[FRIAM] Quote of the week

Grant Holland grant.holland.sf at gmail.com
Sun Jun 5 23:06:58 EDT 2011


Interesting note on "information" and "uncertainty"...

Information is Uncertainty. The two words are synonyms.

Shannon called it "uncertainty", contemporary Information theory calls 
it "information".

It is often thought that the more information there is, the less 
uncertainty. The opposite is the case.

In Information Theory (aka the mathematical theory of communications) , 
the degree of information I(E) - or uncertainty U(E) - of an event is 
measurable as an inverse function of its probability, as follows:

U(E) = I(E) = log( 1/Pr(E) ) = log(1) - log( Pr(E) ) = -log( Pr(E) ).

Considering I(E) as a random variable, Shannon's entropy is, in fact, 
the first moment (or expectation) of I(E). Shannon entropy = exp( I(E) ).

Grant

On 6/5/2011 2:20 PM, Steve Smith wrote:
>
>
>     /"Philosophy is to physics as pornography is to sex. It's cheaper,
>     it's easier and some people seem to prefer it."
>     /
>
>
> Modern Physics is  contained in Realism which is contained in 
> Metaphysics which I contained in all of Philosophy.
>
> I'd be tempted to counter:
>
>     /"Physics is to Philosophy as the Missionary Position is to the
>     Kama Sutra"/
>
>
> Physics also appeals to Phenomenology and Logic (the branch of 
> Philosophy were Mathematics is rooted) and what we can know 
> scientifically is constrained by Epistemology (the nature of 
> knowledge) and phenomenology (the nature of conscious experience).
>
> It might be fair to say that many (including many of us here) who hold 
> Physics up in some exalted position simply dismiss or choose to ignore 
> all the messy questions considered by  *the rest of* philosophy.   
> Even if we think we have clear/simple answers to the questions, I do 
> not accept that the questions are not worthy of the asking.
>
> The underlying point of the referenced podcast is, in fact, that 
> Physics, or Science in general might be rather myopic and limited by 
> it's own viewpoint by definition.
>
>     / "The more we know, the less we understand."/
>
>
> Philosophy is about understanding, physics is about knowledge first 
> and understanding only insomuch as it is a part of natural philosophy.
>
> Or at least this is how my understanding is structured around these 
> matters.
>
> - Steve
>> On Sun, Jun 5, 2011 at 1:15 PM, Robert Holmes 
>> <robert at holmesacosta.com <mailto:robert at holmesacosta.com>> wrote:
>>
>>     >From the BBC's science podcast "The Infinite Monkey Cage
>>     <http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/timc>":
>>
>>     "Philosophy is to physics as pornography is to sex. It's cheaper,
>>     it's easier and some people seem to prefer it."
>>
>>
>> Not to be pedantic, but I suspect that s/he has conflated 
>> "philosophy" with "new age", as much of science owes itself to 
>> philosophy.
>>
>> marcos
>>
>>
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>
>
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