On 8/22/2012 7:43 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 8/22/2012 1:09 PM, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 8/22/2012 2:44 PM, meekerdb wrote:
On 8/22/2012 4:36 AM, Stephen P. King wrote:
Hi Jason,

Nothing "in the theory" suggests that landscapes are a problem! But that is kinda my point, we have to use meta-theories of one sort or another to evaluate theories. Occam's Razor is a nice example... My point is that explanations should be hard to vary and get the result that one needs to "match the data" or else it is not an explanation at all. One can get anything they want with a theory that has landscapes. Look!

"The string theory landscape or anthropic landscape refers to the large number of possible false vacua in string theory. The "landscape" includes so many possible configurations that some physicists think that the known laws of physics, the standard model and general relativity with a positive cosmological constant, occur in at least one of them. The anthropic landscape refers to the collection of those portions of the landscape that are suitable for supporting human life, an application of the anthropic principle that selects a subset of the theoretically possible configurations. In string theory the number of false vacua is commonly quoted as 10500. The large number of possibilities arises from different choices of Calabi-Yau manifolds and different values of generalized magnetic fluxes over different homology cycles. If one assumes that there is no structure in the space of vacua, the problem of finding one with a sufficiently small cosmological constant is NP complete, being a version of the subset sum problem."

    Boom, there it is! The computation problem!

NP-complete problems, or just N-problems, are ones that consume a lot of computational resources for large problems. But the required resources are finite and the problems are solvable. So what's the problem?


It is all about how big the finite problems grow to and whether or not their demand for resources can be kept up with the load. It seems to me that Nature would divide up the labor into as many niches as possible and have a distributed "on demand" system rather than a single top down computation system.

But you're trying to explain nature. You seem to be assuming nature as a limited resource in the explanation, thus assuming the thing you're trying to explain. Bruno at least puts his explanation in Platonia where the resources are infinite.

Hi Brent,

Of course I am trying to explain Nature, in the sense of building a ontological theoretical framework. If one starts assuming that Nature has infinite resources available then one has to ask why is there a finite world with all the thermodynamic drudgery? Bruno does not seem to ever actually address this directly. It is left as an "open problem". This is why he dismisses the NP-Complete problem so casually... It is easy to think that way when thinking in top -> down terms. I am assuming the known physical laws, particularly thermodynamics and working back down to the ontology. He and I are looking from opposite directions. It does not mean that we fundamentally disagree on the general picture. There is really only one major disagreement between Bruno and I and it is our definitions of Universality. He defines computations and numbers are existing completely seperated from the physical and I insist that there must be at least one physical system that can actually implement a given computation. This puts the material worlds and immaterial realm on equal ontological footings and joined together in a isomorphism type duality relation because of this restriction. I care more about the philosophical stuff and he the logical stuff. That a nice division of labor. :-)



"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."
~ Francis Bacon

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