The Last Theory

The Last Theory

The Last Theory

Episode #022

17 November 2022

From clockwork to computation

with

Jonathan Gorard

Notes

This is the second of a series of excerpts from my recent conversation with Jonathan Gorard, who was instrumental in the founding of The Wolfram Physics Project.

I asked Jonathan why he found the computational approach to physics so compelling.

In his answer, he broached a wide range of fascinating topics in the philosophy of science:

- how we moved from a clockwork paradigm in the age of clockwork to a computational paradigm in the age of computation;
- how saying that the universe is computational is different from saying that the universe is a computer;
- how our adoption of mathematics as the basis for physics has biased us to think of space-time as continuous;
- how the history of science might have been different had Turing been born before Newton;
- how the Wolfram Model can be thought of as a way of building a constructivist foundation for physics.

This led us to discuss a couple of the deeper questions of Wolfram Physics:

- is it possible to know whether the universe is continuous or discrete?
- does the hypergraph really exist?

—

Jonathan Gorard

- Jonathan Gorard at The Wolfram Physics Project
- Jonathan Gorard at Cardiff University
- Jonathan Gorard on Twitter

People and Concepts mentioned by Jonathan

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