2011-05-22

The Goldilocks Enigma

The first 3/4 of The Goldilocks Enigma is the best explanation of the current state of cosmology that I've ever read. The last 1/4 is speculation on the future of cosmology, trying to answer the 'why are we here?' question. That too is incredibly gripping reading. Davies leans towards teleology. Teleology in physics? That was new to me, but interesting.

One idea is that we're living in a simulation, a fake universe Davies calls it. From reading The Fabric Of Reality, I've became convinced that even virtual reality can tell us a lot (maybe everything) about reality. So it was with a jolt that I read:
If the universe is a sham, why bother to find out how it works?
I'd answer that even an illusion is real, it's just not what we think it is. A virtual reality simulation of a car isn't a real car, but it is modeled in a computer, which is real. So each part of the simulation maps onto a part of the computer, so you get a mapping between virtual reality and reality. If you can work out this mapping, you can understand reality!

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