Search FQXi


If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at forums@fqxi.org with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Contests Home

Current Essay Contest


Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fnd.

Previous Contests

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American

read/discusswinners

How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams
read/discusswinners

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
read/discusswinners

Forum Home
Introduction
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help
RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Ines Samengo: on 4/10/17 at 0:16am UTC, wrote Hi, Conrad, thanks a lot for your positive words. I will begin by replying...

Ines Samengo: on 4/9/17 at 2:33am UTC, wrote Hmmmpf, anonymous is me!

Anonymous: on 4/9/17 at 2:32am UTC, wrote > By the way, the idea that the universe only makes sense “no more...

Ines Samengo: on 4/7/17 at 13:00pm UTC, wrote Hi, Don, thanks for the post! Working on the answer, coming soon! inés.

Ines Samengo: on 4/7/17 at 12:59pm UTC, wrote Hi, Conrad, thanks for the post! Working on the answer, coming soon! inés.

Ines Samengo: on 4/7/17 at 12:50pm UTC, wrote Hi, Marc, thanks for the post! Working on the answer, coming soon! inés.

Dizhechko Semyonovich: on 4/7/17 at 10:45am UTC, wrote Dear Sirs! Physics of Descartes, which existed prior to the physics of...

Ines Samengo: on 4/6/17 at 23:17pm UTC, wrote Good! A lot of material to read in the near future!


RECENT FORUM POSTS

Jonathan Dickau: "As it turns out... My personal philosophy specifically treats the notion..." in FQXi Essay Contest 2016:...

Jonathan Dickau: "I agree Lorraine, I've never been so much a fan of the 'paragon of..." in FQXi Essay Contest 2016:...

Quantum Antigravity: "EXPERIMENTAL quantum Anti-gravity —..." in The Myth of Gravity

Pentcho Valev: "Money for teleology and silly songs only? The teleology contest is a..." in Towards a Goal — Two...


RECENT ARTICLES
click titles to read articles

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.

Riding the Rogue Quantum Waves
Could giant sea swells help explain how the macroscopic world emerges from the quantum microworld? (Image credit: MIT News)


FQXi FORUM
April 24, 2017

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: The role of the observer in goal-directed behavior by Ines Samengo [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Ines Samengo wrote on Mar. 1, 2017 @ 20:06 GMT
Essay Abstract

In goal-directed behavior, a large number of possible initial states end up in the pursued goal. The accompanying information loss implies that goal-oriented behavior is in one-to-one correspondence with an open subsystem whose entropy decreases in time. Yet ultimately, the laws of physics are reversible, so entropy variations are necessarily a consequence of the way a system is described. In order to reconcile different levels of description, systems capable of yielding goal-directed behavior must transfer the information about initial conditions to other degrees of freedom outside the boundaries of the agent. To operate steadily, they must consume ordered degrees of freedom provided as input, and be dispensed of disordered outputs that act as wastes from the point of view of the aimed objective. Broadly speaking, hence, goal-oriented behavior requires metabolism, even if conducted by non-living agents. Here I argue that a physical system may or may not display goal-directed behavior depending on what exactly is defined as the agent. The borders of the agent must be carefully tailored so as to entail the appropriate information balance sheet. In this game, observers play the role of tailors: They design agents by setting the limits of the system of interest. Their computation may be iterated to produce a hierarchy of ever more complex agents, aiming at increasingly sophisticated goals, as observed in darwinian evolution. Brain-guided subjects perform this creative observation task naturally, implying that the observation of goal-oriented behavior is a goal-oriented behavior in itself. Minds evolved to cut out pieces of reality and endow them with intentionality, because ascribing intentionality is an efficient way of modeling the world, and making predictions. One most remarkable agent of whom we have indisputable evidence of its goal-pursuing attitude is the self. Notably, this agent is simultaneously the subject and the object of observation.

Author Bio

Ines Samengo has a PhD in Physics, after which she switched to computational neuroscience, with a HFSP postoc with Prof. Alessandro Treves (Trieste), and then an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship with Prof. Andreas Herz (Berlin). She presently works in Bariloche, Argentina, as a researcher of CONICET, applying information-theoretical tools and dynamical-systems theory to the analysis of neural activity in behaving animals, aiming at disclosing the relevant features in the encoding and transmission of sensory information. She is also a professor in Instituto Balseiro, in charge of “Probability and Stochastic Processes” and “Information Theory” in Engineering in Telecommunications.

Download Essay PDF File




Lee Bloomquist wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 01:08 GMT
Professor Samengo,

I truly enjoyed reading your essay. I suspect that you would be interested in "apoptosis" in the olfactory system— which learns new smells, which is always learning new smells.

This system depends on the breath, begins with the scent of self, involves neurons, involves consciousness, involves intention. For example, a person whose olfactory system has not become...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 01:48 GMT
Thanks for your comments, I will follow the trails you mention about olfaction and informationalism. Best!




Kigen William Ekeson wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 09:56 GMT
Dear Professor Samengo,

Thanks for your well written and insightful essay. Wonderful to read the perspectives of one in your field of research.

In your essay, you emphasize the importance of the observer in prescribing agency. However, in all of the examples you repeatedly mention, only the self-driving car is not itself an animate entity. But, i think that a strong argument can be...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 11:07 GMT
Hi, thanks for your thoughts! In my essay, I focused in systems exhibiting agency (those where entropy decreases) in general terms. I avoided focusing in animate systems, because outside religious beliefs, I would not truly know how to define them. Where to draw the line? A virus can be thought of as a type of robot, albeit not constructed by us: A small machine devoted to well-programmed actions...

view entire post




Kigen William Ekeson replied on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 12:49 GMT
Hi Ines,

Thanks for your reply.

Hmm. I had never thought of the term 'animate' as having religious connotations...i should check my bible more often ;) However, i do like your way of describing them as systems where entropy decreases...at least to an extent.

That is, don't viruses then qualify as systems exhibiting agency? Clearly, their action expresses regulation/control...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 19:42 GMT
I guess you focus goal on self-perpetuation, thereby imposing some qualitative constraints, whereas I work with just the quantitative constraint of entropy reduction. I do so, because I have no clear notion of what are the ultimate requirements to be alive, so I am not sure how to define survival. Is a single RNA molecule that self-replicates alive? Ideas and cultural traits can self-replicate,...

view entire post





Anonymous wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 17:59 GMT
Professor Samengo,

Quite a cogent piece that profoundly raises deep questions about self, goals, and the relations of the animate and inanimate. "Physics does not make sense, observers make sense of it." and "Life may not even be fundamentally different from non-life." Your opening paragraph intermixes images of life (dogs, owls, soccer players and self-driving cars) and non-life, though...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 19:49 GMT
Hi, James,

> Generally, living organisms seek order, but as we age we lose order

I sadly agree...

> Reproduction is a way of sustaining a replacement order for your DNA which

> provides a solid foundation for storing and exhibiting order?

I would say yes, and add that we can not only reproduce biologically (making children), but also culturally:...

view entire post




James Lee Hoover replied on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 00:46 GMT
Professor Samengo,

Hope you check out my essay.

Jim

report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 12:07 GMT
I will certainly do so, just give me a bit of time, it's hard to keep up. Best! ines.




James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 18:01 GMT
Me above

report post as inappropriate


Gary D. Simpson wrote on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 04:44 GMT
Ines,

GOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLL!

Many artists attempt to draw self-portraits. So they draw themselves. Then they draw themselves drawing themselves and they try to do this recursively. You have observed yourself observing yourself. Bravissima!

A concept I had not adequately considered is the ability of the observer to define the system boundaries ... as a chemical engineer, I have...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 12:06 GMT
Ha, ha! Touche'! You caught me in an infinite loop of recursive narcissism! I will look into your essay as soon as I find a bit of time...

best! ines.




Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 07:51 GMT
dear ines,

"Therefore, entropy reduction and goal-oriented behavior are in a

one-to-one correspondence."

hooray! it is a relief to find someone else who has this same premise also be part of their essay. also i love that you also use maxwell's demon as well: it's such a well-known and simple model that helpfully demonstrates how entropy can be beaten with simple...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 11:54 GMT
Thanks! More comments at your page. Best, ines.




Natesh Ganesh wrote on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 20:24 GMT
Professor Ines,

A very interesting essay. Enjoyed it a lot reading it. I do agree with you on the importance of observers and the observer's demarcation of what the system is. Thought the following line is very interesting "What is interesting in goal-directed behavior if the observer is allowed to engineer the very definition of the agent, in order to get the desired result? Plants grow...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 20:28 GMT
Hi Natesh, I actually read your essay, and liked it a lot. Congratulations, good work!




Author Ines Samengo wrote on Mar. 5, 2017 @ 11:31 GMT
Hi, Ganesh – I feel a bit like having 2 personalities, by writing here and also at your place. If the mapping between inputs and outputs loses no entropy, then it is injective (or has random components, which does not fit the idea of a goal). In injective mappings, the input is equal to the output, except perhaps for a reassignment of the names of the variables. I believe that an important...

view entire post





James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 16:33 GMT
Professor Ines,

Thank you for your kind words about my essay. You mention: "Do the forces of energy given off by plasma, a fourth stage of matter, in fact, about 99% of normal matter in the universe, replicate and restructure in the form of dark matter?" It seems like a wild speculative proposal and I don't think it has been proposed by those seeking the source of dark matter. Nevertheless,...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 17:13 GMT
Dear Professor Ines Samengo,

Please excuse me for I have no intention of disparaging in any way any part of your essay.

I merely wish to point out that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate.

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 23:12 GMT
Dear Samengo,

Nice essay on Neuron sciences ,

Your ideas and thinking are excellent… “Observers learn how to observe, and they do so within the framework of learning theory [7]. They are first exposed to multiple examples of the process, that act as the training set.”

……………………..There are observers in our brain, one form picture of pen thro eye, another...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Robert Groess wrote on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 22:54 GMT
Dear Professor Ines Samengo,

Thank you for a delightful, creative and enjoyable essay. From your comment to me a few days ago I notice we share a few references that reveal a deep connection between thermodynamics and information processing. The perspective you provide on your multiple examples of goal directed behavior is thought provoking and have been wondering if there may ultimately be a fundamental connection with your conclusion and the measurement problem in quantum mechanics?

I just wanted to let you know I have voted for your essay - thank you again for the read.

Regards

Robert

report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 01:16 GMT
Wow, great question! Let me try to brainstorm a bit about it – all improvised, I confess.

Indeed, the two situations seem to have some similarities. The Copenhagen interpretation of QM claims that observation collapses the wavefunction. The act of observation, hence, produces a new reality that would not be there, had no observation been made. In my essay, I claim that agents are also a...

view entire post




Robert Groess replied on Mar. 22, 2017 @ 04:08 GMT
Hey Inés,

Thank you very much for your detailed brainstorm, and I must apologize for my tardy reply. (I was fully expecting the website to let me know when my questions are answered on forums. That should teach me!) I agree with what you are saying.

As regards your question at the end, "Is it not surprising that relativity, and QM, and thermodynamics all point out to an active role...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Apr. 3, 2017 @ 00:59 GMT
Hi Robert (this time it was me who took a while to reply!). Sure, time is at the bottom of everything, I wish I had a clearer image of it...

> all of that would be useless if not for observers who can process such information to make sense of the universe.

Yes, this is one way to answer your question about the measurement problem, and is tightly related to the question "If a tree...

view entire post





Conrad Dale Johnson wrote on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 15:59 GMT
Ines,

This is a very interesting argument, clearly stated. I don’t doubt that you’re right – “Goal-directed behavior does not exist if we do not define our variables in such a way as to bring goals into existence.” Still, I feel this perspective is a bit one-sided. Though evolution is not goal-directed, it surely involves “a runaway escalation of sophistication,” as you...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Author Ines Samengo wrote on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 16:35 GMT
Dear Conrad,

Thanks! If I understand you correctly, what you are saying is that there is an objective way to define the variables of the system so as to produce agency. In my essay, subjectivity was the central character. But in the end, I argue that observers detect agency because they learn to do so, so there must be something in the outer world that makes agency learnable. I claimed...

view entire post




Conrad Dale Johnson replied on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 15:08 GMT
Inés, thanks very much for reading my essay – I’ll respond to you also in that thread.

As to your note above, “that there is an objective way to define the variables of the system so as to produce agency”… I would not put it quite that way. “Objective” implies that we’re looking at nature from no point of view, as if we could be outside and “see” what every system...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 11:36 GMT
Hey, thanks again! I am aware (and fascinated!) by the quantum eraser experiments. I have not yet read, however, Carlo Rovelli's “Relational Quantum Mechanics” paper. I'll go through it, and then come back to you. I will then also answer the comments you posted at your essay, which I found very thought provoking. More soon!

inés.




Member Tommaso Bolognesi wrote on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 17:03 GMT
Dear Ines,

I have now read more carefully your essay.

Let me say that I find some of your thoughts rather original, and your prose quite effective, in most passages, in transmitting your ideas. The reading is mind-opening and amusing (e.g., the whole paragraph at the side of Figure 4). Often you manifest a talent for expressing your views by mental images that stick to the...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Author Ines Samengo wrote on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 11:38 GMT
Hi, Tommaso, thanks for the detailed and insightful comments!

1. The mess left on the ground by Menelaus for achieving his objective was indeed enormous, but in this example of goal achievement it is not immediately clear to me, as an observer in charge of ‘creating’ agents, where entropy reduction took place.

The entropy reduction of the bacterium is instantiated by the fact...

view entire post





Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 23:45 GMT
Dear Ines Samengo

I invite you and every physicist to read my work “TIME ORIGIN,DEFINITION AND EMPIRICAL MEANING FOR PHYSICISTS, Héctor Daniel Gianni ,I’m not a physicist.

How people interested in “Time” could feel about related things to the subject.

1) Intellectuals interested in Time issues usually have a nice and creative wander for the unknown.

2) They...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Joseph Murphy Brisendine wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 21:18 GMT
Hi Ines,

So first of all you have a lovely sense of langauge and if English is not your first langauge then that is really all the more impressive.

The basics of thermodynamics and information theory we cleary agree on, and you do a great job with Maxwell's demon. I might steal some of your phrases next time I teach about it!

OK and then you go and say something truly...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 23:53 GMT
Joe, I agree with every word you say, and you phrase it all crystal clear - you are surely a good teacher! - so I am afraid there is little I can add. Apart from saying I'm happy to receive these comments from someone who can write so well, and who produced such an excellent essay himself.

So good to know we are tuned!

best!

inés.




Laurence Hitterdale wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 22:44 GMT
Hello Inés,

Thanks for a challenging and intricately reasoned paper, which is also well-written. My question is about the extent to which agency exists objectively in nature, before an observer imputes it to an entity. I understand that in your view “the interesting part of agency is the observer.” Nonetheless, you do indicate on page 6 that entropy in the world does not increase uniformly. Rather, there are local areas where entropy decreases. This fact, as you say, “allows observers to create agents.” Perhaps, however, in at least some cases the peculiar local conditions mean that the world itself is creating agents, independently of what observers do, and even in the absence of observers. This looks like an interesting question, whatever the answer might be.

Laurence Hitterdale

report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 13, 2017 @ 00:25 GMT
I agree, the world provides the conditions for agency to be arrogateable. That is what I meant, in the essay, by "merits are shared". Indeed, the world has the merit of producing subsystems where entropy decreases. Moreover, those subsystems are repeated in space and time, and are nested in space and time. For example, if we choose a certain subsystem and declare it "prokaryote cell", it turns out...

view entire post




Laurence Hitterdale replied on Mar. 24, 2017 @ 18:18 GMT
Hello Inés,

The reference to "if a tree falls, and nobody hears it, does it make a sound?" clarifies matters for me. I understand why you say, “Maybe yes, maybe no.” The subsystem exists independently of external observers, but for the subsystem to exist as an agent in a full sense, it must be detected, observed, or interpreted as such.

On another issue, I might say that at...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Apr. 1, 2017 @ 19:21 GMT
Hi, Lawrence, sorry for the late response, I had a lot of demand at work, I'm now trying to catch up with the fun in my life, which includes discussions in this forum.

I have not read "The intentional stance", but heard about it in lectures and talks - and surely liked the ideas that those talks triggered in me. Actually, it may well be the case that I developed my point of view in this...

view entire post





Stefan Keppeler wrote on Mar. 13, 2017 @ 11:24 GMT
Dear Inés,

this was enjoyable to read. I think my analysis largely parallels yours -- plus, you framed it nicely! -- and we come to similar conclusions. You say "Goal-directed behavior does not exist if we do not define our variables in such a way as to bring goals into existence." with which I agree -- it's a matter of at which scales we describe the world. I'd add that in order to make sense of the macroscopic world, we have not much choice but to use these "variables" which "bring goals into existence". You turn the latter into a statement about our brain, its purpose and how it evolved, which also makes sense. In this last step I also see connections between your essay and Sofia Magnúsdóttir's contribution.

Good luck, Stefan

report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 13, 2017 @ 12:18 GMT
Thanks, Stefan, I've just read your essay and liked it a lot (comments there). And I was also very fond of Sophia's, I'm happy to see other people value her ideas too. Best!

inés.




Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on Mar. 15, 2017 @ 13:23 GMT
Dear Ines,

I estimate you essay exelent. Excellently written.

You are one of the few who directly answers the question put by the contest.

In my opinion, the "Maxwell's Demon" considered by you has an analog, in the form of a classical parametric resonance in a soliton wave, which operates on the principle of the action of a heat pump.

You might also like...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 16, 2017 @ 00:55 GMT
Dear Vladimir, thank you so much for your comments. Sure, I will read your essay carefully, hopefully soon. Looking forward!

inés.




Miles Mutka wrote on Mar. 20, 2017 @ 19:38 GMT
Very vividly written, I especially like the use of the verb "arrogate". (The comparison of Menelaus to a bacterium on the other hand failed to enlighten me, I'm afraid)

I like the idea that something like metabolism, as a continuous redefinition of the boundaries of "self" helps agents rise above the determinism of the physical level. I guess the redefinition can sometimes be more discontinuous as well, like when a lizard detaches and discards its tail to escape a predator.

report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 22, 2017 @ 00:48 GMT
Hi, Miles, thanks for reading and commenting! The entropy reduction of the bacterium is instantiated by the fact that no matter how nucleotides are arranged in the initial state, they become tidily arranged for DNA replication in the final state. The entropy reduction of Menelaus is larger. He manages to achieve DNA recombination not only irrespective of the initial spatial arrangement of...

view entire post





Don Limuti wrote on Mar. 21, 2017 @ 23:27 GMT
Hi Ines,

Are you trying to hide! Your abstract is terrible....it confused me to the extent that I needed to return to your essay after two weeks recuperation.

May I redo your abstract: "The main conclusion of this essay is that the interesting part of agency is the observer. Physics does not make sense, observers make sense of it. Life does not have a meaning, we give it a...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Mar. 22, 2017 @ 00:59 GMT
That's the dilemma, right? Should I write a fancy abstract, and later bore readers to death? Or better a very obscure one, and later deliver an essay above their flattened expectations? Same as when choosing a photo for one's web page. Should we look good, and then disappoint people when they meet us? Or look terrible, and give some relief to the brave ones that dared to come...

view entire post




Don Limuti replied on Mar. 22, 2017 @ 22:40 GMT
Hi Ines, (I also posted on my blog)

1. Thanks for you review....much appreciated.

2. You say "I myself argue that there are no goals per se, but that we choose to see them. Not exactly because their existence makes us happier, but rather, because their detection allows us to make predictions, and thereby, to be more fit to pass on our genes."

Yea, Darwin and Dawkins have...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Member Noson S. Yanofsky wrote on Mar. 27, 2017 @ 01:45 GMT
THank you for commenting on my essay. I read your essay and really liked it. You make some very novel points.

Thank you.

Noson

report post as inappropriate


David Pinyana wrote on Mar. 29, 2017 @ 05:04 GMT
Ines, you say:

The main conclusion of this essay is that the interesting part of agency is the observer. Physics does not make sense, observers make sense of it.

I say in my essay:

Our vision (and knowledge) of the different scale LANDSCAPES is always from our own scale spectra (our LANDSCAPE: Newtonian Landscape). And from there we try to understand everything...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Apr. 2, 2017 @ 20:35 GMT
Hi David, thanks for reading and commenting. I will give a look into your essay soon! inés.




Janko Kokosar wrote on Mar. 30, 2017 @ 20:00 GMT
Dear Ines Samengo

I agree a lot, what you wrote, especially about entropy.

But you wrote:

»By iterating the algorithm, profuse RNA replication in free solutions can be observed to give rise to prokaryote cells, who in turn evolve into eukaryotes, from which multi-cellular organisms appear, all the way up to the ever growing branches of the tree of life. In the way, conscious...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Apr. 3, 2017 @ 00:11 GMT
Hi, Janko, thanks for reading and commenting.

> Here I add that consciousness cannot arise out of materialistic world. The first reason is because consciousness is from different material than materialistic world.

True, consciousness is a first-person experience. I would not dare to assert, however, that a difference in perspective necessarily means that one thing cannot derive...

view entire post




Janko Kokosar replied on Apr. 4, 2017 @ 15:12 GMT
Dear Ines,

yes, it is better that you read first my essay. Of course, we will not give final arguments, but any progress will be useful.

>> The second reason is that materialistic world per se, does not exist.

>I am sorry, again, I would not dare to make such a claim...

About materialistic world:

This is objective world which is independendent of...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Janko Kokosar replied on Apr. 4, 2017 @ 19:44 GMT
Ines,

another question:

what is your opinion about free-will. Do you think that it exist, or we are only a consequence of determined physical processes?

Best regards

Janko

report post as inappropriate


Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Apr. 2, 2017 @ 08:28 GMT
Dear Ines Samengo

If you believed in the principle of identity of space and matter of Descartes, then your essay would be even better. There is not movable a geometric space, and is movable physical space. These are different concepts.

I inform all the participants that use the online translator, therefore, my essay is written badly. I participate in the contest to familiarize...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga wrote on Apr. 3, 2017 @ 20:29 GMT
Dear Ines Samengo,

very interesting and mindful essay. I enjoyed the reading.

Your argumentation reminds on evolution which is in some sense also a process towards wandering to a goal (which is not always well-defined).

Here, there are two processes, mutation and selection. The mutation process increases the entropy (as a stochastic process) but produces information at the...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Apr. 5, 2017 @ 00:53 GMT
Hi, Torsten, sorry for the delay - busy times! - I will surely respond no later than Friday.



Author Ines Samengo replied on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 19:15 GMT
Hi, Torsten, thank you so much for reading and commenting! I apologize for the late response, unfortunately, the end of the discussion phase of this contest coincided with a highly demanded period at work…

In my essay, goals are defined by variables that are restricted to relatively narrow ranges, at least, when compared with the variables defining the initial state, which are allowed to...

view entire post





Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Apr. 3, 2017 @ 20:51 GMT
Dear Ines Samengo,

The owl's hunger improves the bat's echo-location for the good of species. Nice.

I very much appreciate your entropy-information discussion and reorientation in terms of open and closed systems. In my own endnotes I 'teach' a robot how to construct a theory of physics from measurement data. The pattern recognition and feature extraction somewhat...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 20:40 GMT
Dear Edwin Eugene, thanks for reading and commenting! I have now left a comment in your entry. I am glad to see you could resonate with some of the ideas in my essay. Having recently read (again!) your essay, I just want to point out that your notion of purpose contains more elements than mine: in my operational definition of a goal (the end state of an entropy-reducing system), I do not require...

view entire post





Author Ines Samengo wrote on Apr. 5, 2017 @ 00:54 GMT
Dear Prof. Klingman, I apologize for the delay - busy times! - I will surely respond no later than Friday.




Member Marc Séguin wrote on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 04:58 GMT
Dear Inés,

As I wrote yesterday in response to the comments you left on my essay’s thread, I found your essay to be one of the two or three best that I read in this year’s FQXi contest. Already with the first paragraph, we know we are going on an enjoyable and interesting ride, with the clever juxtaposition of DNA replication, tree growth, natural selection, animal behavior,...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 12:50 GMT
Hi, Marc, thanks for the post! Working on the answer, coming soon! inés.



Anonymous replied on Apr. 9, 2017 @ 02:32 GMT
> By the way, the idea that the universe only makes sense “no more than one observer at a time” is one of the central ideas in Amanda Gefter’s amazing book, “Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn”, which I heartily recommend.

Ok, I bought the book. Hope it arrives soon!

> Thermodynamics and information theory also do --- the interpretation of thermodynamics turns out to...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Apr. 9, 2017 @ 02:33 GMT
Hmmmpf, anonymous is me!




Conrad Dale Johnson wrote on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 14:34 GMT
Inés,

I wanted to let you know that I posted a comment yesterday on your comment to Marc Séguin’s essay. Not that you don’t have enough to read!

Also, I want to say a couple more things, on rereading your essay… first, that I think your opening paragraphs give the best summary of what this contest is about. And the first five pages give a fine, clear exposition of a...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 12:59 GMT
Hi, Conrad, thanks for the post! Working on the answer, coming soon! inés.



Author Ines Samengo replied on Apr. 10, 2017 @ 00:16 GMT
Hi, Conrad, thanks a lot for your positive words. I will begin by replying here, and then I’ll go to Marc’s forum, because the comments here are (a tiny bit) less difficult than those there :-)

> I wonder how it occurred to you to look at entropy that way, and how you thought to connect that with “the observer”?

Well, the fact that physical laws are reversible at the...

view entire post





Don C Foster wrote on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 17:08 GMT
Hello Ines,

I appreciated your comments on my essay and now, having read yours, I am doubly pleased. You have an easy narrative style and a broad pallet of exemplars. We also seem to have traveled some of the same terrain with differing results.

I can’t initially find traction with your proposition, “Entropy reductions are associated with information losses” nor am I comfortable with it hinging on the role of the observer. Given time I might settle into an understanding.

But, would rather look into your Maxwell’s Demon illustration, in particular the little line down the middle that separates the chambers. I think that if we fully understood the significance and deep meaning of that line we would transcend the present limits of our understanding of the physical world. That line is either the warp or the weft of the fabric of the physical universe, the constraint that makes a difference. In the beginning was the line and the universe will end its dance when the line is broken into its smallest pieces.

That is just something oblique to think about. May your curiosity be buoyant rather than burdensome.

Best wishes,

Don Foster

report post as inappropriate

Author Ines Samengo replied on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 13:00 GMT
Hi, Don, thanks for the post! Working on the answer, coming soon! inés.




Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 10:45 GMT
Dear Sirs!

Physics of Descartes, which existed prior to the physics of Newton returned as the New Cartesian Physic and promises to be a theory of everything. To tell you this good news I use «spam».

New Cartesian Physic based on the identity of space and matter. It showed that the formula of mass-energy equivalence comes from the pressure of the Universe, the flow of force which...

view entire post


report post as inappropriate


Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.