Math is Not a Mirror of Nature

Lee Smolin: I used to think that my job as a physicist was this kind of mystical transcendent undertaking to transcend the daily reality and experience of the world and discover this timeless representation of the world where the truth really was.

math is a tool.  There are different parts of mathematics that are useful as tools.  Mathematical deduction is outside of time.  If you deduce a prediction mathematically what you’re doing is representing a set of causal processes and causal relations carried out in time with a set of logical implications which are timeless.  But that’s fine to do if you understand what you’re doing. 

Keep reading Show less

Lee Smolin: Can Physics Save Economics?

It was actually "physics envy" that got us in trouble in the first place. 

When the theoretical physicist Lee Smolin was asked to join a research group to work on economics his first response was "I don't know anything about economics." That's okay, said Mike Brown, the former CFO of Microsoft, "because nobody does and the whole system is about to collapse." 

Keep reading Show less

News Flash: Time is Real

This is to counterpose the picture which is developed in physics from Galileo and Newton and Descartes down to the present quantum cosmologists. 

By "time is real" I mean to say that the experience that we have that we live in a moment, so that everything we experience and know about is caught in time, is caught in a moment, is not an illusion. 

Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

Theoretical Physicist Lee Smolin argues that the fundamental laws of physics are subject to evolutionary pressures akin to natural selection.