Sam Harris on the mystery of quantum mechanics | Lex Fridman Podcast Clips | Summary and Q&A

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March 18, 2023
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Sam Harris on the mystery of quantum mechanics | Lex Fridman Podcast Clips

TL;DR

Physicists think about possibility in terms of probability, as it describes observed patterns of actuality rather than hypothetical outcomes.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What does probability signify in the context of physics?

In physics, probability is used to describe patterns of observed actuality, providing a model for the world and helping us make predictions about future events.

Q: Can probability completely explain the occurrence of events?

Probability is based on observed instances of events, but it doesn't provide a complete explanation for why a particular event occurred. It allows for the possibility of different outcomes and provides a level of uncertainty.

Q: How do physicists explain the laws of nature?

The laws of nature, while they have evidence of their existence, are not reducible to any specific instances. They provide a structure that goes beyond the actual interactions of objects and events in the physical world.

Q: What is the relationship between possibility and the laws of nature?

Possibility seems to be necessary for the existence of the laws of nature. The laws of nature go beyond the actual events and objects and are effective in shaping the world, but they are not among the actual things that interact.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Physicists view probability as a way to describe observed patterns of actual events, rather than hypothetical outcomes.

  • The frequency with which events happen in the past can inform our belief about future outcomes, but in reality, we only have the observed instances of events.

  • Probability allows for a model of the world and gives hope about what could have been different in a particular event.

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