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Wednesday, July 12 • 15:00 - 15:30
3089 What Does Constructor Theory Construct? - Knowledge as a Physical Property

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“Constructor theory of eigenbehavior” is the most appropriate short way to describe what this article is about. To those who have encountered the idea of eigenbehavior for the first time through this issue and article, let’s say that it is related to recursions within and emergence of consciousness and information in general. In a back and forth manner between constructor theory of possible tasks and eigenbehavior as a viable (since it passes the test of existence) phenomenon. This author uses in an already published paper the metaphor of systems as footprints and wonders what kind of “animal” (constructor) might leave them behind. This article goes further in combining and criticizing constructor theory with the concept of eigenbehavior. Interpretations of quantum mechanics and physical principles are also elaborated.

The following definition is the central idea of this article. We shall insist on it even in cases when something looks unexpected, (counter)intuitive, or inevitable.

Constructor theory is the theory of which transformations

input state of substrates --> output state of substrates

can be caused and which cannot, and why.

It is a search for physical principles allegedly more fundamental than physical laws. Instead of doing physics as usual based upon initial and physical laws, the initiators of constructor theory are foremost interested in fundamentals of quantum computation, but also want to know deeper truths about other phenomena such as information, life, and thermodynamics. All of them are for different reasons closely related to what we call here eigenbehavior. This idea isn’t entirely new, but the way frame the discussion is framed with the aforementioned definition is. Worth mentioning here is also General Systems Theory (GST).

Similarities behind constructivism and constructor theory are not just in similar words, but also in their approaches to expectations from reality and doing scientific work. It is a similar mindset when we try to understand minds by shadows they cast or systems by footprints they leave behind.

The author is implementing in this paper an approach similar to constructivism, but does that in a way that other proponents of constructivism might not approve. Systems science requires a radical change of perspective and this is where the constructivist approach is helpful – in encouragement of open-mindedness about reality and ideology and playfulness with mental constructs. Constructivism in its radical form denies any ultimate truth and this is the point at which we should stop playing and get serious and rigorous. The radical form of constructivism applied to physical reality means that “we” shall never know for instance whether or not we are living in a computer simulation. It is a tiresome and annoying exercise (try to walk while being cynical about each step) in empty philosophizing and a futile attempt by someone who doesn’t understand to deny the right of anyone else to understand or get closer to understanding. Even if humans will never be able to understand everything, that’s because of our limitations rather than physical reality being somewhat questionable. A defeatist and nihilist approach to thinking and doing should be discouraged. It is just plain wrong to insist (and still be sane) that physical and/or societal principles and the Universal Constructor are whatever we want them to be.

This article will have two parallel story-lines in order to allow the reader to compare strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and what the author has to say about it. The author is first and foremost interested in understanding the truth and open to critique (it would be tiresome to read every sentence beginning with “In my opinion…”).

Wednesday July 12, 2017 15:00 - 15:30 CEST
2nd Floor, Room SR 125, Institut für Computertechnik,TU Wien Gußhausstraße 27-29, 1040 Wien, Austria

Attendees (6)