David Deutsch is best known for his foundational work on the theory of quantum computation. In this talk he presents ideas from his new book, The Beginning Of Infinity, published early in 2011. He is also author of The Fabric Of Reality, which lays out a bold and deeply rational world view, drawing on ideas from quantum physics, evolution, computation, and epistemology.
From the smallest scale in our individual lives to the scale of civilisation as a whole, the growth of knowledge is profoundly unpredictable. We cannot even predict most of the problems that we shall encounter, nor most of the opportunities to solve them, let alone the solutions and attempted solutions that will be thought of and how they will affect events. Nor can we predict the probabilities of any of those things. In the light of this inescapable limitation, what is the rational attitude towards the future? How can we plan for the unknown?