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Paul Butler: on 6/8/14 at 3:24am UTC, wrote Dear John, I can understand the editing. Although my replies can be long...

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John Merryman: on 6/6/14 at 18:29pm UTC, wrote Thanks Neil. It has been an interesting contest and hopefully the...

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John Merryman: on 6/5/14 at 18:00pm UTC, wrote I would also note that is is perfectly reasonable to have a monetary system...

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FQXi FORUM
September 19, 2017

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: How to Hack Human History by John Brodix Merryman [refresh]
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Author John Brodix Merryman wrote on Feb. 11, 2014 @ 15:35 GMT
Essay Abstract

Are you kidding? The essay is the abstract.

Author Bio

John Merryman has been at least moderately disturbed by the way the world is run his entire life. After sex, drugs and Rock’n Roll proved to be an inadequate solution, he turned to philosophy.

Download Essay PDF File




Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 00:09 GMT
John

This is an extremely well-thought out manifesto for the residents of spaceship Earth.

One can call it Das Energieinformationen

I agree with everything you did mention, but worry about its practicality - for one it is very well to prove by physical arguments that God cannot exist, but tell that to the large proportion of humanity whose life revolves around the belief that she (as you put it) does! Madame Curie once said something that she would not say anything to believers about of their faith.

Best wishes

Vladimir

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Feb. 13, 2014 @ 01:20 GMT
Vladimir,

Thank you.

To a certain extent, the clue is in the title. No one is going to listen to what I have to say, but simply getting it out as something to consider and let it seep into the conversation and when the various systems finish blowing themselves up and crashing into each other, then people will be looking for new 'code' to operate by. It's not atheistic, but rather a bottom up theology, rather than a top down theology. Historically top down theologies have been promoted as political validation of those dominating society, from divine right of kings to George Bush saying it's God's will to put him in charge. I think that a lot of people who are not fanatic, but simply spiritual, would be fine with a bottom up theology, but it's just an idea that needs to seep in naturally and not be in your face, like the overgrown cults most religions seem to be.

In this contest, it's probably the irate mathematical platonists and atheistic materialists who will be giving me the most grief. The irony is platonism is a top down belief system and materialism is nowhere near explaining consciousness, so the logically simplest tactic would be to assume an elemental basis for consciousness and pare it down to its most essential state, which is what I'm doing.




Joe Fisher wrote on Feb. 14, 2014 @ 15:50 GMT
Mr. Merryman,

Once upon a time there was a book called HUMAN ECOLOGY. This book has long been out of print and alas, I cannot recall the author's name. The book explained how the Bank of England actually worked. When the Bank of England made a loan say of 100,000,000 pounds to the government, it created for itself an identical credit of 100,000,000 pounds for its own use. The books balanced. The bank charged interest on the loan, which made the loan irredeemable. All banks worldwide do this. The only function of government is to produce debt. CERN cost 11 billion pounds. The lending institute that put up the 11 billion pounds probably credited itself with 11 billion pounds and the books balanced. CERN seems likely to squander all of the 11 billion pounds leaving the lending institution 11 billion pounds of clear, untaxed profit.

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Feb. 14, 2014 @ 17:52 GMT
Joe,

They don't teach you much about how the banking and monetary system works, in school, because they really don't want you to know. The Federal Reserve isn't really entirely a function of the Federal government, so much as it is one of those public/private enterprises and is conveniently designed so that much of the profits of banking accrue to the private sector, while most of the liabilities are on the public purse. You could start with Andrew Jackson and his fights over the Second Bank of the United States, or even go back and examine the Bank of England and the Rothschilds. The fact is that there isn't much objective reporting, because the 'the powers that be' don't much care to publicize the relations and those outside like to paint a dark picture. The fact is that it is a necessary economic function and has been a major factor in creating the world as we know it and if those running it did cater to that necessary civic utility function a little more assiduously, they could be taking the situation 'to the bank' for a long time to come, but the business has been taken over by a bunch of short term thinkers and they are trashing it.




Jayakar Johnson Joseph wrote on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 09:17 GMT
Dear John,

As time paradox is inevitable with the current developments in Physical sciences, Carbon dating cannot reveal past time in reality and thus the human evolution history is not confirmatory. Thus restructuring of atomic analogy is imperative for the Humanity Steer the Future.

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Feb. 16, 2014 @ 16:52 GMT
Jayakar,

The question of time is one I addressed in two previous contests; The Nature of Time and Questioning the Foundations

We exist as single points of perception and so experience change as a sequence of events. Thus we exist in this state of progressing from prior to subsequent events, ie. past to future. Physics, in its obsession with the measurable and with reductionist patterns, distills this to measures of duration and how they relate to measures of distance. Given our existence as mobile points, this is a natural relationship. The problem is that in the big picture, it is the physical dynamic creating and dissolving these events which we experience. So from this view, time is not a single vector from past to future, but the dynamic process by which future potential coalesces into events and recedes into the past. Tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth spins.

Now this makes time an effect of action, quite similar to temperature. As a comparative analogy, time is to temperature what frequency is to amplitude. Unfortunately so much of physics is built up on this speculative foundation of time as some underlaying physical property in which all events exist in that fourth dimension, yet the basic process mitigates against it. In order for change to happen, those prior manifestations do have to give way and dissolve. They cannot physically exist.

Now I did try to only allude to this issue in this essay, since the whole stringy, inflating multiverse mess is based on time being that metaphysical dimension and hopefully this contest doesn't get lost in the endlessly arcane fights over everything from non-locality, to firewalls, to multiverses and all the rest of the mathematical speculation overwhelming physics today. Given the problems actually facing the world, it all seems extremely delusional.




Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Feb. 19, 2014 @ 02:07 GMT
Hello John,

I'm happy to see you have an essay here again this year. I will comment further once I read it, and I'll have my own essay ready to share before long.

Good luck!

Jonathan

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Feb. 19, 2014 @ 17:19 GMT
Jonathan.

Thanks for the consideration. Given all the political and even religious implications of the contest question, it should be an interesting contest. Hopefully one which sheds as much light as it will heat.

Regards,

John M




Wilhelmus de Wilde wrote on Mar. 18, 2014 @ 15:20 GMT
Hi John,

Good to meet again in this essay-contest.

I read your essay with great interest as i know that you are a multi-interested individual.

The COOL God is a nice phrase but I think it is only one aspect of the Total, the ultimate other side is ultra-hot and , yes in-between are ALL the other possibillities. My description of GOD is the "TOTAL SIMULTANEITY".

The ALL knowing is inmy perception only meaning the all knowing of humans, which may be a little part of he whole story.

About erasing Old info and adding New: it is our consciousness that is every moment creating a new history/memory adapted to new found information. The "spiritual" energy you are mentioning is in my perception the non-causal part of our consciousness.

The linearity you are mentioning is the causality I think.

About your approach to economy there are lines that are congruent with my own opinions.

I liked your essay very much, if you would take some time to read my essay and perhaps comment it or even rate it then thank you.

I wonder if you agree with the two others who rated me on 3 and 1, if so okay I accept it, but perhaps don't understand it.

Wilhelmus

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Mar. 18, 2014 @ 17:20 GMT
Wilhelmus,

Thank you very much. Yes, the theological argument I posed here is a but one sided and brief, but I think a large part of presenting an argument with any hope of affecting the course of history, is that it has to be very focused on as few key points as possible. In basic terms, as soon as any bottom up process starts, it will begin to develop top down structures. I do, from personal experience, think there is more to spiritual development than just its biological forms, but I understand the human audience well enough not to go too far into that swamp, or it will create more than enough static and blowback to obscure anything else I wish to say. Which is to say I have a good deal of understanding of where your essay comes from, but that it fails the topic at hand, because it is too broad and deep to coalesce into that sort of hard little knot of an argument that you can really hit people over the head with and get their attention. So when I do get around to scoring, which I'm not doing until they are closed, I will probably give you a 6, or maybe a 7, or maybe a 5. Depends on the curve. It's a topic I take very seriously, even if this entry was a bit satirical.

Regards,

John M



Wilhelmus de Wilde replied on Mar. 19, 2014 @ 15:16 GMT
thank you very much John,

You really hit the nail on the top.

The score(s) you gave me is whet gives me more confidence, you don't even have to realize it here in numbers, for me it is perfect, because after the "1's" I began to loose the mentality and thought that my thinking was inappropriate.

I understand that the so called "realists" cannot accept my way of thinking, but in my turn I say that also the "realist" way of thinking is an availability in Total Simultaneity, they only have their own "program" or available explanation. And... In Total Simultaneity they are also represented, so if they they do not agree, they do not agree with themselves.

good luck and thank you

Wilhelmus.

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Wilhelmus de Wilde wrote on Mar. 20, 2014 @ 16:54 GMT
Dear John

Thank you for your encouraging words.

I posted this answer also on my thread, but now you will know thet I reacted.

Of course the what we call BB , a something from nothing , is not my favorite explanation of reality ether, you are right when yoy say that a dynamic universe without a zero point is more understandable as a deterministic ad infinitum till zero. It is...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Mar. 20, 2014 @ 18:01 GMT
Wilhelmus,

I'm a bit in Joe Fisher's camp, about the importance of the singularity of perception. I know when I, as an individual, start trying to multiply my perception, that signal of my own awareness would be quickly lost in the cacophony. It is possible to take a generalized view, but that also is refined and defined to a particular range of input, frequency and amplitude, with much of the detail of incorporated foreground and background edited out. The problem with science these days is that it tends not to take the general view, dismissing it as shallow. This leave professionals very knowledgeable about a small range and often divorced from context. While people with a broad view tend to be remiss in many of the details.

As I said, this is because knowledge is a function and consequence of definition and so by its very nature, has to be limited. Thus I'm only really concerned with the conditions and how to improve them on this planet, not what could theoretically happen across a range of other planets, galaxies, universes, etc.

Regards,

John M




James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 23, 2014 @ 18:04 GMT
John,

I like the way you take such an arcane subject as money, credit, banks and such and successfully relate it to energy, information, religion and money's antithetical roles.

You paint through metaphor and analogy a clear picture but unfortunately I fear it's lost to the biased perceptions of those with power and control - "like monarchs who could not see beyond their self interest to understand their larger role and function in society."

Your apt description perhaps dooms us until the collapse you mention. But even then, I wonder. The last collapse seemed to do little to foster sane "awareness."

Jim

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Mar. 23, 2014 @ 21:43 GMT
Jim,

Thank you very much. I think the collapse is not only inevitable, but natural. As individuals, nature determines it most efficient for us to die and fresh versions to be born. The big reset button. Complex systems have a way of creating too much 'bad code' and this world is certainly full of it. It's essentially a wave pattern and we have been on the up side for a long time. The last time, in 2008, they simply used a bit of electro-shock therapy to revive the patient, but did nothing to change its behavior. The consequence being the bubble is only larger, with fewer safety valves. They are risking the viability of the currency to save a corrupt banking system and inflated stock markets. It's little more than an addict doubling down on bad habits.

We really won't know what will rise from the rubble, but I'm naturally optimistic. As I point out, the larger issue is that the earth's resources can't sustain the current economy indefinitely, so having what amounts to a self induced heart attack will be a serious monkey wrench in that process and who knows how it ends up.

This contest question just allowed me to express some ideas I've been thinking over for a long time and I had fun putting it together.

Regards,

John M



James Lee Hoover replied on May. 26, 2014 @ 22:53 GMT
John,

Perhaps a financial collapse is natural with little or no regulation when the Clinton administration lead efforts to rid us of the Glass-Steagall Act. It assured stability for some 65 years.

Time grows short, so I am revisited those I've read to assure I've rated them. I find that I rated yours on 5/20. Hope you enjoyed mine.

Jim

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 27, 2014 @ 01:28 GMT
Thanks, Jim.

That was a major fracture in the banking framework, but it was one in a series. Given the purpose of capitalism has degenerated to the point of merely producing capital, at the expense of virtually every other facet of society, the force of this notational value has burst all bonds.

Regards,

John

PS, Either it doesn't look like I developed my argument very clearly, or a fair number of other entrants don't agree.




Turil Sweden Cronburg wrote on Mar. 27, 2014 @ 13:41 GMT
“Biology deals with this wave pattern of increasing and collapsing complexity by having individual organisms die and pass on their genetic code.”

I found this fascinating, but confusing. Are you saying that human minds (and bodies?) get too complex for the universe’s good, and so they have to be “edited” through the process of dying, thus leaving only their DNA (and memes) behind for the next generation to use as ingredients with which to sort of start over? That sort of makes sense to me.

Also, I think you might be interested in an idea I’ve been promoting, which is creating a global brain database that collects and shares (freely) all the ways individuals have found to “use X to get Y”, with X being excess resources and Y being needed resources. (It would be categorized using Pascal’s triangle, with “matter” and “energy/information” as the top two elements, and then breaking the possible combinations of those two things down for each level of detail, to eventually, theoretically, cover everything in existence.) Having such a simple, searchable, bottom-up (emergent) database of proven results/solutions is a way to organize all the “conflicting interests” that you mention.

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Mar. 27, 2014 @ 16:40 GMT
Turil,

I think it goes much deeper than just biology.

One of the contentions I keep making in the blogs here at FQXI is that time is not so much the present moving from past to future, but the process by which future becomes past. To wit, the earth is not traveling some fourth dimension, or Newtonian flow, from yesterday to tomorrow, but rather tomorrow becomes yesterday because...

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Alexandre de Pomposo wrote on Mar. 29, 2014 @ 01:07 GMT
Dear John,

I appreciate both your paper and your beautiful reply. I mostly agree with you and what you say made me stop for a little while in my job, walk out and start considering your concepts, one by one, under the trees of a park. The result of those thoughts are expressed in the following lines.

Basic sciences have shown, from their very beginning, the greatest interest to...

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Alexandre de Pomposo wrote on Mar. 29, 2014 @ 16:14 GMT
Dear John,

I thank you very much for your openness of thinking. As I already told you, I completely agree with you and I celebrate that you like to watch from a distance: open spaces are essential to have an idea of the entire landscape. So, after that, you deserve that I widely open my heart to you in a matter as fundamental as time is. But before that I must prevent you that, as it seems...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Mar. 29, 2014 @ 23:20 GMT
Alex,

Thank you for your forthrightness. We have much to argue over. I see space as irreducible and time as an effect of action, no matter how fundamental it may be to our actions and mortality.(So is temperature.)

I agree what we perceive is past events and not only that, but static framings of otherwise dynamic processes. Yet it is because the perception of those events requires...

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Alexandre de Pomposo replied on Apr. 1, 2014 @ 21:57 GMT
Dear John,

Thank you for your reply. Your arguments forced me to have a look on some texts that came to my mind while reading you. Namely, I though about some of the ideas of Spinoza as you argued about space and time, for the Dutch philosopher thinks that thought and extent are the attributes of the one substance (which is infinite in itself, with an infinite number of attributes, each one...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 2, 2014 @ 02:43 GMT
Alex,

You have infinite, but how do you have absolute? Like absolute zero and the state where that infinity of everything balances out. The vacuum without fluctuation. The void that is the medium for C.

Space may be infinite, but it is also that state of inertia. The motionless stability of everything pulling and balancing everything else. That 'geometrical structure' is vibrating, fluctuating, changing, yet because it is infinite, it also is balanced by the infinity. Energy radiating away in all directions is replaced by energy radiating in from all directions.

Change happens where structure is weakest relative to energy. Emergence is where energy exceeds order. The ice breaks, the bark splits, the flower blooms, the light escapes, the atom splits, etc. The problem with determinism is there is no way to objectively assemble relevant information prior to the event. It happens where your information is least. The pot boils faster when you don't watch it.

What seems to me to be the more useful relation is between information and energy. Energy is like time, it has to move and change, while information is the form it tries to manifest, fleetingly static. Like the absolute, a balancing of opposites, freezing the universe for a moment. The temperature of the fluctuation that creates change and time.

So space is both infinite and absolute. Like energy, stretching out to infinity, or a few billion lightyears. Absolute, as it tries to pull the ends back together and balance them in that larger medium of all. So we have these vortices of contracting form and radiating energy.

I know this is overly philosophical, but math and science are manifestations of form and see all as deterministic information. It is form falling into the vortex, not the energy being released.

Regards,

John M




John C Hodge wrote on Apr. 6, 2014 @ 20:45 GMT
Your first three paragraphs hit the nail on the head. The outline also has one problem – I think the solution cannot be intellectually comprehended by a vast number of intelligent people. The vast numbers need comprehend only how to function within the solution. The solution must increase the complexity of society.

I like to think my paper presents a possible method to the Tower of Babel...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 7, 2014 @ 00:42 GMT
JH,

To a certain extent, my argument is that by viewing money as a contract, rather than a commodity, it would be viewed in fundamentally moral terms, as a force that holds society together and makes the parts function as a whole. Which is what the essence of morality is, the principles by which society can function. Essentially it is the economic blood flowing through the system. As it...

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John C Hodge replied on Apr. 7, 2014 @ 01:28 GMT
You seem to agree that currency by government is morally evil. The result is inflation or the low interest rates fostered by government in an attempt to have their cake and eat it without tax.

How would you change the system to have currency or money be viewed as a social contract that government could not abuse?

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 7, 2014 @ 02:00 GMT
JH,

You are not going to find perfect. What you are looking for is balance. The point I make in my entry is that just as the body reflects the dichotomy of energy and information, so is society, so as we reached the point where government no longer worked as private business, ie. monarchy, we are now finding limits on banking as a private practice. This is not to say it's bad, think Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life. But the point which needs emphasizing here is that government and finance are as separate as the nervous system and the circulatory system. We don't want short term executive type thinking running our heart rate, though it does affect it. Then again, systems do get old and corrupted, broken etc. So we need to keep that deeper understanding of the physical dynamic and do what we think is best for those we value. In nature, some of it is completely local and some is light coming from a billion miles away and water coming from a thousand miles away.

Personally I live on a farm and exercise and break racehorses. It doesn't make me much money, but the farm doesn't have any debt beyond the bills and I find the more you have, the more you have to worry about. So I'm putting up a sort of vision thing and figure time will decide otherwise. Most people who know me thought I'd die young, but that didn't happen.

Regards,

John M




Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Apr. 13, 2014 @ 02:43 GMT
A thought provoking essay John..

But I guess we should expect that by now. I hope you do well, and that your message gets across. In this particular contest; I think your ability to editorialize issues benefits you and us more than your scientific knowledge and insights. If not for the ability to move people emotionally, nobody could communicate certain points adequately to give humanity the wake up call it needs to survive.

I think you went off the tracks a bit, extemporizing about the role of God as either limited in scope or of distant concern for humans. I assure you that it is easier to know everything at once, in some regards, than it is to have a detailed knowledge of all individual things. But the ability to immerse oneself in that state of consciousness does not preclude the possibility to examine details of things, if that is one's proclivity. The example that comes to mind is this.

When playing complicated musical passages, one focuses on the start notes of phrases, rather than each individual note, then you fill in the gaps. If one does try to play fast and focus on every note, it falls apart. In a Piano improv workshop, Alaudin Bill Mathieu suggested that one could free up the mental capacity for right-hand improvisation by focusing on what the left hand is doing, and keeping that regular. In some regards, it is the very distraction from the difficulty of the complex task that lets it proceed automatically.

It is known that sometimes Mozart would deliberately distract himself with billiards, while transcribing music, which would still his mind's internal chatter by tying up the part of the brain that would otherwise get in the way, so that again this work could proceed automatically. I guess that's all for now.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 13, 2014 @ 17:12 GMT
Jonathan,

I did go into a bit of a spiel there, but something like what you are saying is where I'm trying to go, that the essence of that universal being is also necessarily elemental, rather than lots and lots of information based and that in fact lots of complex information is part of that dynamic cycle of creation and dissolution, which does then lay down those layers and create more...

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Apr. 14, 2014 @ 00:04 GMT
Thanks John,

I appreciate the time taken for such a detailed and thorough response. We are, in many ways, on the same page with how society needs to change, to support human survival and the evolution or development of a better way. First we need to survive long enough for that positive change to happen, which is by no means automatic.

More later,

Jonathan

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 14, 2014 @ 00:38 GMT
Jonathan,

That there are no 100 percent guarantees is a fact of nature and in some ways, is a good thing. That reset button is part of the process. It makes one go under the surface, so to speak. It makes you get into that sense of all. The spiritual DNA.

Regards,

John M




Gene H Barbee wrote on Apr. 13, 2014 @ 03:34 GMT
Hi John,

Your essay shows deep thought about our current human condition. Although you say some may be offended, it is better to question and correct rather than wait for disaster. Your comments on the need for balance between opposing forces is right on. Society depends on meeting the needs of people and we can expect conflict as more people with powerful communication tools start to...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 13, 2014 @ 18:02 GMT
Gene,

In some of my other essays I make a basic point about time, which runs significantly counter to most conventional thinking, that it is not the present moving from past to future, which physics distills to measures of duration, but the process by which future becomes past. For instance, rather than the earth traveling Newton's flow, or Einstein's dimension from yesterday to tomorrow,...

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Gene H Barbee wrote on Apr. 14, 2014 @ 02:19 GMT
The present state of cosmology is very confused so no one has a basis to give you grief. The problems I see are: No one really knows what space and time are. We only can see 4% of what is apparently out there. We really don't know what dark matter and dark energy are. The standard model has three sets of particles, not one. Many believe in inflation but where.why does it stop? etc. etc.

I spent a serious amount of time on WMAP results and primordial nucleosynthesis and find both full of constants that they don't admit to.

I wrote a paper proposing a fundamental gravitational theory but no one seems to care.

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 14, 2014 @ 16:00 GMT
Gene,

I originally got interested in physics as a way to make sense of how society functions, but then I found the rules of how society functions determine a lot of how physics as a field of study has evolved, what is understood and what can be discussed.

There has to be that conceptual foundation and yet prior knowledge is necessarily more limited than current knowledge, so these...

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Gyenge Valeria wrote on Apr. 15, 2014 @ 13:32 GMT
Dear John!

I liked your essay. It inevitably conveys essential well-formed thoughts which regard and can attract the interest of a broader audience. Your longer comments also are sympathetic for me, due to those also informatively express your wide-scale interest, knowledge and wisdom inside.

I welcome too, your mentioning the top-down bottom up 'logic', due to it is vital to...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 15, 2014 @ 16:13 GMT
Valeria,

I'm trying to read your essay, but you say a very lot. It is like being in a large and complex building with no floor plan. You need to both organize and edit much more. Each of us is a world unto ourselves and yet the lines of communication between each other are very limited. Writing is like a telegraph wire in a fiber optic age. As I point out, too much information starts to...

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Gyenge Valeria replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 08:24 GMT
Dear John!

Thank you for your answer.

I feel, you are right in that, my essay cannot so clear way convey information (as your essay is truly transparent), which logically drives one's attention on a thread. It can suggest certainly thinking on many threads in the meantime. However, my essay was specially focused, and organized. Covering topics arisen here at Fqxi's previous contests, and long run behind involving truly vast amount of background information compressed into the possible here given 9 pages. It was 'edited' by my interpretation, as far as I can understand and absolve those information - dealing with questions which are not necessarily thoughts of mine!!! Those are complex thoughts yes, however those are also present in our reality in one's or ones' minds, even at many levels of every one of us, and those thoughts have been running on many threads. And you are also right, those information may be very confusing, noisy, distracting, and probably open ended, with 'no ground floor', or eventually cancelled, as you pointed out.

You are focusing on more concretely formed problems what urgent their resolution and stand near for the everyday thoughts. However, I felt writing my essay, quite because, I think those many threads of more complex thoughts I mentioned running yet parallel. May be focused, edited, 'hacked' or cancelled by one or ones (not necessarily personally by me).

I exerted my best effort and capacity to attract and catalyse ones' attention who are disposing of the possibility to bring those threads on a harmonics what a normal original human body can endure, and digest. (involving myself too) Supposing we want to remain - human - as naturally and unconditionally given! (This latter is my thoughts, truly! And I think, it is a very clear message, I also focused on this conclusion in my essay and some of my comments put here.

Thank you again for reading my essay.

Valeria

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 19, 2014 @ 02:16 GMT
Valeria,

We have to express the world the way we see it. You are you and you probably have a better memory than I. One of the reasons I have to focus and edit as much as I do, is because I am someone who does get distracted easily. Personally I mostly work outside, with horses and tend to view reality as much thermodynamically, as narratively. I just know language is a linear medium. Of course, it is old fashioned and now people use visual communications much more. Best of luck!

Regards,

John




Colin Walker wrote on Apr. 16, 2014 @ 20:00 GMT
Hi John,

I think you identified a big problem going forward as getting everybody to recognize and act according to our "collective self interest". Re-using plastic bags, for example, is something I see in the city (and now do myself) that is an indication that people have a recognition of this principle although it might seem like (and probably is) a token gesture in the big picture.

Your essay was a bit of a ramble, but a good read that resonates quite a bit with my thoughts.

Best to you

Colin

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 16, 2014 @ 22:32 GMT
Colin,

Thanks. It's a matter of perspective. Life can seem to be a token gesture, if we box it up too much. In order to make sense of the little things, we need to keep them in the context of emblematic of bigger things, not just lost in the shuffle of bigger things. Holographic, as well as digital.

I tried to stuff a lot in there, so it's nice to know it plays well.

Regards,

John M




Walter Putnam wrote on Apr. 17, 2014 @ 23:28 GMT
Very good, John. I love your concept of the "elemental self pushing out like a sprouting seed." I also like the way you summarize life as like a sentence, in which we must deal with the way we put things together between what came before and the punctuation at the end, and then go on to address the substance of the topic -- the nervous system of governance and circulatory system of economics that drive our daily lives and shape the future. I wonder, though, if you place too much stock in a "coronary" attack breaking down the system in which the rich and powerful become ever more so. You may be right, but that's not what happened five or six years ago and next time thrombosis strikes it might be too late for the masses.

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 00:10 GMT
Walter,

Thank you.

You might say the response the last time amounted to a massive dose of adrenaline to get the system flowing again, but nothing was learned and it is doubtful enormous doses of credit will work as well another time. What is safe to say is that there will be significant questions raised as to whether we are on the right track and even Rupert Murdoch won't be able to control the editorializing. That is when the conversation will open up somewhat and new ideas will have at least a chance of being heard. The two economic observations I'm making, public banking and the fundamental nature of money, are being raised, with community and public banking initiatives growing at the grass roots and Ellen Brown's Public Banking Institute as a sort of clearing house and idea center for them. Also Modern Monetary Theory delves quite deeply into the roots and evolution of money and gives a somewhat different version than conventional economics, which naturally argues there is no other way than as it is treated in capitalism. Which is essentially as a replacement commodity, rather than the social contract which validates its function.

While I conclude with the comments on economics, I also feel some of the other, more conceptual issues need to be addressed, as well. One point I didn't raise in this entry, but have in other contests and further up this thread, Apr. 13, 2014 @ 18:02 GMT, is the nature of time. That it is not the point of the present moving from past to future, but the changing configuration of what exists which turns future into past. While this might seem a bit abstract, given that human civilization is based on its various versions of history and thus the linear perception of time, understanding the underlaying physical dynamic might help us to somewhat unwind all these conflicting versions and arrive at that more agreeable place.

Regards,

John M




Georgina Woodward wrote on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 08:19 GMT
Hi John.

Not what I was expecting from the title but very interesting to read your point of view on the monetary system and religion. I fear the World's problems are too large for a change in banking to make that much difference. Though I have read and seen TV programmes about the success of micro-loans in India and elsewhere. Allowing small businesses to be started, that give employment and service to the community, improving the quality of life of more than just the recipient.

The whole premise of the worlds economies is unsustainable. In my essay, yet to appear on the list, I include the idea that in the future rather than success being measured by economic growth it should be measured by the contentment, health, altruism, high culture and creativity of its people; as growth is ultimately unsustainable. Can societies be made future proof or do they have to fall so that new societies with different founding principles can arise? I don't know. We were requested to give an optimistic outlook, so I have. There are still guns, and walls, but no zombie apocalypse.

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 10:02 GMT
Georgina,

Good to hear from you. They haven't been posting contest comments on the blog sidebar, so the two conversations haven't been entwined as in past years. Nor is there an overall contest comment thread, so it's harder to keep these contest conversations easily in view. Oh well.

An interesting article on MMT is in this month's New Inquiry. In some ways, microfinance is just turning into a way to further drain value out of ever poorer people. Like many things, it's a two edged sword. There really should be a broad conversation over the physics of finance and money, but obviously the best financed schools of thought are those supporting the money as personal property side of the coin and not as broad social contract, but the success of this view appears to be leading to its undoing, along with a large chunk of society.

Well, I have to go to work and I'm sure we will both be having some fun with these debates.

Regards,

John



Georgina Woodward replied on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 22:23 GMT
John,

Your essay seems to have generated a lot of interest and discussion, too many for me to read them all. Seems I have missed out on some important expansion of the ideas in the essay. Its obviously a topic that many people feel strongly about and I expect especially Americans, given the recent severe financial woes of the country.

Good Luck, Georgina

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 19, 2014 @ 02:09 GMT
Thanks, Georgina.

Some of it's been discussions I've started on other's threads as well. While it concludes on a financial note, I suspect some of the more controversial ideas are developed before that.

Given they made it pretty clear the winners will be chosen from FQXI members, I simply set out to stir up as much controversy as possible, rather than appeal to any particular group. It is an interesting topic from my perspective though, as I mostly became attracted to physics in the first place as a way to make sense of cultural and social complexities and views. I think that a lot of people generally operate from within those models, so what I try to say mostly comes across as a foreign language. Even though it may seem logical to me, I do have a fairly good grasp of many of those cultural memes, at least the western ones, to know how simply different some of what I propose does sound. In fact, it seems to resonate best to those who tend toward an eastern, spiritually dualistic view, from a fairly modern western perspective. I think the true easterners approach these ideas from a much more cultural set of ingrained beliefs and so still might see it as a foreigner trying to speak the language. Since much of it comes from my own personal experiences of dealing with life and nature, along with a fair amount, but not what would be considered extensive reading, it is what it is.

Regards,

John




KoGuan Leo wrote on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 05:49 GMT
Dear John,

Congratulation, wonderful essay! It contains many wisdoms. I enjoyed reading it.

Best regards,

Leo KoGuan

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 16:32 GMT
Leo,

Thank you very much!

Regards,

John




Hoang cao Hai wrote on Apr. 22, 2014 @ 04:45 GMT
Dear Author John Brodix Merryman

Do you believe that : all be must have limits?

And it seems that mankind has approached the limit of the problems that you made ​​in this essay?

Best wishes with the highest point - Hải.CaoHoàng

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 22, 2014 @ 10:02 GMT
Hai,

Limits are an aspect of information and structure. The difference between what is and what is not. If it exists, it has limits and boundaries to make it what it is. Without those boundaries and limits, nothing exists. Now energy will always be testing and pushing on boundaries, structure and limits. If there was no movement and action, there would be no way to know there are limits and structure, because there nothing testing and acting on them. Essentially boundaries and limits are opposite forces pushing, or pulling on one another. So information is the definition, boundaries and thus limitations of energy.

Regards,

John M




James A Putnam wrote on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 03:59 GMT
John,

I chopped this up a bit and re-arranged it. I skipped your mundane attempt to define God. I don't agree with the rest of your essay either. However, I will ask for your response to this:

Your view of monotheism:

"Usually religion is the area in which society collects its communal vision of what is important, but that has become a bit of a fallback position for significant unanswered questions and it is seriously fragmented. The central thesis for many people, monotheism, the premise of an all-knowing absolute being, is about 3000 years old. While it fills and fulfills a variety of

emotional needs and some convenient political ends, many do not find it coherently logical."

Me: Before the above you presented your own monotheism:

"At its most basic level, reality is the dichotomy of energy and information. Like two sides of a coin, one does not exist without the other. Energy manifests information and information defines energy. Among those for whom this is a professional concern, information tends to be paramount because it is what is descriptive, yet in the absence of any form of energy, there can be no information. The void has no form. Sorry Plato."

Me: Changing God's name to Energy doesn't change theology to science. Is it your view that energy is the cause of intelligent life?

James Putnam

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 16:17 GMT
James,

I can see getting that from my comment of thinking about the spirit as more energy than form, but that is within the context of my observations that the real mystery is this elemental sense of awareness which which life seems to be possessed of. So often with many things, we naturally relate the process with the form. For example, we tend to think of the present in terms of the specific situation, rather than that more vague presence of being. So when people think of God, they tend to associate it with some formless power, 'up in the heavens,' because that is what they are taught, rather than the source of their own sense of being. Logically then the source doesn't particularly know every detail of what will ever happen, only that it keeps pushing onward. Since many people want to be given some sense of direction and only really want freedom when their forward progress is blocked, especially those who feel the need for an all powerful deity, this notion of a bottom up spirituality probably isn't all that appealing, but I'm trying to figure out what is logical, not what people want. So for me, the question is trying to explain the sense of being, not the physical reality it manifests. That physical process seems to be a cycle of expanding energy and contracting mass, but that we have discussed previously.

Planning on getting around to yours, but with my limited time, have mostly been reading those who don't converse in the forums.

Regards,

John



James A Putnam replied on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 20:27 GMT
John,

Ok, I gather that you are not addressing how we are aware or as you put it that vague sense of being. When you speak of explaining the sense of being you are not explaining its original cause? I don't have any religious position on this. What I was thinking was that your point is that dumbness can provide for and produce intelligence. Your emphasis on energy is what prompted my question. I was wondering about the logic and empirical evidence for demonstrating that. Anyway, if your addressing our sense of being as a given, then my question is not relevant. Thank you for your reply.

James Putnam

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 20:50 GMT
James,

My suspicion is that what would be considered the spiritual realm is every bit as complex as its biological manifestation. If not far more so. That said, I think the term intelligence is a relative concept, with many different applications and scales.

I think one of the most incisive descriptions of the source of this sense of being was Nietzsche's observation about staring into the abyss and sensing it staring back. That's the problem with our grasp of awareness, we like something to grasp onto.

Regards,

John




Member Rick Searle wrote on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 14:12 GMT
John,

I enjoyed your essay very much especially quotes such as these:

"We are fundamentally linear creatures. As singular organisms, we experience this kaleidoscopic reality as a sequence of events and being generally predatory, this sense is further focused. Nature, on the other hand, is cyclical and any action ultimately is balanced by other, non-linear activity."

"We are fundamentally linear creatures. As singular organisms, we experience this kaleidoscopic reality as a sequence of events and being generally predatory, this sense is further focused. Nature, on the other hand, is cyclical and any action ultimately is balanced by other, non-linear activity."

I think you are totally right in suggesting that our current financial system is out of whack. Not to pick on the much lambasted high frequency traders, but they are indicative of our problems. Talk about short term thinking! HFTs trade in micro-seconds not even perceivable by human beings dis-attaching us from the slower cyclic moves of the economy and the slow emergence of the future as the product of our investments. A re-conceptualizing of money is certainly in order.

Like the Sabbath we need reminding that "money was made for us and not us for money". Your essay is a good move in that direction.

Best of luck!

Rick Searle

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 16:32 GMT
Rick,

Thank you.

I do start with a broad view and try to narrow it down to some specific points, because that is how we need to distill any form of logical argument. In a sense, we put that predatory impulse to good use, with extracting the desired from the context. This then goes to my observation about the nature of utopia. It is a social idealization and ideals are all the good stuff distilled from the seeming extraneous, or simply undesirable parts. Yet often one person's ideal views another's nature as imperfect. We conflate our sense of perfection with a universal absolute, but as I point out, the absolute is basis, where all those details are lost. Given the nature of structure in general, it tends to be inherently self supporting and so like a gravitational vortex, draws everything inwards. When we then set up the ideal, it tends to become the center of this vortex, pulling everything inwards. While this is all very natural, when it happens with complex forms such as human societies, that simple, central thesis can be overwhelming to all the networks forming that society and you can end up with the various forms of centralized totalitarianism, drawing out the society into the black hole in the center.

So while we do very much need the focus of our desires and ideals, we also need to keep some sense of the larger context and a balance between the two.

Regards,

John M




Mark Avrum Gubrud wrote on Apr. 27, 2014 @ 00:52 GMT
A very thoughtful and enjoyable essay. I like your metaphor of energy and information being "two sides of a coin" but note that while a coin can be considered as representing a single bit (heads/tails) it is made up of 1023 or so atoms and its full description is lots of bits even if considered only classically; I'm not really convinced that "information" is anything at all; the ultimate reality must be identical with matter/energy, whatever stuff is there. Also you write that "the energy is apparently conserved, but the information surely is not" which is not consistent with current thinking about quantum information, as you may know, but I'm not so much a believer in the Holy Wavefunction. You lose me when you write "When we combine information, the energy carrying it tends to cancel out, creating just that static and noise we so carefully extracted the information from." Not sure what you mean by that. Also not sure I understand your critique or prescriptions for financial reform. I think capitalism would work just fine if we only tax the rich enough to fix Piketty's inequality so r=g in the long term after we run it backwards for a while (g>r).

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 27, 2014 @ 03:11 GMT
Mark,

Thank you for the thoughtful reading and response.

I realize I'm stepping into a bit of a physics minefield with that thumbnail description, but its use was to lay a foundation for how our physiological dichotomy of the central nervous and circulatory systems are biological equivalents to the functions of government and finance.

Then the other leg of this view is how...

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 06:47 GMT
John,

Indeed, the problem has many facets, and one should not ignore any of them. I think you are right when you write

"First and foremost, this situation has to be addressed in a way that can be intellectually comprehended by vast numbers of normally intelligent people, not just those with select education in any of the various facets of society. What might seem viable to scientists, or politicians, or information technologists, economists, priests, lawyers, plumbers, or what have you, may well not make sense to the broader audience. So what I see as first being necessary is to lay out a very basic description of reality that is sure to irritate those with a professional interest in its description."

This is very important. When we are all concerned, allowing elites in charge without control is dangerous. Democracy gives the power to the many; information and education are needed to give them understanding of the problems they vote for.

Best regards,

Cristi

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 11:36 GMT
Cristi,

Thank you. The dichotomy I argue for was a bit of a shot across the bow of the physic's community's obsession with mathematical structure as the basis, rather than just the description, so it likely won't be accepted by some people in the FQXI community, but it is an issue which does eventually have to be addressed, when Max Tegmark and company reach the limits of the multiverse as explanatory.

Time will tell, as with a lot of issues.

Regards,

John M




Paul N Butler wrote on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 18:21 GMT
Dear John,

I read your paper and found some of your economic concepts to be very good for someone not expert in that field. I also found your concept of the dichotomy of energy and information pretty good.

I must admit, however that I found your description of the nature of God to be lacking. It appears that you either don’t have a good understanding of what is meant by those who...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 19:32 GMT
Paul,

What you describe I would call an ideal, not an absolute, but you are free to ascribe whatever meaning you wish to words. In my view, absolute has to account for all, not just the good. The noise as well as the signal.

I did not in fact describe God as anything, but simply pointed out some of the conceptual issues of an absolute deity. Personally I see and tried to express a bottom up spirituality, in which it is the source of our sense of being, not any particular form, ideal or otherwise. My personal perspective on the spiritual realm, is that it is every bit as complex and deep as its biological manifestations, if not far more so. So I do not pretend to plumb the depths, just to try to make some sense of what rises to the surface.

Regards,

John




Robert de Neufville wrote on May. 1, 2014 @ 04:44 GMT
I still don't know after reading your essay how we can hack human history, John. You make a lot broad assertions about a wide range of complex philosophical and political issues, but I wasn't sure what it all added up to. Reforming the legislative process in the US certainly might be a good idea, but I don't know how dramatically it would affect the course of human history. In any case, good luck in the contest.

Best,

Robert de Neufville

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 1, 2014 @ 09:58 GMT
Robert,

Necessarily the question and the parameters of the contest does require packing a lot of context into a short piece. As I said, the essay is the abstract. The point of it, the turn in the road, which you seemed to have missed, is that we need to start treating money as a contract, not a commodity. Necessarily this does require some appreciation for how society treats contracts, versus how it treats commodities, as well as some appreciation for how the financial world operates, but since delving into the nature of these would require far more development, I hoped most readers would have some appreciation for the situation. You may wish to read Stefan Weckbach's entry for some context on the effects of how finance operates as a giant vacuum. As it has been described, as everything from an octopus in the twenties, to a giant vampire squid today, sticking its tentacles into every aspect of life and the economy.

Regards,

John



Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 1, 2014 @ 10:00 GMT
Another point, which I presume you missed, is the opportunity to affect this change, the fork in the road, so to speak, will be the up coming financial crisis.



Michael Allan replied on May. 14, 2014 @ 05:51 GMT
Hi John - I tend to agree with Robert. My impression is that you neither engage nor dismiss the question of steering, but flirt with it. This doesn't so much place you off topic as erode somewhat my interest while reading. "Tell me how to steer," I want to urge, "or tell me that I can't steer, but tell me something definite."

Like Robert, I missed your plan for using "the up coming financial crisis" to change the economy, "treating money as a contract, not a commodity"; it didn't come across as a definite plan. Instead I saw your proposal for reforming the US budget process (p. 5-6), but I don't think you meant that as a full-blown steering plan. Your essay ends frankly on this point, "If others have plans..., I'm all ears." - Mike

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Paul N Butler wrote on May. 2, 2014 @ 20:35 GMT
Dear John,

Of course, as you say, you can make your own private definition of a word, but I have found that it is usually best to invent a new word or phrase if you need to communicate some new concept rather than trying to apply a new meaning to an existing word because it is less confusing to readers who may from their past experience think that you mean one of the existing meanings of...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 3, 2014 @ 02:33 GMT
Paul,

It's late and admittedly I haven't read this with as much attention as you have put into it and it all seems basically reasonable and logical and we can debate whether an absolute state is molecularly still, or subatomically still, but what matters to me is direction. It's a fairly elemental state and complexity does seem to emerge from it in terms of opposing forces, positive and...

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KoGuan Leo wrote on May. 3, 2014 @ 10:44 GMT
John, my conscious fellow traveler on spaceship Gaia. Welcome back with your irrepressible spirit of kindness and wholeness. As usual your essay deserved a ten(10).

Wishing your well and good health,

Leo KoGuan

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 3, 2014 @ 18:16 GMT
Leo,

Thank you very much!

I read your essay and the Dao certainly contains much wisdom, but I don't think its essence of balance can be used to propagate complete freedom from want. I think it is much better to use it to understand why we want and how these desires give us purpose, meaning and direction. If we could simply have whatever we wanted, then it would all lose meaning and value. I think what we need is knowledge that everything is its own price. To have we have to give and then there can be balance. Expansion and contraction. Up and down. Black and white. Good and bad. Pleasure and pain. All are to be understood as part of life.

Regards,

John




Thomas Howard Ray wrote on May. 4, 2014 @ 23:40 GMT
John,

It's nice after all this time to find something we agree on. I won't pick any nits. Good luck in the competition!

Best,

Tom

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 00:48 GMT
Thanks, Tom. Best of luck as well.

It is certainly a different sort of question.

Regards,

John




Charles Gregory St Pierre wrote on May. 5, 2014 @ 05:43 GMT
Dear John,

Thank you for your essay. Your section on God, and signal and noise, reminded me of something I wrote awhile ago for one of my blogs: http://www.truthabouttheone.com/2010.10.01_arch.html (Noise, Signal and the Existence of God) I hope you will find it interesting, and I invite your comments.

About money. Clearly the debt overhang is screwing with the modern economy. But what is it? It is the wealthy's claim on the rest of us. And as long as we accede to it, we, and they, are screwed.

Money is often confused as being a store of value. While to an individual it may by, (it makes sense for an individual to save,) to a society it has no value. It is useless, and that is its value! (This is why fiat currency is more useful than a currency based on precious metal.) It is just keeping score. Thus, while an individual can save money for the future, it is pointless for a society to do so. (Except perhaps as demand on another society, as eg China and the US. ) It can only save resources, and that by conservation or capitalizing in them ( eg soil preservation, replanting forests, renewable energy, etc.)

The problem (as I think you mention) is the oversupply of (real) capital, which must produce a surplus to maintain itself. This would be OK were humanity to have an infinite planet. It does not. Therefore there is a point where real capital cannot grow at the same rate as financial capital. This is Thomas Piketty's thesis, although, from what I understand, he merely predicts gloom, (the rise of oligarchy, and the descent of the rest of us,) and not doom.

Best of luck,

Charles Gregory St Pierre

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 16:59 GMT
Charles,

That is why I emphasize the need to think of it as a contract, rather than a commodity. Not only people, but obviously society as a whole is guided by basic conceptual models and it behooves the banks and the government for people to think of money as some form of real value, rather than just one side of a promise. Sort of like it behooves the fisherman, for the fish to think the worm is tasty.

It is they who are creating this opportunity for real change, since it is they who are sacrificing the strength of the currency to save a bunch of over-leveraged banks.

These are their strings of control. Even security forces need a relatively stable form of exchange in order to function. It is as though they were shortchanging the structural integrity of a sky scraper in order to make the penthouse more extravagant.

I do feel this is not simply a matter of hubris on the part of a few, but the culmination of some deep cultural issues, of which what I wrote only begins to scrape the surface.




Paul N Butler wrote on May. 5, 2014 @ 05:55 GMT
Dear John,

Sorry to hear about your loss of your father when you were earlier in life than happens to many. Was your monotheist background Christian or some other? Was your father’s the same as yours? We both share something that I have found to be very common among those who either leave or distance themselves from God. It usually happens due to some traumatic or very negative...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 17:23 GMT
Paul,

Why do you tell me I'm 'leaving God,' just because I view it from a somewhat different perspective?

You seem to have some very basic boxes and if someone doesn't fit in one, then they must be in the other.

I do come from a very old Christian tradition and personally I view your description of God as a bit of a cul de sac version. Its comfortable and comforting, but is...

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Peter Jackson wrote on May. 5, 2014 @ 17:08 GMT
John,

Not quite what I expected from you, a nice original approach, though I don't think you overdid the 'ruffling of feathers' at all. And I don't recall a single mention of time!

I agree the recent crisis has been a salutary reminder of what 'money' actually is and isn't. I think it was a lesson people wont forget for possibly many months! Are thing, and bankers and politicians, really going to fundamentally change. I fear not. I think we need to look elsewhere for that quantum leap into the 21st century. Then when we HAVE caught up we can do another one! - but I agree, it's whether it's in the right direction that matters.

I did greatly enjoy the read as a lovely change from idealist subject matter and theorising. Needless to say I shall afford it the consummate remuneration contract, but avoiding empty promisory notes.

I hope mine is suitably pitched for you as you were my 'ideal' target audience in making QM causal and understandable. Your comment; "While we progress linearly, nature responds non-linearly." is profound and at it's heart. Few realise the import of the emergent unifying of classic and quantum physics. We've been in an ever deepening theoretical rut for ~100 years. But of course It'll be ignored, again.

There is not one branch of science that won't benefit massively from the ensuing improved understanding of nature and the universe. And ZERO walls and guns! Did you read the new Cyclic evolution paper; applying the same simple mechanism. If not then perhaps after the eye aching essay reading.

Very best wishes. Hold on to your C of G while she bucks.

Peter

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 17:35 GMT
Peter,

Thank you very much. I did try to read your paper, but my math talents are limited to basics. Personally I do sense my reality is far more quantum, than classical, since I long realized anything presumably objective was usually just someone else's perspective.

You did miss my slipping time in there, as the effect of energy creating and dissolving information.

As for change, I'm a firm believer in Gould's model of punctuated equilibrium and there are quite a few financial, social, cultural and yes, even scientific/physics paradigms under quite a lot of pressure and while they may seem impregnable now, that is just Lisbon before the earthquake. When the system starts to crack, I think you will find that it is the bumper sticker sort of answers, not the dense, academic ones, which garner more attention. Just assuming the basic physical processes here will operate as usual.

Regards,

John



Peter Jackson replied on May. 6, 2014 @ 20:41 GMT
John,

Maths!! Who put 'maths' in there?, I assure you it wasn't me! Where did you find that? Mines just the one with pretty pictures.

To explain it in a nutshell; Spin a basketball on your finger. Now, is the middle bit ('equator') moving at the same speed as the bit near your finger?

I think you know it's 'moving' (on it's rotational path) much faster.

Well that's IT! It's fundamental dynamic really is that simple. Because the ball is curved, the change of speed away from your finger in non linear. Then finally, if you look down from the top, whichever way it spins on you finger (say clockwise) look down from the top and its spinning the opposite way.

In that short paragraph the whole of the quantum nonsense and illusion is taken apart, because the findings are what Bell said could NOT be found 'classically'. Can you believe that?! Bohr made the assumption that if you cut the baseball in half then both the bottom AND the top of the half you're left with would spin the same way! (i.e. both clockwise!!) No wonder the whole of physics is divided and theory has been in a 100 year rut.

The problem is Bells theorem is too deeply indoctribedded so if shown to be wrong they all run screaming with hands over ears and eyes. How do we overcome that? What we need is a description that the JM's of this world can understand. We need your help how to achieve that. (I hope you have a basketball!)?

Best wishes

Peter

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 6, 2014 @ 21:42 GMT
Peter,

I don't doubt there is a solution to the puzzle in there, fairly close to the surface, but having been vaguely following the Joy Christian thread these last few months and years, the problem seems almost more political, than theoretical. In which case, it isn't the observers like me that need convincing that factors are being overlooked, but the other side of the debate. When I hit a problem which seems insoluble, I just tend to switch to another problem, since the world is full of conundrums. Especially when the one in question has become a cage match. You and the rest don't care for my observations about time and that's certainly your prerogative, but the nature of time is a problem for physics, as witness the first contest and many of the threads, yet no one wants to turn that basketball over and see if it makes more sense spinning the other way.

As it is, How does resolving the issue of non-locality versus overlooked factors answer the question of how humanity can be maneuvered through its many impending crises? We look quite likely to have a global collapse, before we even get back to the moon, let alone any notions of real space travel.

Regards,

John




Neil Bates wrote on May. 8, 2014 @ 01:22 GMT
John,

I see that you too appreciate that we must first ask about the nature of things and not just pose suggestions in a vacuum. It is true that energy and information are related: just consider the Shannon entropy, and the various attempts to correlated gravity to entropy etc, and the connection of information/gravity/thermodynamics in the black hole information paradox. Thermodynamics...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 8, 2014 @ 02:48 GMT
Neil,

I have to first admit to being a skeptic about our current astronomic models. My view is that we will eventually find redshift to be an optical effect and that many of the loose ends will come together and the various patches, from inflation to dark energy, will fall away.

As I see it, it is a convection cycle of expanding radiation and collapsing mass and that is why the...

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Paul N Butler wrote on May. 8, 2014 @ 04:51 GMT
Dear John,

When you said “one day I just had this great yawning sense that any such essence would be so far beyond any reality I could comprehend, it left me disoriented and I couldn't shake it. I thought you were saying that you thought God was so beyond your comprehension and disconnected from your reality that you felt disconnected or distant from him in your relationship with him and...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 8, 2014 @ 09:57 GMT
Paul,

I'm just not a centrist. When lots of people are headed in one direction, I tend to hang back, or actively go in the other direction. While I realize groups need that center point and common narrative to function as societies, which is why religion is at the center of all societies, I simply prefer to live on the fringe. Not too far in and not to far out. What falls all the way in simply becomes ever more dense, focused, uncompromising etc. Life, on the other had, isn't at the center. We are not at the center of the galaxy, or at the center of the solar system, or at the center of the earth. We are at that plane about in the middle. Not too far in and not too far out.

Unless groups are balanced by what's outside them, or other groups, etc. and everything really does start falling into the center, it becomes very totalitarian and eventually, when all the bodies start piling up, messy.

What I like about Christianity is the trinity. Christ is the balance between God the father at the center and what comes next, out there, the future, etc. in the function of the Holy Ghost.

People make up these models to explain very fundamental principles to the laity, who like to think in stories, not theories, but I'm someone who doesn't need stories, I can handle the abstractions, even though their manifestation is as us living organisms. That's why I spend my spare time on physics forums, not religious ones.

Regards,

John




Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on May. 11, 2014 @ 13:19 GMT
Hello John,

Thanks for the thoughtful pieces you have dropped me links to. I just wanted you to know I am paying attention and attempting to take in everything offered, but I may not have time for detailed comments if I am in 'receive' mode for long periods of time. Also, there is that thing called life which beckons my participation. A group of about two dozen awaits me now.

I will respond to all the input I can.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 11, 2014 @ 17:54 GMT
Joanathan,

Not a problem. I happened across them and they seemed to fit in with your basic thesis.

Regards,

John



Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 11, 2014 @ 17:55 GMT
Jonathan. My thinking and typing work at different speeds.




Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi wrote on May. 11, 2014 @ 21:02 GMT
Dear John,

Your essay is short but touches a variety of subjects. You have quite a lot of philosophical quotes. I see a lot of attention on energy on your essay, until I hit “energy can be conserved”.

I have rated you. I also employ you to read my article on STRIKING A BALANCE BETWEEN TECHNOLOGY AND ECOSYTEM using this direct link http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2020

I anticipate your comment and rating

Wishing you the best in this competition and your future endeavor

Regards

Gbenga

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 12, 2014 @ 01:10 GMT
Gbenga,

I did read your and I like your general approach and your determination. I have problems with your writing and your conclusions. This is just my personal opinion, but based on my years of reading and an attention span that has been lost to all the information of the internet, but you make way to much use of examples and other points. You need to take the information and focus it like a light beam on a singular and pointed conclusion. It is good to see others in this discussion who realize the possible solutions to our problems are not just marching onto higher levels of technology, but a strong need to go back and review what our underlaying premises are.

I'm usually against vote trading, but since I do like your general approach, I'll score it well, but not the highest, because it doesn't have as strong a focus as necessary.

Regards,

John



Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi replied on May. 12, 2014 @ 22:40 GMT
Dear John,

First, why did you choose to discuss my article on your wall? If others had followed your path, I am sure your thread will be empty by now! The culture is- respond to comment as posted on your wall if you feel so, and if otherwise it is not a crime. There are more than 150 essays in this forum and it may be a little tasking in reading essay you have already commented on while other have not even been read at all. All essays authored in this forum are equally important.

Your comment however is not a reflection of what is in my article! You have a style of writing, and then I have decided to use my own unique style to discuss the theme of the essay. It is not possible to compel me to adjust to your style. Remember it is the quality of your content that make a good article and not the philosophy of writing! Let's leave the stylish thing to the ultimate judge.

About rating! The choice is yours. I have rated so many essays in this forum including yours because I wish them good. It is my philosophy just to help other succeed. I only requested you to read, comment and rate. I do not need to beg you to rate my essay. The comments about your essay pasted earlier are just my philosophy.

If you still choose to discuss my MY OWN ESSAY on your thread, please be kindly informed that it will not be recognized!!!!!!

Regards

Gbenga

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi replied on May. 13, 2014 @ 21:31 GMT
Dear John,

Thanks for your explanations. I was not offended. Really, this platform has brought a combination of diverse backgrounds together. But we can continue to learn from one another especially on the subject of the theme that has united us together. The liveliness of this forum is in our diversities.

Thanks so much. You are great! All the best!

Best regards

Gbenga

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on May. 12, 2014 @ 20:30 GMT
Hi John,

I got to thinking about your essay while practicing to sing "Comfort Ye" from Handel's Messiah (whose lyric is from Isaiah). The language is kind of odd, by modern standards, and what got me thinking was the word iniquity. It's not much used today, but if you trace it back, it relates to inequity and thus to inequality. That is; if you didn't play fair, it was a sin. When you come right down to it; a lot of what is considered sinful or evil, by the old standards, relates to unfairness, cheating someone of their due, and so on.

How different that is from today, where it is almost a badge of honor - in some circles - to be able to say that you cheated someone out of a lot of money, and got rich as a result. These days; it seems that inequity is a way of life, for some people, and that is shrugged off as not even being a personal decision, but rather a simple acknowledgement of the ways of the world. We have always had liars, cheats, and thieves - but our culture did not always exalt such people, or revere them above others.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 12, 2014 @ 23:09 GMT
Jonathan,

It's not so much a question of life being unequal and often unfair, but the much more specific dynamics of why this current situation is going parabolic and how can it be logically addressed.

Society is always going to have winners and losers and different strata and both friction and exchange between them all. As I keep saying much of human activity on the surface of...

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Andrej Rehak wrote on May. 13, 2014 @ 11:51 GMT
Dear John

Your article, filled with analogies and allegories, was pleasant to read. Wars and guns are certainly manifestations of a disease conditioned by non-living virus, build and led by infected, self-destructive cells. Money (non-value) flow is one of the circulatory mechanism of spreading and maintaining the infection. Without reproductive mechanism of a living cell, virus is a frigid...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 13, 2014 @ 18:01 GMT
Andrej,

Humanity is one more flower reaching for the sun. Hopefully the seeds it scatters won't be as foolish as we have been.

I think also it is each of us is I am, but we don't always identify the I am in the other, because we only see their wants conflicting with our wants and like the same ends of magnets, we push each other away.

It is only when what we have to give matches they want and vice versa, that we become one.

Regards,

John




Paul N Butler wrote on May. 16, 2014 @ 04:15 GMT
Dear John,

I don’t believe in being a centrist just for the sake of being a centrist either. I go where the evidence leads me. Sometimes that can be to the center of something and sometimes it can be at the outer extreme or anywhere in between. When it comes to God I hung back for over 22 years while I observed the evidence on both sides. When the weight of that evidence...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 16, 2014 @ 17:02 GMT
Paul,

I really don't think you try to understand my point of view. Since I don't follow your theological model, you make a bunch of assumptions about what I think. Having followed religious beliefs over the years, I do have some sense of that top down, paternal deity to which you subscribe and I just find it limited and pretentious, not to mention hypocritical. It may not be authoritarian in the way human governments tend to become, but it does validate top down authority. I suppose the female side of the spiritual equation is just a form of Adam's rib and incidental to this model, but I think this dichotomy is far more reflective of much deeper spiritual realities. Going through all which you write, the separation of god and humanity, the need to come to 'him,' etc. all speak to methods of social control and direction which serve normal civic functions and while they might well be necessary to have a cohesive society, can also be misused and so don't necessarily need unquestioning validation, since this serves the purposes of those who will misuse them.

I could go on, but I realize you are not going to listen and what you say isn't anything I've haven't already heard by others wishing me to join their church.

Regards,

John




Israel Perez wrote on May. 20, 2014 @ 03:55 GMT
Dear John

Nice reading your essay, well written and concise. You touch several delicate topics, such as economy, politics and even religion. I would avoid talking about God in science groups. I think science and God are irreconcilable. Anyways, religion also plays its role in society. You also ask some philosophical questions difficult to answer. You are a mature man and have a lot experience in life; that's what your essay reflects. According to your experience, what do you think humankind is seeking? Shall we arrive at stable state in the future? What is your vision for the future of humanity?

I'd be grateful if you could take a look at my essay and leave some comments.

Best regards

Israel

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 20, 2014 @ 18:41 GMT
Israel,

I did read your essay and went back and reviewed it. As you say, the situation is overwhelmingly complex when we start considering all the actual details. A big part of the reason why I like discussing physics, rather than history, politics, sociology, etc. The secret seems to be to find the patterns and processes within all those details. For one thing, we really are not looking...

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Israel Perez replied on May. 24, 2014 @ 22:51 GMT
Dear John

Thanks for your reply. You almost wrote another essay. I have some minor disagreements on some of your points. That I would like to make some comments.

You: stability as an overall state... Otherwise stability eventually leads to stagnation and then disruption, as that stable state decays.

In my opinion, stability does not necessarily imply lack of movement, progress...

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Anonymous replied on May. 25, 2014 @ 03:20 GMT
Israel,

Thanks for the reply.

I'm not saying stability doesn't exist in the first place, but that it functions in an inherently dynamic context. You might say life is a bit like riding a bicycle. Either you keep moving forward, or you fall over.

Yes, I certainly agree with your points about the relation between science and religion, but they more clarify my basic argument,...

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James Lee Hoover wrote on May. 20, 2014 @ 18:59 GMT
John,

Time grows short so I'm revisiting and rating. Your response to my questions before: "We really won't know what will rise from the rubble, but I'm naturally optimistic. As I point out, the larger issue is that the earth's resources can't sustain the current economy indefinitely, so having what amounts to a self induced heart attack will be a serious monkey wrench in that process and who knows how it ends up."

My essay has a solution of "looking beyond" -- to dark skies and sustainable actions and "looking within" to a mind that is a microcosm of our universe, using it for transforming actions. I still wonder if we have doomed our world's environment, something that will hamper real recovery.

Jim

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 21, 2014 @ 01:11 GMT
Jim,

Nature is constantly building up and tearing down. We are seriously disrupting the biosphere, but even a cleared stage eventually is creating opportunities for whatever has the capacity to fill it. At the very least, it will be an interesting few decades.

Regards,

John




Michael Allan wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 20:33 GMT
Thanks again for reviewing my essay, John. I'll be rating yours (along with the others on my review list) some time between now and May 30. All the best, and bye for now, - Mike

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Don Limuti wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 21:32 GMT
Hi John,

I am suspicious that philosophy may be outlawed in the FQXi contests, we may be forced back into sinning (in the essays) so that grace may abound..... heaven forbid!

Good to see you in another contest.

Wishing you the best,

Don Limuti

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Don Limuti wrote on May. 22, 2014 @ 22:03 GMT
Hi John,

Appreciate your links to state public banking and to Ellen Brown.

I was in the process of replying when you post just disappeared !?!?

The post was reply to a Jonathan D. post I made.

The links were very informative and appreciated.

Could you post again?

Don L.

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Anonymous wrote on May. 24, 2014 @ 07:02 GMT
Dear John,

My attempt to extract convincing arguments from your essay was not very successful. Why did you not give an abstract? What the heck means hack human history?

Your musing around philosophy might be appealing to many who share your half-digested questions how to cope with their personal perspective. You are focusing on money and you predict a belonging catastrophe. I agreed with you on that money is not a commodity. I should also agree on that money is said ruling the world. Should I invest money in India after the election was won by Modi? Hm.

My wife asked me what does oligarchy mean. My dictionary told me: a small group of people who control and run a particular country or organization. India could definitely be a huge market. However, it suffers from lack of true democracy in the sense that most people (the demos) are utterly poor while those oligarchs of India who live in London are incredibly rich. Most people I know in Europe are neither very poor nor very rich. The oligarchs will perhaps try and prevent both a new worldwide war and the worldwide collapse of the monetary system that you seem to envision. Discoveries, inventions, and other contributions to progress will perhaps prove stronger than military or monetary maneuvers. Modi was almost an underdog. He might or might not achieve a lot. However, I see India's problem rather than its strength its young and still growing poor population. They will like to live as do we and as Modi promised to them.

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 24, 2014 @ 09:50 GMT
Anon,

The contest question was a bit broad and so the idea of packing everything into 9 pages isn't possible, thus the reference to the essay being the abstract. Unfortunately one of the areas left on the cutting room floor was the impact of these points on Indian politics, especially those which occurred after the essay was submitted.

As for oligarchies, it is also difficult to explain political form in such a short piece, so I did stick to abstractions, such as energy/the dynamic and information/the form. Necessarily oligarchy is a form, so your questions might possibly pertain to the historical dynamic by which it came to be and the potential dynamics by which it might be disrupted. Now this might not necessarily be a good thing, given the tendency for established social orders to crumble when disrupted, rather than quickly assume a more ideal form.

I prefer to stick to physical abstractions and not have to explain all their potential manifestations, as the result tends toward clutter, rather than clarity, even if not everyone is able to think abstractly and apply it to their personal situation. Have you had similar reactions to many of the other entries? This is more of a physics forum, than a strictly political one.

Regards,

John




Lorraine Ford wrote on May. 30, 2014 @ 00:44 GMT
Hi John,

Your essay points out that "money is representative of a social contract and as such is a form of public utility" and it shouldn't be treated as a commodity. And I agree that money is not just a token that represents potential exchange for potential goods and services and commodities: money is like a social contract where society agrees that this is so. But as you say: "those running the financial system have lost sight of their larger role". They have a public trust and they need to see beyond their self-interest because "contracts and promises are only as valuable as the integrity of the system on which they are based."

As you imply, the community and the environment etc. ARE the true wealth, they are where actual value resides. I think that you are right that the disengagement of money-tokens from what they actually represent must lead to the destruction of actual value in the community and the environment.

Re community banks: the issue of community oversight of what is happening (e.g. in government and banks) will never go away. We can never write a computer program to plug all the potential loopholes and solve all our oversight problems. Because our lives are so complex and busy, we have to sometimes trust that the other person is doing "the right thing", and our trust is often abused.

I think you are right to remind us that we must deal with these money issues as we attempt to "steer the future".

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 30, 2014 @ 01:51 GMT
Lorraine,

Thanks!

This contest has been a bit of an eye opener. Usually I discuss these sorts of ideas on economic and social forums, where there is a much higher level of interest. I guess FQXI appeals to a section of the population not engrossed in community issues.

I thought though that trying to relate a physical description of reality to the way abstract wealth extraction compounds environmentally and socially destructive tendencies would get more interest and there would be more entries focused on what seems to me a very significant aspect of modern life.

I suppose I should have developed it more, but I know how hard it is for most people to digest many of these entries, so I edited it as much as possible.

That said, there have been some interesting exchanges and feedback. I did have my hopes up to reach the finalists there for a while, but the reality is another year in the also rans.

I suspect though that we are going to have another significant financial earthquake soon, possibly by this fall, so I'm sure I'll be discussing these issues on other venues.

I can't boost your score more, since we can only vote for each once and I enjoyed giving you that ten to put you up on top for a few days, early in the contest.

Regards,

John




Paul N Butler wrote on May. 31, 2014 @ 03:14 GMT
Dear John,

I am sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you. Several things came up that required my attention, but at the moment I am back.

I am trying to understand your point of view, but you are right that I have apparently jumped to some conclusions that appear to not be accurate based on some of the things that you said. Let me start from the beginning with those...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 31, 2014 @ 22:51 GMT
Paul,

You really are making a genuine and sincere effort to understand my point of view and for that I commend you. Yet the reason you don't fully understand or accept it is part of what I'm trying to explain. Since it doesn't relate to the frame you are working from, it is as though I'm simply speaking another language, or a branch of math you haven't studied.

Consider the...

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 03:55 GMT
Dear John,

Thank you for your more detailed description of your beliefs concerning God. I think that you somewhat underestimate me. I just needed adequate information to understand your point of view. This is because I have found that there are many different definitions that are applied to the same words and phrases by different men. If someone says that he believes in God the most...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 02:54 GMT
Paul,

You do put an awesome amount of effort into these replies and I certainly wish I had enough time to reply in kind. I do edit much of what I would say, for time considerations.

Yes, by about a thousand years ago, the cloistered priesthood had determined the trinity stood for the spirit, the soul and the body, but the fact remains that Jesus was attempting to push the reset...

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Toby Asher Lightheart wrote on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 07:26 GMT
Hi John,

Your essay seemed a bit fragmented. Perhaps it would have benefited from a more specific focus. Adding headings for sections is a method that a lot of people have used for breaking their essays into logical parts.

That said, you do raise some interesting points about the structure of government and the banking system. These are in need of some reform. I think there is some danger of things crashing down and people resorting to using "walls and guns". Unfortunately, with the invention of military robotics power can be incredibly concentrated, so this collapse of society might even be in the interests of some powers.

I'm hopeful that there are alternatives that might be adopted before things get too bad. Even though it's not the topic of my essay, I'm interested in making learning and teaching a core ongoing activity everyone in society. This might possibly expand to reform political and economic practices.

Cheers,

Toby

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 09:56 GMT
Thanks Toby.

It is a rather incredibly broad topic, which is why I made the observation that the essay is the abstract. I wanted to coalesce both a basic description of reality and our conscious awareness projected within it, onto a point of focus on the fact that our economic medium of exchange is being used as a massive wealth extraction process by an increasingly parasitic and corrupt banking sector, motivated by our collective desire for notational wealth and this is magnifying our environmental destruction, as well as keeping it short enough for those trying to digest many of these entries. Having been in these contests before, my goal wasn't so much to win as to try to stir up some debate on the topic, for which I've had some minor successes.

Regards,

John




Douglas Alexander Singleton wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 02:21 GMT
Hi John,

I just skimmed, fairly thoroughly, your essay (I want to rad certain essay but am running short of time). I'm sorry it took me so long. I really liked it. First I liked the fact that your eschewed an abstract -- this fits in with the general tone of your essay. Also interesting bio.

Your essay focuses most one the current monetary/financial system and its inherent...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 17:52 GMT
Doug,

Your questions raise the problem that it really would take a book length exposition to do justice to the various questions being raised, yet much of this would have to be supporting detail to deflect the invariable criticism to any complex argument. Since you do seem far more curious of the issues, than critical of my observations about them, I'll try raising a various salient points...

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 18:00 GMT
I would also note that is is perfectly reasonable to have a monetary system based on public debt, if the rewards accrue back to the public. As it is, currently the obligations are public, while the rewards are private. This serves to siphon value out of the public and into private hands. The resulting bubble eventually bursts, to the good of no one, if the system of contracts allowing private ownership is destroyed.




Neil Bates wrote on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 02:20 GMT
John,

I see here a perceptive analysis and a sensible if not revolutionary framework of suggestions for improving the world. The way you bring in concepts of the nature of God or ultimate reality, is certainly not same-old futurism. Your idea of the ground of being/godhead being more an "esse" of existence that develops, rather than an infinitely structured superbeing, relates to my own argument about how our minds access and build upon the essential stuff of the world to become conscious and know they are more than just abstractions of mathematics. You have already commented on my own essay but I want to quote the portion of your essay that ties them together well:

"So if God is in charge, she apparently doesn't want to know everything. Possibly a more reasonable theological proposition is the spiritual absolute would be the essence of awareness and beingness, from which we rise, not an ideal form from which we fell. In a sense, a spiritual energy, rather than the intellectual forms it manifests."

The spiritual energy drives the essential overall experience of being alive, which is more than just a collection or product of various individual sensations and thoughts etc. It makes a stage, which helps form a unity out of all that and also gives us the essential drive to care about it. I also argue that this wholeness is required for us to behave in a globally controlled manner, such as when we suddenly stop our actions, then resume them later etc. I argue that a "society of mind", even an efficient one, would not be quite nimble enough to pull this off.

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Neil Bates replied on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 02:32 GMT
Well I didn't even remember I already commented here, but that's OK - I made some new points of value.

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 18:29 GMT
Thanks Neil.

It has been an interesting contest and hopefully the conversations will continue.

Yes, having grown up and lived on a farm my whole life, I do see the spirit as an elemental sense of awareness and rational thought as how it interacts with a complex reality, rather than arising from that complexity by chance. As such complexity is part of a cycle of expansion and consolidation. So even nimble minds only go and grow as far as circumstance allows. Then the reset button gets pushed again.

I have to say that I have an inexhaustible supply of trolls, as every time I get a bump up, another comes along to push my score back down. Hopefully I'm actually causing some irritation and they are not just trying to push their own scores up.

Regards,

John




Aaron M. Feeney wrote on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 00:39 GMT
Hi John,

Nice essay! The good rating I was about to give got an additional point added to it because of your funny abstract and your righteous bio. All the best to you!

Warmly,

Aaron

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Author John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 03:47 GMT
Thanks Aaron.

It has been another very interesting contest. I have to say I originally got interested in physics as a way to understand society, so it was a good question for me. I suppose that was one of the points I tried to make in the bio.

REgards,

John




Paul N Butler wrote on Jun. 8, 2014 @ 03:24 GMT
Dear John,

I can understand the editing. Although my replies can be long they would be much longer if I tried to cover in detail every possible response that I consider to all of the points that you mention. You made this reply shorter than some others, so I will try to do the same to make it easier for you to respond adequately.

You mention that “but the fact remains that Jesus...

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