Born to do Math 11 — More Informational History

Scott Douglas Jacobsen
4 min readApr 25, 2018

​By Scott Douglas Jacobsen and Rick Rosner

In-Sight Publishing
Born to do Math 11 — More Informational History

Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner

March 18, 2017

[Beginning of recorded material]

Rick Rosner: Or you can look at beryllium and say, “Most likely, it became beryllium through this chain of fusion events. So it takes something like junk agglomerating, so you pick up a pebble. It is weathered and got some history to it. It also has like 10²⁸th or 10³⁰th atoms in there. It’s not a lot compared to the 10⁸⁵th or the 10⁸¹st atoms in the universe, but it is macroscopic.

So you’d hope — you have to think that the agglomeration of the clustering of particles at various scales throughout the universe. That there’s a lot of information in that. You have to wonder if that’s sufficient information. For some discussion later on, we can take stabs at how that information is encoded because it is probably not encoded in the way information encoded in computers, where you have definite 1 or 0 values. Things mean something in the network of other bits it is plugged into. Anyway, the clustering is where the information is. That clustering, once you get to the macro enough scales, reflects some history, which contains information. But that history is contained in the cluster. It’s not like you have history independent of the cluster. So you wonder, you look out at the universe and see clustering, but it looks redundantly clustered. You have 10²²nd starts. But mostly one star looks like another star. There are different types of stars. But for every start like our Sun, there might be 10¹⁸th or 10¹⁹th stars like our Sun. You have 10¹¹th galaxies that take various forms, but once you’ve pinned down the forms. They all kind of look like each other. So it makes me as, “Well, is there enough information in this clustering to — is this arrangement of matter — You have to figure it is the most efficient way to store information. But is the most efficient way with all of these redundant clusters. But then there’s the matter that is actively interacting with all of the other matter in the universe. The 10²²nd stars that are boiling down hydrogen and sometimes helium into heavier elements. We’re saying on the outskirts that you have a bunch of burned out matter that provides structure to the universe, which provides extra structure to the universe. That more precisely defines the positions of particles in the universe. It, basically, enlarges space so that particles are more precisely defined within space. You can see this one of two ways. One, particles are shrunk down and made more precise and massive in space, and the precise localization contains information, or the space itself is larger than it otherwise would be, which, again, would make the particles more precisely located in space than they would otherwise be. And that that precision contains more information than you would otherwise have.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: It’s a bit like the difference between a low fidelity and a high fidelity television. Even on YouTube, things that are higher fidelity — people going to 480p or 720p — take longer to load.

RR: Exactly! Exactly, yea, that’s a good thang there. That’s a beginning stab at finding the information.
End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner American Television Writer


Rick Rosner

Scott Douglas Jacobsen Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing


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Originally published at on April 25, 2018.



Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen supports science and human rights. Website: