Frontpage Summary Full text (free) Audiobook (free) Buy the book Videos Podcasts

16.14. Entropy, time and information

Another mystery that can now be given a new description is the relationship between entropy, time and information.

Entropy is about the distribution of energy in the universe.

It started, again according to physics, with a huge amount of energy, The Big Bang. The energy was concentrated in one point, a singularity. The degree of disorder, chaos, spread – «entropy», was small. The energy available to perform useful work, so-called free energy3, was similarly large.

Then this energy branched out thinner and thinner in the universe. Concentrations are everywhere lower than at the beginning. Entropy is increasing.

It never happens that energy spontaneously changes direction, i.e., from being scattered to becoming more concentrated again. If you have first lost a glass on the floor so that it shattered, it is impossible to reverse the incident.

Yes, energy can be packed together in countless ways; it happens all the time, for example, in batteries, but never spontaneously, never by itself. Then there must be external conditions, an influence of energy from outside.

Because entropy only goes in one direction, one speculates that this may be why we also experience time in only one direction.

Time cannot be reversed because entropy cannot be reversed. Time goes in one direction and never «backwards».

Admittedly, this is the only phenomenon in physics that is so; most other processes are time-invariable. Therefore, one suspects that entropy and time are related.

Then it turned out that situations with reversed entropy are still conceivable. There is a thought experiment that requires a deeper explanation. I shall not spend time describing it here; you can instead watch this video, which explains it excellently.

The conclusion from the video is that entropy and time are not just about energy, but about information.

When energy spreads outwards, work is done. This work leads to changes, which in essence are information. We, too, in our theory, have already said that change and energy are the same.

Information is generally playing an increasingly important role in physics and everywhere else.

The mathematician Claude Shannon laid an important foundation through theoretical work done for The Bell Labs in the USA in the late 1940s. The goal was to find out how information can be transmitted without loss through radio waves, telephony, satellites and all our other analogue and digital media. Bell Labs was central to the development of just about everything that exists in electronic information technology (ref).

In the 1980s, two researchers at IBM (ref) discovered that although energy apparently, as in the thought experiment in the video, can increase in concentration without the addition of external energy, then what happens in the brain must also be included in the calculation.

When energy is spontaneously concentrated, there is a change in knowledge about the energy. This knowledge is processed in the brain, which also requires energy. When this fact is included, there no longer is any free energy left over, and the principle of entropy holds.

But at the same time, the concept of knowledge, information, must be considered. It turns out that the entropy principle also applies to information and that information laws are probably more fundamental than the thermodynamic laws of energy.

Today, information theory is central in many contexts. For example, the Swedish-American physicist Max Tegmark has claimed (ref) that everything physical can be traced back to mathematics, i.e. information – something abstract. Thought.

That was physics.

Then there was us.

In an idealistic world created by thought, this is the most natural thing. We say that the apparent material universe is, in fact, an abstraction, a mental notion.

In our theory, everything is information, knowledge, and nothing else.

The three seemingly essentially different and incompatible phenomena of information (concepts, interpretations), energy (the interpretation of change) and time (change of distances in space) – are linked in a causal mental relationship.

What in physics is a problem – is, with us, the fundamental mechanism in the creation of the universe.

I have already described this.

Abstract knowledge – interpretations of emergent impressions – is the very thing that creates the Pattern, the zero-point field, from which everything else arises.

I have also devoted a small chapter to some thoughts that knowledge, once established, can never disappear.

If the knowledge only existed for a while, developing a universe as we observe it would be impossible. The laws of nature would then not be universal but change and function differently every time new ideas should emerge.

It is also impossible to have two conflicting ideas about the same.

If one and the same thing, such as the atoms, were to be understood as something one moment and as something else the next, we would have a universe where the building blocks are not the same everywhere.

That's not the case. It is assumed that photons, the other fundamental particles, elements, gravity, energy, etc., are identical and function the same throughout the universe. So far, that seems to hold.

Knowledge is universally remembered.

The Experiencer knows what it is thinking.

You do too. You don't think apple one moment and wrench the next – about the same.

Admittedly, you often experience being forgetful, you can even become senile, but that's about something entirely different. You experience the world through the notion of a body and brain – from a very narrow perspective.

In the chapter on dissociation a little later in the book, you are the main theme. There we will consider how the notion of you is likely to arise and how you thus see the world as opposed to how the universal Experiencer likely sees it.

Right now, the observation is the following: In physics, a generally accepted reasoning about entropy and time leads to the conclusion that everything in nature can turn out to be about information.

The scientific view is that also the material world can, in essence, have its origin in abstract knowledge, including mathematics.

So concrete is it that one believes the energy use of thought activity in the brain must be included when one is to calculate and fully understand entropy and time.

Thus, there exists a theoretical connection between the material and the mental that physics itself has come up with! We sense a way to a united understanding of thought and matter, to use two everyday words.

And do not forget (sic) this either, because it is crucial in the sequel: knowledge can not disappear, just as little as energy – the fuel of physics – can.