The Causal Theory of Views [1]

An event has a view of the world. First, let me tell you what I mean by a view. A view is the information about how it fits into the rest of the world that that event has. That includes who its parents are and what the energy and momentum was that was propagated to it. My view of the world is, I look out and light comes up from the past and I see a pattern of colors, which come from photons of different energies striking my eye. That's my view; it's a property of a moment. That contains all that I, as an event, know about how I fit into the rest of the world.

Now, if you know the things that I just said were real—the events, the causal relations, the distribution of energy and momentum flowing—I can tell you what the view of each event is, but I can also flip it around. There's a dual description in which I just say what the views are and that's the whole description. So, I just say there's a view, and that view is and hears a kind of picture. You see the sky, a two-dimensional sphere around you, and there are some colors, which are photons coming in of different energies—that's the view. I can hypothesize that all that exists in the world is views and a process that continually makes new views out of old views. That's what I call the causal theory of views.

LEE SMOLIN is a theoretical physicist who has been, since 2001, a founding and senior faculty member at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. His main contributions have been so far to the quantum theory of gravity, to which he has been a co-inventor and major contributor to two major directions, loop quantum gravity and deformed special relativity. He is the author, most recently, of Einstein's Unfinished RevolutionLee Smolin's Edge Bio Page [2]