Anthropic Landscape according to Terry Pratchett

18Mar08

From Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather:

Many people are aware of the Weak and Strong Anthropic Principles. The Weak One says, basically, that it was jolly amazing of the universe to be constructed in such a way that humans could evolve to a point where they make a living in, for example, universities, while the Strong One says that, one the contrary, the whole point of the universe was that humans should not only work in universities by also write for huge sums books with words like `cosmic’ and `chaos’ in the titles.

And they are correct. The universe clearly operates for the benefit of humanity This can be readily seen from the convenient way the sun comes up in the morning, when people are ready to start the day.

The UU Professor of Anthropics had developed the Special and Inevitable Anthropic Principle, which was that the entire reason for the existence of the universe was the eventual evolution of the UU Professor of Anthropics. But this was only a fomal statement of the theory which absolutely everyone, with only some minor details of a `Fll in name here’ nature, secretly believes to be true

Special thanks to my officemate Eimear for lending me the book. I recommend the entire Discworld series to anyone with a sense of humour about fantasy novels.

By the way, there’s a nice Discworld reading-order guide available. Why don’t we have a similar thing for physics?



4 Responses to “Anthropic Landscape according to Terry Pratchett”

  1. 1 Steffen

    There has to be some work left for you, Flip.

  2. I’ve done one for QFT, and I’ll do one for SUSY.🙂

  3. 3 andy.s

    That would be great, Flip! At the rate I’m going through Griffiths, I’ll be ready for SUSY some time in 2012, so take your time. Discworld books are much quicker reads.

    One of Weinberg’s 3 QFT books is on SUSY, isn’t it?



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