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Crossing the boundary: analogue universe, digital worlds
Crossing the boundary: analogue universe, digital worlds

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3 Analogue information: digital representation

3.1 Ghosts of departed quantities

They are neither finite quantities, or quantities infinitely small, nor yet nothing. May we not call them the ghosts of departed quantities?

(Bishop G. Berkeley, The Analyst)

This section follows up the ideas presented in and aims to:

  • define the terms analogue, discrete and digital;

  • look briefly at the human perceptual system, which enables us to sense the analogue world we inhabit;

  • explain the principles of the binary system, the basis of the digital world, and contrast it with the familiar decimal system.