- Contemporary messages sorted: [ by date ] [ by thread ] [ by subject ] [ by author ] [ by messages with attachments ]

From: Howard Marks <howardmarks.domain.name.hidden>

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 09:49:44 -0400

Russell Standish wrote:

*> Howard Marks wrote:
*

*> >
*

*> > There are others that have other ideas, such as Russell's Essay on Occam,
*

*> > but, the essence of Occam's Razor is that the simplest physical explanation
*

*> > 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?
*

*>
*

Verbal descriptions and mathematical representations -- at best are only

representations of physical reality -- symbolic representations of what we

believe physical reality is. The math is not the reality itself (disregarding for

now the possibility that the universe is one big CA in a celestial computer!).

Occam's Razor suggests that the simplest physical explanation of a physical

phenomenon, making the least number of physical assumptions, has high probability

of being right. I separate this from the most efficient way of verbally

describing the phenomena or equations that have the least number of terms, etc.

which may not describe the simplest physical explanation.

Bottom line, for example, is that Schroedinger's probability function is not as

easy to state or solve as simply making the flat statement that the probability

is 100% that a physically possible event will occur in some universe in the

multiverse. But, the physical implications of Schroedinger are near infinitely

physically simpler than suggesting that a non-detectable multiverse exists and

that this multiverse is spawning near clone universes to satisfy the condition

that a statistically possible event will occur somewhere in the multiverse.

Take Deutsch's example of the physical effects of a light experiment that has

been described as "interference". Typical interference lines are seen on a screen

in a very simple physical setup with a light source and slits. The interference

explanation/hypothesis has been around for a long time, is physically a very

simple explanation that works, and accurate predictions can be easily made on

pattern structure, etc.

Deutsch's FOR propounds another hypothesis to try to explain the interference

patterns we see on the screen. In this hypothesis, shadow photons somehow

manifest themselves in our universe from an ensemble of very similar universes

that are "elsewhere" but occupying the same spacetime coordinates as our universe

and whose occupants just happen to be conducting the same interference experiment

we are.

There are many untestable "ifs", all of which must be true in order for the

shadow photon hypothesis to be true to explain interference, including the

existence of the ensemble of these lookalike universes. Which is physically

simpler? The wave mechanics of light hypothesis or the hypothesis suggesting a

near infinitude of similar universes contributing shadow photons to our

interference experiment?

*> 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")
*

*>
*

Wolfram's CAs are quite interesting in themselves -- inasmuch as he hypothesizes

that very simple programs can yield highly complex results - perhaps suggesting

that life itself may be such a computation. Certainly worth exploring.

Cheers!

*>
*

*> Cheers
*

*>
*

*> > representation of physical reality, and should not be confused with "taking
*

*> > the place of physical reality." Which is where I differ in the Copenhagen
*

*> > interpretation of QM.
*

*> > 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
*

*> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
*

Received on Mon Apr 14 2003 - 09:52:12 PDT

Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2003 09:49:44 -0400

Russell Standish wrote:

Verbal descriptions and mathematical representations -- at best are only

representations of physical reality -- symbolic representations of what we

believe physical reality is. The math is not the reality itself (disregarding for

now the possibility that the universe is one big CA in a celestial computer!).

Occam's Razor suggests that the simplest physical explanation of a physical

phenomenon, making the least number of physical assumptions, has high probability

of being right. I separate this from the most efficient way of verbally

describing the phenomena or equations that have the least number of terms, etc.

which may not describe the simplest physical explanation.

Bottom line, for example, is that Schroedinger's probability function is not as

easy to state or solve as simply making the flat statement that the probability

is 100% that a physically possible event will occur in some universe in the

multiverse. But, the physical implications of Schroedinger are near infinitely

physically simpler than suggesting that a non-detectable multiverse exists and

that this multiverse is spawning near clone universes to satisfy the condition

that a statistically possible event will occur somewhere in the multiverse.

Take Deutsch's example of the physical effects of a light experiment that has

been described as "interference". Typical interference lines are seen on a screen

in a very simple physical setup with a light source and slits. The interference

explanation/hypothesis has been around for a long time, is physically a very

simple explanation that works, and accurate predictions can be easily made on

pattern structure, etc.

Deutsch's FOR propounds another hypothesis to try to explain the interference

patterns we see on the screen. In this hypothesis, shadow photons somehow

manifest themselves in our universe from an ensemble of very similar universes

that are "elsewhere" but occupying the same spacetime coordinates as our universe

and whose occupants just happen to be conducting the same interference experiment

we are.

There are many untestable "ifs", all of which must be true in order for the

shadow photon hypothesis to be true to explain interference, including the

existence of the ensemble of these lookalike universes. Which is physically

simpler? The wave mechanics of light hypothesis or the hypothesis suggesting a

near infinitude of similar universes contributing shadow photons to our

interference experiment?

Wolfram's CAs are quite interesting in themselves -- inasmuch as he hypothesizes

that very simple programs can yield highly complex results - perhaps suggesting

that life itself may be such a computation. Certainly worth exploring.

Cheers!

Received on Mon Apr 14 2003 - 09:52:12 PDT

*
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0
: Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:08 PST
*