The Riddle of Existence

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 why anything exists, and the precise properties of everything that exists, lie in a single and unique principle which is maximally:
  • 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
and from which the properties of everything which exists can logically, and physically, and phenomenologically, be derived?

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 is only 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].

NEXT: Section 3