Quantum computation is... a distinctively new way of harnessing nature... It will be the first technology that allows useful tasks to be performed in collaboration between parallel universes.

— David Deutsch

The most powerful David Deutsch quotes you will be delighted to read

Feeling insignificant because the universe is large has exactly the same logic as feeling inadequate for not being a cow.

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It is possible to build a virtual-reality generator whose repertoire includes every possible environment.

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I myself believe that there will one day be time travel because when we find that something isn't forbidden by the over-arching laws of physics we usually eventually find a technological way of doing it.

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The quantum theory of parallel universes is not the problem, it is the solution.

It is not some troublesome, optional interpretation emerging from arcane theoretical considerations. It is the explanation - the only one that is tenable - of a remarkable and counter-intuitive reality.

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If you reject the infinite, you are stuck with the finite, and the finite is parochial... the best explanation of anything eventually involves universality, and therefore infinity. The reach of explanations cannot be limited by fiat.

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The whole [scientific] process resembles biological evolution.

A problem is like an ecological niche, and a theory is like a gene or a species which is being tested for viability in that niche.

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Base metals can be transmuted into gold by stars, and by intelligent beings who understand the processes that power stars, but by nothing else in the universe.

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The overwhelming majority of theories are rejected because they contain bad explanations, not because they fail experimental tests.

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No precautions, and no precautionary principle, can avoid problems that we do not yet foresee. We need a stance of problem-fixing, not just problem-avoidance.

4

The brain is the only kind of object capable of understanding that the cosmos is even there, or why there are infinitely many prime numbers, or that apples fall because of the curvature of space-time, or that obeying its own inborn instincts can be morally wrong, or that it itself exists.

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The most important application of quantum computing in the future is likely to be a computer simulation of quantum systems, because that's an application where we know for sure that quantum systems in general cannot be efficiently simulated on a classical computer.

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To me quantum computation is a new and deeper and better way to understand the laws of physics, and hence understanding physical reality as a whole.

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About David Deutsch

Quotes 29 sayings
Profession Scientist
Birthday October 16

I chop and change between what is called 'work' and what is called 'recreation.

' There are no discontinuities in my day. I only play tennis with people I find interesting.

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The theory that the biosphere was created without evolution, a few thousand years ago, is ruled out by overwhelming scientific evidence. To claim that there are 'alternative (always better) Biblical explanations of the same data', which make creationism a reasonable alternative to our best theories of biology and physics, is appalling intellectual dishonesty.

1

Time travel may be achieved one day, or it may not.

But if it is, it should not require any fundamental change in world-view, at least for those who broadly share the world view I am presenting in this book.

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Despite the unrivaled empirical success of quantum theory, the very suggestion that it may be literally true as a description of nature is still greeted with cynicism, incomprehension, and even anger.

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Our best theories are not only truer than common sense, they make more sense than common sense.

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Like every other destruction of optimism, whether in a whole civilisation or in a single individual, these must have been unspeakable catastrophes for those who had dared to expect progress. But we should feel more than sympathy for those people. We should take it personally. For if any of those earlier experiments in optimism had succeeded, our species would be exploring the stars by now, and you and I would be immortal.

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Every problem that is interesting is also soluble.

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I don't think it would be a good idea for scientists to have more political power. Scientists as a group are more inclined to try to derive an ought from an is, than the population at large.

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Science is objective. And in my view we cannot take any experimental results seriously except in the light of good explanations of them.

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Is the human race a universal constructor?

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The truly privileged theories are not the ones referring to any particular scale of size or complexity, nor the ones situated at any particular level of the predictive hierarchy, but the ones that contain the deepest explanations.

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Humans may or may not have cosmic significance, and if they do, it will be by hitching a ride on the objective centrality of knowledge in the cosmic scheme of things.

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If we can't program it, we can't understand it.

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Discovering a new explanation is inherently an act of creativity.

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Where we have good, testable explanations, they then have to be tested, and we drop the ones that fail the tests.

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If you can’t program it, you haven’t understood it.

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