I thought that the idea that the complexity of the real world can arise
from very simple patterns had been well explored by Holland and others
in the "complexity" world. Surely that's no longer a contentious point,
though I don't know how Wolfram treats it. (01)
Christopher Spottiswoode wrote:
> Paola, many many thanks for your pointer to that Wolfram lecture!
> His entire work teems with deep questions that are certainly
> relevant to ontology, and you were very right to draw our attention
> to that amazing performance.
> John, thanks too for the usual balance in your response. However,
> I'm not sure that on the face of it this is correct:
>> [...] he wasn't making the mistake of claiming that the real world
>> is as simple as a digital automaton.
> Whether or not that would be a mistake (which is a whole other
> question...), I think he does in fact claim that the real world has
> a certain underlying simplicity.
> He does indeed propose and investigate many kinds of digital
> automata that are far from the simple cellular automata we've all
> seen. But his work is about how apparently real-enough complexity
> can be produced by simple automata. And on NKS p469 he does say
> "But it does mean that if one once discovers a rule that reproduces
> sufficiently many features of the universe, then it becomes
> extremely likely that this rule is indeed the final and correct one
> for the whole universe."
> where the "it" clearly refers to a long line of reasoning to which
> he appears to subscribe. And while NKS does cover many other areas
> of application of his complexity-out-of-simplicity theme, and his
> "computational irreducibility" does have a great generality, his
> heart and mind do appear set on discovering that one rule!
> That is my impression, anyway, after having studied much of his NKS
> (as best I could...) and tried to follow his doings since. But I
> would be keen to learn of any counter-arguments.
> 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
89 Worship Street
London EC2A 2BF
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7917 9522
Mob: +44 (0) 7721 420 730
Registered in England and Wales No. 2461068 (04)
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 (05)