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Leonard Susskind, a professor of theoretical physics at Stanford University in California and a self-described ‘beauty-symmetry-elegance heretic’, rejects the popular notion that there’s something wonderfully symmetrical and simple about the building blocks of our world. Rather, he contends, conceptions of physics as elegant and uncluttered are shortcuts created by our pattern-seeking brains that rarely hold up to scientific scrutiny. In this interview from the PBS series Closer to Truth, Susskind argues that, dating back to the Ancient Greeks, what’s often been perceived as elegant simplicity was almost always a fiction or an approximation covering for a much messier reality.
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