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What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
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Wandering Towards a Goal
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Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
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January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
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It From Bit or Bit From It
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Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
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August - December 2008

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James Putnam: on 3/22/11 at 0:02am UTC, wrote Basudeba, I read the rules and guidelines before enterring the contest. I...

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Georgina Parry: on 3/13/11 at 11:06am UTC, wrote James, just wanted to let you know that I have read the comments and your...

Constantinos Ragazas: on 3/13/11 at 4:26am UTC, wrote Dear James, Couldn't let this contest go by without dropping in and...

James Putnam: on 3/12/11 at 1:01am UTC, wrote Or perhaps this; In a medium: The speed of sound is equal to the rate of...


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Greg Fantle: "Brush your hair! You look like a homeless person." in The Complexity Conundrum

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Gary Simpson: "Still waiting for essays to be posted. There are only 5 weeks or so left..." in What Is...

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Quantum Dream Time
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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 15, 2017

CATEGORY: Is Reality Digital or Analog? Essay Contest (2010-2011) [back]
TOPIC: Our Analog Universe by James A Putnam [refresh]
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Author James A Putnam wrote on Feb. 7, 2011 @ 12:03 GMT
Essay Abstract

The universe is fundamentally analog with no true separateness. I view the universe differently from the description of theoretical physics. To make my case, I rely upon work of my own. A brief mathematical introduction describes a mechanical model of light. It includes a new view on the cause of gravity and a new mathematical expression for the energy of photons. I discuss life, intelligence and how we directly experience the universe. This contrasts with the mechanical model. The conclusion brings the mechanical model, life and intelligence together demonstrating the total analog nature of our universe.

Author Bio

I am the author of My website presents a new, unified revision of the fundamentals of theoretical physics. Essays on physics, life and intelligence are included.

Download Essay PDF File

Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Feb. 8, 2011 @ 03:31 GMT

It's good to see you here. I agree with you that continuity and unity are the reality.

You say that "scientific understanding of the universe requires analyzing the universe as a unified whole." I agree and attempt to do so in my essay by assuming that the universe 'began' as a single continuous field that evolved only through awareness of itself, since in my theory there was nothing else in existence to be aware of or influence the evolution.

You both begin and end your essay with a focus on 'control': "To vary or not to vary both require control" and "Its means of control is omnipresent and is evidence of universal control." You end up noting "...universal control unquestionably exists..."

It's interesting that the key equation (8) in my theory describes the circulation of the C-field [Maxwell/Einstein 'gravito-magnetic field] induced by either local momentum or change in gravity or both. Obviously these three terms must have the same dimensional units and of course they do--each term ends up being expressed as L/T^3, Length over Time cubed.

Physicists are quite used to terms such as M = mass, L/T = velocity, ML/T = momentum, ML^2/T^2 = energy, and L/T^2 = acceleration, but physicists don't normally use L/T^3.

But engineers often use this term. They call it 'control'.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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James Putnam wrote on Feb. 8, 2011 @ 20:59 GMT
Dear Edwin,

I made some points that I think do not rely upon theoretical physics. The point about control, I think, eliminates any possibility of true separation. So, any discontinuity is only apparent because of lack of complete information or because of the method of derivation conducted by theoretical physicists.

I felt that one should be well versed in quantum theory in order to answer the contest question from strictly a theoretical physics point of view. I can't do that yet, so, I elected to take the opportunity to introduce a few more of my own ideas and base my conclusion partly on them.

One point I made by inferrence I think is very important. It is that the use of the same energy equation for both particles of matter and photons is a theoretical error. I didn't actually state that directly, but, did take a different and I think corrective approach when deriving my energy equation for photons.

I did introduce other ideas in my first contest essay such as indicting that electric charge does not exist as a true fundamental property, and, included the equation h=kec in my second essay. None of these ideas attract serious attention. I keep feeding them out there because, they are part of a fundamentally unified theory. There is more to come in the future.

I printed off your essay to read it again. Needless to say I don't know enough to easily understand it. Its takes time for me to figure out the meaning of both words and symbols. I do that slowly, but, well enough. I will try to comment on it soon. It is a tribute to that someone like myself can participate, but, it is of great importance that you are here to explain your work.


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Georgina Woodward wrote on Feb. 8, 2011 @ 22:57 GMT

you have written a very readable and interesting essay. This competition is a useful opportunity for all of us, whatever our backgrounds, to express our ideas more fully than piecemeal comments on the blog pages. Though I could debate some of the ideas you present at length it would not be constructive to do so here.I am in no doubt that you would put up a good defense as usual. Thank you for this opportunity to understand your points of view more fully.

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James Putnam replied on Feb. 8, 2011 @ 23:51 GMT
Dear Georgina,

In the words of Elvis Presley (This is in an artificially low tone): Thaank yuu verrry mucsh!


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Alan Lowey wrote on Feb. 10, 2011 @ 15:34 GMT
Hi James, I liked your imagery of the mechanics of structure. I've had the idea of an Archimedes screw analogy to explain the particle/wave duality paradox. Is this viable in your opinion?

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James Putnam replied on Feb. 10, 2011 @ 20:00 GMT
Hi Alan,

The way I think about a photon is not a particle or a wave or a bundle of energy. It also is not a piece of wire; however, I think that the piece of wire models the properties of a photon very well. A photon, during its travels is affecting all other charged particles, theoretically speaking, and all charged particles are affecting the photon. A photon traveling uninterrupted through space is being changed and causing change.

In other words, I see the photon as something that exists at any point in time in a form that was determined by all of its experiences during its travel. The photon needs flexibility, either as stored information in the computer sense or as with my mechanically simple wire model.

That wire can stretch, shrink, bend, twist, even form a spiral if necessary or simply take the shape of a wavelength or part of a wavelength. For wavelengths shorter than the radius of the hydrogen atom the wire can take on the shape of a complete cycle of a wave or more. Those are the kinds of thoughts that guided me when I chose my model.

I think that anything rigid and unpliable is probably not suitable. However, I am not a physicist. So, perhaps others will weigh in and share their ideas with you.


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James Putnam replied on Feb. 10, 2011 @ 22:27 GMT
I think I should say more about 'bundles of energy'. There are no bundles of energy. The reason I say this that the word 'bundles' communicates that something physical has been enveloped. There is nothing physical about energy as a fundamental property. There is force and there is resistance to force. There is time and distance. Energy began and still is the sum total of multiplying force times the distance across which it is applied. Energy is not fundamental, force is fundamental. The first question to be answered is: What is force? Without force there are no effects. That is what I think about the big E.


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Alan Lowey replied on Feb. 11, 2011 @ 15:40 GMT
You seem to almost agree with me w.r.t the straight wire reprensenting the photon. I imagine this as the 'unravelling' of a helical structure. The thread or wire therefore has structural properties of 'bendiness', pliability, strength etc.

As to "what is force?", I think that it's simply mechanical. Look at the [link='_screw]Archime
des screw diagram and see that the red ball represents the direction of force. Now imagine that the whole Archimedes screw is travelling towards the botton right of the screen. This then models a graviton. See what I mean?

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 11, 2011 @ 17:22 GMT
Hi James

A nice essay, but one of two parts. I'm pleased to be able to agree entirely with the first part as it's wholly equivalent to the core concept of the Discrete Field Model, which is a releif after the frustration of all our blog discussions, and it's nice to see some maths applied to it. You'll see Don Limuti also has the same basis, and it's consistent with Edwin, Willard, Georgina etc.

This is very important as 'dissident' theories are notorious for being disparate. Each new theory in the same vein can add exponentially to the power and influence of it, so one day mainstream may take notice and Stokes (he was the first) will get the credit he deserved.

The second part I think went off in another seemingly unrelated and unfalsified direction, which you already know I'm not a strong supporter of, but I always keep an open mind, and do indeed have a slightly consistent theory about imprinting on particles pre- reionisation not being completely wiped, which i've mentioned in strings here(or was it a blog string?).

Anyway, well done, and do keep developing it, but it would be nice to see if we can stay co-ordinated.

I look forward to your comments on mine, though I gather it's too crammed with wide 'evidence' rather than expounding the core concept. Let me know what you think.


Ref spirals; You'll find the black hole form in my essay is a Tokamak, which is a toroid with intrinsic rotation, and scaleable from atomic to above super massive, in fact I recently posted a paper which also applied it to universes! This has twin continuous counter rotating helixes, around the torus body, very analageous to archimedes screws, but unfalsifiable at that scale of course. I do however have a photo of one at Stellar mass scale (Chandra IR Core of crab Nebula). I hope that may encourage you.

Besr regards


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Author James A Putnam wrote on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 00:16 GMT
Dear peter,

Thank you for your message. I will read your essay before responding technically. However, when I saw your first messages posted here at you appeared to probably have pretty much a single point to make. Having read your posts over time, you come on strong. You arrived here very well prepared. You know far more about empirical evidence than do I. It is good that you have submitted an essay.


Author James A Putnam wrote on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 00:19 GMT
For all visitors that might read my essay,

Please feel free to comment your opinion. I do not vote against others because they express disagreement with my ideas. For that matter, I do not vote in favor of others in return for their support for my ideas. Please critique my essay and rate it according to what you find it deserves.


Georgina Parry wrote on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 11:02 GMT

just wanted to say thank you for the tweet. I just accidentally stumbled upon it. I think that may have been what you were referring to when you said I had made the front page. (I thought you meant the blog conversation.) Anyway I really do appreciate it.

I am a little surprised by your current position. I would expect you to be higher than some of those above. (Joe Fisher's position must be an anti-establishment protest vote.) Still a month to go so things can change in that time. Though I would like to stay up with the "big boys" I do not know how long it can last. I will try to send along some more readers likely to be interested in reading your essay, if I can. Thanks again, Georgina.

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Author James A Putnam wrote on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 14:09 GMT
Hi Georgina,

Actually I was referring to the Home page here. I have sent out some tweets over the last few weeks encouraging people to enter. I don't concern myself with my ratings. Otherwise I might not feel free to speak my mind. Each essay I write shows how far away from conventional I really am. The math I included this time is a direct refutation of Relativity theory. Yet it is just a small amount. I put parts of what I think and the math that supports what I think out for consideration on their own. It all comes together at my website. It is either important or not. Either way time will tell and it is my website that will eventually determine it for me. Thanks for your consideration.


Author James A Putnam replied on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 16:55 GMT

Something missing in my message above is the recognition that my essay might simply not be of interest or convincing to others. If so, then it deserves to be where it is. You are doing very well. Best of luck to you as ratings settle down over the next month.

Georgina Parry replied on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 20:32 GMT

but how can people know if it is interesting or important to them if they do not first look? That is also how I feel about my own essay. I do not have an enticing biography to highly educated specialists. You can't sell something if you can't get the customers through the door. Well nowadays you can, but it is meant as an analogy for the competition.

I think that those who like something that is not too technical but which also looks for alternatives to current theory, developing other ways of thinking about physics, might find yours interesting. Even if they don't agree. Those that want to use only the current tool box in the prescribed manner or are more interested reporting historical development of our current understanding than developing new understanding may be less likely to want to read it.I think it is about finding -your- audience.

I think it is sensible not to be too concerned about the ratings. I certainly also feel free to speak my mind. Though I am also bearing in mind that the comments are meant to be constructive. So I do not want to be overly pedantic or nit picking. There is a huge variety of presentation styles and content, and all of the essays have some merit.

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Feb. 21, 2011 @ 23:09 GMT

I see similarities in the conclusions of our essays but I admire the detail you use in showing an analogue nature of reality.

My view of models is of representing discrete views of reality not the flow of reality itself.

Jim Hoover

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James Putnam wrote on Feb. 22, 2011 @ 18:56 GMT
Hi Jim,

I am also a Jim; but, I use James on the Internet because I have a website using the name James A. Putnam and I prefer that readers know who to hold accountable for what I say. Thank you for your remarks. I need to read your essay. Welcome to the essay contest.


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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 25, 2011 @ 20:33 GMT

Thanks for your response. I originally tried to condense a rich tapestry of connected solutions down to one 'master key' but so few were able to see how it works or agreed (you excluded of course) I felt I had to 'up the anti' by wheeling in the rest of the supporting evidence, covering most areas of physics! And it keeps coming (look at 2 reports on page 18 of the 19th Feb New Scientist).

I certainly think yours is noteworthy, and, at least the main/first part, consistent with a number of other excellent and important essays, most of which you've probably read. Yours is worth a higher rating and I shall give it so. (hold on tight!) I hope you agree the same with mine, and those others consistent with ours.

Best wishes


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James Putnam replied on Mar. 2, 2011 @ 23:25 GMT
Dear Peter,

Thank you very much. I am still trying to digest all the essays. My essay still remains at a low level. So, I assume that means that I have received poor ratings also. I understand that you do not accept a lot of what I write. You liked the first part, but, not the second of my essay. I heard from another, qualified participant that they liked the words and not the math. I happen to like my essay for all of its parts. I am not a disciple of the mechanical ideology. I use it as much as is necessary to demonstrate that, in my opinion, its theories are false. However, writing bits and pieces just doesn't quite cut it. That is why I explained to Georgina that it is my website that I rely upon to make my case. However, this is the third annual contest that I have participated in. I like all three of my essays. I think the first is perhaps the most important. It deals with electric charge. So, each of us is covering some ground. Maybe we even get in each other's ways. In the end, I expect that the blog discussions and the essay contests will result in having exposed important new perspectives that correct past theoretical ideas.


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James Putnam wrote on Mar. 5, 2011 @ 00:16 GMT
I find the idea that the universe might be digital in the sense that binary language is digital to be questionable. The attempts to explain the universe by comparing it to a digital computer are unconvincing to me. Those attempts appear to me to be trying to force a code upon the universe. Since we do not make exact or complete measurements, the study of the universe probably is usefully representable by a code. However, I fail to see why that code would be digital. I am not prepared to argue this case against professionals; however, I did think of a simple question by which to begin addressing it. At another author's forum I posed the question: Is Morse code digital? My point was that if we use a code to model the universe, what is the best code. I do not suggest that it is Morse code; yet, I think that that question moves us in a more correct direction than do models based upon binary code.


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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Mar. 5, 2011 @ 01:43 GMT
Hi James,

You may have already come across my remarks on 'analog computing', if so, ignore this.

I suppose I should be surprised how many seem to find credible a 'giant digital computer in the sky' [sarcasm off]. I attribute it to the confusion based on non-local, non-real physics that so-called violations of Bell's inequality have seemed to many to imply. Anyway, I agree with your remark above. I too find it questionable.

Rather than an 'out of this world digital processor' I prefer an 'in this world analog processor', since that is essentially what 'fields' do. If we can assume the existence of 'perfect' components used to build the processor, there's no reason that's obvious to me that the processing could not be analog, not digital.

It's not even certain that so-called 'quantum processing' is not essentially analog in nature. If each 'node' on a 'grid' is an analog processor, suitably connected to other nodes, there's no evident reason to assume digital. 'Oscillations' come quite naturally to analog elements. And one need not assume 2-D processors that favor the logic 'layouts' and construction techniques used for today's semi-conductor processing. An analog processor should be implementable as a 3-D structure, in which case analog processing may be the preferred implementation.

Problems with analog processing were based on connectivity and on imperfect building blocks and on cost factors (among other things). I am not aware of any analysis that limits what can be achieved in principle with analog processing.

These arguments are not meant to be seen as 'in favor' of analog computing as the basis of physical reality. Rather they are arguments 'against' the idea of digital computing as the (basically mechanical) explanation of our world, since 'in-world' analog processing by fields seems far more likely than 'out-of-world' hardware and code. The 'code' for analog processing is in the connectivity.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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James Putnam wrote on Mar. 5, 2011 @ 16:38 GMT
Dear Edwin,

I had seen your comments on analog computing. From my perspective, I see no way that the universe could operate other than in an analog manner. Call it an analog computer. I do see very sharp variations in physical interactions that could be reasonably approximated as isolated activity for theoretical purposes. But, I can see no way that the universe could continue to operate as a cooperative effort if there was any lack of communication or lack of purpose to any degree anywhere. I see both of these concepts, just pretending that they could exist, as purely destructive. In other words, any lack of control anywhere would lead to lack of control everywhere. So, for me, analog is in and digital is out. However, reading some essays , it appears that digital is often used in an approximate form. In other words, it does not necessarily represent separation, but, rather sharp distinction. For me, it either means separation or it means that digital is a noteworthy form of variation of analog. Finally, I see no value, other than for computing purposes, to coding the universe just to have to uncode it in order to properly model it. Meaning digital, i.e. separation, must revert back to analog to reveal meaning.


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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Mar. 5, 2011 @ 22:27 GMT

As usual, we seem to see things very much alike.

I've been thinking about the 'universe as computer' contingent. Unfortunately, I think this train is just leaving the station. I do have quite a bit of computer design experience, and may decide to spend some time applying it in such a way as to derail the train. I suspect that most such are software programmers and have not thought through the 'hardware' aspects of their ideas.

Anyway, I'm glad to have your thoughts on this issue.

By the way, I voted for you when you first submitted your essay. After a week I did not see the score show up and contacted Brendan Foster, who replied that "Community votes are currently hidden."

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author James A Putnam wrote on Mar. 8, 2011 @ 03:21 GMT

I think: Theory has become an end in itself. Early theory contained speculation about the nature of properties, from my perspective some important parts of it remain, but, it was not bad practice. Temporary measures suffice until we learn better. In the meantime, theory remained useful for practical purposes. Not being a physicist, I am not certain when the harmful speculation began, but, my impression is that curled up dimension theory was an important part of freeing theorists from being confined to firm footholds. They began to race to fly highest and furthest into theory heaven. A place of mathematical beauty and imagination. Now the universe is a computer cranking out information theory. I think that we have much backing up to do and it can begin with confronting 'virtual', that word appears to sneaking toward meaning 'real', reality.

Thank you for your voting effort. I would like to be rated higher, but, my ideas are receiving the worth that others place on them. For me, I like those ideas a lot and am continuing to expand my work. I am writing that paper on thermodynamic and Boltzmann's entropy. I was invited through my website, they probably assume I am somebody, to submit a paper and I chose to do the entropy one. I submitted an abstract. I will find out next month if there is sufficient interest for me to submit the paper. I will have it completed before then. Whether it is accepted or rejected, it will be added to my website. I think it is going to be very good. Certainly very original. Lots of changes to fundamental theory.

I enjoy doing the work too much to worry about poor reception by others. Fundamental unity seems possible to me and worth the effort to achieve. Actually you have already achieved it. My approach is just different and tied to typical fundamentals of theoretical physics. The purpose of it is to demonstrate that the current fundamentals are wrong. Even if others came to agree with that because of my theory, I would oppose my own theory as representing anything more than just another mechanical type theory. Any theory that cannot account for intelligent life is at the least very incomplete and very likely phoney.


Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 00:17 GMT

You are correct that "Theory has become an end in itself". This, in my opinion, is due to a 'perfect storm' of theory and experiment and history and economics. The theory may trace back to 1929 when Rutherford's proposal for a magnetic-like nuclear force was too early, and Yukawa's 'pion exchange' model was adopted based on the misinterpretation of the muon as a pion. By the time...

view entire post

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Author James A Putnam replied on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 03:16 GMT

I learn the most from your exchanges with the others. Your ideas are different enough from mainstream that, you need to do a lot of explaining. I need to do a lot of explaining also; however, I don't do it. I generally give answers that may get to the point, but, do not have much chance of making sense to others. I know the content and, they do not. Probably another problem is that it is risky for an amateur to say too much. It is very easy to undermine an argument, even if it may be correct, by going too far and saying something that is wrong. I do not add anything to my website that I do not feel certain about. Yet, I have spent years correcting it. Your placement in this contest is very pleasing. I have been watching. I didn't believe there was anything I could do to help. You did not need it. Plus, there was a good chance that I might have a negative effect. The question on my mind is whether or not you have ten votes. I watched you bounce around, but, I did not count the bounces. I look at the top 35 and think that several may be in for a disappointing surprise. I also think that some poor essays probably have more than enough votes. Anyway, it is going to be left in the hands of the judges. I don't think anyone has gotten enough votes that a few judges couldn't easily change the rankings substantially. Good luck. You are more than just noticed this year.


Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 21:15 GMT

Several points:

You said: "I do not add anything to my website that I do not feel certain about."

As long as you stick with that policy, you'll be OK!

And: "Yet, I have spent years correcting it."

Even better!

Finally, your candidness and truth are priceless. I have said before, several times I believe, that you are a purist.

By this I mean Sir Galahad... "His strength was as the strength of ten, because his heart was pure."

And when you say: "The question on my mind is whether or not you have ten votes. I watched you bounce around, but, I did not count the bounces."

James, only a friend could even conceive of counting my bounces. Thanks.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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James Putnam wrote on Mar. 10, 2011 @ 21:39 GMT
As I read through some essays, I find the basis of math to be misrepresented. Mathematics is not abstract. It is a collection of shortcuts for counting. That which is being counted may or may not be an abstraction, but counting is not an abstraction.

Another point: Calculus is not based upon instantaneous anything. I saw it said in a forum that "Caculus is based upon instantaneous speed." So, I wish to affirm that calculus is based upon the right triangle. It is not based upon a dot.


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James Putnam wrote on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 21:27 GMT
It is obvious that my essay did not generate general interest. So, I see no harm in piling it on. Here is an appraisal of Einstein's kinetic energy equation that I think is of importance:

"It should be apparent that Einstein's requirement to hold the speed of light constant would necessarily result in his rest energy expression being from the perspective of the local observer. Interestingly, this is not true for the rest of his kinetic energy equation or for his special relativity equations. All of these are derived from the perspective of the remote observer. Even though he believed he was holding the speed of light constant, he did not truly accomplish this.

Einstein did, superficially, hold the speed of light constant in his equations. If Einstein had achieved the effect he was trying for then his equations would have made predictions from the perspective of the local observer. However, he inherited a problem introduced by Lorentz. Lorentz assumed the speed of light was a constant in the free space absolute reference frame. Einstein assumed every free space reference frame is analogous to an absolute reference frame. The result was that he achieved equations from the perspective of the remote observer.

Lorentz used mathematical transforms to bring two dissimilar physical concepts into relation to one another. Normally transforms are an accurate translation of two real systems. However, if one system is unreal it is still possible to derive transforms between the unreal system and a real one. Lorentz took his theory as the first system and empirical evidence as the second system. When he derived transforms to relate the two systems, it did not prove his theory was correct.

Similarly for Einstein, when he made the speed of light a universal constant he took something which is a dependent variable and declared it to be absolute. Just like for Lorentz, in order for the transform equations to help him arrive at the correct empirical answers, something that was absolute had to become a dependent variable. For both of them the absolute something, which became a dependent variable, was the dimension of time. The newly created dependent variable of time negated the effect of holding the speed of light constant."


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James Putnam wrote on Mar. 12, 2011 @ 01:01 GMT
Or perhaps this;

In a medium: The speed of sound is equal to the rate of change of the electric field with respect to the magnetic field.


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Constantinos Ragazas wrote on Mar. 13, 2011 @ 04:26 GMT
Dear James,

Couldn't let this contest go by without dropping in and wishing you well. You were the very first at FQXi to encourage me and welcome me to participate in these blogs, and I shall never forget it. It has added much to the life of my mind! Thank you!

I generally have a good idea of your ideas from previous discussions and remember how strongly you argued about a more consistent measurement units all based on distance and time. Though I am not quite there yet, I am coming closer to the same position. Besides distance and time, I also need a third quantity (the prime physis quantity eta, in my essay) to get the physics out.

But we do share on the idea of a continuous reality and I object, as much as you, to the idea of 'quanta' and 'photons' and 'elementary particles'. In this regard, I like to share with you a significant result I just posted yesterday. The title says it all. It is a short mathematical proof that “photons” do not exist! Have a look and let me know what you think!

“If the speed of light is constant, then light is a wave”

best wishes,


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Georgina Parry wrote on Mar. 13, 2011 @ 11:06 GMT

just wanted to let you know that I have read the comments and your explanations on your thread with interest. I don't feel up to discussing what I think about all of that right now but maybe we'll put our heads together on it in the fqxi blog forum some time. Theory for theories sake, Lorentz transformation and speed of light etc etc.. Don't be disheartened by the general lack of comments.I think its great that there are thinkers like you who really want to examine all of this stuff, look at alternatives and work at perfecting their explanations and models.

All the best, Georgina.

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James Putnam replied on Mar. 14, 2011 @ 23:59 GMT

Thank you for your kind message. I wish to further explain something. When I say I don't worry about ratings, I really mean it. There are a couple of reasons. The first is that what I have to say, it is easy to see, will not be received well by most professionals. The second is that both professionals and amateurs will have good reason from their viewpoints to disapprove of my views. So, I know that I can't win approval from almost all others by presenting my views. Therefore, I have to choose. My choice is to present my views.

I am not impervious to experiencing emotional reactions such as dissappointment at feeling rejection. But, I do not let rejection influence me. Rejection must be accompanied by its justification or it means nothing. For example, I keep dropping lower in the essay contest. Perhaps that is because others know that my essay does not deserve support. However, if any of that is due to efforts to teach me a lesson, it may be helpful to others to understand that I do not learn lessons.

Obviously I do not mean 'lessons' in the sense of receiving valuable information. I mean lessons in that I should desist from being forthright. That lesson, I have no interest in learning. My point is that I really, at least almost really, do not care about the ratings. I have no chance of winning anyway. But, I do care about continuing to be forthright. I look forward to future discussions in the blogs section. I have not found anything on the Internet to compare to the opportunities that are available here at


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Paul Halpern wrote on Mar. 14, 2011 @ 00:31 GMT
Dear James,

I enjoyed how your essay addressed how our minds interpret the universe. Interesting to consider how much of our world-view depends on the limitations and abilities of our senses. Very thought-provoking!

Best wishes,


Paul Halpern, The Discreet Charm of the Discrete

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James Putnam replied on Mar. 14, 2011 @ 04:21 GMT
Dear Paul Halpern,

Thank you very much for visiting. The second half of my essay was put in on purpose because I was addressing the question of analog or discrete. I think that our perception of discreteness is just a perception both in the macroscopic and microscopic worlds. With regard to the fundamental mechanical properties of the universe you saw that I see no true discreteness. However, I am still on a learning curve, so the exchanges that I engage in here at are very helpful.

What I wonder about is that you skipped past the energy equation I presented. I know it does not look new; but, the real point made was that the energy equation, looking just the same as Einstein's, does not depend upon a constant speed of light. I thought it was important to make that case. In other words, so far as I can tell, the equation is not reliable support for proving a constant speed of light. There is more of course, but, that is enough for here.

I do appreciate that you came all the way down the upper floors to visit me :) Thank you.

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basudeba wrote on Mar. 20, 2011 @ 06:01 GMT
Sub: Possibility of manipulation in judging criteria – suggestions for improvement.


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...

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Author James A Putnam wrote on Mar. 22, 2011 @ 00:02 GMT

I read the rules and guidelines before enterring the contest. I chose to enter and to abide by them. I have no complaints and am not impressed with yours. If you should choose again to make a case for any cause in the future, please include real evidence and do not lobby for your own essay or your personal science. I like my science and I liked participating in this contest. The results should stay the way they are, and, the judges should proceed to make their final judgements without explaining why.


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