Monday, September 27, 2010

Information is a bad word

John Bell had a list of BAD works which have been mentioned several times today. In his article, Against Measurement, Bell said:
"For the good books known to me are not much concerned with physical precision. This is clear already from their vocabulary. Here are some words which, however legitimate and necessary in application, have no place in a formulation with any pretension to physical precision: system, apparatus, environment, microscopic, macroscopic, reversible, irreversible, observable, information, measurement. .... On this list of bad words from good books, the worst of all is 'measurement'."
Chris Timpson (Oxford, Philosophy) gave a nice talk, Information: more trouble than its worth, where he roundly and rightly criticised approaches to solving the quantum measurement problem which claim it is just an issue of "information" and the quantum theory is "just about information".
His D. Phil thesis in on the arxiv and is forthcoming as an OUP book, Quantum Information Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics.
I found the talk refreshing.
One person at the conference who has a different view is Vlatko Vedral, who just wrote a popular book, Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information. An interview in the Observer has the title, I'd like to explain the Origin of God
I will abstain from comment and leave you to form your own opinion.

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