrote

I actually have a very limited knowledge of photons other than the curious infinitely small mass associated with them, but I'd assume that even infinity can contain information and since photons have a distinct electromagnetic structure, it stands to reason that information can indeed be encoded successfully as long as the medium actually has some form of mass. Can't wait to go to grad school for something very similar to this so I can explain it in detail c:


Fallacy_Spotted t1_iwsf7zm wrote

Information is encoded in the entropy of the system. All 0s and all 1s is the same and gives no usable information. Time is also encoded in entropy. It is our perception of movement along an energy gradient. Information is a point on the line of time and the substance of that line is entropy.


RnDanger t1_iwpybdk wrote

A theory that can't be tested isn't useful. It doesn't mean it's wrong but it offers no insight if we can't test it. Until we find a way to measure "information" experimentally, this isn't really science. It's speculation.


xMrBojangles t1_iwq7cqb wrote

This comes off as a couple grad students smoking a joint and letting their minds wander.

"Dude, what if dark matter is just information?"


Stay-At-Home-Jedi t1_iwrc8zq wrote

"Dude, what if dark matter is just all the information that doesn't matter?"



lagavulinski t1_iwqoh82 wrote

I'm sure the speculative idea of the atom was useful long before we could test/prove its validity or existence. Creating frameworks for understanding the world around us is useful, whether right or wrong.


Chimalez t1_iwq0uc5 wrote

Of course. But how cool would it be to experimentally prove one day? ;)


rpsls t1_iwr0qh8 wrote

I remember reading that they had found galaxies which had collided and the bigger one stripped the smaller galaxy of its dark matter. That these small post-collision galaxies were spinning more like what would be expected with standard physics. Did that not pan out, and if it did, how would a galaxy stripping another of “information” even work?


ryschwith t1_iwrmape wrote

That’s still the case (the Bullet Cluster is frequently brought up here) and is generally where every “what if dark matter isn’t matter” theory falls apart. I don’t really understand this particular theory enough to say whether or not it resolves this.


Chimalez t1_iwr5jdo wrote

If you assume that based on the laws of conservation of mass and energy, information cannot decay into a nonexistent state, then if the dark matter of one galaxy collided with the dark matter of another galaxy, the one with more dark matter (aka more "information" in this example) would be subject to less overall decay due to having more energy available during the collision, or perhaps would even absorb the structure of the lower-entropy dark matter. I realise I brought up entropy here and it may not seem relevant but if information is really structured in the universe then maybe entropy is what dictates the interactions like what you described above.


runaway-thread t1_iwroyc9 wrote

At the core of science is cartesian skepticism, so let me just say that this "information as a 5th state of matter' is tingling my cartesian skepticism organ.

"What is this thing with no charge or spin? Oh that's 'information'. Maybe it's a toll free number. Maybe it's a cat GIF. Maybe it's Maybelline. All we know right now is that it's information'.

Sure, anything with a property is information. A red balloon is information too. I don't know, I guess I need someone on the Internet to tell me how wrong I am.


WackyBones510 t1_iwqv9ex wrote

Information as in something created by intelligence or could it be naturally occurring information? I guess for this purpose idk what “information” means.


Chimalez t1_iwr4izd wrote

Information as in, a structure (either physical, electromagnetic, or otherwise) that contains a recognizable pattern that can be used to discern data contained within. For example, a molecule emitting a specific electromagnetic frequency, at a specific strength, in conjunction with millions of other molecules, to form an idea.

That's the best description I can think of.


QVRedit t1_iwsgoic wrote

Consider a single electron — it has mass and charge and spin and location-ish, and momentum-ish. (Here ‘ish’ meaning that’s somewhat fuzzy)

An electron requires multiple bits of information to describe it.

Although in some senses all electrons are identical.


orbital_one t1_iwqf6fm wrote

But wouldn't that mean that information can't travel at the speed of light?


Stay-At-Home-Jedi t1_iwrden0 wrote

what part wouldn't mean they can't travel the speed of light?

light is a massless photon but that doesn't hinder it.


orbital_one t1_iwrnhn9 wrote

Dark matter must have mass and would have to be traveling at subluminal speeds within galaxies. It's not possible to accelerate massive objects to light speed. So if dark matter is actually information in physical form then that should imply that information (or at least some types of information?) doesn't travel at light speed. Unless I'm mistaken about something.


QVRedit t1_iwsh277 wrote

And photons contain multiple bits of information.


QVRedit t1_iwsgxki wrote

If it was ‘very light’, as in had very little mass, then it could travel at almost the speed of light. It’s kind of weird though.


just_thisGuy t1_iwrg8kv wrote

Just like mass can be converted to energy it’s not a huge leap to think it might be convertible into information, might be an interesting clue that we might be in a simulation.


QVRedit t1_iwsew0v wrote

All the properties of matter require an information state to store their values. Something as complex as a proton must take multiple bits of information to describe it.
How many ? 20 ? 30 ? More ?


just_thisGuy t1_iwskcuq wrote

Protons are made from quarks, but even quarks probably need a huge number of bits to be represented, maybe even more bits per quark than there are quarks in the universe, wolfram has in interesting information theory on that, where even space is just array of numbers.


QVRedit t1_iwton9g wrote

Why so many bits per quark - I don’t understand / can’t conceptualise that..

Can you offer any explanation ?


just_thisGuy t1_iwuzz7d wrote

I don’t know if I’m smart enough to explain or at least I have not spent the time enough to understand it exactly, but basically he has an idea that space (and all the stuff inside it) can be explained by a massive number of hyper graphs and their relationships. Here is a link: So if I understand it correctly everything in the universe including space are just nodes and relationships between nodes, and there are simple rules that govern them, I don’t think they know what the rules are yet, actually there is an idea that it does not matter that the rules are as long as they are consistent. But anyway to make it work, you need a huge number of those notes, there are more nodes representing every single plank scale section of space that there are plank scale sections of space in the observable universe. It’s wild stuff. Lex Friedman has an interview about it here:


QVRedit t1_iwvvlhe wrote

There must be some very granular system at some level.


mentive t1_iwrsewr wrote

Simulation was my first thought....


Finn_3000 t1_iws395d wrote

This is far beyond anything my monkey brain evolved to understand so for that reason, im out.


otas1 t1_iwu9sul wrote

Ok I think I need a ELI5 about what "information" is.


Penisanthonydoubs t1_iwr3x7k wrote

>information bits have no charge or spin

What are information bits, how do you know they're real, and how do you know their properties?


Chimalez t1_iwr4zd2 wrote

Everything I said was relative to the article. An information bit in this case would be any structure on the atomic or even quantum level that contains enough of a pattern to be capable of functioning as information storage (sort of like how computers are made up of logic gates of ones and zeroes, an information bit would be capable of projecting some form of coherent data.)

That's my best attempt at explaining it, please correct me if I am wrong.


Penisanthonydoubs t1_iwr8s2s wrote

>That's my best attempt at explaining it, please correct me if I am wrong.

How could I, you're citing conjecture, it's unfalsifiable


dern_the_hermit t1_iwrrptm wrote

> How could I

By knowing more about the various views on information in the scientific/mathematical discourse. There's been a lot of discussion and work on defining/quantifying information. The general idea holds that ordered structures will have usable data that can be pulled from them, as opposed to a state of total entropy where there is no distinction between structural states, all is uniform and useless.


Penisanthonydoubs t1_iwru8p3 wrote

So if I knew more about information theory, a well developed field of statistics, i would be able say that you're wrong about information bits, a made up word defined in a pop science article trying to guess what dark matter is?


dern_the_hermit t1_iwrufih wrote

I don't think they were inviting you specifically to refute anything, but you really ought to be asking them.


QVRedit t1_iwsf6rk wrote

Surely charge and spin, require information too, to store their values ?


Penisanthonydoubs t1_iwuz0as wrote

How does that in any way relate to my question


QVRedit t1_iwv03l0 wrote

Yeah, maybe it doesn’t. But the short answer is; we just don’t know !


Penisanthonydoubs t1_iwx9dc4 wrote

You're right, I've actually been thinking the dark matter might be the result of invisible fairies with diarrhea. Guess we'll never know for sure


QVRedit t1_iwy8a9x wrote

Well we can be fairly sure that that particular explanation is not the case..


OnePay622 t1_iwugc7b wrote

I dont know we literally transmit information with light and that has no is it a special kind of information?


heckdditor t1_iwpu4o3 wrote

Hold on... I am going with you. I need a dark and bitter coffee.


fullawe t1_iwspcnd wrote

They're saying that the probability of the fundamental particle characteristics (% chance of a electron or other particule having a particle spin/location), is physical and has a measurable weight. This probability chart is 'an information bit'.

The team has proposed an experiment that involves shooting an electron beam (at CERN) into positrons. They have proposed an expected outcome and if they are correct it would be very significant proof of theory. That information does have weight and needs to be accounted for.


Thud t1_iwswqf1 wrote

Basically, dark matter is the comments in the source code of the universe. Probably a lot of TODO statements.


tenno0o t1_iwtpgp9 wrote

ok hear me out, what if those 'particals' are like Zombie-Particals? And they just exist for the search of mass to gather?
Absolute amateur here btw so pls don't stone me


dioxol-5-yl t1_iwx2sco wrote

Just look at the two most recent citations - him and only him. This is something he came up with and published in low tier journals as the sole author. That means that it's not definitely wrong but it's likely an obscure theory that nobody else thinks is likely hence the sole author in not great journals. I wouldn't over think it, as it's hardly something that has a lot of academic support behind it


Stark_Athlon t1_iwrfrpn wrote

I'm an idiot. A confused one, at that: how does it have energy if it's not spinning?


EntropicallyGrave t1_iwrgohy wrote

since i'm right here - "spin" is this other thing; it can only be "up" or "down"... electrons have it


QVRedit t1_iwscr1m wrote

Spin is a information state of some kinds of particles, anything with charge also seems to have spin.

Neutrons may have spin, because of being made up of quarks.


7heCulture t1_iws4v74 wrote

Sooo… dark matter is the collection of all souls (expressions of minds/information) of all living beings from the past, present and future? I see a book from P.F. Hamilton there… akin to the void trilogy


QVRedit t1_iwsccr0 wrote

No - it would be the information content if the space, including the matter.


Seiren- t1_iws9tuw wrote

The universe is a simulation, clearly, ‘information bit’. Dark matter is just the 1s and 0s that make up the backdrop of the universe