Monday, 6 September 2010

The meaning of life

This was delivered as the second talk in the series. It introduces the key idea that underpins my understanding of the world: "the universe is an optimisation algorithm for robust structures". This is, in a way, my view on the 'meaning' of life, in as far as any meaning can be identified.

Now the concept of an optimisation has been around for a long time and many algorithms are available for performing it. Robustness (at least in the form that I describe in the talk) is not so clear and more work is needed to formalise it mathematically.

Even with only an informal understanding, the theory leads to a new perspective on both human behaviour and society, with greater emphasis on cooperative actions than the views of rational self interest and competition that come from the popular understanding of the theory of evolution.