On Sat, Dec 31, 2005 at 05:03:43PM +1100, Kim Jones wrote:
> There will come a time very soon when all of this comp stuff will  
> need to be translated into terms the LAYman can understand easily.  
> Russell Standish has already made the attempt. I appreciate gratly  
> his attempt. Stop wanking off that mathematics is the ONLY script in  
> which reality is encoded. It could well turn out to be music.
> Somebody (with enough musical understanding) prove me wrong
> Kim Jones

Thanks for your vote of confidence Kim, but sadly I am not attempting
to write a "laypersons" guide to the subject. Stephen Hawking did that
for cosmology in "Brief History of Time", which in my opinion is a
heroic failure. It is very well written, and avoids the use of terminology
(eg maths) unfamiliar with laypeople, but - sadly as a consequence
fails to educate anyone.

Rather I'm trying put things together at a level that people on this
list might understand, its a sort of least common denominator of the
various disciplines involved - computer science, physics, maths,
biology, cognitive science and dare I say philosophy. I picked for
reference the sort of mathematical/scientific understanding I had
achieved in year 11/12 of high school. This is not to say that your
average year 11/12 student will be able to manage this, but I'm hoping
that most of my intended audience can manage that level of logical
thought, that is, that anyone interested in the topic can, with some
effort perhaps, understand the material. Sad to say, I doubt that the
general public will ever get it.

Perhaps this subject can get the Hawking BHoT treatment in due course,
but we're probably at least a decade or two away from that.

On your music point, have you read "Goedel, Escher, Bach" by
Hofstadter? I've just finished reading it, and wondered why I didn't
read this gem 2 decades ago. It is full of musical references, so you
will appreciate it.


*PS: A number of people ask me about the attachment to my email, which
is of type "application/pgp-signature". Don't worry, it is not a
virus. It is an electronic signature, that may be used to verify this
email came from me if you have PGP or GPG installed. Otherwise, you
may safely ignore this attachment.

A/Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 8308 3119 (mobile)
Mathematics                                    0425 253119 (")
UNSW SYDNEY 2052                         [EMAIL PROTECTED]             
Australia                                http://parallel.hpc.unsw.edu.au/rks
            International prefix  +612, Interstate prefix 02

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