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Vladimir Rogozhin: on 5/13/15 at 12:34pm UTC, wrote Hi Sylvain, Humanity has come to a stage in its evolution, when there is a...

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TOPIC: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Apr. 19, 2014 @ 04:51 GMT
Greetings all -- Just a quick announcement to say our current essay contest -- How Should Humanity Steer the Future? -- is closed for entries as of now. We are currently reviewing all the great entries that arrived in the past few days, so expect to see new essays continuously posted over the next week. Enjoy!

this post has been edited by the forum administrator

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David Brown wrote on Apr. 22, 2014 @ 11:41 GMT
Consider the question "How should humanity steer the future?" — there might be profound issues of ontology and deontology incorporated into the question. If nature is fundamentally deterministic, then the question might be equivalent to "How can plankton swim against the ocean currents?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F65n-C7MheU Superstring and the foundation of quantum mechanics by Gerard 't Hooft, 2013

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 06:00 GMT
The how-question already implies the non-fatalistic view which I consider the reasonable in physics too: The past cannot be steered. Since modern theory might see this outdated, it has been inadequate. Roger Schlafly's essay points to the problem but doesn't provide an acceptable answer to the question. An essay that largely denies steering might be attractive to theorists and those who hope for escaping their responsibility. I see Alfred Nobel's attitude more human and Nobel laureates obliged to not just feel proud like winners of a prestigious competition.

Eckard Blumschein

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James Dunn replied on Apr. 29, 2014 @ 01:12 GMT
Just reflecting upon extinction scenarios. From the fatalist view, everything that can be done, will be done, and if extinction occurs then it is a matter of natural consequence.

However, if the view of fatalism creates a sense of expectation in a non-deterministic physical environment, then the act of considering fatalism is unethical.

If non-deterministic considerations create a sense of expectation for influencing the outcome, and in fact we cannot, then the consideration is not unethical because no negative consequence occurred.

From a physics point of view, if physics exists within a closed system, this does not necessarily mean a deterministic environment. Some states can feasibly made to not occur, ever. Or occur, less often. Even in a deterministic model, logic processes outside of relativity may influence observable physics.

Therefore, "How to steer the future" is a valid question from these perspectives.

I would think fatalism is more likely a sub-set and/or super-set of physics, depending upon the systems being considered.

Based upon Axiom of Choice being a fundamental foundation of logic (math..) then if physics is anything different then other forms of relating to physics will need to be considered and neither fatalism nor non-deterministic considerations will be completely valid by themselves.

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 15:03 GMT
Common sense tells me that the notion absolutely closed system belongs to an abstract model rather than to something real. Common sense tells me also that AC was fabricated by Ernst Zermelo as to rescue Georg Gantor's naive set theory and it seems still to be controversial.

Admittedly, I am distinguishing between causality and determinism. I consider the latter the illusory belief that anything can be represented by a system of physical laws. My objection is based on feeling responsible and on common sense: Dreaming of the possibility to calculate or model anything is certainly insane, at least to me. A while ago I argued that just the initial values are unknown. Meanwhile my uncertified common sense tells me, block time and parallel worlds are inappropriate models. Invention of dynamite did steer.

Eckard Blumschein

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi wrote on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 23:44 GMT
Considering the ejaculation of great ideas generated from this forum, is it possible to wrapped it up with a communique and made available to relevant institutions? Other comments are being reserved for now!

Gbenga

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi replied on May. 9, 2014 @ 20:44 GMT
Words of wisdom!

Counting the articles so far accepted, they are more than 150 in all. I believe all these essays have been duly assessed before published. The only way to make this forum warm, dynamic and lively is by creating time to survey this great work. It cost each author time, energy and perhaps resources before submitting one. The only way to acknowledge such labour is just to visit one essay at a time and leave a comment. If we cannot go through all because of time, at least we can reciprocate by reading essay authors that comments on your wall (thread). Of course, comments should be mature and devoid of any bias as the rule of the game permits. This will make this forum more warm and interesting. Let’s leave rewards and accolades in the hands of the convener/producer of “How humanity should steer the future”.

Let’s keep it warm!

Gbenga

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on May. 1, 2014 @ 02:17 GMT
I find it curious that a fair number of people have entered this contest, but don't respond to comments. I can possibly understand it in the context of the other contests, where it was more of a direct competition of ideas, but the premise of this one is to propose a course for humanity and that means communicating with and motivating a group of people. So it is not as though the premise is simply to be he chosen winner, especially since it was made fairly clear members of FQXI are reserved for most of those awards. Yes, some of those non-responders are simply FQXI members operating on that obscured level, but it seems a fair number are not. Where is that necessary sense of communication? I can certainly understand a lot of reasons to have limited communication, from basic lack of time, or simply not having the emotional commitment to really unwrap what someone else is saying, given the wide range of experiences brought to this competition, but those who don't even respond to comments on their own threads seem to have lost the premise of the question.

Regards,

John Meryman

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Akinbo Ojo replied on May. 1, 2014 @ 09:45 GMT
John,

There is an African proverb that when you bring home insects from your farm you have indirectly invited lizards and wall geckos to dinner. What do you expect? This is supposed to be a forum for Natural Philosophy, (old name for Physics). This house that Aristotle, Plato, Newton, Leibniz, Einstein, etc built as a legacy for us is no longer so. First, we invited mathematicians to dinner, well we may excuse that. Next, we invited computer scientists (It from Bit), then we invited psychologists and mind readers (to discuss consciousness), then ghost hunters and spiritualists joined, now is the turn of astrologers, palm readers, fortune tellers and environmental conservationists (to see the future). Now I see 'how does beauty color the universe' by Roger Penrose as a video (I have not watched yet but I hope cosmetologists and beauty therapists have not entered the room. Roger, by the way is one of the few that may save our physics because I have read his book, The Emperor's New Mind). Perhaps this is all deliberate, since Pentcho claims somewhere that the high priests are now abandoning a sinking ship. In all these the noise is so much that we, the natural philosophers, can no longer hear each other on what is dear to some of us, which is to continue and complete the work of our predecessors mentioned above. This is not to say a few of the essays are not interesting.

Akinbo

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John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 1, 2014 @ 15:19 GMT
Akinbo,

While I agree the topic invites a broad spectrum of views and we probably have to accept this, it does bother me that 1) Some people don't participate, after going to the effort of submitting an essay.

And on a conceptual level, it does seem many of these entries are out of 20th century science fiction. We haven't been back to the moon in forty years and how many of these entries are going on about populating the universe and moving off the planet after we have finished trashing it!!!! Do these people even bother to go out side and look up at the sky and really appreciate just how far away everything is and how little there is that we can actually work with? The point I raise, that we have a financial system which effectively acts like a hydraulic pump to siphon value out of virtually everything and the end result is a pile of promises to ourselves, is effectively destroying the environment, you would think that would be apparent as something which must be dealt with, but only one other entry, by Stefan Weckbach, even brings it up. Given we are about to have history's biggest debt bubble burst, there is even a logical opportunity to address the issue, yet even the mechanical engineers can't seem to see the dynamic. I have to say I am disappointed.

The fact is that the one thing we really have accomplished is creating this effectively planet wide neural network of the internet. Yet what good is a planetary mind, if we effectively destroy the planetary body?

Regards,

John

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Lorraine Ford replied on May. 2, 2014 @ 00:43 GMT
"mind readers...ghost hunters and spiritualists joined, now is the turn of astrologers, palm readers, fortune tellers ...I have not watched yet but I hope cosmetologists and beauty therapists have not entered the room"

Good post Akinbo, I had to laugh!

John,

I think you are so right: "it does seem many of these entries are out of 20th century science fiction. We haven't been back to the moon in forty years and how many of these entries are going on about populating the universe and moving off the planet after we have finished trashing it!!!!"

And good point about the financial system too.

Lorraine

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James Dunn wrote on May. 2, 2014 @ 09:03 GMT
John Meryman,

Regarding: why people do not respond to comments

There will be I'm sure one or more people that create a number of entries under alternative email addresses so that they have more essay writer votes than others. Using their many available votes to vote for one or a couple of their own many submissions. The actual value of such submissions is only for the purpose of gaining an extra vote.

They will have no real interest in defending a topic they have no real interest. They are just biding their time until rating submission closes and will saturate their real essay submission to skew legitimate voting.

Hopefully, the judges will be able to recognize comment inconsistencies and the "real" value of the content of submissions, to provide an overall representative rating of "worth".

Corruption = Unethical Allocation of resources and/or opportunities

in legal scenarios

Corruption = Illegal Allocation of resources and/or opportunities

What can be done to fight related corruption? Make comments so that judges can more easily spot the value of an essay and as easily spot stuffing the ballot box.

I don't know that this is being done. But if I can imagine it, I'm sure other's can as well.

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi replied on May. 6, 2014 @ 23:07 GMT
Dear James,

I really share your opinion. I wish the game of manipulations can be avoided in this competition and the the subsequent ones? My opinion is to make all the earlier entries unavoidable to the new authors until the closing date. I see a lot of copings and re-modellings which do not allow fresh ideas but re-circulation of information and ideas. I fore see a better forum if this can be done!

The competition to my human evaluation should provide the stakeholders of this forum a strategic plan on "How Humanity should steer his future". What an innovative topic!

Regards

Gbenga

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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Georgina Woodward replied on May. 7, 2014 @ 05:03 GMT
Evaluation criteria from the Contest Information page."...general readers strongly encouraged) to rate the entries by the degree to which they are relevant and interesting, as more specifically described below, with 1/3 weight given to relevancy and 2/3 weight given to interest."

Relevant 1/3 rating

"In this contest we ask how humanity should attempt to steer its own course in light of the radically different modes of thought and fundamentally new technologies that are becoming relevant in the coming decades."

"(Note: While this topic is broad, successful essays will not use this breadth as an excuse to shoehorn in the author's pet topic, but will rather keep as their central focus the theme of how humanity should steer the future.)"

"Additionally, to be consonant with FQXi's scope and goals, essays should be sure to touch on issues in physics and cosmology, or closed related fields, such as astrophysics, biophysics, mathematics, complexity and emergence, and the philosophy of physics."

Interesting 2/3 rating

" * Original and Creative:* Technically correct and rigorously argued, to the degree of a published work or grant proposal.* Well and clearly written, so that it is comprehensible and enjoyable to read. *Accessible to a diverse, well-educated but non-specialist audience."

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James Dunn wrote on May. 2, 2014 @ 09:15 GMT
Eckard Blumschein,

I do not share your belief that nothing can be accurately modeled, with absolute precision. We cannot at present, however in the future quantum computing and the potential to couple the quantum computing states with our universe (part of the universe) may allow for absolute precision.

My own initial treatise of

Axiom of Choice extended to include Relativity

http://vixra.org/pdf/1402.0041v1.pdf

However, recognized is the potential for an infinite, or extremely larger space of causality than what is needed for our universe. The many-universe considerations. Where our systems of causality are non-relativistic in reference and we float about as an aliased evolving part of something much larger. Influenced by other segments. Yet still it is feasible to model physics exactly, even though we cannot.

Back to deterministic versus fatalism. These are neither the full space to consider, and they both can occur concurrently in a state of states.

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James Dunn wrote on May. 2, 2014 @ 09:37 GMT
John Meryman,

quote: Yet what good is a planetary mind, if we effectively destroy the planetary body?

I fully agree, and the point of my essay. Teaching people to think broadly and "be able" to consider long term consequences of proposed actions.

What good does it do to introduce "technology" into a sensitive eco-system, that will increase the local human population for no reason other than stripping resources. Or in the case of oil/mining companies and wars, stealing resources.

Presently, increasing human populations decreases the diversity of life. Our activities make it impossible for other species of plants, animals, and microbes to survive. Diversity of microbes makes it harder for destructive pathogens that evolve to broadly propagate.

What are the likely consequences of global short-sighted behaviors?

Exhausting resources (already happening)

Planetary extinction of most species (in-progress)

Small groups that dominate over everyone else (already happened)

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James Dunn wrote on May. 2, 2014 @ 10:26 GMT
Lorraine,

quote: If "free will" is the result of deterministic processes, then clearly it is not free will. Free will is not just about deterministic processes that are so complex that no one can predict the outcome, and so its called "free will". That is a type of self-deception.

Just musing

If we live as part of an infinite non-deterministic system of causality. Then our...

view entire post


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Jason Mark Wolfe wrote on May. 2, 2014 @ 17:21 GMT
I agree with James Dunn when he says, "Free Will exists concurrently with lack of Free Will. A non-deterministic universe exists concurrently with a fatalist universe." This whole "free will is an illusion" idea can be falsified any time someone is willing to be unpredictable. In fact, the whole concept of determinism is awkward. Determinism is a statistical average.

Determinism is a statistical average. But instantaneously, you can do whatever you like.

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Anonymous wrote on May. 2, 2014 @ 18:22 GMT
James,

I keep making a point about time, that its not the point of the present traveling some vector from a determined past into a probabilistic future, but the process by which future becomes past. For example, tomorrow becomes yesterday because the world turns.

The perception of the present moving along this narrative vector is an effect of the fact we are single points of perception and so experience change as a sequence of events. Much as we do see the sun moving across the sky, since we exist as a point of observation on this spinning planet.

So probability precedes actuality. Before the race, there are ten potential winners, but after it, only one actual winner. The problem is when we think of it as this process of proceeding from a determined past into a probabilistic future, we either think the future must in fact already be determined, since everything exists on its currently determined trajectory and only one outcome will result from all the possibilities. Or we think it's all fundamentally probable and so the past remains probabilistic, but just branching out into multiple versions of everything that can happen.

While the function creating events condenses all possible outcomes into one result and thus determine it, the input into that equation only happens with the occurrence of the event. The input can't compute before it occurs. That's why the future remains probable, while the past has been determined.

As for free will, to will is to determine. We are one of the factors in the equation. We weigh all possibilities and then chose a course. That event then recedes into the past as the physical dynamic of what exists continues to produce succeeding events. The present doesn't move, rather the events occur.

As for what nature does, she likes blowing up big bubbles and popping them. We have been given the task of minimizing the collapse of our particular bubble. Life is not worth living without challenges.

Regards,

John

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on May. 2, 2014 @ 22:22 GMT
And now just to update -- all entries are processed, and the complete list of contenders is online. There's lots to read and think about, so have at it.

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on May. 3, 2014 @ 16:56 GMT
I just tried rating an entry and it didn't go through. I also noticed someone made a comment in one of the essay threads that their effort to rate failed.

Heads up?

Regards,

John

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James Dunn replied on May. 3, 2014 @ 21:11 GMT
I believe those entries were disqualified. I had the same em-passe, but one work was not original and was a re-submission from a past competition. So I assumed they were removed from rating.

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James Dunn replied on May. 3, 2014 @ 23:22 GMT
I renege my last assessment. I am not able to vote on any essay either.

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James Dunn replied on May. 4, 2014 @ 12:00 GMT
The problem has something to do with IP addresses. I either went back to a hotspot I used when voting originally, or I moved to a new hotspot that I did not vote previously. Same email address.

I have not as yet isolated why voting from one IP address works while another does not.

Another potential issue is the kind of technology used. I used significantly different hardware where I was allowed to vote.

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Judy Nabb wrote on May. 5, 2014 @ 08:37 GMT
I've also been unable to rate essays for some days. I haven't changed IP address. I've now tried to rate a number of essays.

Is the problem being addressed? Is there a technical department address we should contact?

Judy

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Georgina Woodward replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 09:21 GMT
I have emailed Brendan Foster, I mentioned that I had been unable to vote and that I had seen others were having the same difficulty.

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 16:10 GMT
Hi Judy -- I believe the problem should be fixed now. Please check and let us know if not.

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi replied on May. 16, 2014 @ 05:58 GMT
Dear FQXI,

I WISH TO ADD AN ATTACHMENT BUT I RECEIVED A CONSTANT MESSAGE IN A SMALL BOX SAYING "THE POST CONTAIN NO TEXT". THAT IS AFTER ATTACHMENT AND CLICKING ON SUBMIT NEW POST.

HOW MAY YOU HELP OUT PLEASE?

THANK YOU.

GBENGA

RESOLVED YOU MAY DISREGARD.

THANKS

GBENGA

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on May. 5, 2014 @ 16:11 GMT
If anyone is having trouble with voting still, please let us know. I believe the problem should be fixed now. [and before you ask me, I don't know what it was]

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Peter Jackson replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 18:54 GMT
Brendan,

Spooky quantum ghosts in the machine, not!

Explainable with causal classical mechanics in reality.

All working fine for me now, thanks.

Peter

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 19:06 GMT
Brendan said, "Spooky quantum ghosts in the machine, not! Explainable with causal classical mechanics in reality."

Classical mechanics is not foundational. If you were honest with yourselves, you would admit that the building blocks of reality are (quantum) fields and particles. Name one thing in existence that's not made of a field or a particle.

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 20:04 GMT
I think that quantum field theory predicts the existence of ghosts. Afterall, if lifeforms can be made of particles, and the foundation of reality is particle-wave duality, or particles and fields, then why wouldn't there be lifeforms made of a quantum field? There are certainly more observers of ghosts than there are of super-strings.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on May. 5, 2014 @ 22:06 GMT
Evaluation criteria for the essays are given on the introduction page of the competition section of this site.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 7, 2014 @ 20:07 GMT
One of my criteria is going to be participation. Right now I'm only trying to upgrade entries that I think deserve attention, but when its at near the end, I'll probably put in various downgrades and right now I'd say a big one is 'failure to communicate.' Steering humanity is something that will require broad participation.

Even when small cliques get hold of the reins of power, as they occasionally do, the result invariably becomes some kind of vortex, as everything revolves around their agenda and the end result is usually detrimental to the larger context.

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Georgina Woodward replied on May. 7, 2014 @ 22:26 GMT
John,

Participation is good but some people may be able to dedicate more time than others because of their personal commitments.It takes time to read and reflect upon the essay content and presentation and just checking back to see if there are relies takes time too. Meanwhile life goes on.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 8, 2014 @ 16:51 GMT
Georgina,

I certainly agree. In prior contests, this certainly wouldn't have been an issue. The reason I'm making it one is because it seems to me an elemental function of 'steering humanity' must be an ability to communicate and not only an ability to communicate, but to take criticism, seriously consider others arguments, etc. and otherwise learn to cooperate. Obviously this is probably difficult for some members of this community and I certainly respect their preferences and inclinations. Yet I think the nature of this question should be seriously addressed, given it will likely be one of life and death for untold numbers of people, should humanity steer itself off any number of very real precipices. If you have been following the news lately, life has been going on, in a very disturbing direction.

Regards,

John

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Jason Mark Wolfe wrote on May. 8, 2014 @ 20:47 GMT
The building blocks of reality are particles and fields. It's not mathematics. Not everything in reality lends itself to mathematics.

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James Dunn replied on May. 13, 2014 @ 10:45 GMT
From my perspective, the building blocks of particles and fields are based in singularity moderated systems of quantum causality. Practical limitations of mathematics related to "non-repeating systems" of causality (non-relativistic), does not remove the potential of treating subsets of related systems in terms of set theory.

Language is based in set theory. So we probably cannot meaningfully talk about non-repeating instances of causality.

A "Particle" in physics is a library of relationships. A particle modeled as an imperturbable entity does not exist. But we use set theory to give libraries of relationships names so we can discus related relationships.

How could we come to talk about non-repeating features of causality?

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Tommy Anderberg wrote on May. 8, 2014 @ 23:05 GMT
Today I noticed that one of the contest sponsors has been removed from the list of contest partners. May I ask why?

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Georgina Woodward replied on May. 9, 2014 @ 03:33 GMT
Today I noticed that the evaluation criteria for this contest have been replaced by the evaluation criteria for the previous contest.(It also now says guidelines rather than introduction.) I have emailed Brendan Foster. Hopefully it is just a technical error.

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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Georgina Woodward replied on May. 9, 2014 @ 04:45 GMT
Also, today I have noticed, for the first time, there is a video contest too, as it sits alongside the current essay competition on the Competitions home page.

Deadline 8th Aug 2014

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Christian Corda replied on May. 10, 2014 @ 07:28 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Changing criteria is not a problem. The real evaluation criteria are political connections of participants.

Cheers, CH.

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi wrote on May. 9, 2014 @ 21:29 GMT
A fresh thought!

The universe is in a state of perpetual equilibrium with itself including all natural phenomena. The sun does not need to struggle before it rises or does not need any special intervention before it sets. The same goes for the moon, galaxies, stars, rain e.t.c. All these obey the law of existence; call it the law of nature. They are in perfect harmony. What happen if the earth does not revolves along its axis? Of course, no time and no season and in the state of chaos! This is just to establish that the world is in a state of equilibrium.

But why the confusion among the nations, horrific scenes posing threat to global peace, its ecosystem, including financial, socio-economic, moral institutions and other institutions innumerable to list?

There have been several references from the Bible by different authors in this forum, including the atheists. I like to draw my inspiration from this.

Ecclesiastes 7: 29.

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made MAN UPRIGHT: but THEY have sought OUT MANY INVENTIONS.

The reason for this confusion and dystopia is due to human’s inventions. All forms of human inventions can either MAR or MAKE the equilibrium upon which the universe is established. Any effort (invention) of man with the risk of upsetting the equilibrium must be tamed, while continue to encourage any effort (invention) directed toward establishing the equilibrium. The ecologist normally removes any endanger species and leave the good ones for the peace of the ecosystem and himself.

This is why I wrote on STRIKING A BALANCE BETWEEN TECHNOLOGY AND ECOSYSTEM. I expatiate more on the subject using some philosophy of Physics. This is the link to it. You may want to check up and criticize! http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2020

Gbenga

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James Dunn replied on May. 13, 2014 @ 10:04 GMT
Gbenga,

The universe is not in observable equilibrium. Entropy is a required property of causal evolution. Causal evolution toward what? My current theory is a causal evolution toward an alternate dimensional shift and a Big Bang into another dimension where all life as we know it will be inconsistent with the new physics properties.

Eventually, for simplicity here, we will repeat in every experience involving an alternate decision. Free will and non-determinism simultaneously existing because we cannot presently know in which cycle we are evolving. Alternate dimensional relativity wiping out remnants of prior cycles of our dimensional states.

Science studies Gods' works (everything not touched by mankind) and makes broad attempts to remove the influences of mankind. Religions study and revere the works of mankind and dismiss the works of God (Bible: Genesis). Religions use small loops of logic to manipulate to meet whatever perspective happens to fit a human agenda; i.e. over 100,000 religions in the world.

My personal preference is aligned with science and I admire the depths to which scientists attempt to understand God's works using the largest inclusive systems of interrelated logic.

There should NOT be a balance between technology and ecosystems. Ecosystems should dominate over technology. Technology needs to fit into ecosystems to promote the broadest diversity of life. Diversity of micro-organisms provides a resistance for propagating destructive evolved pathogens and limits propagation to local micro-environments. Without broad diversity, a virus can kill most of the world's corn, potato, or rice crops (famine), or more directly, the majority of people.

These are my beliefs, and yours are just as valid for yourself.

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi replied on May. 15, 2014 @ 06:03 GMT
Dear James Dunn,

I do not really know whether your essay is one of those I have downloaded to add to my reading list. But I will find out and try to read your whole concept.

About your comments, Thanks so much. But you cannot get my logic until you read the whole episode! My balance concept is very broad and of course consider quite the ideology of diversity. As an authority in environmental science I have the idea of keeping the global world in equilibrium. Various physics philosophy were used, the thermodynamics aspect follows the first law-the principle of conservation of energy and not entropy in the first place. The world cannot be in a closed system but sure it is a unit of community where life exists. To get my concept kindly read it here http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2020

Until then will you be able to make your judgement. I will look out for your article to also read or better still provide the link here considering the numerous essays we have. But nonetheless, I will read and comment on your thread.

Even the diversities of all entries in this competition make it dynamics and warm.

Thanks

Gbenga

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi replied on May. 16, 2014 @ 06:05 GMT
Some clarifications on the article, “Striking a balance between technology & ecosystem”.

I am compelled to clarify the thermodynamics aspect of my article following the various comments and questions asked. No reference is made to entropy, which is the degree of randomness of an enclosed system in the article. I based my theory on the 1st law of thermodynamics which is the law of conservation of energy. Kindly follow my ideology stated below.

As propounded by Einstein, the theory of relativity establishes the relationship between space, time, mass and energy: which found it expression in the law of conservation of matter. That is, the total quantity in the universe is fixed and cannot be increased or decreased by human agency. This is the same to the law of conservation of energy which also state that the total quantity of energy in the universe is constant and can be neither created nor destroyed. This is popular known as the first law of thermodynamics.

My emphasis is on first law of thermodynamics and not entropy change which goes for a closed system. This should be consciously noted as the readers read the article. My explanation on conservation of energy received from the sun to be used by humanity and other living components of the ecosystem follows the theory of relativity and not entropy.

These notes could have been part of the footnotes of the article, but for oversight

attachments: 1_Some_clarifications_on_the_article_fqxi.pdf

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Lorraine Ford wrote on May. 10, 2014 @ 00:44 GMT
I tried 4 times to rate the one essay, but nothing happened:after each rating the community rating did not change, and the number of ratings did not change.

Brendan, please fix this problem!

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on May. 12, 2014 @ 16:52 GMT
Let me sort something out..

Concerns were raised above about the criteria applied for evaluation of our essays. There were also statements made that politics is involved in assigning winners, and this is likely true, but at a different level or for other reasons than have been impugned. The thing is; FQXi is conducting this and all of their contests using grant money - which means they...

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John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 12, 2014 @ 18:29 GMT
Jonathan,

Thank you for adding depth to the issue. It will be very interesting to see how FQXI sorts this out, given what appears to be significant input from outsiders and limited member participation, along with what appear to be a fair number that address the question only tangentially, if that.

I would emphasize my previous point, that we should appreciate FQXI for what it is and not get too wrapped up in what it promises.

Regards,

John

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Georgina Woodward replied on May. 13, 2014 @ 01:21 GMT
Jonathan wrote: "What should count is the quality of the essay we submitted, and the fact that it is legitimately our work." Yes I agree.

However, we were presented with hoops to jump, the guidelines. We all had the freewill to decide to try to jump them or to do something else, lets say walk away without trying, or pee on a lamp post and then bite the hand that feeds. If the community and final judging is then conducted by choosing conformation to breed type, waggiest tail, or even most excellent lamp post peeing, something is wrong. That's how I feel.

That doesn't mean essays that don't fit the guidelines are not valuable in their own right. I have read some wonderful stuff, and some very strange stuff, and have been educated in more than one way and on a variety of topics. Its a contest that has really brought out a great diversity of thought and passion about diverse subjects. Some of it uplifting, some of it frankly scary.

By the way I have not yet voted on any essays but intend to go back and vote on the essays that I have read. I am trying to read lots but I doubt I will be able to read them all, as there are so many.

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Christian Corda replied on May. 13, 2014 @ 06:00 GMT
Dear Jonathan,

Your thoughts are largely sharable but I also think that these essay contests are to a fair measure somewhat internal to FQXi and Perimeter Institute. Let us consider last years "results". There is an almost one-to-one correspondence between the 9 FQXi members and the 8 top prizes, despite some of those essays being rather weak, to say the least. The contests are clearly not unbiased and for somebody who has credentials that do not fit a certain profile the probabilities of winning are very small. I suspect the problem is that FQXi does not have much choice of judges. Very few people of sufficient standing would be willing to take the time to review more than 40 essays for no credit. I doubt there is a budget for compensation. This means that the directors of the FQXi have to call in favours from their friends to get them to judge. I think that the Perimeter Institute provides a large proportion of the judges and most of the FQXi members who actively participate in the contest have Perimeter Institute connections. It looks to be a strong clique.Thus, I did not expect much from the "results". Also notice that this year rules have been changed. With the new rules it will be the same thing to be #1 or #40 in the community rating. In fact, now community rating works only to establish the finalists and it will not be considered in the stage of the final judgement by FQXi judges. I suspect that this is partially due to my last year's strong protest. More, FQXi members have also the advantage to automatically become a Finalist by meeting some simple criteria. This is ridiculous as, in general, in a competition, members of the institution organizing the competition are not publicly advantaged, at least to save appearances.

Cheers, Ch.

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi wrote on May. 12, 2014 @ 21:55 GMT
KEEP YOUR COMMITMENT AND CONVICTION TO THE END!

I have written about members' altitude on posting comments and rating essays earlier. I tried to address the issue and encourage the spirit of participation. Unfortunately, I think it is not an over-statement to say that people are just being deliberate in their not rating essays and posting comments. But you do what you know best to do and leave the rest. Keep to your commitment and conviction, it is also a proof of how best to steer the future of humanity- This can begin from this forum!!!!!!!!

Regards

Gbenga

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Anonymous wrote on May. 13, 2014 @ 14:29 GMT
Dear Feeney,

You see? I told you you'll be bombarded. Yours is a bold essay.

What I personally find intriguing (even frustrating) is that without having before set a camera therein we cannot just walk into a room and decide to view say its past 1 hour or 30 minutes etc. Feeney, once we can get a method to zoom in and out of space-time then future and past viewing will become one. In fact I wager that past viewing in this sense will be far more useful because it will revolutionize crime investigation, privacy, etc.

Now to the practical side, isn't a conservation law actually kind of a natural future knowledge “machine”?

In other words, to adopt a different “conservation law” (universal constant) is to adopt a different observer/space-time.

I take this approach , so you can understand that our thesis somehow merge, namely: man will be then the “space-time” i.e. the de facto unit for measuring/predicting space and time.

I appreciate your statement that: “…not only will viewer foreknowledge eliminate the uncertainty and deception that warfare requires for its existence, it will also gradually eliminate the concept of collective enemies.”

In your own words I'll say, your essay was very good and I learnt a lot!

Chidi

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Chidi Idika replied on May. 13, 2014 @ 14:41 GMT
Sorry, All.

What a mess! I posted to the wrong place.

I was going to say to you, Gbenga. Your observation is very true. Interaction this year is very unlike the usual level of interaction in this contest. But it might hot up towards the end. BTW I owe you one.

Chidi

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Jason Mark Wolfe wrote on May. 13, 2014 @ 19:05 GMT
Please steer physics in a better direction. Explain to me where the big bang came from without using the Jedi mind trick "it came from nothiiiiiinnnnngggg".

Go back to alchemy; you'll make more progress that way. But replace the Michelson-Morley aether with a set, a set, of quantum fields. What are the missing standard model particles that set the physics constants?

This is a better use of your time.

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on May. 13, 2014 @ 19:31 GMT
If reality is made of particles and fields, like the Higgs field/Higgs boson, is there a particle-field that enforces the speed of light/permittivity/permeability?

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Peter Jackson replied on May. 14, 2014 @ 18:53 GMT
Jason,

Yes free fermion pairs and protons (electron/positron) 'pure plasma', which has high coupling but a refractive index of ~1 (same as the vacuum) so is invisible except kinetically VLBA Plasma Cloud kinetic refraction finding.

The particles that don't annihilate evolve to bound particles and the characteristics and EM profile change as the mess spreads. In the end we result.

It's actually what's now termed the Higg's process that produces the conjugate pairs. It's effectively an additional binding spin state.

Hope you're well. I haven't seem you reading essays yet!?

Best wishes

Peter

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Chidi Idika wrote on May. 15, 2014 @ 21:46 GMT
Hello, Folks.

BECAUSE I identify with the expressed objective of FQXI in setting up this essay contest AND because I (and several other comments) find that down voting is derailing this objective of a scholarly openhearted exchange, I personally have decided that after this year I will no more participate in these contests until we have at least tried here OPEN PEER REVIEW.

Namely: people may comment on essays without voting on them but they CANNOT VOTE WITHOUT COMMENTING. So we may know the rationale behind votes.

People who live in glass house should not throw stones. But more especially it is better to be NOT rated than to be unfairly down rated.

We all are here to encourage positive exchange. Clearly some allow themselves to be driven by more primitive impulse. But I insist that such impulse must not rule over me or others.

Thank you all (and forgive me if I decide wrongly),

Chidi

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Chidi Idika replied on May. 15, 2014 @ 22:23 GMT
And, for the sake of clarity. I want just that we should know THE VOTER and then his/her RATIONALE.

Regards,

Chidi

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John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 16, 2014 @ 02:19 GMT
Chidi,

I have to add my vote to this, though it may also lead to a degree of acrimony, as these are the sort of questions on which most of the participants have strongly held opinions. Maybe there can be three categories of votes; Public, community on the record and community off the record. Then give two thirds weight to on the record votes and one third to off the record.

Regards,

John Merryman

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi replied on May. 16, 2014 @ 21:29 GMT
THIS PIECE FOLLOWS EARLIER POSTS

Dear Chidi,

I am happy to read your comments following the issue I raised about people’s attitude in not rating. You have raised important comments but please do not be offended at the following points I will make. It is with due regards.

I was the first to rate your essay and offered a constructive comment! If memory serves me well, I either rated you 9 or 10. You promised you were going to read my article and rate as well but you have not done so till now. I have rated so many essays in this forum, some I even opened the floor with extreme high rate before other authors down-rated such essays. I am not offended at all at this. It is my personal philosophy not to allow people to change me if I cannot change them. I tried to correct this negative altitude having seen previous competitions and the extreme high spirit in them compared to this selfish and cold altitude in our own. But since I discovered people did not change, I rather continue to rate and offer comments as much as there is time, energy and interest without being affected by whether people rate me or not.

This is not to castigate but for all of us to address our negative altitude and have a change of orientation. To me, this is the most captivating topic FQXI will ever produce but unfortunately, it is the most perceived with negative sentiment! How then can we say we want to steer the future of humanity in the positive sense according to all these ejaculated essays?

Best wishes to all after-all I have known about 150 names in this forum alone! That is achievement on its own.

All the best to all authors

Regards

Gbenga

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on May. 16, 2014 @ 18:24 GMT
I propose(d) this voting system...

In order to cast a down vote (1, 2, or 3), one would need to leave a comment in a box labeled 'criticism' or 'dislikes,' which would automatically show up in the forum with that heading. Likewise; in order to cast an up vote (8, 9, or 10), one would need to leave a comment in a box marked 'approval' or 'likes,' and this would automatically show up with that heading. This way; essay authors would get some useful feedback about their essays. I am not sure whether it is better to require that the voter be identified, or to give them the option of anonymous comments - so they feel more inclined to comment honestly rather than being fearful of reprisals by the essay authors.

Variations include a graded response where more extreme votes like '1' or '10' require a more lengthy comment (at least 8 or 10 words) in criticism or approval, and short comments or none are allowed for ratings nearer the middle of range (4, 5, 6, and 7). This could prevent both punitive and reward voting from dominating the ratings landscape, and might yield a more reasonable spread of scores. I see there are a lot of decent essays with very low ratings, and some very good ones in the middle of the pack, so I have to wonder at other people's rationale for voting the way they did.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Christian Corda replied on May. 18, 2014 @ 07:33 GMT
Dea Jonathan,

Excellent idea. This year I am under attack by various idiots who rate "1" my Essay without reading it. I suspect it is the same problems of various participants who write good Essays. These trolls must be asked to justify their rates.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on May. 18, 2014 @ 14:01 GMT
It's definitely a problem. I think it's a good idea that the administrators hide all the ratings and freeze the order, during the last 2 or 3 days of voting.

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Peter Jackson wrote on May. 16, 2014 @ 20:20 GMT
Jonathen

Nice plan, if a bit complex. I've suggested perhaps a simple line in the guidance may solve the main issue. Something like;

"Very low scores without apparent/reasonable justification may be removed and applied to the scorers own essay entirely at the discretion of the organizers."

Now that may just stop the hail of 1's like arrows reigning down on essays when in range (or near the cut off come judgement day). Clearly no essay in the top half is worth an honest 1.

I don't think anyone should have scored less than a 3 as I haven't yet found an essay only worth 2 (I'm reading bottom ones too). As we've seen in previous years dishonesty and bias can permeate from bottom to top, and the judges scores are the only ones that matter.

Peter

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Chidi Idika wrote on May. 16, 2014 @ 22:29 GMT
Jonathan,

>> "I am not sure whether it is better to require that the voter be identified, or to give them the option of anonymous comments - so they feel more inclined to comment honestly rather than being fearful of reprisals by the essay authors."

Now I ask, if any one CANNOT own up to their own objective criticism of a work AND ALSO admit honest criticism of their own work why then are they in science??

If you make it anonymous people will say ANYTHING to get by!

Gbenga,

I said it that I owe you one. I owe Jonathan one eventually. And that's about all I owe so far. Matter of fact, far more people owe me than I owe.

But ALL that I owe am sure I'll pay. And, honestly, I love your spirit,

Chidi

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Chidi Idika replied on May. 16, 2014 @ 22:44 GMT
To keep things tidy let me repeat pls:

Jonathan,

>> "I am not sure whether it is better to require that the voter be identified, or to give them the option of anonymous comments - so they feel more inclined to comment honestly rather than being fearful of reprisals by the essay authors."

Now I ask, if any one CANNOT own up to their own objective criticism of a work AND ALSO admit honest criticism of their own work why then are they in science??

If you make it anonymous people will say ANYTHING to get by!

Chidi

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Michael Allan wrote on May. 17, 2014 @ 14:54 GMT
Folks,

Today, the font style in the contest forum switched generally to italic face. I assume this is unintentional, so I reported it by email.

Mike

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Michael Allan replied on May. 19, 2014 @ 12:23 GMT
Now the font is normal again. I guess someone back there fixed it (thank you). - Mike

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Michael Allan replied on May. 21, 2014 @ 14:31 GMT
Well, now it's generally switched to bold (even on the present page) as I guess everyone can see. Meanwhile here's one that's both bold and italic: http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2120. - Mike

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Stuart Marongwe wrote on May. 18, 2014 @ 13:14 GMT
Hie Folks

In my essay I mention that from a Quantum Gravity perspective NOTHING FALLS INTO A BLACK HOLE.Here is the reason why:

My work shows that a blackhole has negative temperature (a BH is matter in the highest energy state the planck state -all its microscopic constituents are in this single state) thus giving it low entropy as well as giving rise to a high thermal gradient. Thus anything outside the event horizon is'colder'and cannot go against this high thermal gradient.A particle of matter only falls up to the event horizon and no more farther than that. This conditions I believe are similar to the pre Big Bang conditions. At a critical point my research shows that a BH will go not hypernova but BIG BANG when the thermal gradient exceeds gravity.

Cheers

Stuart

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on May. 19, 2014 @ 01:03 GMT
Stuart,

Could it be that black holes are just a mathematical description of a gravitational vortex and as you say, nothing falls in, but rather than the larger ones accumulating this energy, it is essentially what is radiated out the poles as those enormous jets of cosmic rays?

I am not a fan of the Big Bang theory and think we will eventually find that redshift is an optical...

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Stuart Marongwe replied on May. 19, 2014 @ 07:33 GMT
Hie John

Yes John I am working on the problem of polar jets too.I have tried to find a connection with this research on BH thermodynamics.They seem so far not quiet related because for a BH to go Big Bang it has to accumulate an enormous amount of mass energy.Think of a BH as a compressed spring of spacetime which will spring out at a certain critical mass. Another interesting aspect of tge explosion is that it will be like intense broadcast laser beam. In other words a homogenous expansion of spacetime and energy.

Cheers

Stuart

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Peter Jackson replied on May. 19, 2014 @ 09:56 GMT
Stuart, John,

Polar jets have long been studied in detail. A rationale has emerged, all the implications of which are analysed and discussed in this preprint (accepted and in press) along with the significant comprehensive evidence.

https://www.academia.edu/6655261/A_CYCLIC_MODEL_OF_
GALAXY_EVOLUTION_WITH_BARS.

Unfortunately the coherent description doesn't support the...

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Stuart Marongwe replied on May. 19, 2014 @ 13:09 GMT
Peter

I have read your article.In my opinion I did not find a coherent and satisfactory explanation of the formation of polar jets in it.Your explanation of galactic evolution does not take into consideration the role of Dark Matter which forms a crucial part of galactic structure formation.

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on May. 19, 2014 @ 01:54 GMT
Now that the contest has developed its form, I'm going to allow myself a rant:

There used to be a time when men of science were natural polymaths, but with this era of specialization, that seems to have passed. This planet and its functions, from the geologic to the human social and cultural, are vast and dynamic systems and while there is a fairly broad array of entries in this contest,...

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Brent Pfister replied on May. 23, 2014 @ 20:35 GMT
John M,

My reply to your post about my essay got dropped, so I do not know if you replied.

Thomas Pikkity's "Capital in the 21st century" seems to be mostly about the financial system increasing income inequality. That is a problem but the USA has bigger financial problems:

National Debt 73% of annual GDP

Taxes 34% of annual GDP

Underfunded Social Security

Underfunded Pension Funds

Rising cost of Medicare as percentage of GDP

Defense spending

Other countries have similar problems. The rising costs for energy and dealing with global warming will be even bigger problems. If I were to read an economics book now, I might pick "The Crash Course: The Unsustainable Future Of Our Economy, Energy, And Environment" by Chris Martenson.

You are right: "the real need is to slow the rate of extraction and thus resource destruction".

Brent Pfister

Steering the Happy Path to Humanity's Future

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John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 24, 2014 @ 01:19 GMT
Brent,

That was a coincidence. I just posted the following to your thread;

"There is always a conflict of the generations. As I describe it, growing up is like grass trying to push through the concrete. Then one day, you wake up and you are the concrete and there is this damn grass trying to push you out of the way.

In my entry I start out with the dichotomy of energy and...

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on May. 19, 2014 @ 17:03 GMT
Peter,

Academia.edu won't take my signup. "Try again in a few minutes." Even after three tries.

Regards,

John

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Peter Jackson replied on May. 19, 2014 @ 19:49 GMT
John,

Maybe arXiv disease has hit; gatekeepers exclude non-academics. Send me an Email (foot of my end notes) and I'll pass you a pdf.

To answer your question; A billion bumper stickers or preachers won't change behaviour. However profound it mostly reduces to esoteric waffle. I'm a doer. Only the guy who turns the wheel can steer. Look back, it's always been technology ('tools') that's changed our path and opened new roads and ways of seeing ahead.

Not understanding the fundamentals of how nature works is like a log jam. At the deepest level there is one key log whose removal will allow all the others to flow. That is the impasse between the 'two pillars' of science. We have them BOTH wrong. See the most recent post and response on my essay. One noose around the right log to a truck on the shore will do the job. My real concern is do we really WANT to things to move ahead and change that quickly!? I seriously forsee suicides in academia!

But there's no half measures. We can't release a log jam a small percentage at a time. The good will well outweigh the bad. Just one of a thousand results, cheap renewable energy, should be enough to fundamentally change society, (including probably the whole monetary system in the medium term!) My other concern is the same as Bob's on his way back. Are we too late? Can embedded nonsensical beliefs ever now be overcome? If not then the next big technical challenge, an asteroid or whatever, will defeat us. Note I also subtly show that a new way of thinking will be needed to cope with the sudden progress.

Best wishes

Peter

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Stuart Marongwe wrote on May. 20, 2014 @ 14:01 GMT
Hie Folks.

A new model of Quantum Gravity that explains Dark Energy and Dark Matter and gives the correct calculation of the enigmatic cosmological constant is now ready for download from this site http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S021988781450
0595

Regards

Stuart

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Lorraine Ford wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 01:44 GMT
Brendan,

I STILL CANNOT RATE ESSAYS - NOTHING HAPPENS WHEN I TRY TO RATE ESSAYS !!!

HELP !!!

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 14:03 GMT
Brendan,

I Login, and I enter my "Community Evaluator" code, and when I select a number to rate an essay and then click "go" - NOTHING HAPPENS!!

I still have not been able to rate a single essay!!

There's not much time left for me to rate essays.

Lorraine

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 16:01 GMT
Hi Lorraine -- I'll send you an email, and we can try to figure this out.

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James Dunn wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 18:05 GMT
@ Jonathan J. Dickau

Suggestion:

Create 2 essay areas for each Authored essay:

1) the original submission; no changes

2) an evolving submission by the author that evolves with reader insights and continued development

This would allow for correcting typos, context gaps, formatting, realized inconsistencies, linking to evidence ...

Then one month before winners are announced close all updates.

The intent is to provide a better product through broad collaboration.

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James A Putnam wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 21:58 GMT
Brendan Foster,

I just sent an email to forums@FQXi.org concerning the essay contest.

James Putnam

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on May. 22, 2014 @ 14:44 GMT
Web-site failure alert!!!

Since some time last night; ALL my FQXi bookmarks failed, and I could access NO pages on the FQXi web-site. It turns out all addresses beginning with 'http://www.fqxi.org' FAILED, but apparently; sites beginning with 'http://fqxi.org' are still working. The server is CONFIGURED INCORRECTLY, as all variants of a valid address should re-direct to a working node, and THIS DOES NOT TAKE PLACE.

For several hours last night, I tried periodically to access the site - to no avail. I also had a friend in a distant location try to access 'www.fqxi.org' using a different ISP, with the same result. The links on Wikipedia, and from a Google search all contain the 'www,' so they fail as well. It appeared that I was locked out, and so was everyone else.

For the record; I DO NOT WANT to be required to re-send all the notifications I sent out, about the contest, and to correct the syntax in every FQXi bookmark, in order to compensate for what is clearly an FQXi technical issue. This is a server-side problem, not an issue the participants should be forced to work around or troubleshoot!

Regards,

Jonathan

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 15:55 GMT
Thanks for the notice Jonathan -- we will investigate pronto.

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Anonymous replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 16:29 GMT
Jonathan,

Thanks for the alert, however, it is also the responsibility of those who post to this site to keep a clean machine themselves. In case people have not been paying any notice to the fact that the is a cyberwar going on, and that hackers of all national, corporate, and criminal interests would be attracted to a site like this to gain entry to files which might contain content...

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 18:35 GMT
Thanks Brendan,

It appears the problem is repaired.

Thanks John (Anonymous),

I do those things anyhow, but I agree it is the individual's responsibility to clean out the browser cache and temp files periodically, to avoid leaving a trail of 'bread crumbs,' or an open back door. I also use Ghostery so I can watch who is watching, and block their efforts. I think it is pretty wild that when you watch a video on the Weather Channel web-site (for example), 30 or more tracker bots will load to see where your mouse hovers and what you click on next. Most people are entirely unaware of how much their activity is being tracked, whenever they browse the internet, but I am not most people.

Regards,

Jonathan

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on May. 22, 2014 @ 17:57 GMT
For some reason the various posts I've made in the last day or so have disappeared and I can no longer access the site through my desktop computer. It doesn't look as though others have lost any posts from last night or earlier today, so is anyone else having these issues, or am I just out of luck, or finally said too much of the wrong things?

See if this posts. From the phone, but same password n email.

Regards,

John Merryman

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 18:31 GMT
I had the same problem, John. Just got reconnected this afternoon. Lost one post I know of, in my essay forum.

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 18:43 GMT
Given the other problem..

It appears they migrated the site to a server with more capacity, prior to the final week of voting, in preparation for the bandwidth demand surge sure to come soon. However; there were a few glitches, and perhaps a few posts that will be lost unless they are manually ported from the old server, or are temporarily missing until the delta is restored. I imagine there will be a few ratings, made last night, that end up in limbo as well. But since I was unable to connect during the switch-over; I won't have those problems.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 21:23 GMT
Yes, we had some bumps during a switch of servers -- Sorry for the confusion and inconvenience. We can work on recovering any posts or ratings that may have fallen in the crack, but you might want to go ahead and try and redo them yourselves if possible.

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi wrote on May. 23, 2014 @ 18:14 GMT
Dear FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster,

I wish to bring to your notice that two comments were posted by me yesterday in response to the earlier comments of others but it appears the system did not record these. The first thing is that I did not get any notification on my email alerts and then I notice that there conflicting details about my posts on different browsers. How can this be resolved technically please?

Thanks in anticipation.

Gbenga

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James A Putnam wrote on May. 24, 2014 @ 21:21 GMT
Peter Gluck,

I think your essay A pragmatic strategy for catalyzing self-sustained progress should be near the top. It is needed in this contest to give balance politically and scientifically.

From your message above: "Here is a decisive point, will be these options idealistic and popular or will they be realistic and unpopular? I opted for pragmatism: the World is interesting not GOOD, the truths are broken, negatives as obstacle removal are more important, more urgent than positives. This leads to losses- e.g. in points received from peers or the public but I don't make compromises."

Your essay was a nice discovery after reading several essays promoting idealistic political/economic themes. I choose to not rate those. In the real world, I would not support the implementation of any of them. I won't give specific reasons in this message. This message is meant to help draw attention to your important essay.

James Putnam

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Peter Gluck replied on May. 25, 2014 @ 05:39 GMT
Very nice words dear James! To be discovered, distinguished is the very first condition of an essay to succeed.It has 152 competitors, many of them charming and attractive.

Thank you, James and please discover my blog EGO OUT and its philosophy. The majority of writings there are dedicated to the Energy solution of the future, i do not fear to tell openly to what was once called Cold Fusion. But the blog is about my philosophy- posts labelled BASIC and PROBLEM SOLVING.

There are two other- more specifically cold fusion essays here. In the essay I am predicting commercial level success of two lines of research competing for New Energy. I predict decisive events- to take place before Aug. 31 this year. If true, then my essay is -in a sense a contribution to the action of steering humanity toward a much better future. And then its value is enhanced tremendously.

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on May. 25, 2014 @ 02:27 GMT
As an extension of my prior rant, I'm going to post part of a recent comment I made on Don Limuti's thread:

"The process of education goes in cycles. We are a form of swarm intelligence, so this is just one more stage of trying out multiple systems, to find which work best. If you really sit back and look at how these processes function from a natural, rather than an anthropocentric...

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Anonymous wrote on May. 25, 2014 @ 15:08 GMT
Dear Brendan and competitor colleagues,

About Science-Religion convergence in the essays.

I dare to think that a sign of goodness, quality of the solutions proposed by us, the participants is convergence- kind of all (or at least more) roads lead to Rome. That mans good ideas will be discovered independently by more of us, using very different premises and approaches. Especially the...

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Peter Gluck replied on May. 26, 2014 @ 04:32 GMT
I have no idea why the previous post has appeared as written by Anonymous.

I was logged in.

Peter G;uck

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi wrote on May. 26, 2014 @ 12:20 GMT
Although I do not count this message as my final episode on this forum but all the same, I felt since the competition is just few days on. So I write.

Special appreciation to the anchor of HOW SHOULD HUMANITY STERR THE FUTURE, the sponsors, and in particular the FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster who responded to individual technical problems. Much more every author who made it to the list of essays. In particular, I appreciate Joe Fisher who appeared in almost every thread of every author and offering constructive criticisms and to all those who commented and rated mine article. To those articles I have opportunity to comments and rate as well I say thank you. There so many others I commented and rated, and promised to do the same, but failed to do the same, you are great-There is still room to make every difference.

I found this forum challenging, educating and interesting.

It is well!

Regards

Gbenga

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John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 26, 2014 @ 19:58 GMT
Gbenga,

There are a number of us for whom FQXI is a regular forum and source of interesting conversation. Though occasionally it wraps around particular points of obsessive interest, for which there is no resolution, such that the heat exceeds the light, I'm sure a new voice and fresh perspective will always be welcome.

Regards,

John M

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Brent Pfister wrote on May. 26, 2014 @ 20:00 GMT
Are we allowed to score our own essay?

I found some problems in mine and was thinking of downvoting it, even though I would not do that to other essays. My essay is Steering the Happy Path to Humanity’s Future. It does have strengths in addressing these questions: Who steers the future? What are the most important challenges in the next few decades? Could an intelligent computer discover new physics? If interstellar travel ever becomes possible, what is the next colonization problem? It also has many useful links.

Thanks,

Brent

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on May. 27, 2014 @ 20:37 GMT
Hi Brent -- that is very honest of you, but in fact the system is set to block you from rating your own essay.

this post was moved here from a different topic

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Brent Pfister replied on May. 27, 2014 @ 20:56 GMT
OK thank you Brendan.

Echoing Gbenga, thank you everyone involved with this contest, especially people who screened essays or commented on many essays. The unexpectedly wide variety of essays taught me a lot. This contest is a form of crowdsourcing which may pay off in surprising ways in steering the future.

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on May. 29, 2014 @ 19:23 GMT
Alert! Essay Contest voting deadline moved back one week!

We know that our recent behind-the-scenes updates to our website created issues for some of you with voting and accessing the site.

As a result, we will push back the deadline for rating essays, and setting the pool of finalists, one week to NEXT Friday 6 June, at 11:59 PM.

We apologize for any confusion. Please continue to read, rate, and discuss the entries until then.

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on May. 30, 2014 @ 03:44 GMT
Thank you Brendan,

Since I am one of the people who had access issues, and since I've had the additional burden of a Lyme disease infection to fight off (which brings fatigue), I am grateful for the extra time. I should add that the cure is working and I'm feeling much better. A full week should allow me to finish almost all of the essays on my 'essential reading' list. But there are so many good to excellent essays entered, and it will be hard to get to them all, so I apologize for those I will miss reading before next Friday.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Luca Valeri wrote on May. 30, 2014 @ 14:10 GMT
Almost at the end of the voting deadline some statistics might be appropriate.

Compared to the It from Bit contest there where a bit less essays: 155 (vs. 181 )

but almost half of the number of posts: 6'254 (vs. 12'423)

and almost half of the number of community ratings 2'463 (vs. 5'830).

The same relation for the public rating: 1'464 (vs. 2'941).

The (weighted) averaged ratings a bit more generous: 5.3 (vs. 4.2).

56 persons out of the 155 have already posted in the It from bit contest.

Their rating is equal to the other contestants

However they got more posts 50 on average vs. 35 of the new contestants.

The correlation of the number of post to the rating decreased to 0.57 (vs. 0.7 in the It from bit contest)

Of course the number of ratings and posts have some margin to increase but they will not reach the activity level of the last contest.

Interpretation is left to the reader.

Luca

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on May. 30, 2014 @ 16:33 GMT
Hello Luca -- thanks and it will be interesting to look at the stats after voting is closed. The fact is, in all past contests, a huge number of the ratings are placed just within the final days, and even within the last few hours before the deadline.

Similarly, we always receive half of all entries in the last week before the deadline, and around one-third of all entries arrive just within the final day.

Interpretation of these facts left to the readers...

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi wrote on May. 31, 2014 @ 20:25 GMT
Thank you Jonathan,

Sorry for your infection. Please get well on time and make this forum more dynamic has ever. On your last question as it appeared in my thread, here is my clarification.

There is hardly any form of technology and invented device produced by the scientists or engineers that you buy at the shopping malls without a working manual with it. Even the drugs we buy the pharmacists who produced them will recommend at “Doctors prescriptions.” But that does not solve the problem of drug addiction. You even found for example, a form of routine test conducted for those in sports to ensure they keep shape without any influence of drugs. Those tested positive are ban for not keeping the law.

I asked in my article the intention of “Edward Teller and his team for inventing the Hydrogen bomb?” Of course it may be with good intention, but for the endanger species (human beings) in the ecosystem which use the same to propagate terrorism and every act of dehumanization and upset the balance in the ecosystem, the law will catch up on such. So my explanation goes beyond technology and inventions but even all activities of man which must be correlated to the good of others and the natural habitat in the ecosystem. But if he will use technology, invention or any activity to abuse others and the good of the ecosystem, the law or retribution will apply. This is my concept. So the ideology explained in the essay, form a concept for a normal way of life for the global community to follow. And I think the UN is doing a lot in this direction and can still do more. For more on the essay, here is the link http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2020

This may not apply to everyone but may add to earlier post as regard my essay on STRIKING A BALANCE BETWEEN TECHNOLOGY AND ECOSYTEM. You may downplay it if it does not apply to you.

With highest regards to Jonathan

Gbenga

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi wrote on May. 31, 2014 @ 20:27 GMT
He who thinks he is leading and has no one following him is only taking a walk.

An African Proverb.

This website in all has produced many followers in particular HOW HUMANITY SHOULD STEER THE FUTURE. What is your take my colleagues………

Gbenga

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 13:29 GMT
What would one say if we were taking a walk in the same direction? -- that everyone is leading and no one following? Or everyone is following and no one leading?

Perhaps we can do without leaders and followers altogether, and enjoy walking our own paths.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 13:51 GMT
Gbenga,

Tom,

There is another old African saying, I heard a long time ago; "If you want to travel fast, go alone, but if you want to travel far, go with a group."

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 14:13 GMT
Tom,

"enjoy walking our own paths."

Consider time as the narrative sequence of the individual path, while the community moving about is more thermodynamics. History is when those leaders try to get everyone moving in the same direction.

Yet the fact remains that; "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

Thermodynamics rules.

Regards,

John

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 11:49 GMT
The math of the future of humanity.

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 13:25 GMT
Good article, John. Thanks. It underscores why we should prefer a consciously self-organized system of governance and economics, because it contains within itself the principle of self-limitation.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 14:08 GMT
Tom,

Nature incorporated the necessary cycling by having individual organisms die and just pass on the genetic and cultural code. This problem goes even down to the basis of our religious models, from the instruction to go forth and multiply, to the story of the ten talents. Our national culture is based on expansion, as in; Go west, young man.

So we don't beat nature, we just create larger cycles, with larger downsides. Yet we don't want a perfect equilibrium, as that would amount to a flatline. Just as biology is constantly cycling, building up and breaking down, we need to incorporate a willingness and understanding of letting go to match our desire to acquire. Everything from wealth to life. One where it truly is accepted and not just used by those in power against those who are not.

This is why I keep trying to impress the point that abstract wealth extraction compounds not only environmental, but social destruction as well. If we have strongly networked and organic societies and not just these atomized melting pots of disconnected individuals, than people would grow to understand and appreciate how connected they are to the earth and the larger community and be far more willing to accept what they have and not always obsessively feel the need to get more, in order to feel secure. We are all motivated by that singular sense of self, but if we grew to recognize it is the same sense of self flowing through all of life, it would reduce the sociopathy considerably.

Regards,

John

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 15:52 GMT
John,

" ... die and just pass on the genetic and cultural code."

The genetic, not the cultural. This irrational belief -- that culture is inherited -- was the problem with Lysenkoism that I addressed in my essay.

Genetic characteristics are redundant, flexible and adaptive; culture is not. This is the argument I apply against genetic tinkering -- eugenics -- which seeks to force cultural norms onto the genome. It is self destructive.

Best,

Tom

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 01:02 GMT
Quote from the article John linked to ("It's simple. If we can't change our economic system, our number's up", http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/27/if-we-c
ant-change-economic-system-our-number-is-up):

"

On Friday, a few days after scientists announced that the collapse of the west Antarctic ice sheet is now inevitable, the Ecuadorean government decided to allow...

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 04:47 GMT
That is a potent observation, Lorraine.

We had better hope that more people do wake up to what is important, to see what is going on around them, before it is too late to stop the carnage. I remember there was an old Genesis song that talked about the travesty of combining tragedy with nonchalance that pervades the media and our society, but I can't quite recall the title. Perhaps it will pop up.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 07:20 GMT
Hi Jonathan,

Yes, George Monbiot is a brilliant journalist, writer and zoologist, who in my opinion, tells it like it is. When I get time, I am reading his latest book "Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life"

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 14:01 GMT
Thanks Lorraine,

I guess I'll have to put Monbiot's book on my reading list too. And the song I was thinking about is titled "Blood on the Rooftops."

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Peter Gluck wrote on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 06:55 GMT
Dear Brendan,

In case this http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/dvorsky20140530 is right, then

the absence of the cheap catch-phraases could add to the value of our essays

greetings,

Peter Gluck

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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi wrote on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 21:33 GMT
Dear Colleagues,

Many of our essays in this contest proposed learning inform of acquisition of knowledge as the means by which HUMANITY CAN STEER THE FUTURE. My view about this is not absolute because we have close to 1.5 billion peole in the world who are stack illiterates (they can neither read nor write) mostly in the developing worlds. The rest billions who have acquired education have reached the threshold-where the law of diminishing return is settin

g in. You found myriads of graduates all over the world without jobs. The rate of unemployment in both the world giants and developing countries have also reached its highest in history. Education is no longer seen as the panacea to social challenges. But we have seen many university drop outs with distinctive skills and in born potentials being the greatest entrepreneurs in the world.

The Chinese received their education from the west and yet during the global economic crunch, it was these Chinese that provided support from the total collapse of the financial and economic system. Many of those economic theories failed during crisis. So to steer the future we need more than getting education.

What is your view about this argument colleagues?



Regards

Gbenga

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Peter Jackson replied on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 23:41 GMT
Gbenga,

I posit it's HOW we employ our brains that matters. Stuffing them with so called 'facts' is not the answer, we need to learn how to better use them for perception, so in a different way, as Einstein, Bragg and so many have pointed out. Most just dismiss that concept. We must stop doing so.

An example in a paper a few years ago compared a far eastern and African approach with western Industrialised educated responses. Asked; 'where is the truck'? The latter might say; "150 yards to my left and closing to pass 20 yards behind me." Quite precise you may think. The former would more likely say; "south of the river heading downstream towards the bridge".

The first description is on no use to anybody 'else', the second is 'absolute'. At another level western science is similarly self-centric. I suggest we have a lot to learn about different ways to think. I tried to subtly show the massive potential results in terms of new ways to view of familiar things in my essay. Perhaps I was too subtle? Or perhaps the (self apparent) result was too much of a leap? But yes, I agree we do need more than imposing our present 'education' on those who've so far escaped it.

Best wishes

Peter

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 02:16 GMT
Gbenga,

Knowledge is information. Wisdom is in the editing.

Regards,

John

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En Passant wrote on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 23:20 GMT
[I had to resort to formatting that was not intended, otherwise the output was garbled, so please ignore unusual formatting conventions.]

You will have to excuse me if I am a bit clued out. I have not written any essay, nor have I read any. There are so many to read that my time will not permit to even start. But I felt compelled to enter this post after reading many (well, it seemed like...

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Chidi Idika wrote on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 07:49 GMT
Hi, people.

Hi, En passant.

Just for the record, this one essay essentially attempts to define the notion “humanity” more rigorously. A herculean task may be!

But in the face of human nature science has been totally tongue in cheek and double-trouble effect. Was it not science that also brought with it the ravaging of the environment or was it rather human nature?

Now that I can think about it, many other essays in the contest are saying something like:

“Had I been present at the creation/big bang I would have given some useful hints as to a better ordering of the universe”

What a gut! And look who is talking still—“human nature”.

We urgently need to get around this “hungry matter that thinks it is thinking” (my favorite off Peter Gluck).

It is said that a problem well defined is half solved. The same must apply to this problem of human nature.

Chidi

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 11:26 GMT
Chidi,

There is a saying in racing that 90% of the cost goes into the last 10% of performance. Even almost doesn't count.

Nature already incorporates the wave collapse, by having individuals die, as the sense of self perpetuates itself through others. We just have to accept the need for mortality.

Regards,

John

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En Passant replied on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 15:00 GMT
Chidi Idika wrote (among other things) on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 07:49 GMT

It is said that a problem well defined is half solved.

Chidi,

I normally would not reply to a comment directed at a post I might make, but you mentioned something that is useful for everyone. (Sorry, I cannot take up any other points you make, and your link did not work for some reason.)

If you dwell (perhaps even excessively and obsessively) on analyzing the question to get at what exactly it is asking, you will at minimum know the grammatical form of the answer (could be more than one that is possible). In most cases, you will know what the answer will have to look like (even if you cannot fill in the blanks). This can help in directing you to how and where to obtain the answer. In some cases, this very process will lead you directly to the answer. Are you doing this?

En

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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Stefan Weckbach wrote on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 19:25 GMT
In addition to George Monbiot's article from The Guardian, i also recommend Chris Martenson's presentation of his findings:

Chris Martenson

It's worth to also take a closer look at some other presentations/interviews with this guy.

Thanks John Merryman for putting the link to Monbiot's article into this blog ('The math of the future of humanity')

Best wishes,

Stefan Weckbach

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Georgina Woodward replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 01:44 GMT
John, Stefan, All,

as I quoted near the start of my essay "The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." - Prof. Al Bartlett

It is the maths applicable to growth of any kind, eg. compound interest, growth in use of resources or population growth.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 02:01 GMT
Stefan,

It's been a good fight. These conversations continue among the hard core around here and your voice is certainly welcome.

Georgina,

The irony here is how physics considers 'information' indestructible, yet the only way the exponential function can operate is if there is an equal amount of destruction. You might say the collapse of the wave function is alive and well. No multiworlds.

Regards,

John

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Don Limuti replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 20:29 GMT
Stefan,

There are problems with Chris Martenson and his presentation.

1. He is an investment advisor and he is addressing potential clients.

2. For 40 years he has been advising his clients to hop on the exponential curve as a way to make money.

3. Now he is advising clients of certain DOOM because of the exponential curve.

4. But, he has a way to insure that his wife and kids will be safe because of his knowledge.

5. He intimates that he would give this knowledge as part of his consulting to clients.

6. IMHO he is very capable of manipulating markets (making them crash), to his own advantage.

7. I like the free market system. I do not like Chris Martenson.

8. And yes, we need to be aware that oil is running out.

Don Limuti

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 14:35 GMT
A note to all..

I've been contemplating the relevance of various essay themes to the question of what humans should be doing to steer ourselves collectively toward a brighter future, and I see that like myself, others have chosen to present meta-solutions rather than direct answers to the question. That is; if we don't deal with the issues that would allow or prevent us, decisions we might make about how to steer toward a better future will become irrelevant before they can be implemented. So we present solutions to the roadblocks.

In my essay, I primarily answer the question "what is it that makes a mind good at science?" that was posed by Flavio Mercati on the page for Hoekstra and Estep's essay on how expanding human brain power is key to humanity's success or survival. "Make our brains better" is another meta-solution, but if we don't improve our solution making capacity, we may not find all the answers we need in time - so that brain power might well be needed - and until the technology exists for computational assistance (or likely even then), the best way to do that is to encourage playful exploration. I will go further to state that the prospect of our creating true AI rests with our ability to understand and mimic the playful experimentation and exploration of human infants, because that is what we must teach our machines to do, if they are to be capable of subtle reasoning at all - more like R2-D2 and C3PO - instead of being brutes - like the Terminator.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Don Limuti replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 20:49 GMT
Jonathan,

I am going to quibble with you about the prospect of our creating true AI. Ever since the computer was invented AI was the rage in science fiction and in government funding. However as things stand at present, humans still rule, AI comes in second.

Computers have been most effective in the augmentation of human intelligence, at this they excell.

Let's not overinflate the prospects of AI. And yes, to steer the future we should concentrate on making humans more playful.

Playfully yours,

Don Limuti

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 00:27 GMT
Respectfully Don,

The computers of today are brutes, as compared to the more adaptive and accommodating machines of even a few year's in the future. But if a critical mass of networked computing power is inevitable, which would be a sort of AI 'singularity' event, then it would be to our extreme benefit to make them less brutish sooner.

To the extent that computers will influence or control human decision making, we need to make them capable of subjective and qualitative reasoning, as well as the objective and quantitative kind. This is the R2D2 and C3PO vs Terminator analogy incarnate. I have learned key portions of how to impart this kind of subtlety, but much work remains to make that a reality. Meanwhile; the machines keep getting smarter.

However, given a choice; I'd rather have my research on playful exploration liberate human beings, and give them more fulfilling lives - instead of giving machines the benefit of insights into human reasoning that human beings were never given the opportunity to benefit from. Let's help people learn and grow first, then help the machines to learn better.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 00:39 GMT
What I am talking about is..

Levels of abstraction turn out to have some interesting connections with internal regularities in Math. I see the octonions playing a key role in how abstraction is encoded in algorithmic terms, due to their connection with projective geometry. Something called the Hopf periodicity results in a repeating structure in higher-dimensional spaces, that is loosely like the octaves in a musical scale.

I'm behind on my academic writing, of papers to document my work on that topic, but I have worked all of this out in detail.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 06:44 GMT
Dear Brendan,

My attempts to vote are still failing. Moreover, I am not always happy with decisions not to show all postings, and I even got the impression that some postings were deleted. Otherwise I could not understand why the indicated number of postings decreased. Getting logged out is perhaps annoying to others too.

The topic of this contest was of course a temptation to ignore the scope of foundational questions. At least I got the impression many essays demonstrate the directions into which the thoughts of US citizens are steered by science fiction.

Eckard Blumschein

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 18:49 GMT
Hello Eckard -- I will send you an email and we can try to figure out your vote problems.

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 15:33 GMT
At this critical point in the contest [36 hrs left to vote!], we'd like to remind all voters of the rules as specified in our FAQ:

FQXi expects community evaluators to vote based solely on the quality of the essay. Voting collusion or bartering, mass down-voting, and other such forms of "voter fraud" will not be tolerated, and participants in such will have (all) their votes discarded or in extreme cases their essays disqualified. Entrants should alert FQXi with information if they witness such activities.

We have recently elected to discard the votes of one entrant on these grounds, and our algorithms will continue to be on the lookout for further anomalous activity.

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Lawrence B Crowell wrote on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 02:15 GMT
I am interested in knowing whether I can have a corrected version of my paper submitted. One reader found a misquoted equation, a sort of typo error, in my paper. I was wondering if it were possible to submit the corrected version before the final judging takes place.

Sincerely,

L. Crowell

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Brent Pfister replied on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 17:54 GMT
Lawrence,

James Dunn also suggested allowing essay revisions on May. 21, 2014. If you do not get an official response, I'm guessing revising essays are a problem. Software changes would be needed to store and view the original and revised essay versions. Revised essays would probably need to be screened again (by volunteers?). Essay authors could make major changes based on feedback from others, which could raise issues of fairness, especially since revisions are not in the contest rules. But it appears documents can be attached to posts, so you might try posting an unofficial revised version of your essay.

Thanks,

Brent

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 21:59 GMT
As many are aware, the contest voting deadline ends tonight, and as many are also aware, we have had last-minute issues in past contests. So, I want to clarify that we will make an official announcement of the finalist pool, here in this forum, when we have determined that there are no issues.

This means, the finalist pool may not necessarily be clear immediately at the deadline; however, we will make the announcement as soon as possible, ideally by Saturday morning.

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 02:36 GMT
Thank you Brendan,

I am glad that will be made clear. Good luck to all. And thanks to all the participants for your great essays and for kind and engaging interactions.

Warm Regards,

Jonathan

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 08:05 GMT
Hi Brendan,

Re Community voting:

I noticed yesterday that if I had entered the Community Evaluator code a while ago, and I entered a rating for an essay, then although everything looked more or less normal (i.e I was prompted "are you sure you want to rate this essay..." (or whatever it said)), the message confirming that I had rated the essay didn't appear. And when I checked, the rating and the number of ratings hadn't been updated.

So I had to close all FQXi windows, and start again: after I re-entered the Community Evaluator code, and entered a rating for the SAME essay, the message confirming that I had rated the essay appeared, and the rating and the number of votes had been updated.

I had been on the lookout for this sort of thing, so none of my ratings were lost. But I'm concerned that some people might have thought that they had rated essays when in fact their ratings never got through.

Why not require community evaluators to enter their code every time they rate an essay?

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Peter Gluck wrote on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 19:56 GMT
Dear Brendan,

Community and public voting being over and resulting in two different pre-taxonomies (preliminary evaluations) of our 153 essays,

perhaps it would be useful and ethically correct to evaluate these two methods of evaluation. Both are forms of “wisdom of crowds”

- an external crowd, in principle unlimited and unregulated; in practice relatives, friends,...

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 23:22 GMT
Peter,

A very interesting analysis, but it raises one very large question. Who would qualify as experts on steering humanity for the future?

I have a saying that the truth is, while answers are what people will pay to hear. Priests and politicians provide answers, while philosophers seek truths. That is why far more people can make a living as priests and politicians, then as philosophers.

Regards,

John Merryman

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Peter Gluck replied on Jun. 8, 2014 @ 05:26 GMT
Dear John,

You are right! In a different formulation, based on problem solving, we speak about the "main rule of Probletence":

" A problem will NOT be solved if the number, influence and/or power of the people living, taking profit from the problem, is greater than the same characteristics of the people who want solve the problem."

I think the concept of "probletence" is easy to understand- probles stay unsolved for ages. I will not speak about philosophers only but about genuinely professional scientists and tehnologists seeking both truth and value. Solutions.

Steering the future is actually an unsolvable problem- an extreme case of what is called "wicked problems" (see Wikipedia for example)and I think the Judges

are aware of this. Some of the participants seem to take their "solutions" so much superior to others that they use voting as a weapon.

Peter

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 8, 2014 @ 11:22 GMT
Peter,

I wanted to post Aldous Huxley's comment about How no man will understand that which he is paid not to, but I came across several even more applicable;

"The course of every intellectual, if he pursues his journey long and unflinchingly enough, ends in the obvious, from which the non-intellectuals have never stirred."

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."

What I think should be considered is whether there are issues which our natural tendencies toward group think are purposely ignoring. As anyone even remotely interested in the processes motivating humanity must eventually come to realize, a system of economic exchange, in which obligations and risks are predominately public and all assets and rewards are largely private, will not only serve to compound the otherwise inevitable resource destruction, but will eventually blow up, given this system of circulation doesn't effectively circulate, since it is purposely designed to pool wealth.

Some of the regulars are debating this issue further up this thread;

Stefan Weckbach wrote on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 19:25 GMT

Regards,

John

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Jun. 8, 2014 @ 11:25 GMT
Brendan,

Are there complications?

Regards,

John Merryman

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 9, 2014 @ 18:38 GMT
Brendan,

Curiosity runs rampant.

Hope all is well.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 11, 2014 @ 20:47 GMT
For a contest that was supposed to be announced Saturday, the silence is deafening.

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Jun. 11, 2014 @ 21:21 GMT
Greetings everyone -- As promised, I'd like to make an official statement about the finalist pool now. Apologies for the delay--there were no unexpected issues. Thus, the finalist pool is as you can calculate from the official rules and the ratings info on the list of essays.

In short, the official finalist pool of 40 consists of the 39 essays with a Community rating of 5.6 or greater, plus the entry from Member Dean Rickles.

But don't forget that, as always, the Expert Panel has the option of awarding up to 2 additional discretionary prizes, for whatever reason they see fit. All entries, finalist or not, are eligible for those. Last year, for instance, the panel chose to award two interesting entries from students, who did not make the finalist pool.

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Jun. 11, 2014 @ 21:25 GMT
Having said that, on behalf of FQXi, I want to thank everyone who entered -- we appreciate all the time and effort and energy it takes you to prepare the essays. I hope the contest was worthwhile to even those of you who did not make the final pool.

In my personal opinion, having read every single one of the entries for the past I don't know how many contests---this was the overall strongest pool of entries we have ever had, in terms of both the average quality and the number of [in my opinion] excellent quality entries.

Thanks to everyone, and stay tuned for results from the panel, later this summer.

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Don Limuti replied on Jun. 12, 2014 @ 18:30 GMT
Thanks Brendan,

Here are two ideas for the future:

1. Edit the abstracts for obvious typos. There were entries that were sloppy looking. A preview window ability at time of submission would probably help. (sometimes plain text isn't plain text)

2. Many of the entrants do not have english as a first language. Occasionally this makes for difficult reading, particularly after reading 150 plus essays. Perhaps entrants can get help from FQXi.org volunteers for doing an english usage edit? This edit would be returned to the author for their information before the formal submittal.

You have read all the essays of all the contests! High Marks,

Don Limuti

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Alex Hoekstra replied on Jul. 31, 2014 @ 23:08 GMT
Thanks so much for the update, Brendan. Have there been any further developments, or any news to announce, regarding the contest? I'm sure all of the authors are eager to know what's on the minds of the judges, or at least when we might get a glimpse into the future.

Thank you again, for all of this!

Best regards, and hopes to hear more soon.

Alex Hoekstra

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KoGuan Leo wrote on Jun. 13, 2014 @ 04:34 GMT
Dear Brendan, FQXI's team and sponsors,

Congratulation!

To all contestants,

I am grateful for your kind praises and critiques.

Thank you and I wish all of you well,

Leo KoGuan

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jun. 15, 2014 @ 12:04 GMT
FQXi Contest 2012-2014: general conclusions.

Extremely hot topic of the Contest FQXi Essay 2014 "How Should Humanity Steer the Future?" gives the chance to sum up the results of Cotests 2012-2014 and discussions in which I took part.

Today is a very serious time for Humanity. 100 years passed since the beginning of the 1st World war. 75 years passed since the beginning of...

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 15, 2014 @ 20:33 GMT
Vladimir,

In contrast to the last one, all previous contests were devoted to basic questions of physics. I felt challenged by the last topic to also ask for possibly overlooked because very basic questions concerning mankind, and I was perhaps the only one who dared addressing the appropriate perspective on WWI, WWII, and holocaust. Alan Kadin contributed a likewise rather unwelcome analysis of population growth. The majority including you made well-meant suggestions.

I didn't understand all of them. For instance I have to admit being ignorant of the Diomede Islands. Wasn't Diomedes a king of Argos? Also, I am not sure whether you meant Immanuel Kant with E. Kant.

Let me clarify: I consider any nationalism, any military or economic block, even an European nation something to be subordinated below the interest of mankind as a whole. Yes, you may blame me for an in principle un-American attitude too.

In the interest of people, environment must be protected against people's imprudent interests.

Eckard Blumschein

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 02:18 GMT
Vladimir, Eckard,

Keep in mind that when we have a financial circulation system based on public debt and private wealth accumulation, the money pools in the private sector and has to be borrowed back again by the public sector, to keep it circulating. This borrowed money than has to be spent and the most productive for those in control, is on a military to keep the rest of the world subservient to our dollar based financial system.

Unfortunately for them, their greed far exceeds their strategic abilities, so they have mostly irritated large parts of the Eurasian continent and this will likely cause these other countries to use other exchange systems.

Karma is a bitch.

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 16, 2014 @ 10:55 GMT
Eckard,

Yes, solution of the fundamental questions in physics and mathematics are very important for a reliable steer the Future. But physicists and mathematicians - the inhabitants of the Earth, who invented the atomic and hydrogen bombs. This must remember all the generations of physicists and mathematicians and actively participate in Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. It...

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jun. 22, 2014 @ 13:45 GMT
Dear Lorraine, Eckard, John and all the contestants,

This week I read an important document Pugwash and two articles: «Hiroshima Declaration of the Pugwash Council», «Dünyanin direksiyonunda kimse yok..»/«The wheel of the world doesn't have anybody» and «Indications...»...

The first stage of the Contest FQXi "How Should Humanity Steer the Future?" completed. But all...

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 23, 2014 @ 14:08 GMT
Vladimir,

When I offered inherited books to second-hand book shops in Berlin, they were not interested in good books but bought school books from the time of emperor Wilhelm II which I considered worth to be burned because they horribly glorified patriotism and war.

I was even more disgusted in 1980 in a train from Moscow to Leningrad when a man told me that he admired Hitler for his allegedly extraordinary memory. In the same year in Moscow, I lived together with a young Tunisian who managed to sleep with many Russian girls after he gave them a jeans. He invited me to see a hatred film of Palestinians, and I heard them wishing an atomic bomb against Israel. From these and many other examples I infer the need for revealing and outlawing ideology that led even to global wars. The Palestinians don't just feel a nation of losers, they don't live up to the chance of benefiting from the high qualification and worldwide connections of Jewish immigrants. Annual military parades with atomic missiles in Moscow gave them the wrong orientation. Do Pugwash congresses address the question of responsibility for consequent condemnation of any military heroism, revanchism, religious orthodoxy, and Chauvinism?

More importantly, do they at least strive for acceptance of the insight that wars were among the mechanisms that stabilized the size of population and need therefore to be replaced by efficient measures towards voluntary birth control?

FQXi offers a chance to address such truly basic questions from mankind's perspective. Just winners of contest have been omitting any taboo question.

Eckard

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jun. 24, 2014 @ 04:55 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Have you heard of The Earth Charter ? More than 10 years ago, I attended Earth Charter meetings, and helped with Earth Charter stalls at Sustainability Festival events. I have also been involved with other environmental organisations.

The Earth Charter says it all. It can be downloaded in 60 languages: Russian, Belarusian, Azerbaijani , Yoruba etc. You can click on a button to endorse the sentiments in the charter. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.

The Earth Charter has a preamble, and 16 principles divided into 4 sections headed:

I. RESPECT AND CARE FOR THE COMMUNITY OF LIFE,

II. ECOLOGICAL INTEGRITY,

III. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE,

IV. DEMOCRACY, NONVIOLENCE, AND PEACE,

and it concludes with "The Way Forward".

Re "How should Humanity Steer the Future": I would think that The Earth Charter might be an appropriate subject for discussion and endorsement by the FQXi community.

Best wishes,

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jun. 24, 2014 @ 05:01 GMT
Sorry,

the correct link is The Earth Charter

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jun. 26, 2014 @ 09:15 GMT
Eckard,

Sorry, of course "I am a simple engineer too". GOOGLE not yet captures all the freedom of the Russian language. Perhaps once international contest will in Esperanto.

Yes, I saw the inscription in Danish only now. Ibid in English: «This song is dedicated to all victims of human rights violations worldwide» Lovely, deep song. It gives hope for a more just world for new...

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jun. 27, 2014 @ 21:00 GMT
Eckard,

June 28, 1914 - a tragic day, which led to the beginning of World War I. I have read the correspondence of Wilhelm II with Nicholas II. Yes, indeed, friendship and kinship monarchs of Germany and Russia could not be a reliable guarantor of peace in Europe and throughout the world. Obviously, the "war party" in Germany and Russia had a strong pressure on the Monarchs. All events from June 28 to August 1, 1914 forced all of us earthlings, once again rethink answers to the question «« How Should Humanity Steer the Future? ». To think and act more actively. To the people gradually come to understand that in the XXI century to solve international problems by force of arms is extremely dangerous. World War remains today the main danger for Humanity. World war remains today the main danger for Humanity. Therefore need a powerful global movement of people's diplomacy, reboot Pugwash. Theme FQXi Essay Contest 2014 is extremely actual.

Vladimir

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 28, 2014 @ 02:26 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Thank you for pointing to the telegrams that reveal in which weak positions both Willy and Niki were. Were they aware of e.g. Poincaré's trap? Shouldn't we ask who were those who put pressure on Nicholas because of claimed indignation?

I guess, in contrast to revanchist Frenchmen, to Germans who strove for more colonies, and to Englishmen who feared growing German power, neither Serbia nor Russia had anything to fear or win.

Let me try to distill most fundamental lessons to learn:

- The tragedy already begun much earlier with patriotism, tin soldiers for boys, heroism, military parades, and alliances. Shouldn't Pugwash more consequently focus on clear condemnation of all that?

- Wilhelm was wrong when he insisted "that all the persons morally responsible for the dastardly murder should receive their deserved punishment. In this case politics plays no part at all." Isn't moral subordinated to the interest of mankind?

- Those who urged Nicholas to mobilize the Russian army against Austria proved narrow-minded. They didn't imagine that a war will damage the Russian empire and its orthodox church. Perhaps they believed in support by God and holy icons. Maybe, some advisers were additionally motivated by knowledge of Austria's military secrets. Religious fundamentalism and naive patriotism are irrational and therefore fundamental to most serious conflicts.

- Worldwide use of discoveries and inventions might be the most promising way to overcome religious and nationalist intolerance.

- The world needs a neutral authority in charge of punishing terrorists like the Serbians. Germany as a non-orthodox empire was unable to mediate.

Eckard

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on Jun. 28, 2014 @ 13:21 GMT
Dear Eckard,

I agree with you completely on all counts.

As for Pugwash, it requires deep reforms. Pugwash movement must become an open mass movement of people on Earth, not just scientists. Scientists should be the core and the engine of the Pugwash Movement. FQXi may be initiated reforms. Pugwash Movement should lead the process of creating of the Global System of existential security of Humanity and bring together all non-governmental organizations around the world that support the principles of the Pugwash Movement that support principles and goals of the Pugwash. The Information revolution and memory XX-century pushes Humanity to make more decisive steps to a higher and deeper level of democracy - "Democracy 3.0". At the same time need a "reboot" of the UN.

Lee Smolin described the system of bureaucracy and domination in science in the book «The trouble with physics: the rise of string theory, the fall of a science, and what comes next». Today serious "troubles" both in fundamental physics, and in fundamental policy. These "troubles" can overcome all together, if we follow the conclusions and recommendations of Lee Smolin in a spirit of profound Cartesian doubt: «To the educated public: Be critical. Don't believe most ofwhat you hear.»... «...ask the new questions, find the new answers, and lead revolutions.». The revolutions of the Mind. The Philosophy here is a good helper.

Vladimir

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on Jul. 1, 2014 @ 13:42 GMT
Yes, Eckard, Humanity needs both in the air in a fast reboot Pugwash and the creation of a new Global Age of Enlightenment. Will «schoolyard bullies» reliably steer the future of Humanity? Philosophy should be taught from the first grade of school to move the «schoolyard bullies» to understanding:

«Zwei Dinge erfüllen das Gemüt mit immer neuer und zunehmender Bewunderung und Ehrfurcht, je öfter und anhaltender sich das Nachdenken damit beschäftigt: Der bestirnte Himmel über mir, und das moralische Gesetz in mir.»(I.Kant)

You are absolutely right, Eckard:. «Peace via Discoveries and Inventions ... Humanity must cope with its own behavior». Discoveries and Inventions in all fields of human existence, overcoming all existential risks. Today confrontation Homo sapiens vs Homo ludens reached the an extremely dangerous high, more dangerous than it was before the Second World War. Again go "big game" in the war. And Humanity asleep again ...

Good idea and a good argument for all Humanity in the nuclear age:

« In a post-deterrence world , so the argument goes, the logic of schoolyard bullies can give way to that of diplomats and mediators. Brinksmanship would wither and multilateralism would flourish. It posits a world where leaders and governments are enlightened enough not to need to be deterred.»

Best Mediators and Guides of peace and understanding - it's non-governmental organizations, such as Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, International Peace Bureau, The Club of Rome, The Centre for Study of Existential Risk, The Future of Humanity Institute, The Global Catastrophic Risk Institute and many others.

Sincerely,

Vladimir

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Gyenge Valeria wrote on Jun. 28, 2014 @ 22:29 GMT
Dear Everyone, who is interesting about my summary notes regarding to this contest and the questions this thread.

(* If the text will be a bit misty that is because the Preview Post Text doesn't work at the bottom of writing a new post.I'm not able to check it. Sorry!)

Let me note: I decided to partake in at the first time such a contest and public brain-storming. So, I'm a...

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attachments: Strange_ratingnumbers_and_values.pdf

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jun. 29, 2014 @ 00:13 GMT
Dear Gyenge,

I want to make clear to readers of these posts that I NEVER SAID anything remotely like the sentiment your sentence wording seemingly attributes to me i.e. : " there may be rogue physicists perversely over engineering and encroach on those thought patterns altering the natural imprint and genetic."

This is purely your thoughts and reasoning, not mine.

The issue about subjective experience/information is the issue of point of view: I'm saying the universe comprises subjects (from particles to molecules to plant cells to pigs to people).

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jun. 29, 2014 @ 00:28 GMT
P.S.

What I DID say in my essay is this: "physics has failed humanity once again when it comes to attitudes to non-human reality: it has given us a poisonous vision of a non-experiential, non-subjective, non-creative mechanism - nothing worthy of respect. "

Lorraine

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 29, 2014 @ 09:36 GMT
Dear Loriaine!

Let me clear, I DID NOT SAY, YOU HAD SAID that, I wrote! I only added a note and before it a Yes. Clearly again, I undertake: " there may be rogue physicists perversely over engineering and encroach on those thought patterns altering the natural imprint and genetic." - is entirely mine conclusion, and some subliminal experiences either true or not. I apologize, if you feel those were seemingly attributed to you as your implied thoughts.

I agree, driving the physics to the non-human attitude of reality may get rid of humanity from its natural right path.
However, I think, some developments into this direction in our recent days have already been achieved, and those are based on experiential trying, but due to some very subjective interest may be involved to distort the original creative goals - see my essay and bio and my comments! And I'm/ may be convinced owing to several of both subjectively got information and experiences and much objectively confirmed back reflected from the present environment involving both material/physical and non-material/physical kinds - 'what's happening truly.

I advocate to re-learn, or at least reassess our tremendous knowledge gained basically from our natural existence and origin and using that well - creatively and with a positive subjective conscious intent - for our natural well being not for our self-destruction!

I think, the 'new' way you are proposing may be - to change our thinking freely and set a focus on a positive subjective conscious intent!

Best of all for you Lorraine.

Valeria

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Don Limuti wrote on Jun. 29, 2014 @ 02:37 GMT
Thanks all for another contest,

I wanted to particularly thank T. Ray for his pointing out the work of Yaneer Bar-Yam. I am well into his book "Making Things Work". If it is not on your reading list ...It should be.

I think Dr.Pangloss would agree "Everything is best in this best of all possible FQXi.org essay contests" :) They are getting better IMHO.

Don L.

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Gyenge Valeria replied on Jun. 29, 2014 @ 12:28 GMT
Thanks Don for the info. I'll look after too.

Valeria

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Aug. 21, 2014 @ 15:14 GMT
Special Urgent Announcement!!!

Make sure to watch live today at 1PM ET as we reveal the top 3 spots in the contest. You can also join in a Q&A with the winners and FQXi's Max Tegmark & Anthony Aguirre -- plus special guest Zeeya Merali from the FQXi podcast.

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Sylvain Poirier wrote on Jan. 15, 2015 @ 17:07 GMT
Unfortunately I did not participate nor join the debate last year but I have considered the problem since a long time, I found my own solution to many of the world's problems (that would be rather easy to implement but takes an effort to understand by a small team). Just now I reviewed a number of essays of this contest and I write a reply (now about 2/3 done, I may take a few more days to finish it): On humanity's failures to steer itself properly.

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jan. 17, 2015 @ 08:07 GMT
Dear Sylvaine,

You are calling your world view a realist one, and you might have understood that the increasing population of the world endangers the basis of human life. That's why I hope to persuade you: BOKO in the sense of enlightenment, education, discoveries, and inventions is indeed HARAM in the sense of a sin against the group egoism of those who believe in profiting from as many worshipers or costumers as possible.

I rather advocate for those like Jean Jaurès since he was assassinated because he fought against the start into WW1, WW2 and holocaust. Are you Charlie Hebdo? While I share their attitude towards HARAM, I rather prefer the style of Jean Eiffel. They all certainly deserve getting Nobel's Peace Prize.

I cannot hide that my humble search for possible mistakes in accepted theories led me to the opposite of your infoliberal Bourbakism. Maybe, together with experts like D.Joyce, W. Mueckenheim, H-D.Zeh, L. Smolin, Ebbinghaus, and also E. Klingman we will be in position to contribute something new and of value?

Eckard

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Sylvain Poirier replied on Jan. 18, 2015 @ 18:01 GMT
I do not consider "realist" as the best adjective to describe my view, where did you see it in my writings ? I work to develop an intelligent view, with complex relevant concepts to describe a complex world full of paradoxes and possibilities.

I am aware that overpopulation is a big problem, I intend to tell a few things about this later.

I'm not sure if it makes any sense to try...

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jan. 19, 2015 @ 13:37 GMT
Dear Sylvaine Poirier,

Some Hindus are demanding four children from any Hindu woman as to take pace with the high birth rate of Muslims in India. This may illustrate why I see religious and nationalist competition a serious danger for the basis of humanity.

The only reasonable rescue in sight might be contraception. The fundamentals were laid by a German Nazi who was awarded the Nobel prize in Chemistry for that. As did he, I definitely love science. Being an old Dr.-Ing. and a university teacher for four decades, I hate irrationality including intellectual wonders and Gods that still tend to dominate and to distract from rational thinking.

You got me repeatedly wrong. Maybe my English is too poor. Don't worry because I for instance misspelled Effel.

I wrote: "BOKO in the sense of enlightenment, education, discoveries, and inventions is indeed HARAM in the sense of a sin against the group egoism of those who believe in profiting from as many worshipers or costumers as possible."

Since you repeatedly refer to a perhaps Christian God in your essay, I guess that you know the meaning of the word sin. BOKO HARAM is the credo of Muslim fighters who consider BOKO to be a sin, they express this sin with the word HARAM. In our words: Books are a sin if seen from their perspective. The sinners and enemies are always the other ones.

BOKO HARAM stands for the egoism of a group, the group of those who are believing in Islam. The strength of Islam profits (I avoided the word benefits because their profit is nothing good from our perspective) from more people who were forced to believe in Koran.

Notice, I will never support BOKO HARAM, and I am also not seeing just the Islam endangering the world. My enemy is any militant egoism of a group, is any irrationalism. To me even the strive for endlessly more costumers and profit by economic growth is a horribly wrong orientation. Is this understandable?

Eckard

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 21, 2015 @ 14:59 GMT
While I am elder and hopefully more polite than typically are freshmen, I feel obliged to advocate for rationality. I didn't write egoism but "egoism of a group", one out of many competing against each other groups inside mankind. I wonder if I am logically wrong when I consider the perspective of the whole mankind the only commonly acceptable one. You wrote, "the world is unfortunately full of hard paradoxes". I am just humbly claiming having revealed in my FQXi essays a bundle of hidden reasons behind some rather pertinent paradoxes in mathematics and physics.

Which paradox do you consider a hard one?

By the way, when I sign with my name at the end of each posting, this confirms that my message is finished. Moreover this allows to identify me as author in case the system has logged me out and attributes the posting to Anonymous.

Eckard

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Sylvain Poirier replied on Jan. 22, 2015 @ 21:34 GMT
I looked at some of your essays but I could not find any clear point there. Sometimes you seem to criticize something but without giving a clear reference so that I cannot see what you were talking about.

I wonder why you seem to only write for the contests, not missing any one of them, not having your own site to more freely develop your points, as if you depended on the year's topic for...

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jan. 23, 2015 @ 01:59 GMT
FQXi is devoted to physics, mathematics, and cosmology. So far, each contest did indeed challenge me to rethink and reformulate what I have to say, and to learn from other essays and from discussions.

I got the impression that my main objection to the neglect of the distinction between past and future is an important one and is shared by participants who are also experts while not very welcome e.g. to the Perimeter Institute. So my chance to get accepted is near to zero so far.

While I dislike unnecessary words, I will nonetheless tell you my confidence that BOKO in the sense of enlightenment, science and technology will enforce decisive correction of global development to the better for mankind as a whole. I did choose Nobel, Shannon, Galileo, and others as to make my reasoning more easily understandable. When I mentioned to you Butenand, I tried to show you how even a German Nazi contributed something utterly useful for mankind.

Perhaps, you might have some education at least in mathematics. Therefore I ask you for substantial objections against my admittedly heretical arguments in this field.

Eckard

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Sylvain Poirier replied on Jan. 23, 2015 @ 11:45 GMT
I see now that I misread (sorry) your previous sentence about "boko" and "haram", that was however quite strange, as (for what I understand now) you seem to have used the word "sin" ironically, being yourself opposed to this religious kind of analysis, and yet you kept the religious-like position of describing what is wrong in terms of "egoism". That is a quite paradoxical viewpoint, I'd say :) while I reject both concepts of "sin" and "egoism" as equivalently misleading forms of description of what goes wrong. Usually both words are either together adopted or together rejected whenever they are both mentioned. Your way of adopting the one while making an ironical use of the other confused me.

About the issue of time, I just replied in the discussion of my own article where it is more on-topic.

Of course I have a math PhD and this is little compared to the depth of my natural interest and self-education ability in maths, which formal scientific education harmed more than assisted ; you can see the quality of my math work in my site. As I said, the problem I saw with your writings is not that I see them wrong, objectionable or "heretical", but that I could not see a clear point in them. You cannot expect substantial objections to writings that are either confusedly written, or not clearly claiming anything, i.e. maybe "not even wrong", or that may be true but of little importance, or that, as you said, you are not the only one considering. Maybe you really meant something but for now, apart from that point about time which I just replied as you insisted, I did not feel any big impression to see something much worth replying to.

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Sylvain Poirier wrote on Jan. 24, 2015 @ 10:22 GMT
"try and tackle for the first time a genuine problem as little as it might be, and offer a solution the practical relevance and novelty of which is well documented"

How dare you presume that I waited for your request to try and tackle for the first time a genuine problem and discover original solutions ? I did that all the time. For example look at my concepts of new money system and online...

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Sylvain Poirier wrote on Apr. 30, 2015 @ 04:30 GMT
After a long delay (as I was focusing on this year's contest and other activities) I finished my very big page of review and ideas on the many topics of last year's essays on steering the future. And finally I just got programmers who (hopefully) are going to implement my project.

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on Apr. 30, 2015 @ 11:50 GMT
Dear Sylvain,

Great analysis, but again not presented briefly and visually all the ideas of participants for objective comparison. I have not seen the system of ideas for the creation of a comprehensive global system of existential security. Please explain the essence of your project?

Sincerely,

Vladimir

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Sylvain Poirier replied on May. 11, 2015 @ 14:15 GMT
My goal was to express my own ideas, with, sometimes when I found it convenient, the method of taking a number of ideas and quotes from diverse essays, as things to reply to. I did not do what you are asking for ("presented briefly and visually all the ideas of participants for objective comparison"), simply because I did not find it worth, possible or meaningful. If you think it would be worth doing, then it is up to you to do it.

My project is described in my site. See also my comment about it in my reply to Gordon Watson.

I'm not sure what you meant by your question of "comprehensive global system of existential security". Google does not know this phrase. My project can be called a comprehensive global system, but not focusing on the question of "existential security" ; I cannot even see what that phrase exactly means. I see little sense to discuss such a concept as "existential security" on a global level, because, by definition, this question of existential security on a global level encompasses too many factors, and there is no such thing as a way to encompass all factors in one question or system so as to address such a question at the same time extremely global and extremely specific, as that of existential security ; I consider any try to do so as a waste of time, radically unable to actually hit its intended target. Instead, I find it much more meaningful to undertake the adventure of exploring the multiplicity and complexity of issues of how thing go in the world and how they might go better instead : not one question but many questions, on the many aspects of the world.

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on May. 13, 2015 @ 12:34 GMT
Hi Sylvain,

Humanity has come to a stage in its evolution, when there is a fundamental question on the establishment of a global system of existential security. The main sponsor of the contest FQXi 2014 was an entrepreneur and philanthropist Jaan Tallinn from Estonia, who is the co-founder «The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk» (CSER), which is one element of a global system of existential security. There are also other structures .

The authors of many essays Contest 2014 offered interesting and important ideas that are aimed at minimizing the existential risks to humanity. In my essay , I introduced a lot of ideas to create a global system of existential security. The study of existential risks is not enough. Humanity need to be active, to create modern structures, civil, state and interstate. Such structures are already there, but it is not enough. Hope for the new generation and the open scientific community.

Sincerely,

Vladimir

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