So this is the ontological question: is supposed apparently “objective” reality really real?
I come at this as someone who in the past questioned this. I had my period of post-modernist questioning of objective reality. This culminated in a paper, which I presented as a major address to receive a major recognition at my university, “Belief: Its role in economic theory and action,” American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 1993.
I shall stand by the vast majority of things I said in that paper, now under criticism on various fronts, but not all. I shall note, without bothering to reply specifically to any of those comments here, that indeed there are things in this paper I now disagree with. This was the height of my agreement with the pomo view of the universe. But I had moved on from the less defensible parts of that paper well before the general pomo exercise was to be revealed to be a pile of crap.in the Sokal expose in 1996.
I have just finished reading main portions of the latest book by my friend, Lee Smolin, “Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution: The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum,” which is to be a Christmas present to a family member, “pretesting” of gifts we call it.
Lee is a friend of mine, and the big cheese at the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, ON, CA. This is the place where the critics of string theory hang out, and Lee is their leader. I have spoken there, and I have lots of respect for this place and specifically many people there beyond Lee Smolin, their general protector and supporter.