Consider a variation of the famous thought experiment. A device
is constructed consisting of a random event generator, and an
indicator. When the generator produces an event the indicator
changes state and latches the event. This device is placed in a
container which can be sealed. As in the original we have an
observer (A) who is unable to observe what is happening inside the
Graphing the state of the indicator from observer A's point of
view we have:
This is identical to the original experiment. Note that we are
assuming the indicator has been triggered at some point. The
boundary cases in which the indicator is triggered instantaneously
and never are left as an exercise for the reader.
Now let us add a second observer (B) who is able to observe what is happening inside the container. Let both observers (A & B) observe simultaneously. However, no communication is allowed between A & B. Graphing the indicator state for this situation we have:
From this we can note that while the state remains indeterminate
to A there is in fact no time at which it is undefined inside
the container, i.e. from the cat's point of view.
Now let us rerun the experiment. In this run however we will periodically allow B to communicate the state of the indicator to A. Thus we have:
Here there are two facts of note. First is that as we increase
the frequency and/or duration of the communication between A &
B the state graph for A becomes closer and closer to that of
B. Second is that once the indicator has been triggered, and
this fact has been communicated to A, the two state graphs
are identical, even though A still cannot observe the interior of
the container. This is a result of knowledge A possesses about the
functioning of the mechanism. Namely that the indicator is of a
latching type. If we remove this information from A the graph
becomes symmetrical about the transition.
The above makes clear that the problem of indeterminacy is the
result of A lacking information, not an inherent condition
of the system. In effect what has been done is to isolate the information
domain of A from that of the container (and B). Put another
way we can say that information occupies domains, and that if the
connection between domains is limited or broken then the state of
one domain becomes indeterminate from the other.
HERE ENDS THE RATIONAL MAINSTREAM BASED DISCUSSION AND A MORE
WOO-WOO BASED DISCUSSION COMMENCES.
I did not in fact arrive at the idea of information domains from
the above described route.
Sometime ago I had a part time job doing IT for a machine shop.
When a machine shop gets a job they are provided with a drawing of
the parts to be made. This drawing is used to write a script for
the CNC machine tools to run which produces the part. Typically
the process will involve multiple scripts running on one or more
machine tools. As part of my job I was tasked with developing a
system to store these scripts for future retrieval.
It occurred to me that the drawings, the collection of scripts,
and the physical finished part were all representations of the
same information, just in different domains, the paper domain, the
digital domain, and the physical domain. While each representation
provided some information the others did not, e.g. the scripts
listed the cutting tools used, there was a core set of information
which was transferred from domain to domain. First by the
programmer who wrote the scripts, and then by the machine tools
which removed material from a blank to reveal the finished part.
From this point of view the programmer and the machine tools
served as translators between information domains,
converting the core set of information from it's representation in
one domain to a different yet equivalent representation in
another. It was not the information which changed, just it's