Sean Carroll has just published his book about The Big Picture, which seems to be the kind of book accomplished physicists used to write after they got older.
I have not read it and I have no plans to do so. But he has given us a good idea about its content on his blog, so I can tell you what I find a bit weird about it.
We know that Sean is a believer of the many worlds interpretation (*) and it would make sense to discuss what it suggests for "the meaning of life, the universe and everything" if all possible worlds are equally real in some sense. Others have already discussed this in some parts, but it would have been interesting to get "the big picture" from one of the true believers.
But Sean told us that "The discussion of the basics of quantum mechanics itself is quite brief, and I mention the Many-Worlds formulation only to emphasize that there’s nothing about QM that implies we need to be idealist, anti-realist, or non-determinist".
Later he tells us e.g. this "poetic naturalist" story: "The universe is not a miracle. It simply is, unguided and unsustained, manifesting the patterns of nature with scrupulous regularity. Over billions of years it has evolved naturally, from a state of low entropy toward increasing complexity, and it will eventually wind down to a featureless equilibrium condition."
This is obviously along the conventional one-world interpretation most people are familiar with (*).
Either Sean is not really serious about many worlds, or he did not think it through yet, or he left it all for his next book.
(*) As far as I know, his derivation of "the arrow of time" also involves a cosmological multiverse, which is independent of the many worlds interpretation, but surprisingly also mostly missing from his book as far as I can tell. If you find this disappointing, Don Page discussed a much bigger picture in this preprint.
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