A luminous guide to how the radical new science of counterfactuals can reveal the full scope of our universe
There is a vast class of properties, which science has so far neglected, that relate not only to what is true - the actual - but to what could be true: the counterfactual. This is the science of can and can't.
A pioneer in the field, Chiara Marletto explores the extraordinary promise that this revolutionary approach holds for confronting existing technological challenges, from delivering next-generation processors to designing AI. But by contemplating the possible as well as the actual, Marletto goes deeper still, showing how counterfactuals can break down barriers to knowledge and form a more complete, abundant and rewarding picture of the universe itself.
Clear, sharp and imaginative... The Science of Can and Can't will open the doors to a dazzling set of concepts and ideas that will change deeply the way you look at the world
I enjoyed this book very much, not least because of the freshness of its approach to a subject that can easily become hard for the non-scientific mind to grasp. The theory of 'can and can't' is an intriguing way of describing problems that are not only scientific (it describes very well what a storyteller does, for instance), and Marletto's account of some things I thought I more or less understood (the nature of digital information, for one) illuminated them from an angle that showed them more clearly than I'd seen them before.
A revolutionary recasting of physics... [It] re-enchants the world and enriches our place in it.