Re: Justifying the Theory of Everything

From: Russell Standish <>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 21:24:38 +1000

On Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 03:48:54PM -0000, Jason wrote:
> I have seen two main justifications on this list for the everything
> ensemble, the first comes from information theory which says the
> information content of everything is zero (or close to zero). The
> other is mathematicalism/arithmatical realism which suggests
> mathematical truth exists independandly of everything else and is the
> basis for everything.
> My question to the everything list is: which explaination do you
> prefer and why? Are these two accounts compatible, incompatible, or
> complimentary? Additionally, if you subscribe to or know of other
> justifications I would be interesting in hearing it.
> Thanks,
> Jason

I take the view that mathematics is all about data
compression. Certain mathematical structures are chosen as the laws of
physics because they have a utility in accurately reprsenting reality
in as minimal a fashion as possible. Note that the most accurate
description of the real worl is just the raw data, and the most
minimal mathematical model has poor predictive ability. As in
everything, useful physical models are a tradeoff.

So if all possible "descriptions" exist (ie all possible forms of raw
data), with overall zero information complexity, then all forms of
mathematical compression will be useful in one context or another,
subject to any anthropic constraints (how can something be useful, if
nobody finds it useful?)


A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
UNSW SYDNEY 2052         
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Received on Sat Jun 30 2007 - 21:41:52 PDT

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