This essay is an extremely enjoyable read and proposes to help us understand "how a Universe ends up understanding itself."
But using prose to say that the Universe has an "understanding" of something still leaves us with the "mindless mathematics."
I wonder-- would mathematical game theory be the best, or the only, "mindful" mathematics that we have for expressing this statement in a mathematical language?
It's certainly not for me to answer this question. But I can't help thinking about it.
"The Universe was viewed as an infinite space where masses described trajectories determined by forces ruled by immutable laws."
I feel a tacit warning, here, that in the subsequent text, the old-time classical model is going to be wheeled into surgery. "Trajectories," "forces," "immutable laws," it seems, are going to be refined somehow in the balance of the text. OK, that makes me think.
Can we assume that the "laws," or the "regularities" of the Universe are indeed constant, indeed "immutable"?
Maybe not. There might be small exceptions-- too small for us yet to notice, perhaps too small for us ever to observe.
And that-- is enough to outline a game.
The particle in this kind of Universe must be able to adapt. For in this kind of game, it cannot "know" the laws expressed by the Universe because they may subtly, or for very brief periods substantially, change.
Instead of "knowing" the laws of the Universe, in this kind of game the particle would have to "learn" the laws of the Universe. For example, the particle would have to perform a "learning algorithm."
Would finding such a game-- and finding such a learning algorithm-- in the data, support the following statement?
"The Universe was viewed as an infinite space where masses described trajectories determined by forces ruled by immutable laws. But now-- because of these data (wherein we find a learning algorithm)-- we conclude that the laws of the Universe are Not immutable."