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From: Russell Standish <R.Standish.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 10:53:48 +1000 (EST)

Howard Marks wrote:

*>
*

*> There are others that have other ideas, such as Russell's Essay on Occam,
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*> but, the essence of Occam's Razor is that the simplest physical explanation
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*> is usually best, not mathematically. Mathematics, after all, is but a
*

I'm afraid I don't really understand what you're getting

at. Simplicity/Complexity is a property of descriptions (I guess an

"explanation" is a description) - so what does a physical but not

mathematical explanation mean?

Mathematical descriptions have the property of being simpler than that

which they describe. Another word for this is

"compressibility". Indeed, I would take compressibility as being an

operational definition of what it means to be mathematical. (Obviously

in contrast to Wolfram who sees his CAs as not being "mathematical")

Cheers

*> representation of physical reality, and should not be confused with "taking
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*> the place of physical reality." Which is where I differ in the Copenhagen
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*> interpretation of QM.
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*> Cheers
*

*> Howard
*

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

A/Prof Russell Standish Director

High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967, 8308 3119 (mobile)

UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965, 0425 253119 (")

Australia R.Standish.domain.name.hidden

Room 2075, Red Centre http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks

International prefix +612, Interstate prefix 02

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Received on Sun Apr 13 2003 - 20:57:35 PDT

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 10:53:48 +1000 (EST)

Howard Marks wrote:

I'm afraid I don't really understand what you're getting

at. Simplicity/Complexity is a property of descriptions (I guess an

"explanation" is a description) - so what does a physical but not

mathematical explanation mean?

Mathematical descriptions have the property of being simpler than that

which they describe. Another word for this is

"compressibility". Indeed, I would take compressibility as being an

operational definition of what it means to be mathematical. (Obviously

in contrast to Wolfram who sees his CAs as not being "mathematical")

Cheers

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

A/Prof Russell Standish Director

High Performance Computing Support Unit, Phone 9385 6967, 8308 3119 (mobile)

UNSW SYDNEY 2052 Fax 9385 6965, 0425 253119 (")

Australia R.Standish.domain.name.hidden

Room 2075, Red Centre http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks

International prefix +612, Interstate prefix 02

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Received on Sun Apr 13 2003 - 20:57:35 PDT

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