I just finished reading ‘The fabric of reality’ by David Deutsch. It is a very thought provoking and impressive book. The book argues that the (current) reductionist approach to understanding modern physics and the universe is, although useful to a certain extent, unable to explain certain higher level emergent phenomena. The book ties together the four ideas of computational theory, quantum theory, the theory of evolution and the theory of knowledge in a rather persuasive way. Delightful insights tie the four main concepts together, giving an exciting glimpse of what could be a very aesthetic theory of everything.
I must admit that I found the chapter with the crypto-inductivist conversation a little difficult to follow, probably due to my lack of knowledge of the field of epistomology (no pun intended). However I very much enjoyed the chapters on ‘Time: the first quantum concept’ and ‘Time travel’.
Deutsch provides a very accessible and convincing overview of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics This has perhaps somewhat converted my own views on the subject; I never much liked the many worlds approach before reading this book. However when you take into account the role of time and lose the idea of worlds ‘splitting’ – (they don’t ‘split’, they just exist) then it makes a lot of sense.
The book also discusses ‘Omega point theory’ – a theory of events leading up to the big crunch, which was interesting as I hadn’t heard of the theory before.
It was fairly predictable that I’d like this book, as it discusses the intersection of quantum physics and the theory of computation, of which I am rather interested. Throw in the role of intelligence and knowledge in such a unified theory and you’ve pretty much got me hooked 🙂
The book was first published in 1997 (I don’t read books in any particular date order) so it’s certainly not new – hence I’ll definitely be doing some ‘further reading’ in ths area. I’m looking forward to the next book, which I think is scheduled for release in 2009.