Beyond the Information Age discusses a new way of thinking about computers, knowledge and understanding. See the editorial for more information....

Nature of our Universe

To learn about life you must first learn about its raw data. This chapter presents a new way of categorizing and understanding the data that all living things process. This new way of looking at our universe may seem quite foreign to your way of thinking and may require you to ponder the meaning for a while. It should be a good test for your open-mindedness in the area of science and technology. Eventually if others adopt this view of our universe we should have a more standardized language for discussing the raw data that we are all immersed in.

Data appears to us and other living things as shape, color, weight, size, sound, taste, etc. Our senses are the detectors of this raw data from our universe and our brain processes the data into knowledge. Life forms are data processors just like computers. A tiny bacterium must process data to identify the difference between foods and wastes. It must also process data to understand when to multiply or when to die. All this data comes to it from the same universe that we all live in and it is important that we understand our universe of data.

The first question we should ask about our universe is: What is it made of? If you ask different people what our universe is made of you will probably get a variety of different answers. A physicist may say our universe is made up of atoms with protons and neutrons. A chemist may talk about different elements and molecules. These answers are true to a point but to most living things atoms are irrelevant; we can't see them or sense them in our universe. What is important to understand, is what our 'sensible' universe is made of. We can find this out by looking at the raw data. Our sensible universe is simply made up of four things; Mass, Energy, Space, and Time (MEST). These are the four things that form the basis of all the raw data that living things can sense. The book uses the abbreviation MEST to indicate this field of raw data that all living things can process to make knowledge appear in our universe.

If you try to precisely define Mass, Energy, Space, or Time you will find it difficult with our current language tools. But, we all know these four things intimately within ourselves. When we see a rock we know it has mass and takes up space. When we feel the warmth from a fire we are sensing pure energy. We also know that it takes time to do things. We know these things because we were born into this universe of MEST. Any other knowledge we have about our universe must come from information which is not raw data.

Last Update: 2006-Dec-23