It was an
hour-long lecture promising to open any new avenues to all followers of a
"new kind of science" (NKS).
Many people look
mystified what sort of beast this NKS might be. I think the
OntologForum could shed more light on this "sensation" issue.
Here are some initial
The NKS is mostly about
digital ontology, going also as digital philosophy, digital physics, or digital
metaphysics. Its main assumption is as follows:
1. Everything in the world
consists of discrete indivisible elements;
2. Reality is digital, the
universe is a computational system (a universal Turing machine, a cellular
automaton, or a quantum computer).
3. All basic laws of the
universe are deteministically algorithmic, finite recursive
So the universe is a gigantic
digital computer, a sort of Turing's discrete state machines, where entities are
digital beings, and real processes are computational state
But nothing is new
under the sun (or moon). And this hypothetical proposal also comes from an old
legacy controversy: Discrete or Continuous (as discrete particles and continuous
waves), now Digital or Analogue.
From one side you may state:
the nature of the universe, its substances and processes, time and
space, is ultimately discrete, and reality is ultimately resolved into
discrete indivisibles (monads, computable digits, bits).
From other side, you may
assert: the nature of the universe, its substances and processes, time and
space, is continuous, and reality is infinitely divisible, and never
ultimately resolved into discrete indivisibles (monads, computable digits,
Taking the first antinomy, and
thus basing on the K. Zuse thesis: "the universe is a cellular automaton" (since
the Big Bang 10exp(120) operations on 10exp(90) bits) S. Wolfram has been
trying to build his vision of NKS.
Now, how the simple
rules, or programs, generate complex behavior. There is a sort of formal
ontological relationship: recurrence relations (recurrence equations, difference
equations, from Factorial n! to Ackermann function A(m, n), involving a
recursively defined function, F: X arrow X), affording most complex, chaotic,
and nonlinear behavior. Such relations accordingly involve self-similarity,
when the whole is repeated in its infinite parts in some respects, forms,
structures, etc., like fractals, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal. Here come the new
slogan, ontology is fractal, i.e., its fundamental structures are infinitely
repeated in the parts of the universe.
So there is digital ontology
and Digital Ontology. The former is what the Forum is aimed to: building formal
computable ontological models of meanings by the agency of computing languages
and systems. The latter one is all about studying the hypothetical digital
computational nature of the world, where the NKS is aimed