Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

We now have a precedent  §

for a system that requires no theory, a deterministic system that is fully understood not as a matter of theory but as a matter of law (because the laws are ours) that nonetheless appears to many to be nondeterministic.

Computers are fully deterministic state machines—simple, parametric, sequential; the same holds true for the Internet. It is not mere theory that given a mapping of all inputs and the previous state of the entire system, the next state of the entire system could be calculated and mapped.

The input, of course, comes from another, unrelated system, the human(s), and because these operate asynchronously with respect to the state machine in question and operate according to a different algorithmic universe, the input from human(s) is what gives the computers and networks the appearance of nondeterminism.

It is not a stretch to imagine that a human is analogous to this with respect to his or her gestalt ecosystem. A human is infinitely more complex than a computer or computer network, and the aggregation of assorted semi-autonomous systems that comprise a human’s ecosystem (the inputs to the human system, as it were) is infinitely more complex still.

I, unlike some, find it no stretch at all to imagine a universe that, being comprised of infinite levels of fully deterministic systems in horizontal and vertical aggregation in successively increasing complexity and inter-interaction, is fully deterministic while at the same time giving a good approximation of nondeterminsim, even a calculability scale that can be taken as unapproachable as a matter of course (given already existing proofs that to fully calculate a perfect chess game would require more matter, given a “perfect” computer than can use one particle as one bit, than is currently believed to exist in the universe).

After all, we have managed to get our deterministic systems in computers and networks to give us “random” numbers that pass as such to all but the biggest reservoirs of computing power that we can currently harness to transcend their apparent randomness.

Of course, this is not to imply a calculable universe. Why? Because in order to calculate the universe fully, one would have to map and represent its state (i.e. store it) in some fashion—every piece of matter down to the tiniest particle, along with every aspect of its state and position. Given that as a matter of storage, the universe itself represents the ideal (minimal) case for storing its the information that comprises its current state, such a feat would require at the very least more matter and space than are currently in the universe, and they would of course have to be outside the system because if they were inside it then that matter would be a requirement for a full state mapping as well, Catch-22.

But this doesn’t mean that the universe is absoutely nondeterministic, only that it’s mathematically impossible to calculate it, i.e. that it’s functionally or practically nondeterministic.