Posted Nov 29, 2012 20:45 UTC (Thu) by man_ls
In reply to: Good piece
Parent article: LCE: Don't play dice with random numbers
You are aware that Laplace's demon (as Maxwell's) is nothing short of God-like in nature. And that its very nature was refuted (as seen in Wikipedia) by the second law of Thermodynamics:
According to chemical engineer Robert Ulanowicz, in his 1986 book Growth and Development, Laplace's demon met its end with early 19th century developments of the concepts of irreversibility, entropy, and the second law of thermodynamics. In other words, Laplace's demon was based on the premise of reversibility and classical mechanics; however, under current theory, thermodynamics (i.e. real processes) are thought to be irreversible in practical terms (compared to the age of the universe, for instance).
Apparently this last part has not been stated convincingly enough since I brought it up several comments up, and it is indeed hard to grasp. The consequence is that no entity can predict what will happen in a system with absolute precision, not even a theoretical demon, not even in theory. In theory the amount of information that can be stored is always limited, so that (to state it in modern terms) below the noise level the signal is unpredictable. And the noise level cannot be made arbitrarily small.
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