Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Most of the hard work in  this article is done in the first half; the second half, though still interesting, is autobiographical. In the first half David Kaiser considers the science of quantum mechanics - "our most successful theory" that can "make predictions for their properties out to eleven, twelve, or thirteen decimal places." Yet, scientists still struggle about what it means. And all that precision still leaves us no better off in the case of probabilistic events like, say, Covid. "We have this paradox where everyone agrees that quantum theory is this crowning achievement, but what do we do with it? What kinds of questions is it legitimate to even pose about it? Those have not always been so uniformly pursued, welcomed, or even acknowledged." Such questions, says Kaiser, are forced by social change, "in a world of specific institutions and shifting geopolitics, lots of things about the broader framing within which we try to learn about nature."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 19, 2020 04:55 a.m.