In The Universe in a Nutshell chapter 4, Hawking explains the warping of spacetime according to general relativity and introduces the basics of black holes.
It surprised me to read about "information" that fell into the black hole, and then Hawking spends several pages on whether that information is lost. Information? Really? Information, like what team won the Super Bowl, or how tall Danny DeVito is?
I think of information as concepts that have meaning for humans in a cultural context, at a more abstract level than particles, waves, matter, and energy. But clearly Hawking (and others, e.g. Susskind) have a different thing in mind when talking about cosomological information. So what is "information" in this sense? Is it just the physical properties of the particles and waves that fall into the black hole? Even these are human, cultural concepts, aren't they? After all information per se doesn't fall into a black hole, a particle does, and I as an observer might have information on the properties of that particle before it fell, but I don't get in what sense "information" could have fallen into the black hole.