Understanding the World
What do we mean by "understanding" something? We can imagine that this complicated
array of moving things which constitutes "the world" is something like a great chess
game being played by the gods, and we are observers of the game. We do not know what
the rules of the game are; all we are allowed to do is to watch the playing. Of
course, if we watch long enough, we may eventually catch on to a few of the rules.
The rules of the game are what we mean by fundamental physics... Aside from not knowing
all of the rules, what we really can explain in terms of those rules is very limited,
because almost all situations are so enormously complicated that we cannot follow the
plays of the game using the rules, much less tell what is going to happen next. We must,
therefore, limit ourselves to the more basic question of the rules of the game.
If we know the rules, we consider that we "understand" the world.
- Richard Feynman.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over
public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.
- Richard Feynman, Commmision Report into the Challenger Disaster.
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