Saturday, June 11, 2016

Stephen Hawking, Black Holes, and the nature of reality

If you want to turn your attention away from the EU referendum for a moment and stretch your mind, you could do worse than read "We want information" in The Economist.

Stephen Hawking suggested a few decades ago several ways in which the existence of black holes could have serious effects on the nature of reality. One of them is that if black holes can, as he believes, eventually evaporate, the loss of the information contained in the matter which had fallen into them might destroy the principle of determinism - that everything that happens has a cause.

He has done some more work about black holes and reality which revisits this. I would not describe it as particularly light reading, although The Economist makes it about as accessible as possible with this material, but it's a welcome change from trying to work out who if anyone is telling the truth in the EU referendum!

You can read the full article here.


Jim said...

Who is telling the truth in the EU Referendum?

well this is one of those things that we will never know, You see which ever way it goes only one side of it will ever happen, either we remain or we leave (though how we leave will also narrow the field too).

You know the "Parable of the Broken Window" and the idea of "seen" and "unseen" costs from Bastiat. Same sort of idea but much wider than just the Economics, we will never see most of it as it did not happen, we will only see the path the path we do travel.

Chris Whiteside said...

On many of the issues, Jim, that's exactly right and was very much the point behind what I somewhat flippantly said: if we vote for Brexit we will find out what economic shock follows but will never know how strong the economy would have been given a remain vote or how much further integration the EU would have succeeded in imposing on us. If we vote Remain we will never know what would have happened had we voted to Leave.

However, we can say with a high degree of certainty that some of the claims by both sides are wrong - the infamous £350 million, the infamous £3,000, the claim that we have no say on Turkish entry to give three examples.

Jim said...

I think as two,

well, lets go back to the era of Napoleon and Wellington, and Sharpe. And let us say as two "gentlemen" we are both agreed that "the infamous £350 million, the infamous £3,000, the claim that we have no say on Turkish entry"
are all not correct.

However, you do understand my wider point, good sir.

Chris Whiteside said...

I do, and it is absolutely right.