Friday, July 26, 2013

Theory and operational reality

"Science is a relationship between what we can represent and think about and what's actually 'out there;' it's an extension of good mapmaking." - Alan Kay computer scientist with Hewlett Packard (p118, What We Believe but Cannot Prove)

"What I believe but cannot prove is that quantum physics requires us to abandon the distinction between information and reality. Why do I believe this? Because it is impossible to make an operational distinction between reality and information." - Aton Zeilinger, professor at the University of Vienna  (p223, What We Believe but Cannot Prove)

"I think the notions of space and time will turn out to be useful only within some approximation. They are similar to notions like 'the surface of the water,' individual atoms forming water and air; on the smallest scales, there isn't really any surface there. I am convinced that space and time are, like the surface of the water, convenient macroscopic approximations - flimsy and illusory, screens that our minds use to organize reality." - Carlo Rovelli, physicist at the Centre de Physique Theorique in Marseille (p229, What We Believe but Cannot Prove)