Continuing the discussion from Object Process Methodology:
“Based on a minimal universal ontology of stateful objects and processes that transform them, OPM can be used to formally specify the function, structure, and behavior of artificial and natural systems in a large variety of domains.” - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object_Process_Methodology
“In OPM, an object is a thing that exists, or might exist, physically or informatically. Objects are stateful—they may have states, such that at each point in time, the object is at one of its states or in transition between states. A process is a thing that transforms an object by creating or consuming it, or by changing its state.” - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object_Process_Methodology
What’s tripping me up is the OR between physically and informatically regarding the types of objects that can exist in OPM. It seems to imply that there can be non-physical information, non-physical objects. Does this mean OPM assumes dualism? I’m not yet decided on this topic myself, but I’m not sure a formal system like OPM can sit on a fence.
My belief seems to be that all information is embodied in some physical medium. What would someone model in OPM as being a purely informational object? Would this only work for hypothetical objects, or models themselves? But wouldn’t these hypothetical objects/models still technically only exist in the modeler’s mind (i.e. embodied in a brain)? Or do we skirt around that complexity by simplifying the systems of interest, and ignoring the bigger picture? Would a nondualist modeller just simply never use a purely informational object while using OPM? Also, this just made me think of Charles Sanders Peirce’s triadic model of semiotics where objects and the signs that represent them always exist in relation to things like minds, an interpretant.
I am interested in how @daviding has resolved these sorts of things in his mind, given he is the one who introduced me to OPM.
Am I just being too philosophical here? Though, these questions seem to have been relevant to all the Natural sciences too… As I was just exploring my interest in all of this by browsing the web I found that the physical nature of information has touched many academic fields through history: Physics, Biology, Computation, and obviously information science itself.
First I found this paper: “Information is Physical” by Rolf Landauer
The PDF at the link above lead me to: Information: From Maxwell’s demon to Landauer’s eraser
There are a lot of thought experiments that centre around the second law of thermodynamics where entropy seems to represent information lost in a system.
“Maxwell’s demon is a thought experiment created by the physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1867 in which he suggested how the second law of thermodynamics might hypothetically be violated.” - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell’s_demon
This potential violation is called Negentropy by some:
Biological systems also seem to be based on information too:
“Both James D. Watson, and Francis Crick, who jointly proposed the double helix structure of DNA based on X-ray diffraction experiments by Rosalind Franklin, credited Schrödinger’s book with presenting an early theoretical description of how the storage of genetic information would work, and each independently acknowledged the book as a source of inspiration for their initial researches.” - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Is_Life%3F
There have been more recent experiments that have begun to test some of these older thought experiments, and the assertion by Landauer that “information is physical”. For example:
- Computing study refutes famous claim that ‘information is physical’ - though, it doesn’t seem to fully refute that information is physical, it shows that less energy is dissipated through an irreversible computation (like an OR gate) than was predicted by Landauer. Pointing at an interesting potential of “zero-power” computing.
These articles seems to be less about refuting that information is physical, and more about showing that the second law can be violated… and that information can be used to reverse entropy and create work.
Physicists Test Classic Paradox ‘Maxwell’s Demon’ with Beams of Light
** Which links to Demons, Engines and the Second Law
- Researchers find quantum ‘Maxwell’s demon’ may give up information to extract work
- Researchers develop new variant of Maxwell’s demon at nanoscale
- Life’s clockwork: Scientist shows how molecular engines keep us ticking
I wonder what David Hawk might think about all this. He seemed to use entropy and the second law a lot in his thinking about the arrow of time when I visited him at his home last summer.
Relating to systems thinking, I’d guess Ashby’s concept of variety fits in here somewhere.