The Fabric of Reality | David Deutsch

The Fabric of Reality | David Deutsch

🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences

🎨 Impressions

How I Discovered It

Who Should Read It?

☘️ Book Club Meetings

  • [[Book Club The Fabric of Reality. Meeting 1]]

✍️ My Top 3 Quotes

Prediction is not explanation.

The book of nature is written in mathematical symbols. Galileo.

Question are dilemmas. Whichever way they are answered, they create fresh problems by spoiling satisfactory explanations of other phenomena.

📒 Ideas

Understanding how really things work through theories

  • Tinkering, about which so many words were spilled by Nasim Taleb, only gives a superficial understanding of the world.
    • [[Antifragile books 4 and 5#^0eb40b]]
    • Deutsch disagrees, he considers the theoretical approach more applicable are more precise than any amount of tinkering could ever provide.
    • Best theory not only better than any received opinion, preconception, belief and common sense, it makes fare more sense than any common sense.
  • But good theories are born through tinkering, not only with hands and craft, but also with ideas.
    • Note-taking is a tinkering in its essence. I play with ideas, organize them and decompose them as I see fit to create something bigger and better. Is it not tinkering and transferring to theory field.
    • Note-taking is a first step in explanation → theory → hypothesis process.
    • Then comes building a theory, deeper notes out of superficial fleeting notes. But where is hypothesis in here?

Understanding of few principles frees from a necessity to know many facts

  • For the first time this simple idea has been gifted to me by Kostya Muhortin in [[Прочь из менеджмента! Если не знаешь этих правил — Константин Мухортин]], but even if it seemed to me that I had understood it back then, did I actually?
    • I think not in a full sense, I doubt that he himself understands the depth of his idiom.
    • But Deutsch does, and it is mighty good understanding. What it gave me is an insight to what is really taught at school. ^9ed497
      • We only teach children facts, but true knowledge stays hidden from them under all trivialities, we are giving them fish instead of a rod.
      • [[What is knowledge?#^b28920]]
  • A thing is being known is being understood.
    • Memorization doesn’t provide understanding, only familiarity with the context. [[Фамильярность и смысл]], [[Фамильярность и навык]]
    • Memory in digital age became redundant. Why do I need to remember anything, when I have Google?
    • Say I need to fix a toilet, in order to that I have to understand how it works, and this is at a core different approach to a problem.
    • Or even better, not so long ago, I played domino after a long period of not playing. And I lost miserably. Why?
      • I forgot the counting logic, I know the facts about playing, but don’t remember (lost understanding) how to count, Domino is a straight math game, you need to count every move. And I forgot the principle.
    • The logic of the game can’t be understood by memorizing facts, domino has 28 numerical pieces, every piece is put on the table at each end of the line, the game start with double one, etc.
    • It doesn’t provide explanation why is it that way, or what is the logic behind the numbers.
    • Facts, can be understood only by explanation.
  • The world around us, provides many facts, but doesn’t explain them. Which renders useless all its beauty.
    • We have to cultivate an ability to explain it to ourselves.
    • Though in Tri Solaris world, facts were changeable due to the orbit of three suns that were messing with gravity and time.

Aim at why, not at what

  • When we accumulate facts in gigantic volumes we are looking in the wrong direction.
    • We are collecting things that provide answers to questions that begin with what.
    • Wherever, we should aim higher with information. Not at what, but at why.
  • Working with something, strive to recognize it for what it really is instead of what it appears to be.
    • Pop up the hood of the obvious and see how inner workings function.
    • What must be the cause, instead of what powers the action.
  • Why is about coherence, elegance, and simplicity.
  • What is about arbitrariness and complexity.
  • Why related to understanding of how phenomenon came to be and its functions.
    • Understanding is a higher function of the brain. Up to day, computers are able only to store vast volumes of data without understanding why it doing it.
    • Only human’s mind can infer an explanation that is simple and understandable.
    • And only man can understand the explanation, without the need to refer to numerous facts.
  • Explanation covers unfamiliar phenomenons as well as familiar ones.
    • It’s possible to understand without knowing the fact that you understand.
  • [[Прочь из менеджмента! Если не знаешь этих правил — Константин Мухортин#^a05879]]
    [[Целься в Почему не во Что]]

Solidness demands understanding

  • To make anything solid, not only in material world (building, monument, road), but in spiritual too (books, article, notes) you must understand principles first, and reference facts second.
    • Survivalist bias in an essence speaks of the same. To really understand something, you have to look not where you were shown.
    • But to be good at what you do, you mustn’t look where is pointed.
      • If you wish to take good notes, you must understand principles and not process facts.
      • In previous centuries, when the scientific revolution was making first baby steps, craftsmen used to construct using not the knowledge and understanding, but rule of thumbs and intuition.
    • What would Taleb say to this view. Oh, I know perfectly well, he would say that science for suckers. Tinker, infer laws from your activity, make theory and so on. [[Antifragile book 1#^0db800]]
      • He also said that builder of the bridge must live under it with his family to prove that it will stand. Have a skin in the game.
      • [[Antifragile book 7#^b6bbdc]]
      • But he failed to mention why it must be so.
        • Because master of the past didn’t understand what they were doing and used rule of thumbs.
        • Knowledge of density of material was unreachable to them. Properties of stone, wood stayed hidden.
        • That’s why every innovation of the past risked catastrophe. And innovation was scarce.
        • Innovators seldom deviated from what used to work in the past and didn’t play with new ideas.
      • Thus, understanding and good explanation are crucial to innovations and improvement of our species.
      • We depend on them as much as we depend on tinkering and playing with ideas.

No need to understand new notion, understand what you’ve already understood

  • It’s hard to understand new idea deep enough to explain to anybody.
    • What’s more paradoxical is the lack of understanding of what we thought as understood.
    • [[Why is it important to write a note with your own words of Feynman technique]].
  • I am coming back to the topic of note-taking.
    • Most members of the community think they understand principles, and I made the same mistake.
    • It’s not the case with understanding, above I’ve put a link to why is it critical to use own words in notes.
    • Many people miss this simple principle and just copy-past.
  • Understand what we’ve understood depends not on the quality of memory or content of material, but on the structure of the knowledge.
    • What leads where, and they fit together. In short, it’s cross disciplinary work.
    • Impossible to understand without connecting the dots elsewhere.

No matter how complex the thing is, it’s simple at the core

  • Much of basic chemistry is reduced to physics, e.g., at what temperature a chemical compound will melt?
    • It’s almost impossible to deduce many principles of biology, psychology, or politics from physics.
    • Higher-level subject can be studied, since even the most complex cluster of particles resolves itself into a measure of simplicity and comprehensibility.
      • [[Ментальный дробовик об этом знает]]
    • That’s what is called emergence.
    • Interesting, [[Анатолий Левенчук]] meant this when he talked about emergence?
  • If higher level facts are not deducible from lower level facts, this we call emergence phenomena.
    • The wall is possibly strong because builders feared their enemies.
    • Higher level explanation – fear of enemies is incompatible with lower level.
    • The wall is strong because of arrangement of particles.
  • The purpose of high-level sciences is to enable us to understand emergent phenomena. ^aa2a0b
    • The most important are: life, thought, computation. ^8b7e79
    • It means we are aiming and why, through what.

![[Глупый вопрос#^ddeeb6]]

Reality is not what it appears to be

  • Among all techniques of problem-solving I have the least favorite. Induction.
    • [[Critical thinking#Three ways of reasoning]]
  • Nothing can be deduced from observational evidence.
    • Say we are observing a shadow from a flame of a candle. What can be deduced from this?
    • Almost nothing. So, what to do in that case?
  • Nothing external observant says anything substantial about reality.
  • Which brings us to a problem-solving dilemma.
    • How can we approach a problem if nothing we can see is true or, what’s more, influences it in any manner?
    • The issue we observe is a consequence of something hidden, which must be found.
    • The root cause is hidden under the noise of non essentialities.
      • Root cause is hard to identify [[we can start drawing current reality tree#^ed5e4c]]
  • A favorite case with a dwarf and umbrella in the elevator. We can’t infer anything from stated facts, we have to dig deeper.
    • What’s more, we need to change it and see what stays the same.
    • [[The Poverty of Historicism — Karl Popper#The essence of things emerges through change]].
  • The same is fair to a Turkey problem.
    • [[Antifragile books 2 and 3#^548026]]
    • This comparisons first has been made by Russel, and he addressed chickens and the farmer.
    • The same is equally fair to a human being trying to understand the laws of the Universe.
    • Or solving a problem through observing the effects of aftermath.
      [[Реальность не такая как кажется]]
      [[Поговорим немного об эмерджентности]] ^2f06a9

Important clarification:
What is a problem? It is an idea that seems inadequate and worth trying to improve.

Problem-solving cycle

  • In habitual scientific discovery, a specific process has taken form.
    • Here, we separate problem-solving from scientific discovery.
    • In an essence, they are the same, with one minor difference.
  • Problem-solving.
    • The problem.
    • Conjectured solutions.
    • Criticism.
    • Replacement of erroneous theories.
    • The New problem.
  • Scientific discovery.
    • The problem.
    • Conjectured solutions.
    • Criticism, including experimental tests
    • Replacement of erroneous theories.
    • The New problem.
  • What is true for all processes is that no matter how good is a new solution, it all ends with another spin.
    • Only now we are solving a different problem, with new givens.
  • [[А что после]]
  • [[Цикличность решения проблем]]

Problem-solving is an evolutionary process. Beware of your senses

  • Problem-solving resembles in a manner of biological evolution.
    • One theory change another, more robust displace weaker.
    • Theory is like a gene or species which evolves and is tested for compliance with the place they are bound to.
  • All our knowledge of reality is acquired through rigid experimentation, disputes.
    • We tend to look for a better explanation, which is in a sense a figment of our imagination.
    • Problems, solutions, explanation are located in human’s brain.
      • Which is extremely prone to misjudgments, fallible to biases, could be primed according to wishes of the powerful or just tricked.
    • The question here is a profound one. What entitles us as a species to draw conclusions about external reality from internal reasoning and personal experience?
      • If the process of solving happens in our mind, it means that they have been created by ourselves.
      • All solutions are generated on purely imaginative basis, though some of them we can prove by way of math, but math also could be tricked.
      • Thus comes the most important question, what solution has common with reality if is conjured in the brain.
      • What’s so important about ninth planes, for example.
      • Or why theory of strings should in any way be as essential as harvesting this year’s crop?

Pitfall of a scientific research

  • Current state of affairs is scientific community dictated the necessity of the correct prediction of the experiment.
    • It demands that research must be new, with high actuality and in up-to-date domain.
    • But what we forget is that we can predict an outcome of any experiment we have devised. What’s hard is to explain how and why.
  • Feynman once has taken class in biology and viewed under agitated encouragement of classmates how a cell devours sugar and moves after it.
    • Classmates focused their attention on that the cell moved, it was obvious and easy to reach the conclusion.
    • Feynman, on the other hand, asked an entirely different question that left aghast the crowd. How does it move? No one knew the answer.
  • It is possible to shift prediction-centered scientific inquiries to explanation-centered research.
    • Under what circumstances, we must allow our world view to change?
    • How to seek the third alternative, when to stop looking and be content with what we’ve found.
      • [[How to Actually Change Your Mind — Eliezer Yudkowsky#Do better look for third alternative]]
  • The same is true to the note-taking. It mustn’t list facts, it should attempt to explain. Why, not what.
    • Any number of facts could be fit in one sound explanation, and if it was understood, we could find even more facts.
    • Usually, predictions and facts derived from good explanation are just and not arguable.

Hierarchy of theories

  • Mathematical → Scientific → Philosophical
    • Down gradable scale.
    • If something cannot be proved by math, it immediately moved to theoretical part of science.
    • If it’s absolutely not comparable with science on theoretical level then it moves to meta department, to philosophy.
    • If you don’t understand something on a deep enough level, you tend to discuss it in a metaphysical manner.
      • Philosophical arguments in most cases are unreliable.
    • Because mathematical argument is deductive, we can be sure of the conclusion.
    • Inductive inferences of scientific explanations with certain assumptions could be reasonably acceptable.
    • Wherever philosophical argumentation is difficult to gauge. It’s more a matter of taste than anything else.

Welcome to the real-world Neo

  • Deutsch talks about virtual reality, and unintentionally stirred my meditation toward the Matrix movie.
    • What laws of physic bend under the creative avalanche of Wachowski brothers?
    • How far can we go with virtual reality and what avenues does it open to a humankind in science?
    • How can we tell that we are not living in one if anything that we perceive happens in our minds and therefore potentially within the scope of virtual reality?
      • External experiences: typing notes → typing with the speed of light → No need for typing, words are born from the flowing thought.
      • Internal experiences: thinking about words → experiencing outworldly ideas → ???
    • The program of the Matrix uses phenomenal computation power to predict every possible scenario. Say of how a fly will fly and adapts all other surrounding to the action of a fly. ^4cb312
      • Change a simple fly to a person with thoughts, psychological problems, physical irregularities, absolutely random behavior, though Sam Harris doesn’t agree [[Free Will#^4ec529]]
      • The process of scientific knowldge creation can help in predicting future laws of reality, which later could be explained through theories.
        • What harmless experiments we can conjure to prove that we are not in the matrix?

Realistic way to treat reality

  • It’s figment of our imagination.
    • No matter who says what, everything related to it, our experiences and knowledge of it is never felt directly.
    • Every last piece of external experiences and knowledge, including our knowledge of ourselves, logic, math and philosophy, works of fiction and art are encoded in the form of programs for the rendering of them in our brain’s own virtual-reality generator.
    • So what is Matrix?

Note-taking phenomenon in full complexity

  • When we are talking about taking notes, we only consider the physical action, forgetting other aspects.
    • Such as thinking, sources we draw information from, noise it accompanied by, fundamentality of text we are referring to.
    • A single entity, isolated from the rest of the system or parts of the system, is always approximation.
    • We talk too much about Zettelkasten as if it exists in vacuum, which is not the case.
    • It integrated with other parts of information processes and only a tool to the power behind note-taking, the brain of a person.
      [[Феномен заметоковедения]]

Experience and common sense do not gauge anything

  • They are personal, thus render validity of personal feelings useless, when we try to prove something.
    • How do we know what we know?
      • [[Epistemological history of knowledge#What does it mean to know]]
    • What grounds we have to believe in what we believe, and what are the limits of understanding?
    • Everything happens in our heads, the best known and most efficient virtual reality machine.
    • We can learn to count from 0 to 10 because we are physically predisposed to do so.
      • Nature gifted us with ten fingers on hands and feet.
      • What other feature we have that enabled us to perform complex computation and thinking? Head, brain? We are survivalists, why on earth we needed math and thinking, if we could continue with hunting and gathering.
        • Brain is an ideal virtual machine generator, and has evolved to create knowledge, thus become a direct expression of [[Turing principle]].
        • Which is, completely describe every physical process.
      • Bushmen, by the way, still insist that they do not need progress, and in the middle of the desert of Namibia part of them prefer living in rough conditions to living in the comforts, that modern civilization could provide.
        • [[Affluence Without Abundance What We Can Learn from the World’s Most Successful Civilization]]

Observation vs thinking

  • We have talked already that inductive process for problem-solving touches only first level of emergence.
    • It’s hard to see true reasons behind the phenomenon or in our case problem.
    • So instead of looking and inferring, we think, explain at least in several ways and then choose the soundest explanation.
      • It was at the root of what Harry proposed twins to do.
      • [[Harry Potter and the methods of rationality#Chapter 25 Hold off on Proposing a solution]]
    • It is and always has been in science, but philosophers do not consider this process justified.
      • No amount of reasoning can make bad explanation wrong. ^c2b45d
      • What give the better explanation the right to be truer?
      • Nothing according to the philosophers.
      • And it very much might be the case.
      • [[Менеджмент по Суворову — Вячеслав Летуновский#Infer from the goal deductive thinking]]
      • So what do we do in such case?
        • [[How to Actually Change Your Mind — Eliezer Yudkowsky#Do better look for third alternative]]
    • More importantly, what justifies our decision-making?
      • If even bad explanation has a chance to prove to be good.
      • How many times you picked not optimal decision, and it turned out to be great?
    • So what might justify it in the end? Argument! ^10c136
      • Not absolutely, there is no such thing as superb explanation.
        • We rely on laws of deduction, reasoning, and argumentation because no amount of thinking and searching can replace a law of deduction by anything. Thus, nothing can improve explanation except argument, reason, logic, and deduction.
      • All explanation and solutions to problems, decisions are prone to error, no matter how much effort has been put into finding them.
      • But argument can SOMETIMES justify them.
        • Good argumentation usually conjures axioms, but argument itself cannot be served as an axiom.
        • Argument served its purpose after it created axiom, and his use ends there. The adopted axiom is not ultimate or unchangeable.
        • It’s just another spin of a problem, tentative at best, shaky at worst.
        • [[How to Actually Change Your Mind — Eliezer Yudkowsky#Spent arguments]]
      • [[How to Actually Change Your Mind — Eliezer Yudkowsky#Arguments are soldiers politics is war]]
  • When we talk about proving some point or finding a better explanation, or coming to a superior solution we usually talk about finding evidence or proof for support, which in turn becomes confirmation bias at its core. ^16684a
    • The most important feature of explanation, decision-making and problem-solving is not what arguments advances the processes and what refutes them.
    • The process of confirmation of the favourable position is not important.
    • The refutation of less favourable theories is essential. Disproving other approaches, much more critical.
      • Confirming instances in themselves have to point without disproving rival theories.
      • [[Harry Potter and the methods of rationality#Chapter 8 Positive Bias]]
    • Popperian picture of scientific progress.
      • Connect next note with [[The Poverty of Historicism — Karl Popper#The goal of science is to strip away everything inessential]]

Influence of language on thought and the other way around

Not long ago wrote a piece for the forum. [[Мысль и речь. Что влияет на что]]

  • Languages are theories, they determine our views on the world and reality.
    • Vocabulary, grammar, and order of things have underneath serious assumptions and assertions about the nature.
    • Theories are only words, and the language decides what is to be said and what is left hidden.
    • We cannot even know the phenomenon we are talking about because language doesn’t allow comprehension of it.
    • The negative space. [[Негативное пространство]] at its prime.
    • Its main function is to provide an ability to express a problem, no matter the price.
      • We have larynx thanks to evolution and thanks to existence of larynx we have numerous accidents that lead to choking.
    • The prime function of a language is an ability to state theories and solutions cleanly and succinctly.
      • It’s what politics avoid doing all the time.
        • Read the short essay about ambiguity of language [[George Orwell Politics and The English Language — George Orwell]]
        • A task for all of us, say something simple and clear in the most complicated way.
        • Another task, come up with a set of words and let another group describe the group’s essence.

About the significance of life in the great scheme of things

  • Are we important at all? We are just monkeys on a spinning rock.
    • Our ancestors considered Earth’s biosphere principal to the cosmos. Are animals and humans, habitants of Noosphere are as significant as rocks and physics?
    • In a [[A Brief History of Time — Stephen W Hawking]] Hawking explained that time and body are just figments of our imagination.
    • Time perceived only on psychological level by humans.
      • Does it exist outside our heads?
      • What is your attitude towards time? How do you feel it, does it trickle or rush?
    • Fundamental science is physics.
      • Chemistry is an offshoot, organic chemistry is another offshoot (studies the properties of compounds of the element carbon).
      • Biology is an offshoot of organic chemistry and only because we are happened to be a subject of biology it touches us.
      • Wherever, physics studies the laws of nature, of which we are happened to be a part of.
      • It’s self-evident and important that life and the entire universe conforms to its principles.

Living things kick back when irritated


  • And also replicable, but replicability isn’t unique to living things.
    • A good joke could replicate, ideas are replicated constantly.
    • So, can we call them alive? What about a code? With zero cost of replication.
      • [[Человек — исполнитель кода]]
      • [[Продукты с нулевой маржинальной стоимостью реплицирования]]
      • Can all this be called living things? What else is replicable and how?
  • Living things are in a sense a code. DNA and all of them have it with slight variation. ^0e342d
    • Genes, computer programs of our bodies are expressed in sequences of A,C,G,T, standard genetic code.
    • We try to build AI on just 0 and 1, when a true life, as we can see, is born out of twice as long sequence.
    • Maybe the problem to AI lies not in answering the question, what is creativity, but in finding a way of expanding the sequence: 0,1,2,3?
      • [[Креативность ключик появления ИИ]]
    • [[Все живое при достаточно долгом раздражении отвечает]]
  • Creativity kicks in when irritated long enough with different domains and substantial number of tries.
  • Replication is essential for survival of knowledge, or any other physical object.
    • In order to survive for a long enough, it must have an ability to transfer the best features into the future.
    • Transferred knowledge adapts to the niche it occupies at the moment and changes it accordingly, and change itself according to the environment it has found itself in.
    • As different species, that might be tailored for specific purposes.
    • Or as in Huxley’s, [[Brave New World a series of in class reading]].
    • Genes contain knowledge, and we transfer them the fastest and the safest way possible.
      • The only thing about that is our parochial mindset.
      • Knowledge could be not only in genes and living matter, but everywhere.
        • The knowledge bearing matter is physically special.
        • Within our universe it’s irregular, across universes it has regular structure, like a crystal. More detailed explanation will follow in part about Quantum computers, and their intractability properties, or tractability, don’t remember the details.

Life always finds a way

  • Rarely we think about impact humanity might have on stellar evolution, if it gets at some time there.
    • Just look at how we have changed the planet, the way we used to live.
    • We have evolved from hunter-gatherers to space dreaming species. In what crazy multiverse is it possible.
    • And it all happened in a blink of an eye, on the scale of a time frame of the universe. Absolutely crazy.
    • But in the process we have not only changed ourselves, but also changed our places of habitat, and not only in a good way.
    • Just make a few: pollution, nuclear wastelands (Chernobyl, Hiroshima, Fukushima). Exterminated life species (beluga), many others endangered.
    • What impact we might have on the universe, space and time?
      • We are still just kids, who are playing with matches without a second thought to possible consequences.
    • In the end, life is a stack of wild cards of universal laws.
      • In the future, all explanations that we have conjured might be rendered useless, improving prior wrong bad explanations [[#^c2b45d]].
      • We take into account the impact that electromagnetism, gravity, radioactive pressure, and other fundamental physical effects have, but completely forget about life and leave it outside the God’s Equation.
        • [[The God Equation — Michio Kaku]]

Moore’s Law eventually make quantum dream real

  • According to Deutsch, in all sufficiently small systems quantum mechanical effects are dominant.
    • The question stays, what are those effects.
    • Be attentive!
  • Quantum computers are a relatively new way of putting reality at our disposal.
  • Why we strive for smaller sizes, better mobility, bigger computational power?
    • To be even more efficient, and to be like this, they require life and thought.
    • To other strands of theory of everything. [[#^8b7e79]]
    • Life always finds a way [[#Life always finds a way]], and the key feature of quantum computers is not that they are also universal machines, but can do all operations in the most efficient way. Less power, less time, more accurate.
    • They do not require an impractical number of resources.
    • What is now in our opinion still impractical. What feature of reality still in need of betterment?

Butterfly effect is not related to natural effects

  • Since it happens in classical physics, it is not related to the reality.
    • Because reality is quantum-mechanical.
      • [[The_conception_of_reality_in_Quantum_Mechanics.pdf]]
      • [[Quantum mechanics questions the fundamental nature of reality Science News]]
    • Weather forecasting, earthquake prediction, hurricane strikes, avalanches, storms, they all have a common trait.
    • Though they are all predictable, it is notoriously hard to come up with a precise prediction before it has already happened.
    • The difference between the real forecast and predicted forecast, calculated from slightly inaccurate data, tends to grow exponentially with time. Too chaotic.
      • The only conclusion we can draw from this, is that the current reality is no guide at all to how the system (reality) is functioning.
  • [[Tractability and intractability of computers vs quantum computers]]

The math is intangible, and does it kick back? On proving anything

  • All living things kick back, when irritated for long enough and hard enough. [[#^3d9608]]
    • So if math is an abstract concept and problems generated in our head are in a sense virtual reality, in what manner do they kick back?
    • What can be counted for kicking?
  • Experiment and observation cannot play any role in proving anything mathematically.
    • All calculation has to find anything in physical world to cross domain of intangible to tangible.
    • Mathematicians are doing this by proving calculations, proved equation has relation to the physical world.
    • It doesn’t matter where proving is conducted, in the privacy of our head or in a virtual reality machine with the wrong physics.
    • Mathematical inferences follow a specific set of rules, and no matter how many people at any number of tries must come with the same answer as anyone else.
    • Only then we can know with absolutely certainty that proof is sound.
  • Aristotle considered that any proof, mathematical included, must have syllogistic form behind it.
    • But maths moved forward, inventing symbolic logic, set theory that allows for connections of mathematical structures without the need to consult the physical reality.
    • Does math without a man? How we can prove anything, if anything is possible.
  • It turns out that after Godel introduced his incompleteness theorem anything in math is possible.
    • Any argument can be validated using a new type of proof.
    • Thus, math become the tool for creativity.
    • If you can’t prove anything with high level of certainty, then invent new ways of proof.
      • Hmm, how can I prove that the Earth is flat? Or it is possible only for self validating arguments, whatever it is.
      • Actually, Deutsch mentioned that only abstract concept could be proved in such way. By finding new way of proof.
      • What abstract thing I can come up with for people to play with?
    • Proving something is such a way, requires understanding of explanation that accompanies them.

Math happens in human’s brain

  • And this is the greatest limit to a computer.
    • It can’t render all human processes that are essential for math becoming real.
    • Nevertheless, the world is still comprehensible and is done not by ensuring universality of computations, but by the ability of math to impinge its concepts directly into human’s brain.
    • We can explain the world and physics behind it because the brain is capable of perceiving reality of mathematical forms.
    • And perceive mathematical truth with absolute certainty.
  • Though, there is a catch. Not all forms are open for understanding …

Attaining perfection is impossible

  • It’s obvious, though it depends on the way we look on it.
    • The world is an imperfect place with many injustices and misconducts.
    • Though, we are still looking it. Everywhere except where it is important.
    • What is perfection if we can’t understand it at the core?
    • Is there an ideal chess move, and a perfect timing or impeccable solution?
      • I think not. But it doesn’t mean that a word set of backgammon can’t be played in a perfect way, or chipped and broken bishop make a imperfect checkmate.
    • Perfect knowledge is different from the phenomenon or entity being perfect in the moment.
      • Knowledge and understanding changes according to circumstances and our understanding.
      • We influence each other. Say we know what a circle is, and see a semblance of it in the sky each evening. How can we be sure that it’s a circle and doesn’t have another form.
      • Thus, all perfection is approximation of something else. Images in a head (virtual reality machine and real order of things).
    • Nothing is certain and cast in iron, there is no guarantee that our scientific knowledge or layman knowledge is final.
      • Many things can be accepted, but nothing could be certain.
      • Solution to problems, math, chemistry, physics, are good at a specific timeframe. For one they are good, even excellent for others they are wrong.
      • The same is true to Zeno paradoxes. An ideal conditions under which we are unable to grasp.
  • Are Zeno paradoxes are about perfection? We can’t comprehend them in full, because of the way our brain works.
    • What Achilles need the infinite number of steps to catch a tortoise? Their speed is different. How it can be understood.

We are all our lives are lied to innately

  • Red and green doesn’t produce yellow as we are all used to.
    • The spectral analysis of colours doesn’t add up mathematically.
    • At certain point of evolution, nature decided that it will be like this, our eyes will render red and green as yellow.
    • Or another case, the design of vocal cords not optimal, it introduces suffocation. What compromise nature has reached, what is win-win solution here and with colours.

Cause and effect of time is a misconception

  • Common sense which we use to describe our experience with time no more than nonsense from physical perspective.
    • Physicists are afraid of time more than death, as it has been put in the Interstellar movie.
    • There is a truth to it. Death is great nothing, wherever time is gigantic everything which we can’t even begin to comprehend.
    • Time for us is nothing more than cause and effect.
      • Sun rises behind the horizon and falls behind in approximately 10 hours, time passed. And it’s past for us.
    • But time is not cause and effect, it’s our psychological view, nothing more.
      • [[A Brief History of Time — Stephen W Hawking]] chapter Arrow of time.
  • Our consciousness moves through moment to moment, but it’s impossible, because if it did just that, it would have existed infinitely in the past.
    • But we are not in the past, we are in the present, and the only moment defined with certainty is only present.
    • What’s more, not just a moment a snapshot of a moment and our consciousness progresses forward. If there is such thing as “forward” in time.
    • Universe just exists. Why human’s brain needed time in the first place. What forced us to invent this concept?
    • Is it evolutionary or just whims of consciousness?

Time travel is not as simple as it looks as the first glance

  • You can’t just move to some time in the past, walk and change there anything you want.
    • Imagine that we need to go in 1936 and change the course of the history by assassinating Hitler.
    • We use DeLorean, spend the uranium rod, and what?
    • Change history, or create a new future.
      • In a sense, we all the time change the future, with decisions we are making all the time.
      • Even with tiny, not important ones.
    • In a concept of classical time travel, Beef from 2015 travelled to 1985 and past almanac to younger self. Did he create a new future or just changed the only and single snapshot of the past?
    • How back to the future would look like from a new perspective on time travel?
      • That it’s not a continuum, but a multiverse.

Scientific community biased even more than the rest of us

  • Thomas Kuhn considers in his work [[The Structure of Scientific Revolutions — Thomas S Kuhn]] that academic community belief in set theories too much.
    • The belief in what it is prevents them from seeing what it will be, or what it could be.
    • What is obvious, not necessary true, and what is true, not necessary obvious.
    • That’s why I always keep the door to my classroom open, I invite argument from anybody who deigns to take a peek at what is happening in the lesson.
    • No need to be irritated by the fact that you might be pointed at your shortcomings or mistakes in teaching approach.
    • [[Surely You’re Joking Mr Feynman Adventures of a Curious Character#Teaching is an essential part of my life]] As Feynman put it, school, simple question and honest interest are keys to great new discoveries.
  • Don’t shy away from critics, expose yourself to a chance to be criticized.
    • What is the way to provide the best possible feedback?
    • [[Навык обратной связи 4A]] is crucial here.

Basic tenet of rationality

  • Good explanation are not to be discarded lightly.
    • Imagine that we know we can improve the education system, this is a fact, difficult to deny.
    • Some think that the new is the enemy of the old, and no improvement is needed.
    • Or even more dire case. People who don’t like reading.
    • Their reasons are usually lack of time and energy.
    • Instead of admitting that they don’t like reading, they construct imaginative castles that rationalize the decision.
  • But this statement, about good explanation, doesn’t refute one of the virtues of rationality, be light of your feet.
    • If new evidence is presented, then it is good police to behave like flaner and move with the wind and flow of proof rather than oppose it.
    • [[What is rationality#^be0bb6]]
    • Here is an example of what could go wrong with explaining and refuting.
      • Darwinian theory proclaims that survives the fittest among one species. Ok. I can agree with that.
      • But just take a moment to look at this conclusion, how was it drawn? Retrospectively.
      • By walking this well padded track, we can infer that humans space faring species, we’ve been to the Moon and have ISS, etc.
      • However, this inferens wrong in so many places, starting with that we are not suitable for space and finishing with we don’t have the means to become space faring species.
      • But let’s get back to survival of the fittest, this statement contradicts observation. Not fittest but most adaptable.
  • Maybe the problem we have with replication of results in science lies in the ^312eed
    • By many accounts we’ve already solved the problem of induction, with our shift from observation to explanatory conjectures and refutation.
    • If explanation happens in the head of an explainer, then what it could be just figment of imagination and there is no point in complaining about non replicability of previous results.
    • They are all figments of imagination.
      [[Базовый принцип рациональности]]

📚 Related Books

  • [[The Beginning of Infinity]]