Sunday, 27 December 2009

Microstates and macrostates

 ”In order to improve our understanding of information we need to categorize it a bit better. Ludwig Boltzmann was an Austrian physicist and he had a rather simple idea; he distinguished between what are known as macrostates and microstates. In physics, macrostates are such things as temperature, pressure and volume. Macrostates could be seen as primary objects or concepts that can be broken down into many smaller independent fragments. Microstates consist of accurate descriptions of the behavior of each of these individual fragments. Alone, microstates do not play important roles in the understanding of the bigger picture; it is the combination of microstates that give understanding and insight. Macrostates and micro- states can be related to information. In everyday life, we could consider information as a summary of an experience. We recount the macrostates of our lives, never the individual microstates that make up the experience. The microstates have been discarded leaving behind what we consider information. There is however more potential information in a microstate than in a macrostate. If we were to converse the intricate little details that re-volve around the mediocre events that make up our daily lives, we would not have enough time to reach the petty events themselves though, so we summarize. Not that the details are not important or that we don’t pay attention to them we most certainly do ), it’s just that they play a more important role to our nonconscious than to our conscious minds. Exformation is a term coined by Danish physicist Tor Nørretranders. Exformation is everything we have in our heads but do not actually say out loud. As an example, if I were to talk about sheep, it would only be intelligible for the other person if they had a prior idea of what sheep are, their behavior and their purpose. This knowledge might be expected due to the very important part sheep have played in our history and culture.”
I borrowed ‘Exformation’ but gave it another meaning – in my model (will blog about it shortly) ‘exformation’ is the result of the operations of the unconscious mind upon the data from the senses.

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