[ExI] Stephen Wolfram proposes new framework for fundamental physics

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Thu Apr 30 00:34:04 UTC 2020

On Sat, Apr 18, 2020 at 3:57 AM Giulio Prisco via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> More thoughts:
> Wolfram’s digital physics is fully deterministic, which seems to
> exclude free will. But there is computational irreducibility...
> https://turingchurch.net/computational-irreducibility-in-wolframs-digital-physics-and-free-will-e413e496eb0a
### It took me a few tries but I finally finished reading the article (
some companion texts) a few days ago and my mind is blown. This is the most
amazing, fantastic and beautiful vision of physics that I ever encountered.
I might be prejudiced here, since I have for a very long time believed that
our world is made of simple mathematical objects. About 20 years ago on
this list I wrote vaguely about these ideas, about sheaves of mathematical
entities splitting and joining to produce the structure of the world, about
finding the simplest mathematical object that could give rise to the
observable world, about modal realism, this kind of philosophising. In my
mind I envisioned graphs or trees of infinitely splitting branches that
generate reality but of course I wasn't getting anywhere with my dreams.

Now Wolfram presents a powerful way of generating mathematical structures
that have amazing connections to many aspects of known physics. He and his
collaborators found structures that create time, energy, entanglement, and
space, all naturally developing without the need to put them in by hand.

This is amazing and truly beautiful.

I just wrote "amazing" three times! Amazing!

Determinism is of course not a problem. Dennett provides a definitive
analysis in... I think... "Freedom Evolves" - I am not sure in which one of
his books I read it. Determinism is fully compatible with free will, in
fact, physical determinism is necessary for free will to exist. But that's
a whole another thread.

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