I also believe that SW is doing valuable works. Also i like that he started
as a theoretical physicist, natural philosopher. (02)
But there are noted physicists, who could see the things i mentioned in my
previous, like as S Weinberg, : "Wolfram himself is a lapsed elementary
particle physicist, and I suppose he can't resist trying to apply his
experience with digital computer programs to the laws of nature. This has
led him to the view (also considered in a 1981 article by Richard Feynman)
that nature is discrete rather than continuous. He suggests that space
consists of a network of isolated points, like cells in a cellular
automaton, and that even time flows in discrete steps. Following an idea of
Edward Fredkin, he concludes that the universe itself would then be an
automaton, like a giant computer. It's possible, but I can't see any
motivation for these speculations, except that this is the sort of system
that Wolfram and others have become used to in their work on computers. So
might a carpenter, looking at the moon, suppose that it is made of wood.
Weinberg [24 October 2002, "Is the Universe a Computer?" The New York Review
of Books]. (03)
The message of my message was not to analyze the content of the book, which
we need both to read before any discussions of its merits and demerits, and
which for me looks too thick. (04)
The point was to pay heed to its ontological fundamentals and the principal
distinctions between (do) and (DO). The (do), building formal computable
ontological models of meanings by the agency of computing languages and
systems, and the (DO), studying the hypothetical digital computational
nature of the world. (05)
The prolix volume mentioned was just a good instigation to view the
similarities and differences of two types of ontology. Say, how real world
things might be reified as computing programs, if the programs are models of
the world, etc. Or, how two extreme models could be consolidated as one
realistic ontology allowing two complementary positions, etc. (06)
----- Original Message -----
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, April 25, 2009 6:16 AM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Digital Ontology and digital ontology (08)
> Azamat and Paola,
> Stephen Wolfram earned a PhD in physics, he was a professor of physics,
> and his Mathematica system supports the major branches of applied
> mathematics that are used in physics, engineering, and finance.
> So Wolfram is well versed in both the continuous methods of math
> used in physics and the discrete methods used in digital computers.
> AA> The NKS is mostly about digital ontology, going also as digital
> > philosophy, digital physics, or digital metaphysics. Its main
> > assumption is as follows...
> That talk addressed just a tiny part of what he wrote in the very
> large NKS book. Don't assume that he limited his thinking to just
> the digital representations.
> PDM> I like the idea of a simple underlying approach to complexity.
> As a physicist, he had studied the continuous mathematics of
> differential equations. But those are very complex, and it is
> not easy to see where the complexity arises.
> That is why he wanted to demonstrate the immense complexity that
> arises from the repetition of just very simple digital patterns.
> His rule #30 was the simplest example that could lead to very
> complex, nearly random looking patterns.
> AA> 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 transitions.
> No. That is not what he said. Wolfram knows very well that the
> world is much more complex than those digital automata. But he
> wanted to start with something very simple to see how complexity
> could be generated from something simple.
> AA> 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.
> Wolfram knows that. He was not trying to replace a continuous world
> with a discrete model. He was trying to see how an extremely simple
> model could generate complexity.
> One of the issues he was trying to study is the origin of the
> kind of complexity that arises in turbulent fluid flow (which
> arises in continuous fluids, both liquids and gases). He was
> also trying to study the origin of the kinds of phenomena that
> arise in a chaotic breakdown.
> Wolfram made the point that the continuous differential equations
> are much more complicated than the very simple digital automata.
> But even our ordinary digital computers are so complex that it is
> hard to find the origin of complexity. (He was talking very fast,
> so some of the points were easy to miss.)
> Therefore, he wanted to study the extremely simple cellular automata,
> which can be completely described by just a few patterns. His point
> was that if such complexity could arise from a simple digital pattern
> in rule #30, the kinds of complexity that could arise from continuous
> differential equations (or the real world) could be far more complex.
> AA> The latter one is all about studying the hypothetical digital
> > computational nature of the world, where the NKS is aimed to.
> In the NKS book, he's trying to address the full complexity of the
> continuous world. But he's trying to study it through a variety
> of different kinds of approximations. In his short lecture, he
> started with digital examples because they are easier to explain.
> I suggest that you listen to the lecture once again in order to
> see how he related the digital and continuous representations.
> By the way, I have not studied Wolfram's work in full detail,
> and I don't want to defend or explain everything he's doing.
> But I do want to point out that he wasn't making the mistake
> of claiming that the real world is as simple as a digital
> Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
> Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
> Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
> Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
> To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
> To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (010)