Entropy is in the eye of the beholder

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Entropy is in the eye of the beholder

Gabriel Proulx

Quote:Entropy is linked to the computational bounds of conscious experience, rather than being a property of objective systems, argues Dr. Proulx in this intriguing essay. Increasing entropy is but an artifact of an observer’s inability to keep track of information, resulting from a serial downsampling of an infinitely complex reality. This essay synthesizes seemingly disparate ideas to offer a coherent and promising perspective on one of the greatest mysteries of science—the second law of thermodynamics—linking it to fundamental consciousness.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2023-09-27, 01:03 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Entropy is in the eye of the beholder

Gabriel Proulx

That's a nice article!

Some random garbled thoughts...

Brings together several people's different perspectives, but ends up somewhere similar to my own ideas, which come from yet another perspective. The blind men and the elephant is such a useful parable.

For example, I see Wolframs ideas are a different perspective of experience, to how I understand Sheldrakes perspective of experience, where he talks about habits of nature ...morphic resonance.

Similar informational issues appear around gravity/mass/large-bodies. An observers experience of time dilates in a large-bodies presence, relative to an observer distant to a large-body. It's analogous to a processor slowing down, by the need to crunch large amounts of information into experience.

One can apparently leave the planet to deep space under acceleration at relativistic speeds, and defy the aging of the folks left behind on the planets surface, returning again to find them old, whilst you are young. Yet, they have more experience, and the possibility of greater learning... greater knowledge... information/learning/experience-crunching again... if you skip off, you still have to do your homework when you get back.

Although I have my issues with Sabine, Gabriel's explanation of her idea is thought provoking... One of the best way's I've been able to understand my 2021 kitchen experience, is genuine surrendering, and the asking of a question without interruption (and not answering it), over a very long period of time (many hours in this case), to glimpse (or being given a glimpse) of a more profound answer, from something that exists at perhaps a different scale, something connected, but obscured by the different scales and/or patterns that form my experience etc. But I think 'it' might actually be accessible - for glimpses.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
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I find this stuff very difficult to understand so forgive my ignorance in asking this question.  Why does non conscious matter decay?
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel
(2023-10-08, 11:56 AM)Brian Wrote: I find this stuff very difficult to understand so forgive my ignorance in asking this question.  Why does non conscious matter decay?

Do you mean matter that isn't part of an organic entity?

Not a biologist so forgive the inaccuracy but living systems, as per my understanding, actually work at preventing decay/entropy. [This arguably increases the net entropy of the total system (world, universe) though...]
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2023-10-08, 04:13 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 1 time in total.)
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  • Brian
(2023-10-08, 04:10 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Do you mean matter that isn't part of an organic entity?

Not a biologist so forgive the inaccuracy but living systems, as per my understanding, actually work at preventing decay/entropy. [This arguably increases the net entropy of the total system (world, universe) though...]

The question came about as a result of querying the text you quoted:
Quote:Entropy is linked to the computational bounds of conscious experience, rather than being a property of objective systems, argues Dr. Proulx in this intriguing essay. Increasing entropy is but an artifact of an observer’s inability to keep track of information, resulting from a serial downsampling of an infinitely complex reality. This essay synthesizes seemingly disparate ideas to offer a coherent and promising perspective on one of the greatest mysteries of science—the second law of thermodynamics—linking it to fundamental consciousness.
If the above were true, how come non-conscious matter decays?  Oh- I think I see.  Is the claim that consciousness should be able to prevent entropy?
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel
I found this topic stimulating, but I found it hard to crystallise my thoughts on the subject.

In one sense, most of this is not new - entropy is indeed subjective.

For example, think of a DNA molecule of 500 (say) bases. If one considers the arrangement of those bases (there are four different types) as random then its entropy is higher than if you consider that the whole molecule contains specified information (a Discover Institute term) which directs the creation of a specific type of protein.

OTH, entropy is a familiar concept in physical chemistry. As many people know, if you put a strong salt solution next to a semi-permeable membrane, with a weak salt solution (or pure water) on the other side of the membrane, then the water from the side with plenty of water will move across into the other side by a process known as osmosis. This can generate energy because the salty side will increase its pressure as the water diffuses in.

In principle this would still work if you put C-13 enriched alcohol on one side of the membrane and ordinary alcohol on the other side! To be honest, I don't know whether this would work or not, but the entropy calculations should remain the same!

David
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