Saturday 31st of July 2021

can and can't...
























 “[A] revolutionary recasting of physics . . . Marletto’s contributions to ‘constructor theory’ reconcile what we think of as physical laws with the open-ended possibilities thrown up by biology and information theory. It is a paradigm that, for all its rigor, re-enchants the world and enriches our place in it.” —New Scientist


“[A] cerebral yet intellectually satisfying journey with a simple description of the two kinds of counterfactuals in physics . . . Marletto’s style resembles a frank conversation with the reader. Sophisticated concepts in physics, like information and knowledge, are explained using clear analogies to everyday life.” Booklist


“[A] lyrical yet complex debut . . . References to Greek mythology, Shakespeare, chess, and Legos add life to her survey . . . Marletto’s love of physics shines through . . . Those with an interest in physics will appreciate her passion and her provocative approach.” Publishers Weekly


“[T[here’s plenty of food for thought for those interested in the processes of conceptual breakthrough [in The Science of Can and Can’t].” Kirkus Reviews


“Marletto has a clear, sharp and imaginative style of explaining science . . . [The Science of Can and Can’t] will open the doors to a dazzling, deep set of new concepts and ideas that will change and affect deeply the way you look at the world. Let her story unfold. It will be an open-ended exploration of the endless possibilities that the laws of physics allow for.” —David Deutsch, author of The Beginning of Infinity 


“Hugely ambitious, Chiara Marletto is the herald for a revolutionary new direction for physics. This book is essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of physics.” —Lee Smolin, author of Life of the Cosmos


“I enjoyed this book very much, not least because of the freshness of its approach to a subject that can easily become hard for the non-scientific mind to grasp. The theory of ‘can and can’t’ is an intriguing way of describing problems that are not only scientific (it describes very well what a storyteller does, for instance), and Marletto’s account of some things I thought I more or less understood (the nature of digital information, for one) illuminated them from an angle that showed them more clearly than I’d seen them before.” —Philip Pullman




Glowing reviews...


It is somewhat confusing to dive into the theory of can and can’t from an artistic point of view. We have hardly mastered (yet) the Chaos Theory, the Newtonian limited system that had to be corrected by Laplace and others — and the Quantum Mechanics (which according to some quantum scientific luminaries should be called a “non-mechanics” theory) that here comes along another epistemological looking glass which to artists should not be so new — art having been been the master of can’t for yonks... while gambling is the master of could be.


To Gus, so far, the “Constructor Theory” could bring sciences into the world of painstaking artistic realism — that is to say on the borderline of non-imaginative stylistic interpretations, with some religious illusions of pre-determinism. I could be wrong, certainly.



From: comes this:


"Physics seems to be very diverse, with so many fields stretching in various different directions: quantum theory, general relativity, cosmology, particle physics. Yet, in all those fields physical laws are formulated in much the same way. Since the time of Galileo and Newton, in traditional physics the fundamental objects have been considered trajectories, dynamical laws and initial conditions. Physical laws say what will happen to a physical object at some later time, given the dynamical laws and the initial conditions at an earlier time. So, for example, one describes what happens to a football, which is kicked with a certain initial speed in a certain direction, via an equation of motion and a prediction about what trajectory the ball will follow, and where it will end up, given those initial conditions.


But can this capture all of what we know, and we may want to know, about physical reality? It turns out that it cannot. There are certain entities, such as information, heat, and the properties of living things, which cannot be accommodated in this conception: this is because they are about what can, or cannot, be made to happen to a physical system; not about what happens to it given initial conditions and laws of motion. Constructor theory supplements the traditional physics viewpoint. It has a radically different mode of explanation, where the main objects are physical transformations, or tasks. Its fundamental statements are about what tasks are possible, what are impossible, and why. This allows one to incorporate more of physical reality, including entities, such as information, that have inherently been regarded as approximate and derivative as a result of the traditional physics take on things.”




Not quite artful yet like a Picasso painting nor deceptive like a religious belief, Constructor Theory is more like concreting the pavement of reality. I thus stand corrected. Both art and religious beliefs deal with the not-possible. A painting of a king on a horse ISN’T a king on a horse… Do you understand this simple concept? You can admire the skills of the illusion, but illusion it is… And god does not exist — despite religions frothing up the stupid illusion that the human condition is the result of some sinning ancestors and that some superior being will judge us for our sins at the end of time. Do you see some inanity in this? Scientifically, you should...


So, is the Constructor Theory about to remove the randomity of the universe formation and its development into the future by using quantum computers? Will we be able to predict the weather on 17 July 2079, tomorrow? And of course we would need to know exactly where... Is the Constructor Theory starting to kill off Chaos, ignorance and trends? Or is it just a new way to engineer the future by using what is and ignoring what cannot be? Would we really know the true result of this engineering before jumping into it? And do we know all the parameters of influence? Would and could we know that we don’t know the unknown? (to quote a certain Rumsfeld)...


Fascinating. Here is an interview of Chiara Marletto, a "Constructor theorist”…



"You talk about the “counterfactual” in the book. What do you mean by that term?


The way I think about counterfactuals is specific to physics. Counterfactual statements refer to what is possible or what is impossible, as opposed to what happens. Take Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle: it’s impossible to build a perfect measurer of both position and velocity for an electron. It’s not about the fact that a perfect measurer will not happen given a particular initial condition; Heisenberg says that it can’t happen at all, no matter what the initial condition. That’s a much stronger requirement.





"You argue against reductionism, the idea that everything in the universe can be reduced to the dynamics of elementary particles. Is there any danger of the supernatural creeping into an anti-reductionist conception of things?


I think there’s this misconception that the only way to remove the supernatural from our explanations is to reduce everything to microscopic dynamical laws and initial conditions. That is simply one possible level of explanation. But there are other things that are also explainable in scientific terms, without appealing to the supernatural, but they can’t be reduced to that level of explanation. An example is the laws of computation: they aren’t microscopic laws of motion, but they are compatible with them. They’re not saying that computers are magic: they are physical laws that capture some phenomena in nature, at a different explanatory level. If you stick solely to microscopic laws, you will miss those regularities in nature that allow for classical and quantum computers.”



What is the relationship between quantum computing and quantum theory? Which is leading the other?


Quantum theory came first, historically. But in the 80s, some scientists realised that the perplexing aspects of quantum theory actually made a lot more sense in relation to computation theory. It turned out that by studying the properties of the universal quantum computer – a theoretical development of the Turing machine – we could actually understand quantum theory much better. So I regard the theory of quantum computation as more fundamental because it captures the (counterfactual) foundations of quantum theory.




It seems that the Constructor theory is honing in on what my dad taught me when I was a 5 year old kid. The Newtonian physics of — as mentioned by the Constructor Theorists — in regard to a soccer ball being kicked landing as predicted — is somewhat simplistic. My dad was an artillery instructor and he taught me about the “imponderables” that will muck up the landing. Armed with his logarithm books and diagrams, he could explain in simple terms that small factors such as the wind, temperature and oomphs of a degree error on the gun could muck up the hit — or actually make a miss into a hit on target. Before accurate bombing with GPS, one had to basically carpet bomb the target, hoping for hit while being as precise as possible. If you only have one gun, carpet bombing is impossible, so ALL the parameters have to be reconsidered in order to refine the targeting  including the fact that the artillery gun, embedded in mud had moved and completely new calculations HAD TO BE MADE.




Not fully immersed yet, because as an artist/satirist, for Gus, the impossible is in the flow of our silly/genius imagination which cannot be ignored. For the priests, the impossible becomes the idea of god which is the bread and butter of religious delusion. 


Meanwhile, democracy plods on with the deceit of the what’s unreal and what is not possible but attempted nonetheless… Politics is like the cesspool of thinking, in which we are entertained with inaccuracy and presented with crummy faulty choices. I thus hope that the Constructor theory could improve our political visions, without destroying the artfulness of arguments, nor restrict our freedom to be dumb. 



Gus is a rabid atheist.

a QTM....


A way of understanding the quantum Turing machine (QTM) is that it generalizes the classical Turing machine (TM) in the same way that the quantum finite automaton (QFA) generalizes the deterministic finite automaton (DFA). In essence, the internal states of a classical TM are replaced by pure or mixed states in a Hilbert space; the transition function is replaced by a collection of unitary matrices that map the Hilbert space to itself.[4]

That is, a classical Turing machine is described by a 7-tuple 

For a three-tape quantum Turing machine (one tape holding the input, a second tape holding intermediate calculation results, and a third tape holding output):

  • The set of states is replaced by a Hilbert space.
  • The tape alphabet symbols are likewise replaced by a Hilbert space (usually a different Hilbert space than the set of states).
  • The blank symbol corresponds to the zero-vector.
  • The input and output symbols are usually taken as a discrete set, as in the classical system; thus, neither the input nor output to a quantum machine need be a quantum system itself.
  • The transition function is a generalization of a transition monoid, and is understood to be a collection of unitary matrices that are automorphisms of the Hilbert space.
  • The initial state may be either a mixed state or a pure state.
  • The set of final or accepting states is a subspace of the Hilbert space.

The above is merely a sketch of a quantum Turing machine, rather than its formal definition, as it leaves vague several important details: for example, how often a measurement is performed; see for example, the difference between a measure-once and a measure-many QFA. This question of measurement affects the way in which writes to the output tape are defined.


Read more to see the equations:


The mathematical concept of a Hilbert space, named after David Hilbert, generalizes the notion of Euclidean space. It extends the methods of vector algebra and calculus from the two-dimensional Euclidean plane and three-dimensional space to spaces with any finite or infinite number of dimensions. A Hilbert space is a vector space equipped with an inner product, an operation that allows lengths and angles to be defined. Furthermore, Hilbert spaces are complete, which means that there are enough limits in the space to allow the techniques of calculus to be used.


Read more:


At this stage some of these complexities already exist in your smartPhone and computer, even if you use these for fudgey news or watching football.... The next stage is to encode and decode the Quantum "computer"... to solve the equation of the universe.



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back to reality...


An investigation by the NSW Environment Protection Authority has confirmed numerous bird deaths in western NSW were caused by the consumption of mouse bait.

The finding follows reports of native birds suspected to have been poisoned in the state’s central-west.

Toxicology results found some native and introduced species around Forbes, Parkes, Dubbo, Narromine, Condobolin and the Riverina were poisoned.


Kelly Lacey, the WIRES bird coordinator from Parkes, found up to 100 dead galahs at the town’s cemetery.

“Seeing the dead bodies and picking them up was just truly heartbreaking,” Ms Lacey said.

Ms Lacey said when she arrived there were only two left alive — barely.

She said one had blood in its faeces, which made her suspect their deaths were a result of internal bleeding from eating bait.

“I feel stronger poisons are going to have a great impact on our wildlife,” Ms Lacey said.

 Follow guidelines, reduce impacts

The NSW government has announced a $50 million mouse control package that will include the distribution of 10,000 litres of bromadiolone, if it is approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

The second-generation anti-coagulant has been widely described as “napalm” for mice and is banned because of its strength.

EPA executive director of regulatory operations Carmen Dwyer said safe baiting was important.


“There’s always the possibility of a non-target animal taking the bait,” she said.

“Grain eating birds can be impacted after eating the pesticide coated grain.”

Ms Dwyer urged people to use the bait in the amount recommended on the label.

“We’ll minimise any offsite impacts to our families, our communities, the environment and wildlife,” she said.


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