## Section Two

## Should A Thousand Flowers Bloom?

"A vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some

of the stuff nature replaces it with"

Tennessee Williams

So could the explanation for whyanythingexists, and the precise properties ofeverythingthat exists, lie in a single and unique principle which is maximally:and from which the properties of everything which exists can logically, and physically, and phenomenologically, be derived?

- simple (
"Nature is rich in structures but short on principles")- parsimonious
- precise
- scale-invariant
- infinite-regress-blocking
- fertile and predictive
- falsifiable
- symmetric
- elegant and aesthetically satisfying
- self-consistent
- unifying
- both descriptive and self-explanatory
- free from arbitrary features or undetermined parameters
- both the ultimate primitive-term and algorithmic compression
Perhaps not. Instead, perhaps Reality operates on a thousand-and-one disparate fundamental principles. Or even "just" two or three. Here, however, it is conjectured that a single sovereign and ubiquitous logico-physical principle is at work: the conservation of zero properties. More specifically, it will be argued that the solution to the greatest mystery of all may lie in a connection between the philosophically problematic but immensely fruitful acceptance of 0 as a number in mathematics; the fact that the universe's conserved constants exactly cancel out to 0; and, paradoxically, the truth of the seemingly antithetical because (allegedly) ontologically extravagant (post-)Everett Interpretation of QM. [In fact, post-Everett QM is both conceptually and ontologically frugal. Ontologically so because, as far as we know, there

isonly one Uni(Multi)verse, albeit with countless googolplexes of, so to speak, quasi-classical branches, which only marginally interfere (and which don't, in the physicists' distinctive technical sense, interact [see the Everett FAQ]). Conceptually, too, the relative state approach is maximally simple. This is because post-Everett interpretations entail minimal further assumptions. They entail no new dynamical principles - for by hypothesis there is (tenselessly) only the continuous linear unitary evolution of the universal wavefunction].