Ah... nodes based on catbox arguments, don'tcha just love 'em?

There's a basic flaw in cordelia's writeup. While thereis probably only a finite amount of 'stuff' in the universe, information does not have to relate to matter or energy.

Example - the whole numbers. There are infinitely many (Aleph Null) of these numbers. Each one of those numbers is a unit of information, and nontrivial information at that, since for example its primality might be hard to determine.

If one were to make a node on Everything for every single integer, then one could create an interesting writeup on every single number - an infinite amount of them. And that would still leave an infinite amount of numbers that hadn't been noded.

So in fact, there is an infinite amount of information in the universe - but only a finite amount of it is data pertaining to actual physical events - everything else is abstract information.

Another point cordelia fails to deal with - while matter may be indivisible (and I've seen no proof that it is, although like her I am not a physicist), is time? If not, one could easily say that any particle that exists for a finite length of time has been in an infinite amount of states...

m_turner points out the last sentence may be flawed - see Planck time and Planck space.

In response to what I think is the point of cordelia's response the total amount of information that can be encoded in the universe is not the same as the total amount of information that exists in the universe - I think. And surely every number is a piece of information?

Cordelia changed her response. I would argue that we weren't talking about non-trivial information, necessarily...