On mind and physical reality

Marcelo Gleiser writes about Searching for The Essence of Physical Reality in a post on NPR’s Cosmos and Culture blog. On the relationship between reality as described by quantum mechanics and everyday perception:

If the essence of reality is defined by our interactions with it, then we must come to grips with two points: first, that “mind” occupies a central place in the order of things. That is, without mind there is no reality. (Not sure how an amoeba would react to this statement, but then again, it wouldn’t.) Many thinkers claim that this centrality of mind is crucial to understanding the world. Even more, that this “mind” reflects some property of the universe as a whole, us being just a part of it. Second, since we acquire information of the world through measurement, and our sense of what is real depends crucially on this information, information is the very essence of reality. Physicist Seth Lloyd, in his book Programming the Universe, argues this last point, proposing that the universe as a whole is a quantum computer. This is in the same vein of the “It from Bit” notion suggested by the great physicist John Archibald Wheeler.