Marks and Remarks
Food for the Mind and Eye

No. 0092, August 20, 2015


The State of the Universe

Copyright 2015 by S. W. Paul Wyszkowski

     "That's the state of the universe?" Prickles, the philosophical hedgehog I live with, is amazed. Pretty much. At least, that was the recent state of a region of it.

     The universe being in constant flux, its general state is not determinable. Nevertheless, its state constitutes its fundamental reality - all that which can [potentially] be known, and it keeps changing. We observe some of the local changes in state and from our observations we infer what the general state of the universe must have been and what it is likely to be in the foreseeable future.

     Another word for "that which can be known" is "information". The universe is information. We are aware that it is constantly changing so the question "is the amount of information also changing?" is a reasonable one. The answer appears to be yes, the amount of information seems to be generally diminishing although locally, in particular regions of the universe, it may be actually increasing. The amount of information depends on the balance between chaos and order: both highly chaotic and highly ordered regions of the universe are not very informative. Maximum information occurs in the regions where chaos and order are in balance. We are fortunate to live in one such region. Of course, we are highly informative so, naturally, we would not exist in a less balanced region. "So luck has nothing to do with it," notes Prickles. I stand corrected.

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