Monthly Archives: November 2011

Off-Topic Discussion

By student request, I’ve created this post as a place for students and listeners in 6.893 to discuss any questions related to philosophy and theoretical computer science that don’t fit into the other posts. Advertisements

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Class #11: Complexity, Economics, and Bounded Rationality

In general, do computational complexity limitations pose a serious challenge to classical economic theory?  If so, is that challenge over and above the one posed by ordinary cognitive biases?  Note that there are really two components to these questions: the first … Continue reading

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Class #10: The Deutsch MWI Argument, the Evolutionary Principle, and Closed Timelike Curves

The “Deutsch Argument” for the Many-Worlds Interpretation (“Where Was The Number Factored?”) Does the possibility of scalable quantum computers prove (or rather, “re-prove”) the Many-Worlds Interpretation, as Deutsch believes?  If not, does it at least lend support to MWI?  Is MWI … Continue reading

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Class #9: Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computing

Since we didn’t have time in Wednesday’s class to get to the “meaty” debate about quantum computing’s possible relevance to the interpretation of quantum mechanics, this week’s discussion topics will be unusually broad. Does quantum mechanics need an “interpretation”?  If … Continue reading

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Class #8: Occam’s Razor, the Universal Prior, and PAC-Learning

Can we even hope for a non-tautological justification of Occam’s Razor?  Can one explain, non-circularly, why the “Anti-Inductivists” are wrong? What are the important assumptions made by Valiant’s PAC model, and how reasonable are those assumptions? What are the relative … Continue reading

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