Data

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“Our world is not wholly a matter of inference. There are things that we know without asking the opinion of men of science. If you are too hot or too cold, you can be perfectly aware of this fact without asking the physicist what heat and cold consist of. … We may give the name ‘data’ to all the things of which we are aware without inference.” – Bertrand Russell

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The pyramid of intelligence rises from data to information to knowledge to wisdom. To be educated is to not exercise one without the others.


Matter can exist in different states. The more physically-distinct material states there are, the more encodable information.


Information is a measurable objective property of the physical universe.
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If an atom can exist in one of two energy states, then it encodes one binary bit of information (0 or 1).
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Information is not a subjective human thing.
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The total amount of information encoded in the whole universe is vast.
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To understand is to translate between the data, the discussions and the math — three ways of representing the world.
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