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The Dynamics of Difference

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A proposal is made for a fundamental theory, in which the history of the universe is constituted of diverse views of itself. Views are attributes of events, and the theory’s only be-ables; they comprise information about energy and momentum transferred to an event from its causal past. A dynamics is proposed for a universe constituted of views of events, which combines the energetic causal set dynamics with a potential energy based on a measure of the distinctiveness of the views, called the variety (Smolin in Found Phys 46(6):736–758, 2016). As in the real ensemble formulation of quantum mechanics (Barbour and Smolin in Variety, complexity and cosmology, arXiv: hep-th/9203041), quantum pure states are associated to ensembles of similar events; the quantum potential of Bohm then arises from the variety.

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I wish to thank Marina Cortes and Roberto Mangabeira Unger, for their collaboration on the larger project of developing the hypothesis that time is fundamental and irreversible, of which this is a part. I am also grateful to Henrique Gomes for a careful reading of the manuscript. Finally, thank you to Julian Barbour for decades of conversation. This research was supported in part by Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Research at Perimeter Institute is supported by the Government of Canada through Industry Canada and by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Research and Innovation. This research was also partly supported by grants from NSERC, FQXi and the John Templeton Foundation. Funding were provided by John Templeton Foundation (Grant No. 999) and Canadian Network for Research and Innovation in Machining Technology, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (CA).

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Correspondence to Lee Smolin.

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Smolin, L. The Dynamics of Difference. Found Phys 48, 121–134 (2018).

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