The term "idea" here is used to represent all pure form. This includes symbols, mathematics,
software, descriptions, and informational content, abstract or otherwise. We know from
computational theory that every idea can be encoded in a string of atomic symbols. For example,
the idea of a square, either the general idea of a square or of a specific square can be represented
as a set of edges which in turn can be represented as a set of points which can then be represented
by a set of cartesian coordinates which can be represented as a binary string. Hence, the
set of all ideas has an equivalent representation as a set of strings. The set of all possible
strings represents all possible ideas.
When we mentally acquire an idea, we can obtain it either from someone else (by discussion, etc.),
by reading about it, or by originating it ourselves by mental construction. In all cases, to
store, remember, or communicate the idea requires that the idea be physically encoded, either in
sound waves in the air, text in a book, magnetic states on a disk, by electro-chemical states
in a brain, or by some other physical means.
This hand-crafted HTML page was created January 7, 2002, by
and last updated August 18, 2010 by Rick Wagner.
Copyright © 2002-2010 by Rick Wagner, all rights reserved.