Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Devs is brilliant TV... but what about the science? SPOILERS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    497

    Devs is brilliant TV... but what about the science? SPOILERS

    I'm a HUGE fan of DEVS... the sound design alone is prize-worthy.
    If you're a fan of sci-fi i'd definitely recommend it!

    --------------------------------
    SPOILERS
    --------------------------------

    I'm wondering about the science/math in it.
    Clearly the 'suspension of disbelief' element is that the universe is indeed 'Laplacian'... and that perfect knowledge of the position of each particle will lead to perfect prediction of all future and past events.

    We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.
     Pierre Simon Laplace, A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities[3]


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laplace%27s_demon

    Even assuming the absence of Heisenberg's uncertainty, quantum fluctuations etc...
    Wouldn't the idea of non-linear chaos theory mean that this sci-fi universe would still be unpredictable, even if it was 100% deterministic?


    The other central idea of the simulation being as 'real' as 'reality' has been dealt with many times in these esteemed pages...


    What do others think?
    "It's only a model....?" :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    14,473
    Quote Originally Posted by plant View Post
    I'm a HUGE fan of DEVS... the sound design alone is prize-worthy.
    If you're a fan of sci-fi i'd definitely recommend it!

    --------------------------------
    SPOILERS
    --------------------------------

    I'm wondering about the science/math in it.
    Clearly the 'suspension of disbelief' element is that the universe is indeed 'Laplacian'... and that perfect knowledge of the position of each particle will lead to perfect prediction of all future and past events.

    We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.
    — Pierre Simon Laplace, A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities[3]


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laplace%27s_demon

    Even assuming the absence of Heisenberg's uncertainty, quantum fluctuations etc...
    Wouldn't the idea of non-linear chaos theory mean that this sci-fi universe would still be unpredictable, even if it was 100% deterministic?
    No, I don't think it would. Because chaos theory doesn't mean that something is unpredictable, just that it is very difficult to predict. Many body problems are not unpredictable, it is just that they are very hard to predict. But I think that if you had perfect knowledge and enormous computing power, you could crunch them.

    It's the Heisenberg problem that makes is unrealistic.
    As above, so below

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Depew, NY
    Posts
    12,266
    I'm going to have to check this out. It vaguely sounds like Fritz Leiber's The Sinful Ones (Or You're All Alone).
    Solfe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    19,329
    I know this is a spoiler thread, but below is a big one. This is a *SPOILER* about something that comes near the end of the show and is quite important. If you haven’t watched it and think you will, I recommend skipping for now . . .


    You’ve been warned . . .


    Lily made a choice that broke the existing simulation once she was shown the predicted future events. So it wasn’t a no-choice deterministic universe.

    Of course, that would still work with the many-worlds interpretation. The question then would be why had the prediction always worked previously? In this case, we can guess that it showed what she would have done if she hadn’t seen the prediction. On the other hand, it’s interesting that no one else thought to test if they could choose something different from the prediction. They did give some hints there: Forest forbade staff from doing future predictions and didn’t want many worlds to be true, but Katie had watched them and was more open to the possibility.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    19,765
    Because of his bereavement, and how it happened, Forest had an emotional need for the world to be deterministic, particularly the actions of humans. Which would necessarily imply that neural activity was uninfluenced by quantum uncertainty--which it may well be, largely, because synaptic transmission is hugely overspecified.
    But I think the development of the story hinted, and then made clear, that Forest was wrong, and human consciousness was non-deterministic. And we were shown, intermittently, "many worlds" views that suggested that other things, like the dynamics of a car crash, were not entirely deterministic. But then, with Lyndon falling at the dam, there was a suggestion that the many worlds might form sheaves--particular events could play out in multiple ways but with the same end result. If that was a common outcome, then it would "explain" why deterministic modelling, with a hint of Many Worlds added to the mix by Lyndon, was largely successful.

    But the whole story was just a foggy bag of concepts Garland hung a narrative on. I don't think there was a coherent philosophical argument in there.

    Grant Hutchison

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •