Here is a summary statement in Gleick’s own words: “Information is, we now know, the vital principle of our own world. It’s what the world runs on.” Gleick tells us that physicist tell us that information at its absolute core is a single “bit.” That bit has two possible states, yes/no, either/or, on/off. Robert Siegel then suggests that such a thing as the moon, for instance, surely as it were exists, just so, and that it becomes “information” only when a person sees it. Gleick’s response is an interesting summation of this new view of information. He says:
I am not suggesting that physicist have given up on the idea that there are such things as matter and energy, far from it, but physicist have started to talk as though at the fundamental core of things lies information.What is missing here, of course—and the aspect that Robert Siegel was trying unsuccessfully to introduce—is that the concept of information, as either an idea or as “knowledge communicated”—necessarily implies the presence of a conscious being that holds the idea or communicates it to another being who is also conscious. Information in the total absence of a person is unintelligible. Gleick does, at the very end, say that this all sounds a little mystical. And it does—unless, of course, we include the missing element banned from the concept of information (agency, intentionality). When we do, things rapidly sort.