Posted: Apr 11, 2017 9:40 am
by archibald
SafeAsMilk wrote:
archibald wrote:If you get a really, really big, 1:1 scale map of, say, a field, and lay it out on the field, then the map is the territory.

Well no, it's a big piece of inky paper on top of the territory :P


First of all, I was thinking of a map drawn using coloured pencils. Second, you may run into trouble trying to define 'territory' since it's not the grass or the soil either. :)

SafeAsMilk wrote:Let's take another example: sound waves. They propagate through a physical material, but are not the material themselves. Remove the material and they cease to exist. Not physical?


This is the more interesting question, and I think it's the one the OP is getting at.

I think it's tricky. But I'm not sure I want to get into it, having been through it with John Platko in another thread. For practical purposes, I don't think it's totally daft to think of there being information in material stuff and considering that information to be to some extent independent of the material. We arguably wouldn't be able to post stuff here without allowing that transfer of information from medium to medium.

On the other hand, maybe the medium is the information. Or vice versa. Or they are both properties of the same thing which is neither of them. There are theories that the basic component of the universe is information and that what we call matter is just a manifestation of it.