Look for the longest threads!

In my free time, I am beginning to watch the lecture series by Richard Feynman entitled The Character of Physical Law. I have sort of read bits and pieces of it before but this time my focus is different. I am keen to understand the nature of physical law in terms of how people think about it as they go about discovering it, and what they expect of these laws. After all, in principle at least, that is what we aspire to in AI.

I’ll say more about all this later but already, from the first lecture, the following final quote stands out as very important food for thought:

Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.

To what extent do people pay attention to this aspiration when talking about unsupervised learning, computational discovery, etc.?!

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