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Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
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It From Bit or Bit From It
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Georgina Woodward: on 6/10/15 at 22:53pm UTC, wrote Re the cat in the box observable. I think it is OK as written as it is...

Georgina Woodward: on 5/27/15 at 2:27am UTC, wrote Replying to Steve's puzzlement regarding my avoidance of the term...

Georgina Woodward: on 5/27/15 at 2:26am UTC, wrote Georgina Woodward replied on May. 24, 2015 @ 23:30 GMT Steve, All, Steve...

Georgina Woodward: on 5/27/15 at 2:13am UTC, wrote I' m posting these relevant posts about time here with my essay so they do...

Georgina Woodward: on 5/14/15 at 4:05am UTC, wrote I'd just like to add that with this CGI representation it will also be easy...

Georgina Woodward: on 5/14/15 at 1:15am UTC, wrote Anonymous replied on May. 14, 2015 @ 01:10 GMT is me, Georgina

Anonymous: on 5/14/15 at 1:10am UTC, wrote Nowadays we are not limited to drawing flat diagrams on paper but have the...

Georgina Woodward: on 5/13/15 at 2:50am UTC, wrote I realize I misrepresented the space time continuum idea in that last post....


Steve Dufourny: "Hi Peter,Adel, Colin, You know when I speak about spheres I insist, about..." in Manipulating the Quantum...

Peter Morgan: "Colin, I forgot to discuss the Planck energy scale that you mention,..." in Manipulating the Quantum...

Jeffrey Schmitz: "Please read my essay. Yes, my essay is in the bottom half of the rating,..." in FQXi Essay Contest 2016:...

Steven Andresen: "Darwinian Universal The nature of the interaction between space and..." in Alternative Models of...

Steven Andresen: "Darwinian Universal The nature of the interaction between space and..." in Complexity levels and...

Steven Andresen: "Darwinian Universal The nature of the interaction between space and..." in Alternative Models of...

Steven Andresen: "Darwinian Universal The nature of the interaction between space and..." in Is the Past Infinite?

Steven Andresen: "Darwinian Universal The nature of the interaction between space and..." in Theories of Everything,...

click titles to read articles

Watching the Observers
Accounting for quantum fuzziness could help us measure space and time—and the cosmos—more accurately.

Bohemian Reality: Searching for a Quantum Connection to Consciousness
Is there are sweet spot where artificial intelligence systems could have the maximum amount of consciousness while retaining powerful quantum properties?

Quantum Replicants: Should future androids dream of quantum sheep?
To build the ultimate artificial mimics of real life systems, we may need to use quantum memory.

Painting a QBist Picture of Reality
A radical interpretation of physics makes quantum theory more personal.

The Spacetime Revolutionary
Carlo Rovelli describes how black holes may transition to "white holes," according to loop quantum gravity, a radical rewrite of fundamental physics.

June 28, 2017

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: Category and Reconciliation Errors by Georgina Woodward [refresh]
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Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Feb. 18, 2015 @ 20:31 GMT
Essay Abstract

While acknowledging the close correspondence of some aspects of nature and their mathematical description, attention is drawn to persistent errors in use of mathematics in physics. These are firstly category errors, not correctly differentiating or correctly identifying the elements of reality being considered. Einstein's Theory of Relativity is shown to foster a fundamental mis-identification, apparent via the associated paradoxes. Discussion of whether the Moon exists while not looking at it identifies lack of categorization as the fundamental problem. Schrödinger’s cat is examined with regard to category error. Mis-identification regarding polarized light and electron spin states is considered. Thus the need to categorize and clearly identify elements of reality under consideration is highlighted. Secondly error born inference from incomplete information, due to failure to reconcile elements of reality, and knowledge, across the Reality interface is considered. This is found in Quantum physics and has a parallel in the art of illusion. Entanglement is examined in this regard. An appeal is made to apply the Structure of reality as a framework in which mathematics in physics is restrained, unlike pure mathematics. Ending with the trick of taking a rabbit out of a hat without reality reconciliation, and after the Structure of reality diagram, shown with full reality reconciliation. The Reality in the Context of physics explanatory framework diagram is re-presented. Differentiating colors are used throughout to assist the reader. Lilac is just highlighting important points. Blue, yellow, orange correspond to those used on the structure of reality diagram provided. Showing which side the events and or elements of reality are located, with respect to the Reality interface and other aspects of reality. The actual structure of reality can not be simplified. I have attempted to make discussion concerning it and its use in physics clearer by use of symbolic notation, new diagram and color.

Author Bio

Biological Sciences honors graduate and fully qualified former teacher of secondary level Sciences including Physics. I have had a keen interest in the physics of Time for over 10 years. As Georgina Parry, (né Woodward), I developed the “Reality in the Context of Physics” explanatory framework approximately 5 years ago on the FQXi site. I have been a regular contributor to FQXi blog and forum discussions. Two of my previous FQXi competition essays reached the finals (and one was a near miss), including a 2014 4th prize for “Smooth Seas do not make Good Sailors”.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Feb. 19, 2015 @ 04:35 GMT
Dear Georgina,

You clearly state the problem in your discussion of Einstein's relativistic treatment of space-time. While I believe that he made a mistake to apply the term simultaneity to what is, in essence, a synchronicity problem, nevertheless you point out that the 'substantial Object' that triggers the observations is not identical to the sensed data, framed by local...

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Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Feb. 19, 2015 @ 06:58 GMT
Thank you Edwin for reading my essay and for your gracious comments. Glad to hear that you agree with those parts of the analysis you worked through, and agree that the unwritten future does not exist.

Thank you for the suggestion of reexamining the symbolic representation. I can see how a short hand version would be quicker to read and write once learned.

I will read your essay (I always do) and it sounds like this year we may have some common ground to understand and agree upon. Best wishes to you also, Georgina

Akinbo Ojo wrote on Feb. 19, 2015 @ 13:07 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I can see you have again brought your powerful 'Object and Image reality' tool to bear on the theme of this year's essay. I think you do so quite well, at least as a number of paradoxes appear capable of being resolved.

I tried the reference to Foucault's pendulum but it took me to a different page. I will try to find a way to view it through some other means.

As Edwin Klingman observed, the alphabetic codes can be quite challenging to follow, although the color scheme does help in certain places.

All the best in the competition.



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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Feb. 20, 2015 @ 01:43 GMT
Hi Akinbo, thank you for taking a look and for your feedback.

I am surprised that you also have found the alphabetic representation difficult. I am just using the first letter of the words I could have used instead, which makes it considerably easier to follow whats going on than whole extremely long descriptive sentences. I accept that an even shorter notation could have been used such as Ei for element of image reality and Eo for element of object reality, and other symbols for other terms but that would require having the key close to hand or prior learning.

I'm so glad to hear that you have found the colors helpful. I hoped it would be. The text does jump around a lot between different aspects of reality and its good to be able to keep ones bearings by noticing the color of the text. The same colors are also used on the diagrams, which can be used alongside to get ones bearings. I've just used blue for sensory data because it is a subset of object reality and its inclusion in object reality is most important.

All the best to you too Georgina

basudeba mishra wrote on Feb. 20, 2015 @ 05:23 GMT
Dear Madam,

Your first paragraph shows interconnectedness and as a result, interdependence, of everything with every other thing within a fixed framework. But the Grandfather paradox is fiction, because ‘now’ or ‘here-now’ is linked to ‘future’ in a different way than it is linked to the ‘past’. Space, Time and coordinates arise from our concept of sequence and interval....

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Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Feb. 20, 2015 @ 06:33 GMT

I had no desire to dumb down what is a very precise exploration of the relationship between the different facets of reality and how errors have been built into physics. The representation of the structure of reality has been simplified in the new diagram but still the older and much more complex diagrammatic presentation, showing more, is still entirely relevant.

I have used the symbolic (alphabetic) notation to avoid overly complex sentences and to show precision in the analysis. The colors in the text are there to assist the reader relate what is being said to the diagrams and the aspect of reality being discussed.

Re your question: "Can you give any example of an actualized event (must have been measured/observed by someone somewhere to be meaningful objective reality) without any reference frame?" Your question clearly shows, by your bracketed inclusion, that you have not grasped the main idea of the explanatory framework-I.e. separate facets of reality on different sides of the reality interface, that must be considered as different and not confused. All events are actualized prior to observation and thus at that time (I.e.Object universal configuration) have no reference frame applied.

Thank you for taking a look and for taking the trouble to feed back your discontent. Regards Georgina

Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Feb. 22, 2015 @ 10:39 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I read your essay with great interest. It is very important that you are a biologist. I have three questions:

1) You write: "This is found in Quantum physics and has a parallel in the art of illusion."

In the work "Modern physics and contemporary art - parallels of style" T.Romanovskaya says about the "crisis of interpretation and representation" in fundamental physics. Do you agree with this conclusion?

2) Do you agree with this inference of Albert Einstein: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." ?

3) In my picture of the Universe as a whole category of "ontological (structural, cosmic) memory - the central core. Physics, mathematics, biologists and poets should have unifying picture of the world, filled with all the senses of the "LifeWorld" (E.Husserl). And what is your opinion?

Kind regards,


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Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Feb. 23, 2015 @ 22:17 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

1/ Illusions, created by an illusionist, work primarily through cultivating misinterpretation due to incomplete information and misdirection. The essay points out these same mis-judgements in physics. There is misdirection due to category errors,( I.e. muddling up types or misinterpreting the aspect of reality under consideration) and not taking account of the Object reality source -of the observable measurements and other manifestations, (incomplete information)

I have been very precise in identifying where exactly the problems lie, thereby allowing solutions. Rather than just indicating that there are problems- in a general but indefinite way. I have not read Professor Tatiana Romanovskaya work that you cited and could not find it with a quick search. So I do not know what precisely her conclusion is to agree or disagree.Yes there are problems to do with representation and interpretation within physics and I have given specific examples.

2/ It really does depend on the circumstances, whether knowledge or imagination is more important. No one way of thinking suits all circumstances. I would like a mechanic to use his knowledge to fix my car not his imagination, though a good mechanic may be imaginative in the application of his knowledge.Where the knowledge needed to proceed is absent or inadequate, or there is no precedent imagination has an important role in generating novel outcomes and possible solutions. It can open up new paths to explore but there is no guarantee that the new path is the correct or best way to go.

3/ The essay concludes -"Physics must leave behind enchantment with mystery due to Incomplete reconciliation of information and misdirection of category errors; adopting the Essential structure of reality as a necessary framework for physics, not required by pure mathematics."

That necessary framework provides a whole facet of reality for experience generated from sensory input. Image reality - an emergent, 'other level', sub set of the Entirety of reality. Thank you for the questions. I look forward to reading your essay, Georgina

Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Feb. 24, 2015 @ 16:24 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Thank you for your comprehensive answer! Link to article Romanovskaya T.B.(in Russian). My high score.I look forward to your comments of my essay.

Kind regards,


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Sujatha Jagannathan wrote on Feb. 26, 2015 @ 17:42 GMT
Your subtleness purifies the concept from veracity.

With regards,

Miss. Sujatha Jagannathan

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Feb. 28, 2015 @ 13:00 GMT

You present an interesting concept. Many thanks. I certainly think the moon is there whether or not anyone is looking.

Since you are educated as a Biologist, I will assume that you are very knowledgeable regarding Chemistry. Would it be equally valid to apply the concept of equilibrium to quantum states? What I mean by this is that reversible conditions would have an equilibrium coefficient of 1.0 meaning that either side of the equation is equally valid. State changes that do not happen would have an equilibrium coefficient close to zero. State changes that are irreversible such as radio-active decay would have a coefficient that is extremely large.

A year or so ago, there was a "thermal event" at a low level nuclear waste storage facility. Kitty litter is used as an absorbent there and had been used to absorb an organic material or an oil or something similar. The kitty litter contained a nitrate salt. There was also some low-level nuclear waste present. The mixture was stored in a drum and sealed and placed in the storage area where it was not observed.

I don't know precisely what happened, but apparently the drum became hot. I don't know if it ruptured or caught fire or what but it became hot. My guess is that the radio-isotope decayed and released energy. The drum is large enough that the contents acted like a heat insulator. A localized spot reached a temperature that was above the ignition point for the organic-nitrate mixture and voila ... thermal event. The key point in my mind is that no one was watching the drum but Schrodinger's Cat is dead just the same.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 1, 2015 @ 04:56 GMT
Gary thank you for taking a look at the essay.

Both you and Edwin say that you think the Moon is there when you are not looking. I agree but only if talking about the substantial actualized object, that does not require observation to exist. The manifestation of the moon, that is seen, is not there when not looking- as it has not been fabricated by the observer's sensory system. The pedantic analysis was to demonstrate that the noun 'Moon' alone is insufficient to precisely address the question. The Moon that is seen, a 2D glowing disc is not the same thing as the absolute actualized source object.

I'm not sure what you mean by equally valid, if you mean the same thing I must disagree. Is this considering the whole solution as a superposition of states, because it is a mixture of them, and then selecting a particular molecule to sample? If so there is a switch going on there, some slight of hand, from something capable of being both states at once to something that can not. It is lack of knowledge of which molecule will be sampled that gives a quasi superposition of states for the individual molecule .I.E it could be represented as a superposition but in reality it isn't, only the whole mixture is both states at once. The falling coin is all states, heads tails and everything in between at once as no reference frame has been applied prior to measurement. I think they are superficially similar, both could be represented with probabilities of the different outcomes, but what is going on in foundational reality is quite different.

For an irreversible reaction such as radioactive decay there is no superposition of state but a definite change in Object reality from one to the other without the necessity of observer interaction, as described in the discussion of the cat, and your example of the heating barrel.I would be interested to know where and when that occurred as it is a nice illustration of the independence of the radioactive decay.

For a change that does not occur "apples into bananas" there is no superposition of state, it is what it is, an absolute actualization in Object reality, all that the apple 'might be seen to be' but not at all banana.

Thank you very much for the question. Regards, Georgina.

Gary D. Simpson replied on Mar. 1, 2015 @ 12:52 GMT
Here is a URL with some info on the nuclear waste leak. I originally saw it on the Drudge Report. I found the link below by using Dr Google with keywords nuclear waste leak kitty litter.

At another level, I think the question of observation vs non-observation is a question of energy exchange. Do I change as a result of absorbing a photon or other energy emitted by a source? Does the source change when the photon is observed?


Gary Simpson

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 1, 2015 @ 22:22 GMT
Hi Gary,

Thanks for further info. I will have to read your essay to fully understand your viewpoint on energy exchange.

It seems to me the observer may be significantly changed by absorption of a photon.With some provisos. It would have to be of the correct frequency for the particular cell to respond, as they contain different pigments and there would need to be sufficient quantity of them for a response to the event to occur.This particular photon could be the one 'tipping the balance' in favour of response. Can we see a single photon? It is a chemical change in the pigment within the rod or cone cell. Which can be the start of a series of events leading on to vision.

Does the source change when the photon is observed? According to my explanatory framework no, the source does not change upon observation but is entirely independent, on the Object reality side of the reality interface. The observer can use the sensory data received to update the Manifestation of the source that it fabricates, on the Image reality side of the reality interface. The Manifestation and the Absolute Actualized source object are not the same thing but different categories of elements of reality, belonging to separate facets of reality.

Regards, Georgina

Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Mar. 4, 2015 @ 00:48 GMT

Because of the speed limit of light in the universe, no two points of the moon are at the same moment. As such, it is not an object but an aggregate of matter across time.

This aggregate only becomes "Moon" when I look or consider it as being there all at once, in a moment of perception.

Yes, we make the Moon an object when it is not.


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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 4, 2015 @ 01:57 GMT
Hi Marcel, good to hear from you.

Points separated in space are separated in time if talking about a space-time universe such as the space time continuum.

However the framework that I am demonstrating works with a uni-temporal, same time everywhere, Object reality universe. Passage of time is change of that entire universe, configuration by configuration as described by J.C. N. Smith in his essay "Rethinking a key assumption about the nature of time",referenced at the end of my essay. There is only ever one time to be at, the configuration of the universe that exists. Future configurations have not come into existence and former configurations have been replaced by the one that exists at uni-temporal Now.

This is almost but not quite Presentism. The uni-temporal Now is 'in the future' relative to the experienced present because it takes time for light to travel between Source object and observer and be processed into observed output. That gives another facet of reality which consists of the space-time outputs fabricated from sensory data. Separated by the reality interface, where the processing from Object reality to Image reality occurs.

Within this explanatory framework the Object Moon has no temporal spread existing wholly and only at one time. There may be some slight temporal spread within the image reality manifestation of the Moon as data arriving at approximately the same time may be amalgamated into a single image. I don't have the information to hand to be more precise on that 'temporal window'. Though I am sure there is "batch processing" of received information, not a separate output for each minuscule instant of time.

As always we have our own incompatible viewpoints. I will enjoy reading your essay, Georgina

Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Mar. 5, 2015 @ 23:11 GMT
I read Lee Smolin's interesting essay yesterday and I have just read Matt Visser's essay, which is a good, worthwhile read. His prosaic, utilitarian view of mathematics got me thinking again about my own viewpoint, i.e. is it foundational or merely representational, which is not specifically expressed in my own essay. There were other matters of importance to discuss (and my home word counter is much harsher than FQXi's.)

So to fill that gap: I confess that having 'in the past' considered mathematics merely a language, I now hold the more romantic notion that: in a changing universe, rather than just the 'stuff' it is made of, it is at least as much the totality of unmeasured 'mathematical' relations between the elements of (Object)reality- that bestows its character, and provides the specific forces for change. (I think to reading Max Tegmark's shut up and Calculate" or reference to it. As he was saying words to the effect - if we strip everything away what we are left with is relations between abstract mathematical entities.) If it was asked;' which is more important substance or relation?' it would be hard to promote one over the other. Thinking about chemistry it is the form of molecules, the internal and external relations that gives their characteristic properties and behaviour not just the constituent elements.

There is of course a difference between mathematics 'in vivo', in the wild, just as the living organism in vivo is different from the one (however accurately) described on paper.Can there be such a thing as wild mathematics rather than imagined and written,belonging to different facets of reality- I'd like to think so. Wild mathematics is the absolute relations themselves between elements of object reality independent of observation. Though there are also relations that can be discerned between the images produced from selected data, ie between elements of image reality. Perhaps this could be called 'observable' mathematics. These relations and the imagination of them leading to symbolic representation, 'captive' mathematics, belonging to knowledge on the Image reality side of the interface. Complicated by the need to further differentiate- The understanding of the symbols belongs to knowledge on the image reality side, though the ink on paper or pixels on the screen are Object reality.

The captive mathematics notation and comprehension appears on both sides the interface but truly wild mathematics, that 'runs' the Object universe, is entirely independent of observers and minds.

I suppose rather like the Moon problem before attempting to reach consensus on what mathematics is and its effectiveness it is necessary to differentiate the different meanings of the word mathematics. Do we mean: "wild'mathematical relations, observed mathematical relations, abstract mental concepts, 'captive' notations/representations and mathematical operations, or disciplines.

Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 15, 2015 @ 21:42 GMT
I wrote the following over on Sylvia Wenmackers thought provoking essay. She had talked of us only being able to think the thinkable, and the corresponding impossibility of thinking the unthinkable.It may be helpful to readers of my own essay, as it is about absolute actualizations, objects existing independently of observation.

[Re thinking the unthinkable- I think we can think about the unthinkable without actually being able to think it : ) If I look at a cup I see one viewpoint of it. However emanating from its surface is potential sensory data- that has the potential to give many different views. The whole truth of what it, the object, is would be like taking all of that data at once, not a tiny sub set, and forming an image. If an amalgamated manifestation is formed showing all viewpoints at once, the many different outputs would not allow clear definition of any singular form -too much information at once would cause the image to be a blur.

So while we can imagine viewpoints not seen individually we can not imagine all of them at once. The source of all potential manifestations, the object, is not altered by which manifestations of it are or are not fabricated. So the source object might be considered to be before and after observation in a superposition of all orientations, relative to all possible observers. Only when a manifestation is formed by an observer is it thought to be as it is seen -one viewpoint rather than all. This is a transition across a reality interface, the observers sensory system in this case, ( that transition corresponding to hypothetical wave function collapse ) from what is independent of observation to what is observed to be. Leaning not towards an abstract Platonic realm of perfect mathematical objects, that you mention, but a realm of concrete absolute source objects and complete information.]G.W.

Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 19, 2015 @ 18:14 GMT

Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. I see you now have a far better fundamental understanding of the propositions of QM.

You suggested you had a different explanation of the '3 Filter' experiment. I confess that worried me as the Zeilinger et al analysis is finally coherent. It seems however your description remains consistent with that, which is good, but that your...

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 19, 2015 @ 20:20 GMT
Hi Peter,

thank you so much for taking a look at what I have produced this year. I was beginning to think that I wouldn't get any more readers.

I have concentrated on two fundamental errors in the application of mathematics to physics. Category error and reconciliation errors.

Category error in relativity leads directly to the Grandfather paradox. Recognizing this allows simple non contrived negation of it. No need for special rules of non interference or branching into alternative world lines.

Though I have keep the essay matter of fact and not ventured into related psychological and emotional territory I will say here - The Grandfather paradox and the whole idea of the past remaining in the space-time continuum, and for that matter a preordained future already within the space time continuum is utterly abhorrent and needs to be shown as the falsehood that it is.

Abuse, torture and atrocity were not woven into the fabric of the space time continuum at the beginning of time to be encountered there, and remaining there, but are conducted in the here and -Now by humans with some degree of self determination and ability for self restraint. Perpetrators can excuse their actions,saying it is preordained and victims find it very hard to express self determination when told it doesn't exist. Hard determinism is anathema to personal morality and responsibility. A very, very bad foundation for society.

The determinism I talk of the "pre-written future" is not of that kind as it relates only to events that have actually already occurred in the Object universe not events yet to come to pass.I also don't deny that we very often act 'on autopilot', "thinking fast" as Daniel Kahnman says, as many of our actions do not require thinking effort. The majority of humans also have the ability to "think slow", censoring speech and actions to fit within societal norms, if they choose to do so.

The other matter is the incompleteness of our models and how that skews our thinking about reality. The explanatory framework provides the missing environment in which foundational physics is occurring, overcoming magical thinking and the contradiction of relativity and quantum physics.

I didn't go into Bells experiment specifically but did show a rabbit magically appearing from a hat when there is no reconciliation with an observer independent Object reality. A different trick. And as you say, I have produced the structure mathematics should follow -if it is describing the reality we inhabit corporeally and mentally. That is an advance over anywhere the maths goes.

Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 30, 2015 @ 02:18 GMT
I should have been more precise-

I wrote "The Grandfather paradox and the whole idea of the past remaining in the space-time continuum, and for that matter a preordained future already within the space time continuum is utterly abhorrent and needs to be shown as the falsehood that it is." Perhaps I should have written 'past [concrete event itself]..and preordained [concrete future]...

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Peter Jackson replied on Apr. 6, 2015 @ 11:55 GMT

I agree your characterisation. My locally real 'discrete field' model identifies and analyses an important distinction between 'causal' and 'deterministic', which are confused in current interpretations so leading to much of the nonsense. Your work is highly compatible.

I've found resolving the conundrums of nature is the easy part. Waiting for the biological entities needed to absorb and decode it to evolve and use a more logic based intellect requires great patience so seems rather harder.

Over to you! I'll just wait till 2020 and try again.

You seemed to be dropping so I've just applied your score. Best of luck


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Lorraine Ford wrote on Mar. 19, 2015 @ 22:39 GMT
Hi Georgina,

I'm glad you have brought up this important issue in your essay. I think of this issue in terms of "subjective/objective" views on reality.

I've been thinking about what you said, and you seemingly don't use the term "subject" because you are saying that there is something objectively true about subjective "image reality": is this what you are saying? Also, are you saying that there are 2 separate realities "object reality" and "image reality", or are they just different points of view in the same reality?

Another question I had was: what is going on underneath this "object reality" and "image reality" i.e. what is going on at the particle level in this situation?

I find that every essay is always a struggle to understand another person’s point of view! So I wish you could find a way to simplify your terms!



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Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 00:57 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

thank you for reading the essay and for your questions.

Object reality is the concrete reality of actual particles and actualised (made acual) objects. (Not to be confused with multi or inter -subjective objective reality.) Object reality is not directly accessible because we have to explore it via our senses and sometimes also via apparatus of some kind. The output of...

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Member Rick Searle wrote on Mar. 22, 2015 @ 20:38 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I am glad to see you in the contest again this year. Although I can't say I grasped all the technical details, I must say that I greatly appreciate someone of your intelligence taking a stand against determinism in physics or anywhere else.

Given my background, I wrote a more qualitative essay. Please take the time to check it out, tell me what you think, and give me your vote:

Best of luck in the contest!

Rick Searle

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Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 23, 2015 @ 19:02 GMT
Dear Georgina

I just posted a reply to your comment on my essay about Platonism. It is on my own forum, under your comment. I started to read your essay and already see the same discussion can be continued on the basis of this new dimension.

Best regards


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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Mar. 24, 2015 @ 05:50 GMT
I've read through your essay..

But I think I'll need to look at this one at least once more, to fully make sense of it, Georgina. The highlighting of various colors brings clarity in some places, and confuses or makes me wish you used yet another color in other places. In general; the message came through, but it will take time to decipher some of the abbreviations in your logical notation. You seem to be serving a noble end here, but with only partial communication of your message and perhaps a little confusion of your own.

I really like that you map out the difference between the object reality and what is observable or observed, but I see a tendency to use certain terminology of quantum mechanics in a relativistic setting and vice versa. Now, I acknowledge that there are no isolated systems and that we are operating within a quantum relativistic framework all the time, but certain concepts or descriptive metaphors have a limited range of applicability for a reason. So I'd like to ask a question relating to the opening elucidation of a category error.

In relation to that paragraph; how should we consider the size of a proton? In an abstract sense; placing it in an empty space apart from observers or interactions with other particles that could constitute measurement, it has no size. But in lab experiments an in the nucleus; we know it takes up a particular amount of space. We can probe it with a smaller particle, like an electron. However; recent experiments show that the size we obtain using electrons is a little different from the number we get when scientists use muons as a probe instead.

So sometimes the object / observable distinction, is hard to exactly delineate. How does the above example fit your schema?

All the Best,


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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 24, 2015 @ 21:40 GMT
Hi Jonathan,

many thanks for reviewing the essay.I will give a two part answer. General matters here and then re. your measurement question in the next.

I'm glad the highlighting was at least partially useful. I haven't used the full range of colours on the diagrams in the text. Most important for me was clarifying the Object / Image reality distinction. As for the data pool...

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 24, 2015 @ 22:26 GMT
Hi Jonathan, part two.

The Object reality should not be confused with objective reality. It is perhaps unfortunate they sound similar- I've been using the term for too long to change it now. Objective reality is multi or inter-subjective Image reality , where many measurement or observations by one or many observers gives a 'reliable' output. Eg. many measurements of a single dimension with a ruler of any object will generally be regarded as an objective, reliable measurement.(I'll come back to that idea later)

The outcome of measurements are on the Image reality side, they are what we see. As you have probably experienced trying to measure the height of a liquid in a measuring flask, where the observer is situated relative to the scale can affect the outcome, as can the judgement of where on the meniscus to measure. It should always be read at the bottom of the meniscus at eye level-but the point is its a subjective call.As is the measurement of a quantity on an analogue weighing scale. The measurement is relative to the observer position.

You own examples of measuring coast lines illustrates another facet of the subjectivity of measurement. Outcome depends upon the scale of the measuring device. There has to be a subjective call as to what scale of measurement is good enough. Coming back to the objective ruler measurement- the result though objective can not be considered absolute reality because the measurement may have been in inches, what if its done in cm? or mm? or microns? or angstroms? A convenient scale can be selected if the aim is only gross comparison of something against other things measured at the same scale. But as you and others demonstrate the greater the complexity of an object's perimeter the greater its length if measured at an appropriately small scale. The complex Object does not have just one measurement that fully describes what it is like. Not only is the scale of measurement important but where on the object the measurement is made. As over or past this or that bump, and into or past this or that crevice could make a significant difference to the outcome.

We see images of things, and can have knowledge of things because output is fabricated from sensory data input. If it is necessary to produce data (as in your proton experiment example) in order to 'see' or measure a thing then the output is Image reality. The representation fabricated is not the Object itself. Just because a measurement is objective we should not regard it as absolutely true but only representative- and relative to how the measurement was made.

Thank you for bringing up the subject of scale and measurement as without your prompting I would most probably not given it so much thought.

Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 30, 2015 @ 05:37 GMT
Thanks for the thoughtful comments Georgina..

Also thanks for the comment sending me here. I'm needing sleep now, but I will consider your explanations when there is ample time.

All the best,


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Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Apr. 25, 2015 @ 05:51 GMT
I am grateful to those people who took the time to read my essay and comment.

Its a pity no one wanted to ask about or pick out where the explanations could have been clearer. The key for understanding the alphabetic 'equations' is on the first, new diagram. I was short of space and characters my own counter much stricter than FQXi's. It would have helped if it was given prior to using that precise shorthand code.

One good question would have been why is the live cat observable Absolute and not limited fixed state. Having thought about this I was mistaken in equating the live cat object with the observable itself. The observable is that part of the live cat from which sensory data is emitted and from which the observed manifestation will be formed. It is not the whole of the cat and is only that part from which data is received by the observer on first opening the box. Making it limited and fixed at observation- the state of the cat surface corresponding to the sensory data emitted does not change. Likewise upon reflection I would rather denote the dead cat observable, that part of the dead cat seen only, as a limited fixed state produced upon observation, rather than as the Absolute dead cat object.

This also raises the issue that this is a scenario evolving over time and so it would have been useful to mark the different times as T1 through to T5 going from initial content to output, emergent reality produced by the observer's processing of received sensory data.As I do on the attached document.

The purpose of the analysis was to show that the analogy is inadequate as a representation of superposition of states.Which I think it still does without the improvements.

attachments: Cat_in_the_box_revisited_with_times.pdf

Author Georgina Woodward replied on Apr. 25, 2015 @ 06:15 GMT
Also of relevance is the following:

Wave function collapse is switching from a theoretical superposition of isolated observables (outcomes), not yet formed, as a Definite Fixed State observable is produced upon observation; to a definite limited fixed state manifestation in space-time, emergent, reality. What exists in Object reality, prior to measurement, are proto- observables conjoined...

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Apr. 25, 2015 @ 06:18 GMT
In the case of the unseen spinning, falling coin the possible outcome states are conjoined with the substantial matter of the coin and its flux as it falls and spins. The Object reality of the coin is thus providing real, substantial, carrier wave of the proto-observables. That upon interaction with the measurement protocol gives just one definite observable because the material-flux carrier...

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Jun. 10, 2015 @ 22:53 GMT
Re the cat in the box observable. I think it is OK as written as it is identified as an observable (that which will be observed and not the entire cat object). Though it could be made clearer. The scenarios for observable formation the two cats alive and dead are not the same. The dead cat observable can be said to form when the cat is dead and no longer moving. That part of the cat that will be seen when the box opens is determined at that time. However for the live cat the observable is only formed upon opening the box as it is the part of the live cat facing the observer at that time that is the observable. While still shut inside the box the cat can move and so the observable is not determined.So it would not be incorrect to say for the live cat that, as the observable is undetermined, it is in an absolute state as an alternative to saying it has not yet been formed. But the dead cat observable is a determined limited fixed state as soon as the cat ceases to move. (So long as the delay in opening the box is not too long.)So is probably best identified as such.

Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Apr. 26, 2015 @ 10:25 GMT
Re.the Andromeda paradox. This explanation applies to a universe in which there is a foundational uni-temporal, absolute space Object reality (This is like Present-ism but preceding the observed present which is the output of sensory data processing and thus delayed relative to uni-temporal Now Object reality:and there is an an emergent space time reality that co-exists within Object reality as another distinct facet of reality.

The Object reality or source reality, and Image reality experienced present manifestation are not synchronized. When an event is observed via its manifestations is variable, but when an event happens in the source Object reality is definite, and uni-temporal as that event having happened in Object reality is true for all locations.

The observer walking towards Andromeda would receive the potential sensory data sooner than an Earth bound observer. So even though no invasion data is yet received as Andromeda is too far away it can be said that for the walking observer the potential sensory data emitted from the invasion events on Andromeda are nearer to him than the Earth bound observer. This does not however mean the source event occurred sooner. The source event occurs only once and the time of that occurrence (iteration of the Object universe within the imaginary past sequence of iterations is unique and unchangeable).

Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Apr. 26, 2015 @ 10:44 GMT
Category and Reconciliation Errors


A.. Actualized, a substantial element of reality.

Ab.. absolute, no singular reference frame applied.

Category error.. failure to correctly identify or discriminate between different kinds of element of reality belonging to the different facets of reality.

Definite.. certain and un-altering

EOIR.. element of Image reality.

EOOR.. element of Object reality, not same as objective reality.

Image reality.. emergent output reality from sensory data /measurement processing, Individual observer specific or objective via shared output or shared sensory data input.

L.. Limited (partial sample)

FS ...Fixed state.. a selection giving one un-altering state

MS.. Mixed state..a selection containing more than one state

Manifestation .. Output of sensory data processing

O Observable

Object reality.. foundational, source reality of substantial objects and particles and potential sensory data.

Objective reality.. Multi-observer corroborated Image reality

PSD.. Potential sensory data

R..related to

Reality interface..Interface between object reality and image reality where input sensory data is converted to output manifestations.

The Prime reality Interface is the human sensory system inc. CNS. That converts input sensory data from Object reality into experienced present manifestation.

S.. source, a substantial EOOR that is source of the potential sensory data under consideration.

Subjective reality...Personal experience of Image reality

Pre-written future.. PSD within the environment that may be received by an observer and be processed into experienced present.

Un-written future..Imaginary future that has no substantial existence.

Uni-temporal.. singular universal time of Object reality. Passage of time being the change in configuration of the Object universe, only the youngest arrangement having substantial existence. The sequence of arrangements is imaginary (it has no substantial reality).

Here I have used O for observable rather than theta used in the essay and diagram. I thought O might be confused with Object, which is S for source, but thinking about it some mire theta might be even more confusing as it already has a number of other uses in mathematics and various branches of science.

Author Georgina Woodward wrote on May. 12, 2015 @ 02:11 GMT
Interestingly the explanatory framework with two different facets of reality implies a wave matter duality underlying that. The matter component is the objects made of atoms, where as the wave component is the sensory data produced through interaction of the object with the surrounding environment.

For a man that is his substantial body made of atoms AND the potential sensory data emitted from his body and clothing spreading out in space around him. That can be intercepted by an observer at one of a variety of positions or by several different observers at different positions around him and be formed into a manifestation or manifestations of the man. Each manifestation giving a representation of an aspect of the topology of the man as it is made from the subset of data received by that observer at that position and time.

Both the man made of atoms and the wave sensory data are real phenomena and in everyday conversation both the Object man made of atoms, forming blood flesh bones and organs and the image manifestation of the man that is seen would be referred to as 'the man' or more likely the man's name as he is a person. There isn't in general parlance differentiation between the two phenomena, the two aspects of the wave matter duality.

For a single particle such as an electron it is likely the interaction of the effect of the particles own motion with the effect of the vibration of the atoms of the apparatus that gives the waves able to interfere and thence influence the final destination of the particle. Once again interaction of the matter with the surrounding environment.

The given framework has a place for atoms unlike the space-time continuum which only includes the observed product of intercepted em waves, thus missing one complete facet of reality.

Author Georgina Woodward replied on May. 13, 2015 @ 02:50 GMT
I realize I misrepresented the space time continuum idea in that last post. It arose from Einstein's work on special relativity which is concerned with the recipient of EM sensory data and the reality output from that, manifestations. That is consistent with the explanatory framework I am setting out as it is regarding Image reality.

By 1907 Minkowski realized that the special...

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Anonymous replied on May. 14, 2015 @ 01:10 GMT
Nowadays we are not limited to drawing flat diagrams on paper but have the advantage of being able to represent matters as CGI. Computer generated representation of 3 dimensional space that can be orientated by the viewer can be used to represent changing configurations of Object realty.

Light sensory data can be depicted spreading out from the substantial Source objects. Different colours can be used to represent the iteration in which each set of sensory data had its origin IE the "time" represented by the data.

A suitable interval between colour changes can be selected to give the best, clearest representation although it should for accuracy probably be the limit of human discrimination between individual images that can be slowed down for the purpose of gleaning what is occurring within the representation. The data received for each observer line of sight (the angle of his visual field as he is not receiving data from all 360 degrees around him ) can be shown by what colour data from which sources intersects his location within the visual field.

The colour used to depict the observer will always be the colour of the youngest iteration which is uni-temporal -Now but the data he is receiving, that changes with his position and orientation in space, is of different colours.

The historical view, what the observer has been seeing can be reviewed by looking back over his different coloured existences, as individual uni.-Now times. Or it can be reviewed as a movie showing evolution of the sensory data distributions and from that the evolution of the observers experienced present.It would be interesting to not only replay his experienced present but to also select to show, superimposed, the coexisting Object reality by showing the location of all objects (without showing their sensory data output, that have the same uni-temporal-Now colour as the observer.

Two different observers can be put into the space simulation and their data selection and hence experienced presents compared. The temporal spread within each experienced present will be clear from, the different colours of data received and the non simultaneity of evets between two different observers will be clear from the differences in the colours of their respective received data.

I think that is quite clearly explained but I am happy to answer questions on it. I could try to create that simulation but it will take me a long time as I am new to 3D modeling. Perhaps putting together a professional CGI presentation for public presentation and educational purposes is something FQXi might consider worthy of a grant.

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on May. 14, 2015 @ 01:15 GMT
Anonymous replied on May. 14, 2015 @ 01:10 GMT is me, Georgina

Author Georgina Woodward wrote on May. 27, 2015 @ 02:13 GMT
I' m posting these relevant posts about time here with my essay so they do not become lost in the mass of discussion pages. I think they are further indications of the utility of the explanatory framework and of the problem with accepting mathematical theory at 'face value'. This understanding of time overcomes Grandfather, barn pole, Andromeda, and Man riding light beam paradoxes.

The first reply comes after a discussion of a man riding a light beam.

Georgina Woodward replied on May. 24, 2015 @ 01:01 GMT

Akinbo, All

Akinbo you make a good point regarding the existence of a photon when "time stops". I will address that issue.

The problem here is lack of differentiation of different kinds of time.

There needs to be at least 4 kinds acknowledged and differentiated in physics, though there are more kinds of time if we include different representations of time such as time that only exists mathematically, internal biologically time, as kept by circadian rhythms adjusted by light exposure times: important for biological organisms, and "Father time" that only exists symbolically and mentally.

The kinds of time important for physics are:

1. time in foundational Object reality, that is passage of time synonymous with the sequential change in configuration of the Object universe. OR.configuration time. Any highly regular sequential change with unchanging accuracy of repetition can be use to represent this such as clock time but only very close to the position of a stationary observer, to avoid significant data transmission and processing delay and affects of motion upon the timekeeping of the clock. This can be likened to "Proper time".

2. time information carried by potential sensory EM data primarily (but also other forms of sensory data ) in Object reality, OR. data time.

3. The time as experienced by an organism or displayed by a processing device. Which is Image reality time. It may be helpful to split that time into outputs that retain the data receipt order and those that do not necessarily.

That's a Basic IR. time and a subjective IR. time.

Now as regards the "stopped" photon. That it is stopped is the relative perception of the observer travelling with it. Yes from that perspective the photon ceases to have a frequency or wavelength because the observer is travelling with the wave keeping pace with it. But the photons in the beam are not themselves changed. There is no Basic IR. or subjective IR.Passage of time that can be formed from the photons in that reference frame.So in that respect there is no time. However the photon beam is still carrying OR. data time that could give Basic or subjective IR. time output to observer's crossed by it's path not travelling with it. Also there is still the foundational OR. configuration time: Object universal passage of time in which these scenarios are happening, that is independent of relative perceptions and data transmission.

That time is both stopped and not stopped is only paradoxical if no differentiation between kinds of time is made.

Georgina Woodward replied on May. 24, 2015 @ 06:34 GMT

I just need to add to my previous post that: OR.configuration time is not affected by gravitation or motion , unlike Einstein's proper time. time and subsequent Basic IR. time is affected due to the curving of the EM data paths within a gravitational field and the Doppler effect. If substantial atomic clocks themselves are running slow when in motion as shown by a permanent change in time shown compared to a relatively stationary clock it is necessary to separately categorize clock time, for moving clocks.

Author Georgina Woodward replied on May. 27, 2015 @ 02:26 GMT
Georgina Woodward replied on May. 24, 2015 @ 23:30 GMT

Steve, All,

Steve wrote" Sensation of time delays and other kinds of changes in objects are from where space and motion emerge." I agree with this with the proviso that this is emergent Image reality space and motion and not the external, foundational Object reality.

Steve also wrote " The two dimensions of absolute and relative times ......" The object universe doesn't have a time dimension being only the youngest iteration of a sequence of configurations that can be imagined but do not have substantial existence. This structure is important for overcoming Grandfather like paradoxes. The time line along which the sequence of configurations can be imagined is imaginary though it can still be useful to illustrate during which iteration an event occurred. Potential sensory data spread within the Object reality environment provides the semblance of a time dimension as it encodes events that have occurred 'over time' within it. But it is just sensory data spread within Object reality space. The output IR. basic or subjective is a space time output because it contains manifestations formed from data taking different lengths of time (iterations of the Object universe ) to arrive together or very close together, the further away the object the further back in time the origin of the data forming the image, and in that sense it has a time dimension.

.................................... shortened

Author Georgina Woodward replied on May. 27, 2015 @ 02:27 GMT
Replying to Steve's puzzlement regarding my avoidance of the term dimension, choosing to give a description instead.

Georgina Woodward replied on May. 25, 2015 @ 04:41 GMT

Steve, All,

simple words are fine when they accurately describe what is being discussed. If the word doesn't fit an alternative description is required.

If we consider block time; that 4D geometric...

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