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Edwin Klingman: on 3/1/11 at 20:23pm UTC, wrote Dan, A very nice comment! Edwin Eugene Klingman

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FQXi FORUM
October 23, 2017

CATEGORY: Is Reality Digital or Analog? Essay Contest (2010-2011) [back]
TOPIC: Is Reality Reducible to Thought? by Dan J. Bruiger [refresh]
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Author Dan J. Bruiger wrote on Feb. 4, 2011 @ 10:10 GMT
Essay Abstract

Physical reality is found, not made. Since it is not a product of definition to begin with, it cannot be exhaustively formalized. Nature is not virtual, nor merely ‘mathematical’, ‘information’, ‘geometry’, ‘simulation’ or ‘computation’. Rather, it must be considered ‘immanently real’. Moreover, there can be no final theory of everything. The computational metaphor is appealing for various psychological and historical reasons, including the certainty offered by deductive systems.

Author Bio

Dan Bruiger is an independent researcher and amateur astronomer, with undergraduate studies at UCLA and UC Berkeley. He is the author of Second Nature: the man-made world of idealism, technology, and power, Trafford/Left Field Press 2006. He is currently working on a new book, The Made and Found. He resides in the small community of Hornby Island, British Columbia and dances Argentine tango.

Download Essay PDF File




nikman wrote on Feb. 4, 2011 @ 18:53 GMT
You may have allies among computational complexity theorists. Here for example is Scott Aaronson ("NP-complete Problems and Physical Reality"):

"... For broadly speaking, that which we can compress we can understand, and that which we can understand we can predict. Indeed, in a recent book [12], Eric Baum argues that much of what we call 'insight' or 'intelligence' simply means finding succinct representations for our sense data. On his view, the human mind is largely a bundle of hacks and heuristics for this succinct-representation problem, cobbled together over a billion years of evolution. So if we could solve the general case -- if knowing something was tantamount to knowing the shortest efficient description of it -- then we would be almost like gods. The NP Hardness Assumption is the belief that such power will be forever beyond our reach."

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nikman wrote on Feb. 4, 2011 @ 20:04 GMT
"While the difference between these entropy concepts is considered a matter of convention [9], their historical distinction suggests that thermodynamic entropy is an objective physical property, while Shannon entropy (information) pertains to communication between agents. Perhaps it is through their mathematical equivalence that the two entropies have alike been objectified, which might in part account for the current belief that 'information' is a plausible ontological basis for reality.10"

You need to consider the possibility that information (like energy, the subject-matter of thermodynamics) is an objective physical property too. I agree that the isomorphism between the two "entropies" at times seems all too convenient, but then on the other hand perhaps it isn't. Communication is always a transfer of information between physical entities. And it's an event. It can have consequences that are physically measurable. You yell "Watch out -- the bus is moving!" and I jump back to the curb. That's a measurable consequence, even if you can't see the information itself. But then you can't see energy either.

You'd probably dislike (or you do dislike) Jan Kåhre's contention that the Second Law can be regarded as a special case of his Law of Diminishing Information. But I find it kind of thought-provoking.

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Author Dan J. Bruiger replied on Feb. 4, 2011 @ 22:29 GMT
Thanks. I'll have a look at the two sources you mentioned.

One difference between 'energy' and 'information' in the example you give (communication that 'the bus is moving') is that the latter involves agents to whom the information is meaningful and their action as part of the cycle. Perhaps one could make a case that all processes somehow involve at least the potential of this aspect of "control"—for lack of another term—even processes we think of as simply "physical". Good question. It still leaves a distinction between external agents, such as humans, and the physical processes involved in communication: the observer and the observed.

Dan



Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Feb. 4, 2011 @ 23:12 GMT
nikman,

I believe that information is not a physical entity. It is descriptive in nature, and depends upon frames of reference. If you shouted the same thing in a location where English is not spoken, it may have no effect at all, whereas the bus will have the same effect regardless of local dialect.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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nikman replied on Feb. 5, 2011 @ 00:44 GMT
Information cannot be conceived of apart from its physical embodiment and physical transmission, any more than energy can. (A photon may be pure mass-less energy but it's still 100% physical.) And, like energy, information may change form. As with energy, its productivity is contextual. In the case of energy you can't make an air-conditioner work directly from thermal energy by holding it over a fire, or from kinetic energy by swinging it around by its cord or dropping it off a roof. But plug it into an electrical outlet and you're in business. However, this doesn't mean there's no such thing as energy per se. Likewise the fact that you could yell at me in Chinese without my understanding your information doesn't mean information coded in Chinese isn't an objective property for those who do understand Chinese. (The inevitable loss of meaning through person-to-person transmission, and within-person transmission, even among Chinese, is often considered a form of entropy.)

In other words, information, like energy, always comes coded. And if we can't read (translate) the code then for us it's not information. For example, it's generally assumed that there must be such a thing as quantum information, because how else do you explain (say) entanglement? But human beings don't read quantum code. You measure a qubit -- which some people believe might be literally a microcosm -- and all you get is a classical bit; as Hans C. von Baeyer says: "It's such a waste." We may very well exist surrounded by all sorts of communication and information we can't even detect and never will be able to detect, much less read, so it's not really information. For us, that is.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Feb. 5, 2011 @ 22:25 GMT
Dan,

You have written a truly excellent essay.

But you seem to have left one item hanging. You distinguish between artifact and reality (Found and Made) and you include the word 'thought' in your title, but you do not state whether 'thought' is an artifact, produced by "things coming together" in the proper order.

My own preference is to define 'consciousness' as awareness plus volition (free will) and then to define 'intelligence' as consciousness plus logical hardware. The 'hardware' can be arranged, or self-arrange [via re-connecting connected networks] to 'model' or 'map' whatever is the object of attention. And this map or model, of which we are consciously aware, is the 'thought' of which you speak. 'Thought' then is essentially physical in 'construction', whereas conscious awareness is more a field property, one that interacts with the physical world.

So my real question, after preparing the ground, is: Do you believe that conscious awareness and volition 'emerge' as a natural artifact from simply having the Lego blocks come together in the right order, or do you believe that awareness and volition are an inherent part of the fabric of reality?

Your response?

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Dan J. Bruiger replied on Feb. 6, 2011 @ 21:29 GMT
Hi, Edwin

Thank you for your kind words of appreciation.

To answer the question you come to, I don't believe that consciousness or awareness inheres in matter in some spiritual or pantheistic sense. I view it as "emergent"—as you say, as a "natural artifact, a result of the self-creation of natural reality.

In regard to your first question, "is thought an artifact?", that is tricky business. I see human beings (and perhaps conscious creatures generally) as having a foot in two worlds—a potentially awkward situation! The actual awkwardness of it is reflected in the fact that there is no (and probably never can be) universal agreement concerning mind-body issues, or a choice between materialism and idealism. To the degree we are natural creatures, our consciousness is a product of nature. To the degree we seek to create our own identity apart from nature, we are alien to it, and our thought occupies a distinct domain from anything natural or physical. It is this aspect ("the made") that I wish to contrast to the reality of nature ("the found"). I hold it as a general tenet that human beings are the creature that seeks to create (or re-create) not only itself, but the found natural world as well. Hence, civilization, including the scientific reconstruction of nature.

Thanks again,

Dan



Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Feb. 6, 2011 @ 22:27 GMT
Dan,

Thanks for your response.

I'm not pushing either spiritualism or pantheism.

Having pondered the issue for decades, I simply do not believe that 'awareness' emerges from material, no matter how the material is arranged. Same for 'free will'. Having argued these points on countless threads, I will not clog up your thread with the same arguments.

If you'd like to see an alternative approach, I invite you to read my first essay in the 'Ultimate Limits' contest. To see the same idea but with all mention of consciousness suppressed, see my current essay here.

If these cause you to rethink the issue of consciousness, I would be happy to exchange 'thoughts' with you.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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nikman replied on Feb. 7, 2011 @ 04:41 GMT
Edwin,

I'm aware of Christian's post and of his past papers and the responses to them. There's a long trail of Bell refutations -- including his prior ones -- going back at least a quarter century, subsequently debunked. He (I've long known his gender) may be on to something, or maybe not. Time will tell. He has unusual credibility because of his association with Shimony. Anyway, the information argument doesn't hinge on entanglement (see below).

Dan,

Yours is one of the very few essays in this competition that I've felt an affinity for. You confront in an intelligent, serious and knowledgeable manner subtle and fundamental issues of the philosophy of science (even if I don't necessarily agree in all instances with your conclusions). Let me throw this at you. It's by a grand old man of theoretical biology, Howard Pattee. It's obviously a re-statement of the matter-mind problem, but done from a slightly different angle, as the matter-SYMBOL problem:

"The problem also poses an apparent paradox: All signs, symbols, and codes, all languages including formal mathematics are embodied as material physical structures and therefore must obey all the inexorable laws of physics. At the same time, the symbol vehicles like the bases in DNA, voltages representing bits in a computer, the text on this page, and the neuron firings in the brain do not appear to be limited by, or clearly related to, the very laws they must obey. Even the mathematical symbols that express these inexorable physical laws seem to be entirely free of these same laws."

Pattee has also stated the issue from a technical DNA-RNA perspective as: "How do molecules become messages in cells?" Because clearly they do. All the coding that resulted in you and me was somehow conveyed by a relatively limited number of physical molecules. I don't believe Edwin will dispute this.

Anyway, how can the process be explained without positing information (and some informational variant of transduction) as central from the get-go?

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John S. Minkowski wrote on Feb. 6, 2011 @ 00:44 GMT
Terrance McKenna coined the term extropy, and it roughly means the production of orderliness. One can go on to produce a morality based on local extropy production even though the second law (of entropy) is not violated. The efficiency of extropy production (extropy/entropy approaching a maximum) could be associated with a higher morality whereas the opposite the opposite. Life and perhaps computers could be efficient producers whereas nukular bombs would perhaps be maximally efficient destructors. In such a world, information efficiency would be a benchmark like gas mileage.

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Pete wrote on Feb. 16, 2011 @ 14:57 GMT
Well done. Very reflective. Simple prose expressing the artificial vs the natural, the imaginary vs the real, synthesis vs analysis, differentiation vs integration all in deep philosophic terms.

I wish I had your vocabulary and philosophic background because I suspect I do not completely understand it. But then again you don't have to understand a tree to enjoy its fruit.

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b wrote on Feb. 18, 2011 @ 23:59 GMT
Dear Sir,

We had gone through the excellent discourse between you and Mr. Klingman.

We hold that thought is essentially physical in 'construction', as it is the inertia of mind, which functions mechanically. Mind plays the role of “ground” in charge interactions and is related to awareness – which is another name for processing of sensory perceptions. Hence it also functions mechanically. Thus, ‘thought’ and 'awareness' are related to, but not necessarily emerge from material. We are aware of “something”. This “something” is either matter or energy that transforms matter. No matter how the material is arranged, their sequence of perception will change, but the perception itself will not change.

Mr. Klingman defines 'consciousness' as awareness plus volition (free will) and then to define 'intelligence' as consciousness plus logical hardware. What he says as 'consciousness' can be related to knowledge and what he says as 'intelligence' can be related to individual sensory perception. Knowledge is related to unification of the various sensory impulses to create a stable memory. None of the fundamental forces of Nature in isolation is useful for creation. Only collectively they can create stable systems. Similarly, knowledge, which unifies the different perceptions, is stable. Science is related to the opposite process of individuation – of processing or analysis of individual sensory impulses with the help of memory. Processing here is nothing but measurement, which in turn is comparison between similars. Individual sensory perceptions are not knowledge, but evolution of knowledge in limited directions, which has the potential to change the nature of the world around us in desired directions (sometimes in disastrous directions). This is the volition or free will.

Regards,

basudeba

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Stefan Weckbach wrote on Feb. 20, 2011 @ 09:37 GMT
Dan,

very impressive essay and enjoyable to read.

You consequently argue in deconstructing determinism and mathematical omnipotence. Your lines of reasoning are in good accordance to my own results (/topic/811).

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Neil Bates wrote on Feb. 23, 2011 @ 02:36 GMT
Dan, good literate. philosophical critique of the idea of world as representation, as model that is "just math." You take in large scope, reference the history of philosophy, religious ideas, very interdisciplinary and "humanistic" more so than the typical work here - good. I agree: the real world around us is more than that arid mask. I think though that arguments can't decisively show what to think about determinism versus true indeterminism (which you reference via noncomputability, not quite the same - I mean, genuinely not logically bound outcomes.) We need experiments, which is why I proposed to show that mixtures are not "produced" by decoherence, and thus the measurement problem in quantum mechanics remains unresolved.

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Anonymous replied on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 17:15 GMT
Hi, Neil

Thanks for your appreciation. I wish that I could comment competently on your mathematical arguments concerning decoherence, but unfortunately I am not (yet) familiar enough with the subtleties involved.

What I can offer, in response to your statement that “arguments can't decisively show what to think about determinism versus true indeterminism” are some general, if somewhat dogmatic, arguments about causality. Here goes.

Following Hume, there is no causation in Nature. The appearance of it results from confusing cause with logical implication. This is a ‘category mistake’, like mixing mental with physical domains. The only truly deterministic systems are deductive systems, for the only ‘necessity’ is logical necessity. This is always a matter of definition rather than of fact, so that the “mistake” is confusing ‘the found’ and ‘the made’.

Similarly, randomness pertains only to mathematics, not to physical reality. Whether Nature is random is not a decidable question. The IDEA we have, of random physical processes—lacking, as you say, logically bound outcomes—simply reflects this confusion of the found with the made. We are never in a position to establish logical necessity (cause) in Nature (the found), and only sometimes in mathematics (the made). In other words, ‘random’ is a mathematical concept, not a physical one. Randomness in Nature, like causality, can only be a metaphysical assertion—that is, independent of decidable physical fact. (Historically, it was religious, since all cause was ultimately traceable to the First Cause.) If so, then experiment would be irrelevant.

We cannot make meaningful ONTOLOGICAL assertions about events in Nature being either determined (caused) or undetermined (random). But we can make assertions about our own state of knowledge; we can say that something is ‘undetermined’ in the sense that for us it is undecided or unknown. This is not an assertion about Nature (the found) but about science (the made).

The term ‘determinism’ is traditionally ambiguous. It can refer, on the one hand, to what can be determined epistemologically; on the other, it can refer to an ontologically real relationship of causal power existing between things or events. I believe there can be no determinism in this latter sense—and therefore no ‘true indeterminism’ either. The only determinism is logical implication (provability), and the only deterministic systems are deductive systems. The only indeterminism is logical undecidability.

I do make statements in my essay to the effect that the apparent randomness of Nature supports its “immanent reality”. I do not mean by that, however, to say that Nature is intrinsically random. It is rather the state of our own uncertainty (not Nature’s) that requires us to regard Nature as bearing its own full reality—precisely because it cannot be fully accounted for in some deductive system. It is real because it is not a product of our definitions, because WE cannot determine what it is. This is separate from the question of whether it is ‘determined’ (causally) within itself, which is not a question we can answer. We imagine that it might be so determined, but what we are really thinking of is the logical determination within our own thought systems. Or so goes my story…

Hope this is useful.

Best wishes,

Dan

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Author Dan J. Bruiger replied on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 17:19 GMT
Hi, Neil

Somehow I got logged out, so my belated reply was posted above as "anonymous". Here it is, reposted.

Neil

Thanks for your appreciation. I wish that I could comment competently on your mathematical arguments concerning decoherence, but unfortunately I am not (yet) familiar enough with the subtleties involved.

What I can offer, in response to your statement that “arguments can't decisively show what to think about determinism versus true indeterminism” are some general, if somewhat dogmatic, arguments about causality. Here goes.

Following Hume, there is no causation in Nature. The appearance of it results from confusing cause with logical implication. This is a ‘category mistake’, like mixing mental with physical domains. The only truly deterministic systems are deductive systems, for the only ‘necessity’ is logical necessity. This is always a matter of definition rather than of fact, so that the “mistake” is confusing ‘the found’ and ‘the made’.

Similarly, randomness pertains only to mathematics, not to physical reality. Whether Nature is random is not a decidable question. The IDEA we have, of random physical processes—lacking, as you say, logically bound outcomes—simply reflects this confusion of the found with the made. We are never in a position to establish logical necessity (cause) in Nature (the found), and only sometimes in mathematics (the made). In other words, ‘random’ is a mathematical concept, not a physical one. Randomness in Nature, like causality, can only be a metaphysical assertion—that is, independent of decidable physical fact. (Historically, it was religious, since all cause was ultimately traceable to the First Cause.) If so, then experiment would be irrelevant.

We cannot make meaningful ONTOLOGICAL assertions about events in Nature being either determined (caused) or undetermined (random). But we can make assertions about our own state of knowledge; we can say that something is ‘undetermined’ in the sense that for us it is undecided or unknown. This is not an assertion about Nature (the found) but about science (the made).

The term ‘determinism’ is traditionally ambiguous. It can refer, on the one hand, to what can be determined epistemologically; on the other, it can refer to an ontologically real relationship of causal power existing between things or events. I believe there can be no determinism in this latter sense—and therefore no ‘true indeterminism’ either. The only determinism is logical implication (provability), and the only deterministic systems are deductive systems. The only indeterminism is logical undecidability.

I do make statements in my essay to the effect that the apparent randomness of Nature supports its “immanent reality”. I do not mean by that, however, to say that Nature is intrinsically random. It is rather the state of our own uncertainty (not Nature’s) that requires us to regard Nature as bearing its own full reality—precisely because it cannot be fully accounted for in some deductive system. It is real because it is not a product of our definitions, because WE cannot determine what it is. This is separate from the question of whether it is ‘determined’ (causally) within itself, which is not a question we can answer. We imagine that it might be so determined, but what we are really thinking of is the logical determination within our own thought systems. Or so goes my story…

Hope this is useful.

Best wishes,

Dan



Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Mar. 1, 2011 @ 20:23 GMT
Dan,

A very nice comment!

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Todd L Duncan wrote on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 00:44 GMT
Dan,

Thank you for an insightful and thought-provoking essay that really helps put the problem in context.

Particularly appreciated your statement, "Nature is real just because it

cannot be exhaustively represented in any theory,"which I think gets to the heart of the matter. Makes me think of a statement by Milan Kundera on the individual nature of people, "What is unique about the "I" hides itself exactly in what is unimaginable about a person. All we are able to imagine is what makes everyone like everyone else, what people have in common. The individual "I" is what differs from the common stock, that is, what cannot be guessed at or calculated, what must be unveiled, uncovered..."

Warm regards,

Todd

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Author Dan J. Bruiger replied on Feb. 28, 2011 @ 15:59 GMT
Hi, Todd

Thanks for your encouraging comments. Your parallel, of the elusiveness of nature and that of the human person, is right on, in my opinion. Neither of us would suggest that the physical world somehow IS personal, but it might in some ways be more productive for human beings, both socially and scientifically, to relate to it AS THOUGH it were. The problem is the third-person stance, through which one demeans nature as a mere "it"—something to manipulate and surround by thought. Nature is elusive in the way that persons are, because in both cases they can defeat our expectations. We now have almost universal laws (whatever the actual practices) concerning human rights. I was encouraged to hear that a conference in Brazil recently declared a charter of the rights of nature. That's a political gesture, of course. It's interesting to try to imagine what its scientific counterpart might be as a research program.

I had meant to tell you before that I really liked your use of the 'mask' metaphor, in your essay, to characterize the scientific modelling process. If we think of the ancient Greek theater, the masks the actors wore were literally stylized symbols and also represented fictional characters. That is, both the mask and what it represented were artifacts.

Thanks again,

Dan




Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 5, 2011 @ 18:15 GMT
Dan

Bravo, wonderful essay. There are far to many here suggesting the opposite, but you give an excellent account for the complex random natural world we see.

However, It seems the realities of nature may be both highly elusive, and a little less illogical than we think. I have found a logical theory showing there is probably a little more 'method in the madness' than our brains have so far been able to comprehend. I hope you can read my essay and see if you can visualise the conceptual solution to the gap between Relativity and QM. http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/803 While filling in the gaps in the 'landscape' of Reality/Locality it extends to show how randomness is actually a key to our very existence.

Of course it's destined to stay a well kept secret as it's a touch off the ruling paradigm! Hey Ho!

The logical conclusions are very wide, and interesting if you'd like a peek; http://vixra.org/abs/1102.0016

Do give me your views if you're able to read them. many thanks.

Best wishes and keep it up. You'll certainly have a good score from me.

Peter

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Author Dan J. Bruiger replied on Mar. 6, 2011 @ 17:03 GMT
Hi, Peter

Thanks for your warm appreciation. I did read your paper with much interest and admiration. Please see my comment on your page.

Dan




Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 6, 2011 @ 21:34 GMT
Dan

Very welcome, I'm glad you liked mine (and hope you've given mine a high community rating as it needs to be noticed!). I'll score yours similarly now as it too is worth it. I'm sure the conceptual basis of mine isn't over your head if you think clearly; Consider Einsteins "we should be able to explain physics to a barmaid" or it's nonsense. In those terms there is a bit of nonsense around. Grab a beer and consider.

A light pulse will go through it in say 1ns. If you're on a boat, a train or a planet light still takes 1ns to go through it. If you slide it along the bar, or move the light source, light takes 1ns to go through it. If you film it as it slides past you on the bar, you'll find the speed of the glass is added (or subtracted) to the light pulse speed. But as we can only see light at max 'c' SR says the glass has to shrink form our viewpoint as it goes past. Hold on a mo! The light we're seeing is that scattered by the bee molecules, and it travels to us at 'c', and we measure it at 'c'! Nothing breaks 'c'.!! Why do we need contraction!? Someone forgot only ONE reference frame is valid, that of the glass. If you slide WITH the pint sure, you're in the same frame so can't see it doing more, and WON'T see it doing more!!

We've been guilty of not understanding reference frames and the importance of observer frames. (read Georgina's essay about concrete and 'apparent' realities.)

The consequences are absolutely massive and seems able to resolve all the paradoxes and anomalies of physics, explaining how SR and GR work with a quantum mechanism. The problem we have now is 'belief'. t seems only 1 in 5 can see this as the rest have another picture engraved in their brain pattern and it can never change. Hmm.

How did your brain cope?

Best wishes

Peter

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Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 12:50 GMT
Dan

Thanks for that link, it confirms something in my Chromatic Dispersion paper, and is linked to the fact that rainbows reverse themselves no sooner they're out of our sight! ('absoption bands'). It also confirms an important aspect of wave evidence of light in a dielectric, something Constantinos Regaza has just proved as a natural extension of his essay dealing with 'real' mathematics. That one's just out of the top group for consideration at present so I'm sure he'd appreciate your support if you agree. I may also direct him to read yours.

There's an important extension of the experimental result in your link regarding superconductivity & supeluminal motion, which you may have suspected. I'll need to read the paper first. I may also post it for Ken Wharton, and Christian Corda, who as an editor is interested in my above paper.

Many thanks and best of luck

Peter

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Paul Halpern wrote on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 21:37 GMT
Dear Dan,

Fascinating analysis of why people try to simulate nature through computational models, but why aspects of the natural world defy such description. Very thought-provoking essay!

Best wishes,

Paul

Paul Halpern, The Discreet Charm of the Discrete

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basudeba wrote on Mar. 20, 2011 @ 06:14 GMT
Sub: Possibility of manipulation in judging criteria – suggestions for improvement.

Sir,

We had filed a complaint to FQXi and Scienticfic American regarding Possibility of manipulation in judging criteria and giving some suggestions for improvement. Acopy of our letter is enclosed for your kind information.

“We are a non-professional and non-academic entrant to the Essay contest “Is Reality Digital or Analog”. Our Essay under the same name was published on 29-12-2010. We were associated with Academic Administration as a part of our profession before retirement. From our experience, we were concerned about the problems and directions of current science. One example is the extended run and up-gradation given to LHC, (which was set up to finally prove that Standard Model and SUSY were wrong), even when Tevatron is closing down. Thus, after retirement, we were more focused on foundational works addressing, in one of its many facets, our understanding of the deep or “ultimate” nature of reality.

Specifically we were concerned about the blind acceptance of the so-called “established theories” due to the rush for immediate and easy recognition even on the face of contradictions raising questions on the very theories. One example is the questions being raised on the current theories of gravitation after the discovery of Pioneer anomaly. While most students know about MOND, they are not aware of the Pioneer anomaly. Most of the finalists of this contest have either not addressed or insufficiently addressed this question. We hold that gravity is a composite force that stabilizes. This way we can not only explain the Pioneer anomaly and the deflection of the Voyager space-craft, but also the Fly-by anomalies.

Similarly, we were concerned about the blind acceptance of some concepts, such as inertial mass increase, gravitational waves, Higg’s boson, strings, extra-dimensions, etc. Some of these are either non-existent or wrongly explained. For example, we have given a different explanation for ten spatial dimensions. Similarly, we have explained the charge interactions differently from the Coulomb’s law. We have defined time, space, number and infinity etc., differently and derived all out formulae from fundamental principles. There are much more, which we had discussed under various threads under different Essays. We are the only entrant who defined “reality” and all other technical terms precisely and strictly used this definition throughout our discussion.

Though our essay was on foundational concepts and we derived everything from fundamental principles, it was basically alternative physics. Moreover, we are not known in scientific circles because we did not publish our work earlier. Hence it is surprising that even we got a community rating of 3.0 and (12 ratings) and Public Rating of 2.5 (2 ratings). We have no complaints in this regard. However, we have serious reservations about the manner in which the finalists were chosen.

A set of thirty-five finalists (the “Finalists”) have been chosen based on the essays with the top Community ratings that have each received at least ten ratings. The FQXi Members and approved Contest entrants rate the essays as “Community evaluators”. Since many of the FQXi Members are also approved Contest entrants, this effectively makes the contestant as the judge for selection of the finalists. This process not only goes against the foundational goals of the Contest, but also leaves itself open for manipulation.

Most contestants are followers of what they call as “mainstream physics”. Thus, they will not be open to encourage revolutionary new ideas because it goes against their personal beliefs either fully (like our essay) or partially (like many other essays that did not find place in the final list. One example is Ms Georgina Parry. There are many more.) The prime reason for such behavior is cultural bias and basic selfish instinct of human beings. Thus, truly foundational essays will be left out of the final list.

In support of the above, we give a few examples. While there are some really deserving contestants like Mr. Julian Barbour, who really deserve placement in the final listing, the same cannot be said for many others. Mr. Daniele Oriti, who tops the list of finalists, says that whether reality is digital or analog “refers, at least implicitly, to the ‘ultimate’ nature of reality, the fundamental layer.” He admits that “I do not know what this could mean, nor I am at ease with thinking in these terms.” Then how could he discuss the issue scientifically? Science is not about beliefs or suppositions. His entire essay exhibits his beliefs and suppositions that are far from scientific descriptions. He admits it when he talks about “speculative scenario”. Yet, his essay has been rated as number one by the Community.

The correspondence between us and Mr. Efthimios Harokopos under his Essay and our comments under the various top ranking finalists show the same pattern. One example is Mr. Paul Halpern. We have raised some fundamental questions under the essay of Mr. Hector Zenil. If the answers to these questions are given, most of the finalists will be rejected. If the idea is to find out the answers to these questions, then also most of the finalists will be rejected.

The public that read and rated the essays are not just laymen, but intelligent persons following the developments of science. Their views cannot be ignored lightly. Mr. Daniele Oriti, who tops the list of finalists as per community rating, occupies 35th place in public rating. Mr, Tejinder Singth, who is 7th among the list of finalists as per community rating, occupies 25th place in public rating. If public rating is so erroneous, it should be abolished.

Secondly, the author and interested readers (including FQXi Members, other contest entrants, and the general public) are invited to discuss and comment on the essay. Here personal relationship and lobbying plays an important role. An analysis of the correspondence between various contestants will show that there was hectic lobbying for mutual rating. For example: Eckard Blumschein (Finalist Sl. No. 15) had written on Mar. 15, 2011 to Mr. Ian Durham (Finalist Sl. No. 3) “Since you did not yet answered my question you give me an excuse for not yet voting for you.” There are many such examples of open lobbying. One of the first entrants visited most contestants and lobbied for reading his essay. Thus, not only he has received the highest number of posts under his Essay, but has emerged as one of top contenders.

The above statement gets further strengthened if we look at the voting pattern. More than 100 essays were submitted between Feb.1-15. Of these 21 out of 35 are the finalists. Of these the essays of 14 contestants were published in 5 days between Feb. 14-18. Is it a mere coincidence? For some contestants, maximum rating took place on the last day. For example, on the last date alone, Mr. Paul Halpern rose from 14th place to 5th place, Mr. Donatello Dolce rose from 35th place to 14th place, and Mr. Christian Stoica came into the top 35. All these cannot be coincidental.

Thirdly, no person is allowed to submit more than one essay to the Contest, regardless if he or she is entering individually or as part of a collaborative essay. Yet, we suspect that some have indulged in such activities. For example, we commented below the essay of one contestant on March 4. We got a reply from the next contestant the same day. The correspondence continued. The original contender has not replied to us. In fact he has only replied twice in 20 posts. This is surprising.

In view of the above, we request you to kindly review your judging process and forward all essays to an independent screening committee (to which no contestant or their relatives will be empanelled), who will reject the essays that are not up to the mark and select the other essays without any strict restriction on numbers to the final judges panel. This will eliminate the problems and possibilities discussed by us. This will also have the benefit of a two tier independent evaluation.

Our sole motive for writing this letter is to improve the quality of competition. Hence it should be viewed from the same light”.

Regards,

Basudeba.

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