Re: Limits and Capabilities.

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Wed Jun 12 2002 - 15:07:52 MDT

patrick wrote:
> No, relativity and quantum mechanics were introduced to explain
> phenomena that were observed but not understood. Physics did not look
> 'dead' to anyone that was remotely interested in it.

Physics doesn't look dead to me now. What, exactly, is a state-vector
reduction? When does it occur? (And don't tell me that it occurs in
response to an "observation"; what, exactly, is an observation?) Is or is
not time travel permitted under the rules of General Relativity? What does
spacetime look like at the center of a black hole? Why does the universe
have the laws it does? (Don't tell me this is "philosophy"; current physics
may not be able to constrain the answers or even the form of the answers
using current observations, but that doesn't mean no answer exists. There's
a lot of complex, coherent information bound up in the laws of physics.)

We are not finished yet. But as for giving the universe eleven dimensions
in order to try and more exactly explain the values of a few constants,
without explaining the above questions... well, the word "epicycles" comes
to mind. My guess is that physics is ripe for a revolution and it won't
come out of a massive, expensive particle accelerator; it will be a tabletop
experiment investigating the nature of state-vector reduction.

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky                
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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