Wednesday, April 28

Can we answer every question?

I read Stephen Wolfram's A New Kind of Science awhile back (and absorbed some of it), and along with Hofstadter's Goedel, Escher, Bach, Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, Penrose's The Road to Reality, Dennet's Consciousness Explained, and many of Asimov's nonfiction and fiction (ideas like laws of robotics and psychohistory), along with of course a myriad of other books, from Cosmology, Number Theory, Philosophy, Neurology, Logic, History, Artificial Intelligence, Network Theory, Information Theory, Topology, Complexity, Chaos, Emergence, Fractals, Memetics, and so on, I've developed my own overall ideas (I won't be presumptuous enough to call them theories, maybe hypotheses though, where they can be tested in reality) on some of the "big picture" truths about the world we live in.

Here is Wolfram giving a brief talk at this year's TED (I highly recommended all of TED's vast archive of talks, by the way, to any thinking person) about "computational knowledge."


billybytedoc said...

The more we investigate the more questions turn up. We answer some, but more are out there. So... No we cannot answer every question.

Metamatician said...

I like how he's using a Mac for his presentation, and if you go to the website, there are apps for the iPhone/Touch and the iPad. :)

Metamatician said...

And yeah, the old infinite-onion-skins argument may indeed be valid. I really have no way to know, being just a primate with finite computational and reasoning powers myself, but it's an interesting philosophical question for sure. Probably one that will never be answered either, at least not by human minds. Computer intelligences may eventually get to the bottom of things... See Isaac Asimov's story "The Last Question." Don't look at the ending before you get there!!!

An Gabhar Ban said...

That was one hell of a story. :) I knew I liked Asimov for a reason.

Metamatician said...

Glad you liked it :)

You're welcome to check out books from my rather large Asimov library whenever you want, since I know you're a fellow book lover.

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