data

Anything to which meaning, value, or significance can be attached, can generally be used as “data”. This may be a fact, thing, stimulus, arrangement, structure, pattern, change, symbol, process, relationship, or constraint.

Data may exist within any form of memory – e.g., a computer memory, book, pattern, relationship, process, or within the memory of a consciousness.

Data can be transmitted or received through all the senses and through the use of any mutually recognized symbols, metaphors, gestures, definitions, syntax, and usage that a conscious being might assign to data by means of shared conventions used in their representation.

The simplest and most useful form of data is the bit. The bit is the smallest unit of data in a data processor (computer). All other forms of data can be represented in terms of bits. Digital computing is computing based on discrete bits.

Virtual reality must be a digital simulation created within a digital data processing system. Such a system is generally known as a “digital information system” because it is used by conscious beings to help them create and propagate more-useful information (within their minds) from less-useful bits (within their computers). The generation of understanding, value, meaning and significance (content) represents information.

Information, unlike data, is always non-physical. Information can only exist within a consciousness. Without consciousness, there may be data but not information. Only data can be transmitted. Information content is always dependent upon, unique to, and contained within the consciousness that is interpreting the data.

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