Ask A Genius 407 – Holographic and Distributive Information Networks
October 9, 2018
[Beginning of recorded material]
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What is the split between forms of information processing at a large-scale, potentially?
Rick Rosner: I haven’t done that much thinking about it. Hawking suggests that the surfaces of the event horizons of black holes are holographic and contain a bunch of information.
It is 3-dimensional with the consequence of being shrunk down to a 2-dimensional surface. I do not know the math of it. But I know what I read from articles. I can conceive of something like this.
The information from the events that transpire in the center of the universe basically get plastered up against the rest of the universe given enough billions of years. It can be seen as a painting over of the rest of the universe.
It is not that the clusters of matter aren’t maybe the sole repositories, specific bits of information, but there is a sequential painting over by receiving radiation somehow encodes the history of the universe on the rest of the universe.
That still leaves the problem about how you get specifics out of everything. Even if there is no place in the universe that contains the logical associations and instructions around the concept of “orange,” you are still able to pull out of the whole mess the notion of orange within a series of associated and specific things.
You are able to think about those things, not in their original context. You can think about them in a new context. It means that we’re not that far in thinking about how the information is encoded, retrieved, and manipulated.
I hate the idea of holography. It is one of those things that people default to because they do not know the math of it, and it seems mysterious. But it probably can’t be discarded as a context or an analogy to think of.
Then that leaves the further question, “If it is all holograms, how do the clusters function here? Is everything some mix between holography and specificity?” It would make sense in terms of how the brain is structured.
In that, we know from experiments that you can poke into various parts of the brain and get very specific reactions in terms of what is being thought about. This book, the researchers found that there are specific neurons that light up when you think of specific people.
The two people he gave were Bill Clinton and Homer Simpson. That is a site-specific associated with very specific entities. At the same time, there are still arguments for distributive storing of information.
Those two things may not be mutually exclusive. Maybe, you do have a neuron that specializes in, among other things, Bill Clinton. But it is linked to thousands of other neurons.
That massive connectedness may be some distributive scheme that does pop out specific information at specific locations but, somehow, it is able to do it via something that is informationally smeared out.
It might be more efficient to have smeary storage of information that is still able to pop out of specific nodes. Still, I don’t know how that works. I would guess that there are information advantages. I would guess this is both for holographic and distributive storage.
I guess the universe is set up to or structured in a way to maximize those efficiencies. But that doesn’t get us anywhere. It is simply hand-wavey.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
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