aquiethope (aquiethope) wrote in lunch_sessions,

Analog or Digital?

Question posed: Is the world inherently analog, or inherently digital?

Information: Analog is defined as being of or relating to a mechanism in which data is represented by continuously variable physical quantities. Digital is defined as of, relating to, or using calculation by numerical methods or by discrete units.

Translation: Analog is continuous, wheras digital is not. Think of it in terms of VHS and DVD, respectively. VHS is analog, DVD is digital. VHS, or analog, is a continuous stream of data; DVD or digital is made up of parts, the 1's and 0's of the information on the disk.

Interpretation: Digital objects, being made of a small number of identical parts, must have a design or plan in order to have any meaning. The parts themselves do not contribute to the meaning of the object; everything from kittens to potato chips is made of up the same thing, i.e. the ones and zeros of binary code. Manipulation of the parts themselves would destroy the object, because the design, which carried the meaning of it, would be broken.

Analog objects, being made of a continuous medium, can be manipulated without destroying the whole, since it relies on the medium itself as well as a design. You can 'bend' an analog object and it will still retain it's identity as an object. If you play a G on a guitar and bend the string so the pitch becomes F, that is analog, because in changing from one to the other you encompass every single minute pitch in between. In contrast, if you program a computer to play a G, it cannot be changed to F without the code being changed to F. This eliminates every area in between the two notes and does not allow for any variance from whatever note is programmed.

So, is the nature of the world analog or digital? In looking at the world, it would seem like both are true, which cannot be. Something cannot be simultaneously continuous and discontinuous.

I ask for any speculation on the matter, and would delite in hearing some ideas on the relation between analog and digital.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic