“Sorry, this is now getting very metaphysical,” says Jonathan Gorard part way through this excerpt from our conversation.

We start by talking about applying more than one rule to the hypergraph to create rulial multiway systems.

This takes us part way towards applying every possible rule, in other words, towards the ruliad.

We move on to the idea of measuring the complexity of a structure in terms of the minimum amount of information needed to express it.

Jonathan applies this idea to the ruliad, pointing out that it takes almost no information to express, since it encompasses all possible rules.

Since he believes, however, that there is *some* content to the universe – that it is *not* a tautalogy – this leads Jonathan to *reject* the idea of the ruliad.

We dig into *why* he has this intuition is that the universe is not a tautalogy.

Jonathan invokes theologians like John Duns Scotus, who promulgated the idea the the world is neither completely reducible nor completely irreducible.

He follows the scholastics in steering a middle path, suggesting that there’s enough content in the universe that it’s interesting, but not so much content that we can’t write down well-defined laws of nature.

This brings us, for the first time, to the role of the observer in the Wolfram model.

Again, Jonathan steers a middle path between placing the computational burden entirely on the *universe* and placing the computational burden entirely on the *observer*.

I find this 9-minute exposition fascinating. It gets to the heart of some of the philosophical differences between Jonathan Gorard and Stephen Wolfram, and to the nature of the universe and our role as observers.

—

Jonathan Gorard

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

People mentioned by Jonathan

Research mentioned by Jonathan

- Homotopies in Multiway (Non-Deterministic) Rewriting Systems as n-Fold Categories by Xerxes D. Arsiwalla, Jonathan Gorard, Hatem Elshatlawy
- Pregeometric Spaces from Wolfram Model Rewriting Systems as Homotopy Types by Xerxes D. Arsiwalla, Jonathan Gorard

Concepts mentioned by Jonathan

- Rulial Multiway System
- ∞-category
- ∞-groupoid
- (∞,1)-topos
- Grothendieck’s homotopy hypothesis
- Algorithmic complexity theory
- Algorithmic information theory
- Kolmogorov complexity
- Einstein field equations
- Curvature invariant
- Qualia

—

The Last Theory is hosted by Mark Jeffery, founder of the Open Web Mind

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