Konrad Zuse

Konrad Zuse is a new name to me, picked up from twitter mentions by  @generuso and @rolyperera. Actually, like myself, an engineer rather than a scientist, but who apparently originally proposed a fundamentally information-based view of reality after considering causation from first principles.

Apart from the fundamental causation and information aspects that recur here on Psybertron, the chain of propagation at the quantum level put me in mind of Boscovich who had influenced Mach and many who came after him, but no apparent link there.

Conversely, I discover he was a source used by Jürgen Schmidhuber, one of my earliest sources of the idea of fundamental information. And, this sense of convergence is ever more reinforced by the fact of that post first linking to Schmidhuber is the same post I linked sceptical responses to Kurzweil when reviewing Dan Brown’s “Origin” recently. I see Schmidhuber has given many public talks, and that he practically leads with Zuse.

One interesting point from Schmidhuber is that he has the “efficiency” view of computation, same as others do coming from the entropy angle, that the universe and our intelligence within it has arisen the way it has because at some level it is inevitable to evolve in the most efficient direction. Seems however to hold only the trivial / tautological view of anthropic principles – the universe we’re in exists because it is the universe we’re in. The efficiency is also a matter of compression, just the most significant bit(s) – after Shannon – I noted “compression is key” the first time I came across Schmidhuber in 2009, but picked up on cognition as computation as compression with Gerry Wolff back in 2002. The sense of convergence may be mythical, but it is nevertheless natural.

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