"All the world's a stage we pass through." - R. Ayana

Monday, 6 July 2015

Forget Space-Time: Information May Create the Cosmos


Forget Space-Time: Information May Create the Cosmos

 https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5490/10572282704_4b31e92d92_k.jpg



 By Robert Lawrence Kuhn


What are the basic building blocks of the cosmos? Atoms, particles, mass energy? Quantum mechanics, forces, fields? Space and time — space-time? Tiny strings with many dimensions?

A new candidate is "information," which some scientists claim is the foundation of reality. The late distinguished physicist John Archibald Wheeler characterized the idea as "It from bit" — "it" referring to all the stuff of the universe and "bit" meaning information. 

It's no revelation that information is changing society. What's novel is that information is changing science. So, the question then becomes how to understand "information," a common term whose technical or scientific sense can be disruptive.

Information has multiple meanings: facts or knowledge (things one can learn); a measure of difference or surprise (how much one learns); one of two opposite states (on-off, yes-no, one-zero); the mathematical description of a communication system; the content of computation; quantum entangled states (enabling vast computing power); and power to explain and possibly to cause. [National Geographic: First Glimpse of the Hidden Cosmos ]

So here's the deep question: Is information the ultimate constituent from which the cosmos is constructed? I started as a skeptic. Information as reality seems so outlandish, so trendy — a metaphor on steroids.

But here's how physicist Paul Davies, director of BEYOND: The Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University, frames the question: "Historically, matter has been at the bottom of the explanatory chain, and information has been a sort of secondary derivative of it," Davies said. Now, he added, "there's increasing interest among at least a small group of physicists to turn this upside down and say, maybe at rock bottom, the universe is about information and information processing, and it's matter that emerges as a secondary concept."




The universe written in binary

Seth Lloyd, an MIT professor specializing in quantum information, defends this idea by likening the universe to a computer, "a physical system that breaks up information into bits, and flips those bits in a systematic fashion."

He explained that electrons have spins, which are described by the laws of quantum mechanics. Electrons can take only two distinguishable values: spinning up or spinning down — the same binary characters as computer bits. So, at rock bottom, Lloyd said, the universe consists of information; every elementary particle carries information.

"So, what is the universe?" Lloyd asked. "The universe is a physical system that contains and processes information in a systematic fashion and that can do everything a computer can do."

To Lloyd, information is not just a way of appreciating or approximating how the universe works, but the literal, most fundamental way it actually works. He sees the universe not like a computer as an explanatory metaphor; it really is a computer as scientific fact. As such, he claims that all changes in the universe are "computations."


The claim is monumental.

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2900/14282893024_6a98b6f804_b.jpgTo Raphael Bousso, a string theorist at the University of California, Berkeley, information is not just a tool of measure — it is a primary constituent of what is happening in the world. Information, Bousso said, is not so much "modeling the system" — it is the system. Reality won't work, he stressed, unless information is, in some sense, real.

Think of an ocean wave crashing on the shore, Lloyd said. "Every molecule of water — by its configuration, by its rotation, by its position relative to other water molecules — carries with it bits of information," Lloyd explained. "And then whenever any two water molecules collide, they change by processing those bits of information." Think of each water molecule as essentially instructing other water molecules what to do, combine countless molecules interacting with one another, and you have a wave, he said.

While there is general agreement that information plays a role in all that happens in the cosmos, it is still a minority view that it is more fundamental than physics.

Physicist Stephen Wolfram, founder of Mathematica and Wolfram Alpha, calls information "the most prominent thing of our times" and posits that "simple rules… generate what we see in nature." He described "an ultimate representation of the universe" in terms of "simple rules," which "govern fundamentally" and are "best conceptualized in terms of computation." Although he said simple rules may be more fundamental than mathematics, "it is not the case that "each electron is running an object-oriented program that interacts with other programs. "Recognizing the difference between models and reality, "We shouldn't imagine that the actual way that the universe works is by the operation of similar programs running in each particle," Wolfram said.



Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof

To Alan Guth, one of the founders of contemporary cosmology and a theoretical physicist and cosmologist at MIT, the notion of information as fundamental is not convincing — at least not yet.

"I don't see justification for the claim," Guth said, "although maybe I could be convinced in the future. Unless those bits are doing something different from the laws of physics, I don't really see that there's a question here. If two things are equivalent, I don't think there's any valid way to talk about which is more fundamental, and I see the two as equivalent."

I like Guth's balanced approach that describes matter energy and information as almost identical. That's partly why he can entertain the possibility that our universe could be a simulation, running on some cosmic computer, he told me.

I agree. If information is primary and the universe is fundamentally a computer, then it should be at least theoretically feasible, in principle, to simulate whole worlds on future supercomputers. Hence, we could not now reject the possibility that our universe is a simulation. 

There is a further consequence. A simulated universe, fully formed like ours, would confirm reductionism — the idea that everything, including consciousness, could be reduced to physics, even to digital events. (Personally, I think this outcome is unlikely — I do not see consciousness, inner experience, being fully explained in terms of fundamental physics — though I'll leave it a matter for future discourse.)

Could these theories that give information pride of place — however abstract and even bizarre — ever be tested? Even if the universe were a simulation, simulations are never perfect, so it might be possible to detect, at extreme levels of precision, fuzziness, glitches or even errors in the fine measurements of physics, such as drifts in core constants (e.g., the speed of light).

If information were fundamental, there should be ways of using information to improve the Standard Model of fundamental physics, which, although highly successful, has multiple free parameters so far without demonstrable, underlying coherence. Other possible tests of information as fundamental might include confirming the theory that the universe is like a hologram (a 3D image projected from a 2D source) and that space is not smooth and continuous but gridlike and discrete (like information).

So the question is a real one: In the grand chain of existence, is information bedrock?


Copyright 2015 SPACE.com


https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5604/15571925942_7b262a7f01_k.jpg

Robert Lawrence Kuhn is the creator, writer and host of "Closer To Truth," a public television and multimedia program featuring the world's leading thinkers exploring humanity's deepest questions regarding the cosmos, consciousness and a search for meaning. Kuhn is co-editor (with John Leslie) of The Mystery of Existence: Why Is There Anything At All? Kuhn contributed this article, based on two recent "Closer To Truth" episodes (produced/directed by Peter Getzels), to Space.com's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.




For more information about the information cosmos see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/information%20universe
- Scroll down through ‘Older Posts’ at the end of each section


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Sunday, 5 July 2015

The Doomsday Bunker for Billionaires


The Doomsday Bunker for Billionaires

vivos



Two months ago we went inside the Fed's "doomsday" bunker: a 135,000 square foot facility built in 1969, and nestled inside Mount Pony, east of Culpeper, Virginia that housed some $4 billion in hard currency as well as the central hub of FedWire, the computer network which allows the nation’s banks to communicate and transfer funds.

It was meant to ensure that the US banking system could still function in the event there were still any banks left in the post-apocalyptic world, Culpeper Switch (officially the Federal Reserve System’s Communications and Records Center) was equipped with everything a Fed official would need to survive in the wake of a nuclear holocaust.

And yet, it was in a word, "spartan" even by 1970s standards. After all who wants to greet the post-nuclear holocaust world surrounded by sterile plastic, a Fed spreadsheet (which caused the nuclear holocaust in the first place) and all the cash in the world, especially since the only currency accepted is silver, gold and of course, lead (not to mention a bunker-full of voodoo economists).





Then along came Vivos, a company which specializes in creating the ultimate in luxurious Doomsday bunkers which, however, are not only for the world's richest, but also for those who Vivos founder, California entrepreneuer Robert Vicino, deems worthy: anyone can apply for a spot in the post-apocalypse world but only a select few will be admitted.

Until recently, the company's only community shelter product was Vivos Indiana, a shelter "strategically located in midwestern America", which the company describes as "one of the most fortified, nuclear hardened shelters within our network, located within a one-day drive from anywhere in the Midwest and the Eastern seaboard of America.  Built during the Cold War to withstand a 20 megaton blast, within just a few miles, this impervious underground complex accommodates up to 80 people, for a minimum of one year of fully autonomous survival, without needing to return to the surface."

Like a very comfortable 4-Star hotel, this massive shelter is tastefully and comfortably furnished and decorated, completely outfitted, fully stocked with food, toiletries, linens, medical supplies, a one year supply of fuel, a deep water well, NBC filtration systems, geothermal heating and cooling, bedroom suites, full size showers and bathrooms, a theater area, dining area, lounge area, exercise equipment, kennels, a garden area for fresh vegetables, laundry area, abundant storage areas, ATV's, bicycles, tools, a workshop, security devices; and, just about everything else that may be needed to ride out virtually any catastrophic event.  You only need to bring your personal clothing and medications.  We've thought of everything else! 


Far from any known nuclear targets, this shelter is also strategically located a safe distance away from the New Madrid fault line, the Mississippi River, and all oceans that might cause submersion as a result of a tsunami-type event.  The site is also surrounded by excellent farming, fishing, hunting and water resources.

As the images and video below show, the Vivos Indiana complex indeed has thought of not only every contingency but presents it in utmost luxury.

Below is the video Vivos has created to showcase its Genesis tour:





The company's marketing is solid, if somewhat morbid:

The Vivos network of underground shelters is very real. Watch this video tour of one of the massive shelters built to withstand a 20 megaton blast from just 2 miles. This is one of the smallest Vivos shelters, with accommodations for just 80 people for up to one year of autonomous underground survival. The largest provides shelter for over 2,000 people. At complete build out Vivos will save about 6,000 people - 1 in every 1 million people on Earth in these impervious shelters.


Something is coming. Vivos is prepared for all of the predicted risks, whenever they may occur. Vivos is the only co-ownership community shelter network on the planet. Limited space is still available for those that qualify. Members are now boarding. Don't be left on the other side of the door!

Some more snapshots of the Indiana facility:









Of course, greeting the post-doomsday sun in a 5-star hotel is not cheap. Here is the price list from the company's website.



Still, when it comes to billionaires, $35,000 is a joke. They would much rather spend a whole lot more just to stand out among their equally showy peers.

It is for them, as well as for Europe's billionaires, where should a Grexit indeed take place and things quickly escalate, culminating in a way that nobody can anticipate, that Vivos has just opened its second major ultra-luxury bunker: Vivos Europa One, dubbed "The Elite Shelter for the Privileged Few", which in addition to everything else even has what Vivos calls the "only private human DNA vault on Earth", which offers donors the opportunity to collocate their DNA not in just one place but two: in both the United States and Europe. "Both deep underground shelters offer virtually impervious protection in their hermetically sealed vaults." 

Whether stored for years, decades or more than a century, the Vivos Global Genome Vault pool will be a perpetual depository, preserving life on Earth as we know it.

Or rather, the DNA stored will be of those billionaires who are not only rich but megalomaniacal enough to believe they are worthy to be the template material of all future humans. Which means all of them.

And speaking of everything else, there is a lot. As the Mail reports, the Vivos Europa One shelter is located in Rothenstein, Germany and is one of the most fortified and massive underground survival shelters on Earth. Its 6000 inhabitants can live up to a year without leaving the luxury premises.




According to Forbes, the bunker was "originally built by the Soviets during the Cold War, this shelter was a fortress for military equipment and munitions. After the DDR was merged with Germany, the German government inherited this relic and intended to use it for the same purpose of weapons storage. However, due to a law prohibiting the storage of ammunition near a major highway, the German Government soon realized they could not continue with their plans and decided to auction this 76 acre complex. A wealthy investor purchased the entire property, along with all of its improvements, both above and below ground."

That investor was Vivos' founder Robert Vicino whose "billionaire bunkers" are now on both continents, and who says “We are proud to bring this epic project forward in these increasingly dangerous times.”



The bunkers consists of a planned survival complex that is comparable to billionaire's mega-yacht or mansion - "but much bigger."

It boasts swimming pools, theaters, gyms, restaurants, custom apartments, outdoor space and helicopter service. And as one would expect, the bunker can withstand a nuclear blast, chemical agents, earthquakes, tsunamis, or another disaster. Unlike the Indiana complex where the cost is a relatively cheap $35,000 one time charge for adults, the Europea price list is still secret, although with the property valued at $1.1 billion, it is likely that the final price will be much higher. Underground shelter is currently in 'turnkey operational condition.'

Most importantly, in addition to paying a lot of money for the privilege of reserving a key for the luxurious doomsday bunker, residents will be accepted based on their 'skills' and 'talents.' It is unclear just which billionaire skills Vicinio deems critical for perpetuating humanity: being a legendary insider trader who pays off the government with Picasso painting, being the world's greatest crony capitalist, creating a criminal bank enterprise while scolding people for not being "rich enough", and so forth.

Some more details: the complex includes over 21,108 square meters (227,904 square feet) of secured, blast proof living areas and, an additional 4,079 square meters (43,906 square feet) of above-ground office and warehouse buildings, including a train servicing depot.

The typical chamber area is 5 meters wide (16.40 feet), by 6 meters tall (19.68 feet) and 85 meters (278.87 feet) long. Collectively there are over 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of continuous tunnel chambers (equivalent to 71 Boeing 747’s fuselages stretched end to end). All shelter areas are located behind 3 separate nuclear blast and radiation proof vehicle entrances, and a number of other passages for access by people only. Each of the three main tunnel entrances includes an outer security door system, followed by a 40 ton hydraulic truck access door with hardened steel rods which expand into the surrounding encasement, and a second set of massive steel doors providing an airtight seal shut, protecting against chemical, biological and gas intrusion.

The underground main traffic corridors are large enough to allow mechanical transportation of heavy equipment to almost any point within the complex.

Each family in the complex will be provided with a private 2,500-square-foot apartment, which they can design and build to their own specifications. They may decide to add a pool, a theater or a deluxe bathroom. They will also have access to a hospital area, several restaurants and a bakery.

Other common area amenities will include roadways, a wine cellar, prayer rooms, classrooms, a television station and a detention center.

Once each member’s private accommodations are completed, furnished and fully outfitted, their respective quarters will be locked and secured, limiting access to their families and staff prior to lockdown; while Vivos will operate and maintain all common areas (under and above-ground) pending a catastrophic event.

Members will arrive at their own discretion, prior to lockdown, landing their private planes at nearby airports. Vivos helicopters will then be deployed to rendezvous with each member group, and safely fly them back to the shelter compound, behind the sealed gates from the general public. Members will then enter the shelter and access their private quarters. Each family will pay a base amount for their respective living quarter’s area, along with their fair share of the ongoing stand-by costs for operational management, staffing, taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and restocking as needed.

In short: a complete turnkey operation that every zombie in the post-apocalypse world will desperately try to penetrate and feast on the inhabitants.

And now, without further ado, here is how the world's richest will live in the real world version of the Walking Dead:




With its rolling heels and stunning woodland, the village of Rothenstein looks like an unlikely location for the bunker
The survival bunker can apparently withstand a nuclear blast, chemical agents, earthquakes, tsunamis - and virtually any other disaster. Above, this photo shows a drive-thru blast-proof door at the complex, which will likely be available only to the super-rich.
The Rothenstein facility also boasts 43,906 square feet of above-ground space. Above, an outdoor power station


Vivos Europa One shelter also features its own railway and helicopter service, which picks up residents from nearby airports


Each family in the complex will be provided with a private 2,500-square-foot apartment. Above, a personnel entry door


The luxury shelter was originally built by the Soviets in the Cold War as a fortress for military equipment. Above, its engine room.


Underground, the bunker features countless tunnel chambers, each with their own security system and blast-proof doors


The personnel entry corridor inside the shelter contains an array of white hard hats, with steel pipes running across the ceiling


Water treatment plant: It also has its own self-contained water and power generation system, as well as climate and ventilation systems


This photo depicts 'typical living quarters' in the shelter. It remains unclear how much each family will have to pay


This photos shows a bedroom in the Vivos Europa One shelter, which is being dubbed the world's 'ultimate doomsday escape'


A dining room in the underground bunker


Residents can design and build their apartments to their own specifications.They may decide to add a theater (pictured)


Other common area amenities will include roadways, a wine cellar and prayer rooms. Above, a theater


The complex features all modern furnishings


Above, another living quarters


Alongside its catastrophe-proof features, the bunker will include a collection of zoological species and an artifact archive


Most importantly, the bunker in Rothenstein boasts 227,904 square feet of blast-proof living areas, including this planned pub







For more information about survival bunkers see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/survival%20bunkers
- Scroll down through ‘Older Posts’ at the end of each section


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