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Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fnd.

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


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

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

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

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

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

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

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Steven Andresen: on 4/20/17 at 2:47am UTC, wrote Hi Don I hope you can forgive me for the late reply. I have been...

Steven Andresen: on 4/8/17 at 12:35pm UTC, wrote Don Just a quick message to say congrats. I'm guessing you're quite...

Aron Barco: on 4/7/17 at 21:29pm UTC, wrote Yafet: Dear Don, I am waiting anxiously the next Fxqi essay contest so I...

Don Limuti: on 4/7/17 at 12:03pm UTC, wrote Lexi, You are beautiful! Don L.

alexis framness: on 4/7/17 at 5:26am UTC, wrote Don, I love this essay. Good job with your context and your ability to...

Don Limuti: on 4/7/17 at 4:14am UTC, wrote Jon, What a treat: The Mother of all Demos youtube was awesome! A better...

Jonathan Khanlian: on 4/7/17 at 0:02am UTC, wrote Starting to read your website now, and I just found "The Mother of all...

Don Limuti: on 4/6/17 at 23:15pm UTC, wrote Jon, Thanks for your support! It is on my queue to watch "Digital Physics"...


adel sadeq: "Victor I think Tegmark had some theory in mind that resembles..." in What Is...

Joe Fisher: "Dear Anthony Aguirre, The mission of the Foundational Questions Institute..." in FQXi's New Large Grant...

Suhani Mahajan: "I am a attractive female for pleasurable and delight service in only on..." in Is the Past Infinite?


Anthony Aguirre: "Our mission at FQXi has always been to push boundaries, and to try to focus..." in FQXi's New Large Grant...

John Cox: "Victor, I have reread your post and still find agreement. Realism vs...." in What Is...

Anonymous: "hello Bob" in The Complexity Conundrum

shery williams: "Office Setup is the full suite of Microsoft productivity software that..." in Are We Merging With Our...

click titles to read articles

The Complexity Conundrum
Resolving the black hole firewall paradox—by calculating what a real astronaut would compute at the black hole's edge.

Quantum Dream Time
Defining a ‘quantum clock’ and a 'quantum ruler' could help those attempting to unify physics—and solve the mystery of vanishing time.

Our Place in the Multiverse
Calculating the odds that intelligent observers arise in parallel universes—and working out what they might see.

Sounding the Drums to Listen for Gravity’s Effect on Quantum Phenomena
A bench-top experiment could test the notion that gravity breaks delicate quantum superpositions.

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

December 17, 2017

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: A Short Conversation on Wandering Toward a Goal by Don Limuti [refresh]
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Author Don Limuti wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 17:30 GMT
Essay Abstract

Determinism is deeply connected with our understanding of the physical sciences and their explanatory ambitions, on the one hand, and with our views about human free action on the other. In both of these general areas there is no agreement over whether determinism is true (or even whether it can be known true or false), and what the import for human agency would be in either case. (1)

Author Bio

Don Limuti is president of Communication Panels Co. Obtained a BSEE from CCNY Helped organize sessions for the IEEE, wrote technical papers IEEE, obtained 6 US patents. Just recently published two papers on gravity (Prespacetime Journal) 1. A Quantum Mechanical View of the Precession of Mercury's Orbit 2. The Geometry of Dark Energy He is passionate about physics (and life) and keeps a website

Download Essay PDF File

Wilhelmus de Wilde wrote on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 16:38 GMT
Dear Don,

It did not take much time to read your conversation with Lexi.

Maybe Lexi is derived from lexicon, so vocabulary of a person, but also can say that Lexi is an invention of your own thoughts (vocabulary), so it is a little discussion/communication with youself, which is in my opinion the essence of thinking...

When you introduce yourself as the "Dad" of AI, I wonder if there is a follow up from your child in this contest...

I like the short input of this participation, which is full of followup thoughts.

Thinking is always directed to a goal isn't it ?

If you are interested in another deterministic way of thinking pls read and certainly rate my essay "The Purpose of Life, it is a little "longer" but I hope not boaring.

I will rate your participation a 6 because of the above mentioned reasons and also I don't like the ONE's that are spread without any comment.

best regards


report post as inappropriate

Jeffrey Michael Schmitz replied on Mar. 20, 2017 @ 22:50 GMT
Don and Wilhelmus,

I am also giving this essay a "6" because it is readable, creative and on topic, but there sould be more. I also think giving someone a one without comment just hurts the contest.


report post as inappropriate

Author Don Limuti replied on Apr. 3, 2017 @ 02:46 GMT

Thanks for voting for my short essay. I had to stop where I did not out of Laziness (although I am generally lazy) but because of a fear that I would butcher, a neat little essay that just happened by itself.

I thought your essay was very good and voted so. See my comments on your blog.


Don Limuti

Author Don Limuti wrote on Mar. 5, 2017 @ 06:19 GMT
Hi Wilhelmus,

Good to be in another contest with you. I like your TS concept and it doesn't boar me ...heaven forbid! I just wish you could make the explanation of it without a shotgun full of glib words.

I interpreted the essay question to mean: Is it possible for a deterministic world to have free choice. My answer via the dialog was that it depends upon the emotional disposition of the individual. And until we get our heads around how we develop our feeling mechanisms of emotion, we cannot approach this question.

Perhaps I could have done a better job.

I appreciate:

1. Your thoughtful essay.

1. Your visiting my blog.

2. Reading my essay and making insightful comments.

I will rate your essay should I say.... approvingly.

I love this essay contest and I intend to win it! Ha Ha

Don Limuti

Wilhelmus de Wilde wrote on Mar. 5, 2017 @ 16:50 GMT
Dear Don,

Thank you for taking the time to read/comment and rate my essay.

In my perception the concept of NOW has two sides, one side is the eternal NOW moment in TS and the other is the NOW experience in our time restricted emergent phenomenon that we call reality. Time is also an emergent phenomenon that only exists in our "minds". The illusion of living...

When we are creating Lexi's as AI this is also an emerging phenomenon, so when we are "thinking" that AI's (the children of our intelligence) are going to take over , this reality is an available probability in TS, it can become a reality in someones mind in a specific life-line (constituted of Eternal NOW Moments) in TS.

best regards


PS I don't think your "essay" is bad, it is a good kick-of for discussion, you don't nedd lways much words to achieve that, because in your case you left it all open..

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Alexey/Lev Burov wrote on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 00:49 GMT
Hi Don,

Your essay shows both motivation for and significant troubles following from denial of the free will. However, it is unclear how you resolve the problem, at least for yourself. What is your conclusion?


Alexey Burov.

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Author Don Limuti wrote on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 02:46 GMT
Hi Alexey,

Firstly, as of now I think your essay is one of the best. Second my Lexi was not you, unless you happen to be a beautiful young girl.

My view is that free will comes with the human package, and even if we protest against it, as Lexi did, we are stuck with it. Free will is so inextricably part of our language that it goes unnoticed.

Also, I tried to indicate that the exercise of free will is always linked to emotion. The highest expression of emotion being radiant beauty. Your essay did this for the mathematics.

Thanks for your question and your essay.

Don Limuti

Anonymous replied on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 17:41 GMT
Hi Don,

Thanks again for your compliments. As to your essay, indeed, you clearly showed that the free will belongs to the human package. However, you also showed that the objectivist cause-effect thinking belongs to this package as well, and the two contradict each other, didn't you? Then, the questions arise: how to resolve that contradiction? what is the truth? does it matter? on what ground it can be decided? Somehow, you stopped at the border of the most interesting things, I would say :)


Alexey Burov.

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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 23:08 GMT
Hi Alexey,

Perfect summary of what I did! Thank you for expressing it. I was beginning to think nobody really got what I was doing. I did stop right before the climax, kinda like those short serialized movies.

The quote from the Stanford website (my abstract) pointed out how tough a problem determinism is. I just made it more palpable with a short dialog. I should have had a last sentence that said: "Stay tuned for the next installment".

Thanks very much for your input,

Don Limuti

Alexey/Lev Burov replied on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 03:20 GMT

Although your first movie in that serial is too short, it is well done, as a beginning. I think it would be fair from my side to give you what I am giving right now :)

All the best,


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Steve Dufourny wrote on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 09:30 GMT
Hi Don,

Happy to see you again on FQXI.

You have pondered a beautiful general papper about free will and determinsim.

good luck in this contest.


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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 23:17 GMT
Hi Steve,

I was looking for your essay. Are you in this contest?

I have entered all the contests except the last one. It feels good to be back.

What have you been up to.


Don Limuti

Steve Dufourny replied on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 09:15 GMT
Hi Don,

No I have not made it.:) I improve my theory of spherisation on FQXI.I will publish this year in logic.

Good luck ,I am wishing you all the best

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George Kirakosyan wrote on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 05:02 GMT
Hi Don,

It is nice to see you again in our clever company!

I have discovered your unusual work and I have understood (after some time) that you try to use the pepper, - against to stupidity. I am doubtful this can be effective despite me also try to add some pepper (with the small salt) in mine essay. I do not know it can be useful because Russians say - "if guy is stupid, it is for long time!" But we must do our job as we see it may better!

I welcome you and I wish to support you!

Best Regards

report post as inappropriate

Author Don Limuti wrote on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 06:59 GMT
Hi George,

Glad to see you and a whole bunch of friends and valiant competitors in this contest. This contest tackles the notion of determinism and causation via mathematics or something like that. I was not going to enter, but at the last minute I did enter with the notion of highlighting just how hard a question it is. I was not trying to be a goof or trouble maker.

I look forward to reading your essay.

Don L

Joe Fisher replied on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 17:09 GMT
Dear President Don Limuti,

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

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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 18:47 GMT
Hi Joe,

Take the time to read my essay. I think you might enjoy it.

Don L.

Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 19:44 GMT
Dear Don Limuti

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

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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 00:34 GMT
Hi Hector,

I did read your essay and noted your interest in time and motion. I also find them fundamental concepts. If you like check out my website:

I would like to comment on your statement: "In science belief shouldn’t prevail over scientific proofs." I believe (ha ha) that mathematical proofs (and scientific proofs) start with axioms. Axioms are unquestionable starting propositions ...also known as: Beliefs. has given a very circular nut to crack :)

Thanks for your essay.

Don Limuti

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 22:51 GMT
Dear Limuti,

Nice short discussion with LEXI, your alter self…. !

Best wishes for your aspiration for making the first artificial emotional intelligence chip!

Probably we are not machines, we have something else called “consciousness”, can you provide the consciousness to the robot you are proposing to built? In my essay I am showing that the Universe is having some...

view entire post

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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 23:47 GMT
Hi SNP Gupta,

Thanks for your visit. My goal was to play with choice and determinism, and show how freewill and determinism cannot be avoided.

Yours in a Dynamic Universe,

Don Limuti

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 01:06 GMT
Dear Don Limuti,

Yes you are correct, It is a nice goal indeed.....

Very fast response….wonderful…

Thank you for such nice comment on my essay. I hope you will study further on this Dynamic Universe Model….

Your thinking is wonderful…

Best wishes


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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 06:57 GMT
Dear Don Limuti,

It's always a pleasure to read your entries. And, in the Karl Popper sense, no one can prove you wrong! You combine subtlety and humor in a way few can match. I'll bet you're a lot of fun to be with. But, having read your essay three times, I'm more impressed each time and most impressed that you do it all in a page and a half.

It's definitely good to see you back!

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 17:10 GMT

Great to be back in such good company.

Don Limuti

James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 07:02 GMT

"Don and Lexi" have roles that could continue in the deterministic discussion. Personally I think I would go along with Hume's rejection of logical induction, denying connection to practical reason. I think I point that out in my essay regarding the apparent flirtation of humankind with possible extinction or decision making counter to our well being.

I think Hume also said that "matter in all its operations, is actuated by a necessary force, and that every natural effect is so precisely determined by the energy of its cause, that no other effect, in such particular circumstances, could possibly have resulted from it." My utter speculation regarding dark matter suggests a myriad of interactions produce forces that might be responsible for dark matter. Thus dark matter could be a natural effect of such interactions but certainly is something we have failed to determine.

One thing your essay does is open up the thinking about the impact of mindless laws, the material world and human agency.

Jim Hoover

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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 17:16 GMT

Thanks for your visit and your thought provoking essay.

Don Limuti

Stefan Weckbach wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 12:59 GMT
Hi Don,

your essay is a huge fun to read and sets the stage for all kinds of possible interpretations and answers to the quest of determinism / free will. The openness of your conversation reflects the openness of the question, although both persons in your essay (ha, ha) do believe to have the ultimate answer. But wait a minute, do they really believe, or are they forced to blieve due to...

view entire post

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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 01:00 GMT
Hi Stefan,

According to some of my relatives I should have been named Stefan, but my mother deviated from family custom and named me Donald. Perhaps this is why you can duplicate me so well :)

In my essay Don (even though he believes in choice) and Lexi (even though she believes in determinism), both act and speak using the concepts of choice AND deterministic logic, all the while exposing their respective beliefs.

I do believe that nature has very lawful behavior... and it should I say...gloriously incomplete. I hope you find the ride as much fun as I do.

Thanks for your support,

Don Limuti

Anonymous wrote on Mar. 13, 2017 @ 13:17 GMT
Dear Don,

I highly estimate your desire for determinism. Perhaps my essay will complement your understanding of the determinism and causes of quantum processes. Your essay allowed to consider us like-minded.

Kind regards,


report post as inappropriate

Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 01:20 GMT
Hi Vladimir F.,

I am a fervent believer in determinism and a fanatic proponent of free choice. A good game requires skillful use of both.

I too am interested in causes, classical and quantum. I am in particular interested in gravity. Check out my website

Thanks for your essay,

Don Limtui

Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Mar. 13, 2017 @ 17:29 GMT
Hi Don,

In response to what you said about Math as a 'ring of power' on my essay page, I wrote the following.

Math is much abused by those who try to make it bend to their will. A good example of Math forged into a ring of power would be the Gaussian Copula Function, which was the basis for financial derivatives, and was itself based on formulas used in risk and failure analysis. But it was used fictitiously (as though predictable risk equals zero risk), and its broad mis-usage was one of the contributing factors of the market crash in 2008. Mandelbrot had warned us before then, but the finance gurus did not listen.

So pure Math had the answers, but nobody wanted to hear.

What I didn't say on my essay page is how this also exactly fits the tale from Revelations of the 'great whore of Babylon.' Babylon is often used as a symbol in the Bible for deception or lying. That is; 'Babylon' is falsehood, untruth, cheating, or fabrication. So no wonder we will hear a great wailing from the money changers when the deception is exposed - that Math was used as a tool, like a 'ring of power,' to subjugate and control others.

All the Best,


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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 13, 2017 @ 17:34 GMT
Please note..

The smooth curves of the Gaussian function lead us to copulation, or so the story goes (of the Gaussian Copula function). You can't make this stuff up. And David X. Li, who created the function, also tried to warn us. But human greed won out, and the deception worked like a charm. The real world is much more strange than any fantasy.



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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 13, 2017 @ 18:26 GMT
The thing is..

The real deal actually exists, but isn't used much. I've commented how transactions in financial markets are much like interactions in quantum mechanics, and Hagen Kleinert even wrote a whole chapter in his book on Path Integrals devoted to their usage in Finance Math. So in general; the Math guys are the ones advocating to do things the right way, and recommend a more sophisticated approach, while the Finance community wants to hire people with minimal training and more narrow focus (who will do what they are told) rather than hiring Math literate folks who could improve the system substantially.

All the Best,


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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 01:59 GMT
Hi Jonathan,

Those that believe in free choice come in two varieties 1. Those that believe that others have free choice 2. Those that believe that others have no free choice.

This creates a potential ethics problem: To what extent is it OK to go after the money.

Is it OK to take advantage of others..after all they are just machines.

Without a concept of ethics there is a tendency for master slave relationships to arise, where the master is the one with free choice and the slaves are the machines.

Who has the mathematical ring of power, Frodo or Gollum?

Frodo Lives!

Don Limuti

Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 13, 2017 @ 18:28 GMT

I think you hit the dilemmas head on. There may be little of value to say that you didn't write or infer.

Do you think we should perhaps consider ourselves in terms of an experiment on determinism; Whether there's an intelligent experimenter or not;.. "If these particles and elements are mixed together in this way, what will happen?"

If that's purely 'deterministic' then the outcome would need to have been known beforehand. Yet we ARE a mixture of 'stuff', and when we make choices they're limited as they're from a limited range of possibilities... Hmmm.

So the solution is really perhaps semantic. Our language and its definitions are inadequate to describe nature. Do we need a word for 'determining' a limited range of possible outcomes, yet with free will within certain limits?

Nicely thought out and written, and fun!.



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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 02:08 GMT
Hi Peter,

Super to be in another contest with you.

Yes, life is a mixture of freewill and determinism that is evolving. I do not know where it is going.... But my feeling about life is that somehow we were designed to enjoy the ride (and we are free to complain about it).

All the best,

Don Limuti

Christian Corda wrote on Mar. 15, 2017 @ 13:17 GMT
Hi Don,

It is nice to see you here in FQXi again. Despite it is very short, you realized a nice, intriguing and very original contribution. It has been a very pleasant reading for me, so, I am going to give you the highest score.

Good luck in the Contest, I hope that you will have a chance to read our Essay.

Cheers, Ch.

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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 15, 2017 @ 21:29 GMT
Hi Christian,

Thanks for visiting. And I appreciate your kind words.

Attention anybody reading this post go visit Christian Corda's blog:

1. Read his essay.

2. Vote it up.

Don Limuti

Jeffrey Michael Schmitz wrote on Mar. 18, 2017 @ 02:42 GMT

That was a fun short exercise that did what was designed to do. You made a point by showing, not telling (yes, I did once take a writing class) in a clear, interesting and unique way.

Best of luck,


report post as inappropriate

Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 18, 2017 @ 03:46 GMT
Hi Jeff,

I Appreciate your gracious review. This essay contest focuses on a very emotional issue... particularly for scientists, engineers and techies in general. And I also find that I get caught up in the issue. I may need to apologize to Max T. and a few others after the contest for my rudness.

Thank you very much for you support,

Don Limuti

Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Mar. 19, 2017 @ 01:19 GMT
Hi Don - nicely encapsulated and convincing response to the essay question!

Thank you for your message on my essay page - I responded as follows:

Hi Don,glad you liked the paper. Way to go about gravity being a density of.. something! In my United Dipole Field paper of 1993 I showed how the electric field of a dipole behaves like a gradient-index gravity field. In Beautiful Universe Model I generalized the concept to the Universe as a whole and added the concept of twisting spin fields to create gravitational attraction. I see from your website that you have attacked the gravity concept more analytically, but isn't using the term graviton confusing because you see it differently than the Standard Model particle? I look forward to reading your paper requested from Research-Gate.

Best wishes, and good luck to us all.


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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 19, 2017 @ 18:36 GMT
Hi Vladimir, (I also put this post on your page)

I downloaded your papers. The United Dipole 1093 looks very interesting to me at a scan. I will read in detail in a bit. We have similar concepts cloaked in different words. I too believe the space between stars looks a dielectric material (I would call it a prism with a gradient index of refraction). And my hijacked graviton looks very much like a dipole antenna!

Yes, I hijacked the graviton from the standard model and gave it some new clothes..... The standard model was not putting it good use anyway :)

I consider a single graviton to be a photon with a single hop (wavelength) that hops back and forth between chunks of mass (Planck masses). I call it a photon because it obeys the Planck Einstein equation, but it is not really a photon because of its spin (it hops back and forth). The big deal is that this action gives it a mass (like photons trapped between mirrors).

I considered all this playing around kinda nuts, but I gave my new "hijacked" graviton a run at calculating the precession of worked! How can I say...the planet Vulcan lives!

I believe this may be a small "crack in the cosmic egg" that can lead to useful science and technology. I also believe that this result is not a contradiction GR, but I cannot prove this. So, I am calling on cosmologists, to take a look at this and see if gravity can be made understandable.

And your work Vladimir, was pioneering in this area.


Don Limuti

Ines Samengo wrote on Mar. 22, 2017 @ 01:25 GMT
Hey, this essay was fun! Short and written as a dialogue, what a pleasant surprise! Now that I think of it, I wish someone had posted a comic...

I am not sure of whether I follow your connection between free will and emotion. Do you mean free will is an emotion, among many others? Do you mean that free will derives from emotion? Or the other way round? As I see it, both the sensation of free will and emotion are emergent properties of some macroscopic systems. But are they causally connected? I get a bit lost here. For me, free will, and the subjective sensations, are more difficult than purposeness, that's why I focused on the latter...

I hope you win the contest.


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Don Limuti replied on Mar. 22, 2017 @ 22:37 GMT
Hi Ines,

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 highly regarded points about how genes foster evolution and are selfish respectively. I will not argue with Darwin, however, Dawkins is wrong. Genes are both competitive and cooperative (see Yaneer Bar yam's work on complexity).

Instead of using the words goals I will substitute "choice" and rephrase your sentence: ""I (Don L) argue that there are no goals per se, but that we (humans but perhaps not all life) choose to see them. These choices are made because they satisfy us emotionally, (in healthy individuals they tend toward happiness), and thereby, to be more fit to pass on our genes."

About Choice and Emotions: I posted on one of mad max's minion's blogs "your emperor is totally nude (in Italian)". This minion was a determinist but his emotion (aka greed) caused him to delete my post (followed by my score plummeting). Was his choice determined by mathematics? This minion was much less fit to pass on their genes than someone like yourself.

In spite of my stated intention, ha ha. I hope you win this contest.

Don Limuti

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Author Don Limuti wrote on Mar. 24, 2017 @ 15:21 GMT
Hi Everyone in this contest & the people at,

As this contest is approaching the end I wanted to thank everyone for making it possible. I appreciate the opportunity to investigate, agree and disagree with the theories and ideas presented in the many essays. I have been particularly critical of the mathematical universe hypothesis and Max Tegmark for creating and promoting it. There is no doubt that I could be wrong in this criticism of a new theory that is creative and original. And FQXi is to commended for exposing it to public scrutiny. This extra bit of conflict has made this essay contest the best one yet (IMHO).


Don Limuti

Alfredo Gouveia Oliveira wrote on Mar. 26, 2017 @ 02:24 GMT
Dear Don Limuti

You found an original way to draw the attention to the issue of determinism, surpassing the size limitation of the essays!! It is clever, not boring, bold, risky, and it works! Congratulations!

About determinism, what seems to result from observations is that at a sufficient large scale, the evolution of systems is deterministic. Chaotic, random, etc, behaviors at small scale always disappear at a sufficient large scale. This is a very convenient approach because it preserves our free will: at our scale, as at the scale of a molecule of the atmosphere, the behavior can be anything, while the evolution of human society, as the one of the atmosphere, at enough long times-scale, is deterministic. However, I have more information that shows to me that things are not simple, far from that. A careful reading of my essay will show you that necessarily I know much more that I am saying there. And what I say in the essay is already quite ahead of present knowledge, and many will thing that it is just speculation. What I can say to you from what I know is that the answer to the question of the determinism is not “yes”, or “no”, or “depend on the scale”.

You asked my opinion on the role of global warming. In the paper in vixra that I mention in the essay, you can see in detail the past and future of Earth’s climate and where the global warming stands. I can also say to you much more by email, if you are interested.

I saw your DWT; I found it rather interesting; I will dedicate some time to analyze it.

I voted your essay in accordance with what I say in the first paragraph of this comment.

Thank you for having “knocked on my door”!

Alfredo Gouveia Oliveira

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Natesh Ganesh wrote on Mar. 26, 2017 @ 19:51 GMT
Hi Don,

I think I would have enjoyed a much longer conversation between you and Lexi. The presentation format was very attractive and fun for me. I might try it for a future essay. I will have to side with Lexi on this one, in the sense that I do think free will and decision making is deterministic, that does not mean we have to do the same thing under the same conditions every single time. There is a variability there without having to invoke the other extreme of total randomness.

If you have the time, kindly take a look at my essay. I present (sufficient) physical conditions under which goal oriented agency could rise in systems.



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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 26, 2017 @ 23:36 GMT
Hi Natesh,

In my essay I hoped to get across how convoluted the language of determinism and freewill is. Don and Lexi each took a side. However, each also used Unconsciously the other viewpoint during the conversation.

Yes we have differing viewpoints about determinism and freewill. I will agree that the physical is definitely a part of us. And figuring it out is a lot of fun and sometimes an addiction. I personally like to dabble in gravity. Check out my webpage

In five previous contests, two of them were dialogs. The dialogs were much more fun to create.

I liked your essay because it "really" forced me to think.

Don Limuti

Patrick Tonin wrote on Mar. 29, 2017 @ 08:42 GMT
Hi Don,

Thank you for your comment on my page.

You have written a nice little conversation but in the end I am not sure what your conclusion is.

And why did you write Dad and not Don towards the end, was that intentional ? Who made that choice ??



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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 29, 2017 @ 12:43 GMT
Hi Patrick,

My abstract was a quote from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Basically it said that we have made no progress in the free will-determinism debate. I tried to make my dialog reflect that inconclusiveness. I guess I succeeded :)

About the Dad at the end. It was just a typo. Initially the dialog was between Dad and Lexi. Then I wanted to make it between Don and Lexi, but I failed to see the last Dad. There is a certain amount of noise in any information system.

Thanks for visiting,

Don Limuti

*****Note to anyone seeing this post: Check out the Patrick Tonin essay. It is a short piece of logic that will make you grin.*****

sridattadev kancharla wrote on Mar. 30, 2017 @ 13:24 GMT
Dear Don,

Thank you for virtual support through the cyber space on the article there are no goals as such its all play, and i totally enjoyed your little conversation with Lexi, your virtual self i suppose :)

PS : We are relatively real but absolutely virtual.



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sherman loran jenkins wrote on Mar. 30, 2017 @ 15:34 GMT

I enjoyed your approach and conversation. My essay addresses my personal view of reality and goals by telling real life occurrences that helped to form and describe those views. You may appreciate a brief account of my own test of free will versus determinism--search to “owl” or “kitty”--


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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 30, 2017 @ 21:03 GMT
Hi Sherman,

Nice dialog of life.... causes, effects, direction, choices, puzzles, nature, beauty, danger, love.....Life even brings us mathematics which we use as a tool to examine life.

And I was surprised to see another dialog, we are now a team :)

Thanks for your science and art,

Don Limuti

Member Marc Séguin wrote on Mar. 31, 2017 @ 02:55 GMT
Dear Don,

That was a quick, fun essay! Wanting more, I clicked on the link at the end, read the section you pointed to and, following the footnotes, discovered Jenann Isamel's fascinating book, "How physics makes us free". Beyond reading the submitted essays, that's one of the most rewarding aspects of this contest: following the references at the end of the essays to discover even more weird/great/unbelievable/twisted/amazing ideas.

Thank you, and good luck in the contest. And do write a longer dialog next time!


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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 31, 2017 @ 17:52 GMT
Hi Marc,

I am glad my essay did not take up all of your bandwidth :)

Thanks for the heads up on: Jenann Isamel's book, "How physics makes us free"

Your post made my day and more!


Don Limuti

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote on Mar. 31, 2017 @ 17:50 GMT
allo don,

thank you for making me laugh. i gave you an 8 because your paper reminded me of a student who entered an Oxbridge Exam, with this horribly complicated and contrived question, where he thought about it, sat there for an hour, and wrote "Yes". then he sat there for another hour, crossed it out and wrote, "No". towards the end of the exam he crossed *that* out and wrote, "Maybe".

He got an A for his essay and was accepted to Oxford :)

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Author Don Limuti replied on Mar. 31, 2017 @ 18:40 GMT

My essay was short....but not as short as [Yes---No---Maybe].

This was a tough and ambiguous question, and I remember when I sat down and thought about what I was going to write, the first thought to occur was "This is nuts!"

Thanks for your vote of approval,

Don Limuti

[Note to visitors: Visit Luke's essay and copy and paste from it.]

Preserve existence and become part of something larger.

✧Pr❡s❡✈❡ ❊①✐st❡♥❝❡ ❛♥❞ ❇❡ P❛rt ❖❢ ❙♦♠❡t❤✐♥❣▲❛r❣❡r✧✳

Steven Andresen wrote on Apr. 4, 2017 @ 02:53 GMT

A short and delightful essay.

We observe billiard balls interacting, sharing kinetic energy back and forth to one another before slowing for table and air frictions. We coin the concept of determinism.

We learn about particle physics interactions, and note that it is in many ways comparable to the billiards.

We observe that life is made up of these objects...

view entire post

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Author Don Limuti replied on Apr. 4, 2017 @ 05:16 GMT
Hi Steven,

Appreciate your visiting my essay and your generous vote. And I am disappointed that your essay is not getting more traction. It is one of the best essays.

Yes, let's discuss gravity. My website has my e-mail in the about the author section. It is

I should not have been able to make the calculation I made....something unexpected is going on. It would be really cool to see if we can create either a more complete theory or come up with some experiments that can be tried.


Don Limuti

Irvon Eugene Clear wrote on Apr. 4, 2017 @ 18:29 GMT

I enjoyed reading your essay. It is the stuff of art. Just a smile, a wink and a soft nudge of thought. I too am enamored with the stage. Here is one of mine:

(On stage there are two chairs for two students. A professor is standing in front of the chairs. At the beginning the students are in their chairs and a lecture is in progress. Both students have an open book and they are...

view entire post

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Author Don Limuti wrote on Apr. 4, 2017 @ 21:08 GMT

Thanks for your new play and your support.

Luke also sent me a play. A short one about a student pondering this essay question:

Yes! hour........No! hour..........Maybe! A little short but to the point :)

Thanks for your plays.

Don Limuti

Lorraine Ford wrote on Apr. 4, 2017 @ 21:18 GMT
Hi Don,

Full marks for saying just about everything that needs to be said! Your essay neatly sums up the whole issue in an amusing way.

Regards Lorraine

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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Apr. 5, 2017 @ 07:20 GMT
Dear Don Limuti

I appreciate your essay. You spent a lot of effort to write it. 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 English-speaking scientists with New Cartesian Physic, the basis of which the principle of identity of space and matter. Combining space and matter into a single essence, the New Cartesian Physic is able to integrate modern physics into a single theory. Let FQXi will be the starting point of this Association.

Don't let the New Cartesian Physic disappear! Do not ask for himself, but for Descartes.

New Cartesian Physic has great potential in understanding the world. To show potential in this essay I risked give "The way of the materialist explanation of the paranormal and the supernatural" - Is the name of my essay.

Visit my essay and you will find something in it about New Cartesian Physic. After you give a post in my topic, I shall do the same in your theme


Dizhechko Boris

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Author Don Limuti replied on Apr. 5, 2017 @ 12:23 GMT

Thanks for visiting my site. If you did read my essay, I think you would know I did not take a long time to write it :)

I did find your essay very interesting, enough so, that I did some browsing on Cartesian philosophy. I was introduced to something I did not know existed. So, thank you for introducing me to a new world. I cannot say that I am a full fledged "new Cartesian" but I certainly use cartesian coordinates excessively.

Your essay was (as you acknowledge) a little difficult to read, but it was worth the struggle. And I learned something new, thus it gets a high rating from me.


Don Limuti

Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich replied on Apr. 5, 2017 @ 15:16 GMT
Dear Don Limuti!

I'm very, very easy to read with online translator your essay. I hope someday you write about such a New Cartesian Physic and always with pleasure.


Dizhechko Boris

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 00:38 GMT
Don, I enjoyed reading your essay. Short and to the point. Yet it does more than just highlight the freewill/ determinism problem. I think you show clearly that there is a difference between the goal (winning), the task planning (I will enter), the task execution (the essay written and submitted) and the outcome (yet to be, as I write this).

You demonstrate a goal that is realistic for one person eg. Don may be unrealistic for another eg. Dad. It is the task planning and execution in between that raises the probability that the imagined outcome is achieved.

Choosing to alter the probability of an outcome in the external reality is where will comes in to play. Yet the choices made can also be affected by things like neurotransmitter levels/ balance which can be reduced to chemistry and physics, or seen as the product of lifestyle and environment and social relationships. The freewill problem may come from trying to isolate goal production (will) from micro and macro environment. Yes, we can have will, yet it can never be entirely free.

I think your contribution to the contest is thought provoking. I’m glad you chose to write and enter it.

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Peter Jackson wrote on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 13:14 GMT

Thanks for your response above. I do think we often need careful distinction between 'causal' and 'deterministic' from reading many other essays. Yours handles it quite well.

I haven't seen you comment on mine and hope If you haven't yet read it you get to do so, comment and score it before the cut off.

Best of luck in the run in.


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Author Don Limuti replied on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 13:42 GMT
Hi Peter,

It turns out that I have already voted for your essay, but failed to comment on your blog. I tried to vote again ....rats it locked me out! This is easily one of the best essays. And is the most comprehensive, it covers the universe!


Don Limuti

Jonathan Khanlian wrote on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 22:59 GMT
Hi Don,

You promised a short essay, and you delivered!! No small typed single spaced nonsense, no messy equations, no predictive power… beautiful;) 10!! It reminded me a Platonic dialogue.

Based on your essay, you are a prime candidate for liking my movie “Digital Physics”. Please check it out on iTunes, Vimeo, or Amazon Prime. In some sense, you have no choice... but this does not imply you’ll watch it... but please, please do!!

Oh well. Que Sera, Sera...


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Author Don Limuti replied on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 23:15 GMT

Thanks for your support! It is on my queue to watch "Digital Physics" ....You do know my website is could be interesting!

One of your key words is augmentation.....Perchance are you acquainted with Doug Engelbart?

Don Limuti

Jonathan Khanlian replied on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 00:02 GMT
Starting to read your website now, and I just found "The Mother of all Demos" on youtube! Hidden gems!! I will respond more after I digest some of this stuff.

Thanks again, Don!

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Author Don Limuti replied on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 04:14 GMT

What a treat: The Mother of all Demos youtube was awesome! A better title would be The Demo that Started it All.

Even more awesome was the eulogy given by Ted Nelson (inventor of hypertext):

I worked for Doug for a year or two after that 1968 Demo ......He was the real deal!

Doug at SRI was loggerheads with John Mccarthy at Stanford, Augmentation vs. AI .... No contest in my humble opinion. Anytime I hear the term AI bantered around, I know it is BS, augmentation is king!

I will post this on your Blog also.

Thanks very much,

Don Limuti

PS: The YouTube of the cat breathing fire was very good. I was able to find the Trailer for Digital Physics but could not find the movie. Could you send the URL.

alexis l framness wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 05:26 GMT

I love this essay. Good job with your context and your ability to keep it short with meaning.

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Author Don Limuti wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 12:03 GMT

You are beautiful!

Don L.

Aron Barco wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 21:29 GMT
Yafet: Dear Don, I am waiting anxiously the next Fxqi essay contest so I can see this equation where it is shown by mathematical formulas the nature of choice, unfortunately at the same time my deterministic nature seems to leave me no other choice but to wait patiently.

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Steven Andresen wrote on Apr. 8, 2017 @ 12:35 GMT

Just a quick message to say congrats. I'm guessing you're quite enjoying the result, and deservedly so. Its good to see you on this level of the board.


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Steven Andresen replied on Apr. 20, 2017 @ 02:47 GMT
Hi Don

I hope you can forgive me for the late reply. I have been distracted from forum time lately. Restoring a sail boat for one thing. The next distraction I have lined up is sailing it. Its in the water now!

I have been thinking about the relationship you describe, which draws on a guess that gravitons share the same energy values as photons. That you claim this uncovers a meaningful correlation, is most interesting to me. I havent read your wider body of work, although I would like to understand it better. Its just a time thing. So before I have read it, I hope you dont mind me just putting forward a couple of ideas that draw from my ideas.

The reason my concept likes that you have identified a correlation between gravity (gravitons) and photons is as follows. Photons (Gluons) from which mass emerges from in the nucleus, might be considered as a possible motivator for the driver of gravitational acceleration.

Photons (light) can propel through the void of space right! Gluons are photons as well, perhaps capable of propulsion. Mass accelerated within a gravitational field by the same mechanism that light uses to travel at C.

Can you see how this idea is implicated with your correlation? You have guessed that gravitons have the same values as photons and you achieved a meaningful result. This could be because gravitational acceleration is enacted by photons. Simple. It could be that your mathematical approach is genuinely meaningful because it services this possibility.

This is a very simple idea, and I hope you will spend a little time in consideration of. I am capable of giving countless further reasons in evidence of this notion, but I will leave it there for now.

Steven Andresen

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