BOOK REVIEW | The Cosmic Landscape

March 12, 2006

Source: Fourmilog: None Dare Call It Reason

cosmic_landscapeLeonard Susskind’s new book, The Cosmic Landscape, pits intelligent design against string theory and the megaverse.

Surprisingly, Autodesk founder John Walker sides with intelligent design, but not by a deity — by post-Singularity intelligences creating a reality simulation: “What would we expect to see if we inhabited a simulation? Well, there would probably be a discrete time step and granularity in position fixed by the time and position resolution of the simulation — check, and check: the Planck time and distance appear to behave this way in our universe. There would probably be an absolute speed limit to constrain the extent we could directly explore and impose a locality constraint on propagating updates throughout the simulation — check: speed of light.

There would be a limit on the extent of the universe we could observe — check: the Hubble radius is an absolute horizon we cannot penetrate, and the last scattering surface of the cosmic background radiation limits electromagnetic observation to a still smaller radius. There would be a limit on the accuracy of physical measurements due to the finite precision of the computation in the simulation — check: Heisenberg uncertainty principle — and, as in games, randomness would be used as a fudge when precision limits were hit—check: quantum mechanics.”