Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Gödellian Rhapsody

There's a reasonable popular-scientific sketch here on a 'grand theory of everything'. It's easy to follow and even uses metaphor from gaming and mapping. More importantly, it takes into account the limits of human structure and the problem of defining 'everything'.

Personally, I'd argue it doesn't go far enough - too little looking sideways for a start - and falls down on what life or a deity might be, in more hylozoic senses for example. If these are the best minds we have, good as they are, it may be time for more of us to help out.

For most of that, plus The Glass Bead Game, music, Dawkins, themes in the sly-fi and his work in opposing the cull, you might be interested in the views of this astrophysicist.

If you're wondering about that title, it's a reference to Gödel's incompleteness theorems.


Cygnus said...

Thanks for posting this link... I always enjoy hearing what Dr. May has to say! I'm still amazed that he went back to finish his dissertation after all those years.

I'm teaching a science course for grad students at the moment, and the urge toward constructing a consistent "Golden Thread" (mini-GUT?), even for my own little parochial discipline, is hard to resist. At some point, though, all my attempts to form an elegant, axiomatic "story" crash into the present-day messiness of ongoing research! :-)

About space travel: Soon, I plan to begin posting some thoughts about a new game in which I'm hoping players can explore some of humanity's hopes and dreams in this area...

Porky said...

I'm impressed too, and the fact he went back after so long with the day job he has gives him a very fresh perspective.

Re the golden thread, I think we have to make the messiness a part of it. An obvious anchor point is the idea that plenty may be there already, regardless, ongoing research or not. Of course it might not be too, but that's a real enough thing in its own way, as are both approaches together.

I'm very interested in that game idea...

Cygnus said...

First post on the new game idea is up! :-)