Hi Russell and Bruno,

    I’ve been slowly reading “The Theory of Nothing” by Russell K. Standish and 
stumbled over the following sentence (that has Bruno’s discussion of the Movie 
Graph Argument and Maudlin’s Olympia and Klara in the context): “All physical 
processes occupying single predetermined world lines must be equivalent to a 
recording of the process.” pg. 144.

1) Does this statement not seem only consistent with a purely Newtonian 
definition of a process such that the “single predetermined world line”? How is 
the fact that our physical world is demonstrably only approximately Newtonian 
not require us to rethink this statement? I contend that there is a lot of 
rubbish ideas being taken seriously by serious thinkers in fundamental  
studies. One is that the Planck constant implies that Nature’s behaviors only 
exists in integer multiples of this constant. Such an assumption leads to 
nonsense such as the idea that space-time is granular at small size/high energy 
scales. This idea has observable consequences that have been observed to not be 
the case. Resent observations of ultra high energy gamma ray photons have shown 
that space-time is smooth even at those scales in direct violation of the 
nonsense’s predictions. Are we not using empirical evidence to guide our 
considerations?

2) How is there a difference between the information content in the recording 
and the information content implicit in the causal structure that is implicit 
in the phrase “single predetermined world line”? I worry that we are running 
roughshod over subtle arguments about why our physical world requires at least 
the Real numbers to be described faithfully. The conservation laws require, per 
Noether’s theorems, smooth analycity of the transformation of both spatial and 
temporal variables. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noether%27s_theorem How do we 
obtain this within integer combinatorics except as only approximations? Are we 
not making a category error in implicit claim that integer approximations of a 
Real or Complex number is equal to that real or complex number?

3) What requirements exist on the “recording of the process”? It seems to be 
that the computational complexity that might be required to generate the 
recording is neglected in this notion of “a recording of the process”. For 
example, the bit string that is encoded on a DVD of the movie Avatar is 
non-informative of the complete process that lead causally to the particular 
sequence of reflecting and non-reflecting pips on the metal foil of the DVD 
plastic disc. One could prove that there could exists a very large number of 
physical processes that are capable of generating that particular sequence! 
Additionally, given a complete set of strings that have the same bit length 
generated by a purely random process, there is at least one that is identical 
to that of the movie!

4) How is a “recoding” (as considered here) different from the output of a 
computation? (There a computation is one that follows the typical Turing 
Machine definition.) It seems to me that both are imaged to be identical N –> N 
maps.

    I keep going back to Wolfram’s discussion of how, paraphrasing, the best 
possible model of a physical system’s evolution is the actual evolution of that 
system. Wolfram’s claim seems to imply an equality between a notion of a 
“faithful” simulation A of a process A* and an actual physical process A such 
that if it can be shown that computational system X cannot generate A* then it 
cannot be considered to be able to implement A. I think that we might be 
overlooking something important in this! While it seems true that an N->N 
mapping process can be should to eventually span all integers that are 
arbitrarily close to all Real numbers, this process requires an infinity and we 
should be very cautious when invoking infinities within our attempted 
explanations of what we experience. I worry that we are playing fast and loose 
with our requirement of mathematical soundness for theories of physics. We are 
fallible and can make a serious mistake by projecting our crude and finitesimal 
approximations as objective 3p facts. Beware of White Rabbits!

Onward!

Stephen

PS, The Theory of Nothing is the first book that actually takes Roy Frieden’s 
and Shun-ichi Amari’s work seriously! I have studied the research of both a 
while back and was very impressed by their ideas.

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