Author Archives: Scott

Student Projects

This is a place for interested students to post links to their project reports and/or presentations.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Class #13: The Singularity and Universe as Computer

(Participation is optional.  For additional discussion about Newcomb’s problem and free will, please post in thread #12b.) Feel free to post any thoughts you’ve had related to the topics discussed in class #13: The concept of a “technological singularity” and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

Class #12b: Newcomb’s Paradox and Free Will

Do you believe the superintelligent “Predictor” of Newcomb’s Paradox could exist?  Does your answer depend on specific properties of the laws of physics (such as the uncertainty principle)?  Does it depend on the assumption that humans are “open systems”, in constant … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 64 Comments

Class #12a: Evolution

If philosophers, mathematicians, etc. had been clever enough, could they have figured out that natural selection was the right explanation for life a priori, without input from naturalists like Darwin?  If life exists on other planets, should we expect that … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 45 Comments