Does the mind affect quantum mechanics?

Tom Hartsfield at Real Clear Science has a nice short piece that explains why your mind isn't involved (at least not directly) in what happens in quantum mechanics: Does the Mind Affect Quantum Mechanics? | RealClearScience. Every measurement that you can name boils down to an interaction. You poke the quantum system with something (light, a … Continue reading Does the mind affect quantum mechanics?

IBM spending $3 billion to rethink decades-old computer design

A reminder that quantum computing isn't necessarily the only way forward in processor technology: IBM spending $3 billion to rethink decades-old computer design - Computerworld. IBM will pour US$3 billion into computing and chip materials research over the next five years, as it rethinks computer design and looks to a future that may not involve silicon … Continue reading IBM spending $3 billion to rethink decades-old computer design

String theory and post-empiricism

Scientia Salon

18208_Peter_Woit_HD_Wallpaper_Pic.jpgby Peter Woit

Last month’s conference in Princeton included two remarkable talks by prominent physicists, both of whom invoked philosophy in a manner unprecedented for this kind of scientific gathering. On the first day, Paul Steinhardt attacked the current practice of inflationary cosmology as able to accommodate any experimental result, so, on philosophical grounds, no longer science [2]. He included a video clip of Richard Feynman characterizing this sort of thing as “cargo cult physics.” On the final day, David Gross interpreted Steinhardt’s talk as implicitly applying to string theory, then went on to invoke a philosopher’s new book to defend string theory, arguing that string theorists needed to read the book in order to learn how to defend what they do as science [3].

The book in question was Richard Dawid’s String Theory and the Scientific Method [4], which comes with blurbs from Gross and string theorist John Schwarz on…

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