It from bit
In theories, it from bit (LH:1) refers to model proposed by John Wheeler (1989) according to the premise that the universe derives is structure from binary digits, i.e. 1s and 0s, or "bits". The "it from bit" argument is an ontic opening theory, a covert way to sell anthropism and coded god theory.
In 1989, in his In his lecture followup book Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam, he defined things as such:
- “Acts of measurement, or ‘registration’, may affect reality. It is registration—whether by a person or a device or a piece of mica, anything that can preserve a record—that changes potentiality into actuality. I build only a little on the structure of Bohr's thinking when I suggest that we may never understand this strange thing, the quantum, until we understand how information may under-lie reality. Information may not be just what we learn about the world. It may be what makes the world. An example of the idea of it from bit: When a photon is absorbed, and there-by ‘measured’—until its absorption, it had no true reality—an unsplittable bit of information is added to what we know about the world, and, at the same time, that bit of information determines the structure of one small part of the world. It creates the reality of the time and place of that photon's interaction. Another example: The surface area of the spherical horizon surrounding a black hole measures the black hole's entropy, and entropy is nothing more than the grand totality of lost information. For a black hole whose horizon spans even a few kilometers, the number of bits of lost information is large beyond any normal meaning of large, even beyond anything we call ‘astronomical’. Nevertheless, it is not unimaginable. We have an it (the area of the black hole's horizon) fixed by the number of bits of information shielded by that area.”
- — John Wheeler (1989), Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam (pgs. 341)
In 1990, Wheeler, in his A Journey Into Gravity and Spacetime, elaborated as follows:
- “It from bit. Otherwise put, every it — every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself — derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely — even if in some contexts indirectly — from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. It from bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe.”
- — John Wheeler (1990), A Journey Into Gravity and Spacetime (pg. 5)
This, in short, is Wheeler's version of attempting to use information theory as an ontic opening to sell his coded god theory. In the decade to follow, this became the bases for the "information is more fundamental than" model, bandied about by people who don't want to believe in determinism.
Hu from H
In 2007, Libb Thims, in his Human Chemistry, explained that it is not "it from bit", per reason that information theory is just a number based language of computer science, and languages are not fundamental to the properties of the universe, but rather it is "Hu from H", i.e. humans derived from hydrogen:
Above we see Erwin Muller, on 11 Oct 1955, observing tungsten atoms, through his field ion microscope, which was the first time in history a human saw an atom.
- Popova, Maria. (2016). “It from Bit”, Brain Pickings, Sep 2.
- Wheeler, John. (1990). A Journey Into Gravity and Spacetime. Freeman.
- Thims, Libb. (2011). “Thermodynamics ≠ Information Theory: Science’s Greatest Sokal Affair” (pdf) (annotated review: pdf, by Robert Doyle, 2020), Journal of Human Thermodynamics (Ѻ), 8(1): 1-120, Dec 19.
- It from big (redirect) – Wikipedia.