Short and silly question, but it opens-up to a separation of idealism and materialism on the basis of information.

If computations (in the scenario of a materialistic-computational perspective of the world) occur in matter, then said computation looks like some interaction (of what precisely, some generalized concept of discrete units ?); but said interaction executes then outside of these units, since it would be otherwise a negation of this "discretization": the units would need some universal medium to interact.

It then seems that the argument from a computational world needs to borrow from the mental perspective at least the idea of some medium of interaction (which can be exemplified by a force, a field, etc.), and that requires either a renewed redefinition of "matter" or the integration of some mild acceptance of idealism. I am maybe missing something as to how a computational-physicalist would build a representation to truly avoid any hint of idealism (as the general concept of things happening in some mind, be it a very natural and universal mind).

In the end, isn't the notion of "information" just a trick to avoid the use of the world Mind (by using an intermediate word which seems more physicalist) ?

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    I agree with you... Is information a third realm, different from Mind and Body, and we have difficulties to imagine it only because we are still victim of Descartes' spell ? Otherwise, The Computational Theory of Mind is "a good model for the mind", in which case the fact that we have a physical model of the mind does not implies necessarily that the mind is physical (aircrafts are "good models" of birds but birds are not made of steel). – Mauro ALLEGRANZA Jun 15 '20 at 11:03
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    Possibly related wrt. information: philosophy.stackexchange.com/q/69789/9274 – kutschkem Jun 16 '20 at 12:01
  • @kutschkem: I think the link relates to a definition where information is taken as "matter in motion", change of matter and its arrangement; in a way, it may imply that we are (or contain) a fixed state(s) from which variation of matter can be measured (hence establishing the comparative point upon which re-arrangement of matter produces what's commonly known as information). Under such a view, all there is is matter, information is a convenience word. My take is rather: suppose there's only matter, suppose also we're not in some monism, how do "bits" of matter interact ? – Gloserio Jun 16 '20 at 12:34
  • @Gloserio Matter obviously interacts physically. But again, computation is abstract, a turing machine is 1) the current state of the memory 2) a small internal state like where the head is 3) a transition function which tells the machine what state is next. All of this is abstract, but of course needs to be physically realized. So, we have a (physical) state that represents the (abstract) information, and we have some (physical) process of interactions that represents the (abstract) computation, and we end up with a new (physical) state that represents the new (abstract) state. – kutschkem Jun 16 '20 at 15:03
  • @kutschkem: I think I didn't make myself clear, I am concerned with a physical computational univers, so my comment relates to a very general definition of computation. Regarding the scope of your argument, which I find reasonnable by the commun definition of the words "information" and "computation", you're accepting information to be represented with a state of matter (a bit is stored in some capacity or whatever). (1/2) – Gloserio Jun 16 '20 at 17:34

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