orgtheory.net

the mathematical universe

So, who here doesn’t love grand theories and efforts at unification?  Here’s an interesting article, by MIT’s Max Tegmark, on “The Mathematical Universe” —- an argument for an observer-independent objective reality that is “an abstract mathematical structure” (in the vein of the universe as bits/informational computation).   The article also has an interesting discussion about the relationship between computable universe and physical reality.

There’s more: here’s Figure 1.  (I am guessing that some readers might object with sociology being “derived” from “more fundamental” disciplines above it.)

Written by teppo

June 10, 2010 at 11:18 pm

12 Responses

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  1. I’d say the only way this is plausible is if the question mark turns out to be DARPA.

    I like the way the caption admits that the drawing is more or less meaningless.

    Like

    Kieran

    June 10, 2010 at 11:33 pm

  2. If you’re a hard core sociology of knowledge person, the sociology box might actually nicely loop/fold into the question mark.

    Like

    tf

    June 10, 2010 at 11:42 pm

  3. That would be a bit of rhetoric on a par with much of the rest of the picture.

    Like

    Kieran

    June 10, 2010 at 11:46 pm

  4. Noted: economics is derived from thin air.

    Like

    seansafford

    June 11, 2010 at 12:06 am

  5. Sean: hah! (And, management/org theory?)

    Kieran: That’s where the big bucks are made, with clean, idealized models at the extremes.

    And, this all reminds me of Oppenheim and Putnam’s classic “unity of science as a working hypothesis” discussion: http://mechanism.ucsd.edu/~bill/teaching/philsci/openheim.putnam.unity.pdf

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    tf

    June 11, 2010 at 12:14 am

  6. Interesting… I did not read the original paper, but I wonder if the author read any of August Comte. He did a similar exercise (in XIX century) but the picture was completely upside down. Oh, and of course quantum mechanics was missing, along with couple of other things.

    I don’t know about others, but to me these are really just word games with the names of the disciplines.

    @sansafford: good point

    Like

    michal

    June 11, 2010 at 12:16 am

  7. If you’re a hard core sociology of knowledge person, the sociology box might actually nicely loop/fold into the question mark.

    Now that I think of it, I’ve already developed this idea.

    Like

    Kieran

    June 11, 2010 at 1:51 am

  8. It’s pleasing to know that sociology is the last word on everything.

    Like

    fabiorojas

    June 11, 2010 at 3:17 am

  9. Hierarchy of the Sciences” based on publication of negative results.

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    teageegeepea

    June 11, 2010 at 4:00 am

  10. @teageegeepea great paper, thanks

    Like

    michal

    June 11, 2010 at 10:49 am

  11. “who here doesn’t love grand theories…?”

    Fabio.

    Like

    Guillermo

    June 12, 2010 at 7:29 pm

  12. Reblogged this on wernerschwartz.

    Like

    wernerschwartz

    April 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm


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