Friday, 29 January 2016

Information on information

Here's an idea I happened upon:

"Information without an infrastructure is faulty." (Unattributed)

As somebody who has to read student essays which typically do not demonstrate particularly developed writing skills, I can see something in this quote. An 'essay' that is little more than a string of gathered facts without any structure or theme is, indeed, faulty. Information it seems must be structured to be informative.

Does this mean that the infrastructure, in conveying that structure to the information (at the top level), is itself a form of information?

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Burns' Night (soon)

Monday, January 25th is Burns' night. I shall be having haggis to celebrate, even though I am not Scottish - I just love haggis and Burns night is a very good reason to have it.

Also, to commemorate the event, here is a link to the website of an artist I came across when I was last in Edinburgh:

Melanie Williamson's Website

What I like about her work is its abstract nature (especially the seascapes) while remaining representative; the fact that much of it is square (which I understand is a hard frame within which to work) and - not visible when viewed online - the relatively small sizes used.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A quote on the web (in a video)

"You can probably take it as a rule of thumb that if people don't think you're weird, you're living badly."

For source see the video at the World (Un)Productivity Summit.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Epictetus - 10

From: The Golden Sayings of Epictetus (translated by Hastings Crossley) - from Project Gutenberg.

"My brother ought not to have treated me thus."
True: but he must see to that. However he may treat me, I must deal rightly by him. This is what lies with me, what none can hinder.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Perhaps God must play dice

Albert Einstein (1879-1955), confronted with the conclusions of quantum physics, famously stated that "God does not play dice".

If the universe were based upon simple 'cause-and-effect' there would have to be a prime (or unmoved) mover (a deity of some sort) by necessity. That prime mover would ultimately be discernible or traceable in some way by following the chains of cause-and-effect events backwards. A prime mover or deity that wants to be met by the freewill of a human seeker - which is the type of God of which we conceive in the West - must be a God that is veiled in some way; that adopts some sort of anonymity.

Such a God cannot choose to create a cause-and-effect universe. It must be a quantum, random, non-deterministic universe lest all be revealed and God be found through rational means rather than desire. So, such a God - like the one of which we conceive - must play dice.

The question then becomes how do we re-conceive of such a God... and what of a such a game of dice? What is that really like?

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Post #400

This is the first post this year for Marginalia55 and the 400th in total. So as not to be entirely self-referential, please consider... the following link.