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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.