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Yuri Danoyan: on 7/16/13 at 17:08pm UTC, wrote We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown. We have...

Sergey Fedosin: on 10/4/12 at 5:30am UTC, wrote If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings...

Frederico Pfrimer: on 9/26/12 at 20:05pm UTC, wrote Dear Sascha, You are indeed right. I’ll be soon writing a new paper on...

Helmut Hansen: on 9/26/12 at 15:21pm UTC, wrote Dear Sascha, I have read your paper - and I am not quite sure, that...

Wilhelmus de Wilde: on 9/24/12 at 15:00pm UTC, wrote Dear Prof Vongehr, As a follower of Scientific Blogging, I read also your...

Hoang Hai: on 9/19/12 at 13:49pm UTC, wrote Dear Very interesting to see your essay. Perhaps all of us are convinced...

Sascha Vongehr: on 9/15/12 at 6:25am UTC, wrote "And why people will use my theory if they cannot see what is wrong (or...

Frederico Pfrimer: on 9/14/12 at 15:53pm UTC, wrote So you suggest I should simply write my closed theory and do not discuss...

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FQXi FORUM
December 1, 2022

CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: Realism Escaping Wittgenstein’s Silence: The Paradigm Shift That Renders Quantum Mechanics Natural by Sascha Vongehr [refresh]

Author Sascha Vongehr wrote on Sep. 3, 2012 @ 13:31 GMT
Essay Abstract

The most severely misleading of our basic physical assumptions is a tacitly held *direct realism* and its way of *physical actualization* of future. It makes quantum mechanics (QM) incomprehensible and lets relativity theory impose a ‘block universe’ in spite of QM. Under *tautological modal realism*, which is based on trivial truths, QM appears naturally. Tautological modal realism belongs to the fundamental theory of totality by definition. Indeterminism emerges inside determined totality. Adding special relativity, demands Everett relativity, which conceivably could have become obvious to Einstein almost a century ago, if he had only further doubted his brand of realism. None of this is yet QM! Wheeler’s “utterly simple idea” demands certain correlations between alternative possibilities, namely those that force *modal realism* into physics; this is the core of QM. Actualization cannot be contained and spreads to all possible ‘worlds’. Visually intuitive models can illustrate these concepts, much like Minkowski diagrams resolve the twin paradox. Apparent non-locality in the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paradox is suddenly as simple as the fact that twins have different ages after they aged differently (on separate space-time paths). With QM becoming self-evident, later generations, as usual, hardly grasp what the hang-up was, because they utilize improved language. This generally defines paradigm shifts, which can never be consistently expressed in the previous terminology. However, this is especially relevant today: With realism being suspect, fundamental physics is mainly (not merely) a description (of itself, not presupposed reality). Wittgenstein’s core insight is crucial; universal limits of language limit the universe.

Author Bio

Prof. S. Vongehr studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (Elect-Mag) & MSc (stringtheory) at Sussex University, UK, and subsequently researched quantum gravity (black holes/two time theory) at the University of Southern California (USC). PhD (USC, 2005) on nanotechnology experiments and statistics of nontrivial cluster size distributions. 3 Postdoctural pos. in neuro science (USC), Nanotech and Philosophy of Science (Cosmology, Emergent Gravity, Philosophy of Mind, Nanotech Criticism) [Nanjing University (NJU)]. Assist. research professor at National Microstructure Lab., NJU, Nanotech and Quantum Foundations. Editorial board ISRN Nanotechnology, Featured Author on www.Science2.0.com. 30+ SCI publications, Languages: English, German, Chinese

Pentcho Valev wrote on Sep. 3, 2012 @ 18:49 GMT
Sascha Vongehr wrote: "Special relativity already shatters the classical past into a collection of possible past light cones, which each are an observer's determined past. Assuming otherwise implies either emergent relativity in an ether or a pre-determined block universe..."

Assuming otherwise does not imply anything like that. If the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment is correct, the only alternative to special relativity is Newton's emission theory of light:

http://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Its-Roots-Banesh-Hoff
mann/dp/0486406768

Relativity and Its Roots, Banesh Hoffmann: "Moreover, if light consists of particles, as Einstein had suggested in his paper submitted just thirteen weeks before this one, the second principle seems absurd: A stone thrown from a speeding train can do far more damage than one thrown from a train at rest; the speed of the particle is not independent of the motion of the object emitting it. And if we take light to consist of particles and assume that these particles obey Newton's laws, they will conform to Newtonian relativity and thus automatically account for the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment without recourse to contracting lengths, local time, or Lorentz transformations. Yet, as we have seen, Einstein resisted the temptation to account for the null result in terms of particles of light and simple, familiar Newtonian ideas, and introduced as his second postulate something that was more or less obvious when thought of in terms of waves in an ether."

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 04:33 GMT
Pentcho,

"If the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment is correct, the only alternative to special relativity is Newton's emission theory" Non sequitur.

Maybe, the expectation of a non-null result was wrong.

Let's discuss this elsewhere together with others who are dealing with related question.

Sascha Vongehr seems to firmly believe in SR. Wittgenstein, who was one of the few thinkers who seriously objected to Cantor's set theory, did perhaps strongly disagree with Vongehr's undecided past.

Eckard

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nmann wrote on Sep. 3, 2012 @ 20:38 GMT
To the best of my imperfect knowledge, this is the only recorded comment or commentary by LW directly in re: QM. It feels like it's saying much the same thing as Anton Zeilinger's "Photons are clicks in photon counters." --:

"The views of modern physicists (Eddington) tally with mine completely, when they say that the signs in their equations no longer have 'meanings', and that physics cannot attain to such meanings but must stay put at the signs. But they don't see that these signs have meaning in as much as -- and only in as much as -- immediately observable phenomena (such as points of light) do or do not correspond to them.

"A phenomenon isn't a symptom of something else: it is the reality. A phenomenon isn't a symptom of something else which alone makes the proposition true or false: it itself is what verifies the proposition." -- Philosophical Remarks, pp 282-3 (1929-30)

post approved
Thomas Howard Ray replied on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 11:14 GMT
Sorry, thought I was still logged in.

Tom

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Author Sascha Vongehr wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 01:06 GMT

Allow me to invite you to add comments and questions to the Science2.0 announcement of this essay, titled: "Wheeler's Utterly Simple Idea that Demands the Quantum". Due to the difficult nature of the essay, there will be a FAQ in response to reader questions and likely dedicated articles about frequently misunderstood aspects (e.g. likely on "do you 'believe' in many worlds?" or "where is Popper's falsification?" ...) linked from there. I take serious comments seriously in order to improve the accessibility of my work to a wider audience. Thank you sincerely for your help.

S. Vongehr

Author Sascha Vongehr replied on Sep. 8, 2012 @ 12:43 GMT

After analyzing your comments below, I decided against a FAQ for now and rather write several articles. The essay contest is about what basic physical assumption is wrong, but having the essay therefore focus on what is wrong (physical actualization of future) obscures somewhat the derivation. Thus, many commentators focused on the mere tautological start, which is admittedly not sufficient to arrive at Wheeler's "utterly simple idea". The following article summarizes the 'tautological modal realism to QM' steps super succinctly and then explains the indeterminism that is vital to get Everett relativity from Einstein relativity via turning around Popper's proof:

Emergent Indeterminism Comes Before Quantum Mechanics

Sascha

Thomas Howard Ray replied on Sep. 8, 2012 @ 12:56 GMT
Sascha, there is actually *nothing* in Wittgenstein's philosophy that would allow you to arrive at Wheeler's "utterly simple idea," because in Wittgenstein there is no physics. Wheeler, OTOH, is all about physics.

Tom

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Author Sascha Vongehr wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 01:14 GMT
Sorry - I followed instructions, but the link above does not seem to work. Here the address:

http://www.science20.com/alpha_meme/wheeler%E2%80%99
s_utterly_simple_idea_demands_quantum-93600

Or go to

http://www.science20.com/alpha_meme/

and look for the post in the list. Not trying to spam - I will discuss comments seriously there and will ensure a moderated thread.

Thank you.

S. Vongehr

Pentcho Valev replied on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 04:49 GMT
Sascha Vongehr wrote: "I will discuss comments seriously there and will ensure a moderated thread."

And you will be the moderator? Wise decision! Bravo! Now you have greater chances of winning the contest.

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

post approved

Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 15:40 GMT
Sascha,

"The most severely misleading of our basic physical assumptions is a tacitly held direct realism and its way of physical actualization of future."

Really? Who was misled by that assumption? Most scientists I know tacitly hold with metaphysical realism as described by Popper and other rationalist philosophers of science. Certainly not with Wittgenstein's philosophy.

Perhaps you would like to read my essay. Wheeler plays a prominent role. So do you and Amazing Randi.

Tom

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 11:54 GMT
Dear Professor Vongehr,

The overall picture I get about your description of tautological modal realism is that we would expect the most fundamental theory of nature to describe it in its totality, and that this implies articulating all possible alternatives into which the parts of nature can evolve to in the next instant,...

view entire post

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Author Sascha Vongehr replied on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 03:17 GMT
Thank you for your on topic comment. Do not be confused by certain other commenters - I have once outed a pseudo-scientist who cheated his way through academia and his friends are trying to get back at me - welcome to the internet. As I said above, especially on my science column, serious commenters are taken very seriously. To your comments:

"we would expect the most fundamental theory of...

view entire post

Yuri Danoyan wrote on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 13:36 GMT
Sasha

I am big admirer Wittgenstein Tractatus logico- philosophical

Specially 4.461 "Tautology and contradiction are without sense"

I often try to use this thesis as applied to the Universe.

If the Universe is cyclic mean tautology

If the Universe is mortal mean contradiction.

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 05:05 GMT
Hello Sascha,

You said: "This is not about us expecting, but it being so by definition ("most fundamental")."

It appears to me that we have different perspectives on what might constitute a most fundamental description of nature. However, it is incumbent upon me to explain the difference because I think your view...

view entire post

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Author Sascha Vongehr replied on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 08:15 GMT
Dear Armin, thank you for your interest!

"It appears to me that we have different perspectives on what might constitute a most fundamental description of nature."

With realism being questionable, the fundamental description describes itself rather than a presupposed reality (see introduction). "Nature" must emerge in that description. This is more fundamental than whether there is...

view entire post

Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 14:25 GMT
Dear Professor Vongehr,

I just visited your column. While I don't mind that you put my comment there, I think it will be inevitable before one of your regular readers googles my name and as a result will find something about me that they will notify you about, and I'd prefer you find out from me.

About 10 years ago, as I was preparing to pursue a master in public health degree,...

view entire post

post approved

Author Sascha Vongehr wrote on Sep. 7, 2012 @ 04:49 GMT
Two more on-topic comments and my replies to them:

Comment 1

Comment 2

Thank you for your interest. Sascha

Author Sascha Vongehr wrote on Sep. 8, 2012 @ 02:05 GMT
Interesting comment by somebody who personally got a drawing from Wheeler about what may be the utterly simple idea, perhaps reformulated by Anton Zeilinger: First Hand Account

The essay contains both via rejection of actualization and emergent indeterminism [Item (7)], respectively, thus they are not yet the "utterly simple idea" that demands the core of QM: My Reply

Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Sep. 8, 2012 @ 12:20 GMT
Sascha, if you really are interested in engaging on Wittgenstein's role in the philosophy of logic and mathematics with one who understands it -- I will be more than happy to accommodate. Wittgenstein plays no significant role in the philosophy of science, however, and I challenge you to produce one credible source that successfully argues so.

As it is, you lay false premise upon false premise, to reach your false conclusions. For example, "I say that the alternatives (worlds) physically match up (one Alice per Bob) and that this is the 'interaction' between alternatives (worlds) that is the very core of QM." No, that is the core of your belief about what is at the core of QM. There is no physical interaction among alternative worlds, else there would be no reason to label them "alternative."

The physics core of QM is quite simple and straightforward: A continuously variable classical quantity, such as angular momentum, is observed to take discrete measured values restricted to simple rational numbers.

You want a real debate, or not?

Tom

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Author Sascha Vongehr replied on Sep. 8, 2012 @ 13:12 GMT
Wittgenstein's role is ever more re-appreciated, see for example the pioneers of Relational Quantum Mechanics that resolved EPR (citations in the essay). One needs to understand the core of Wittgenstein, not focus on his choice of words at the time or suchlike. I will explain this once more differently in the follow-up article to Indeterminism Comes Before QM.

The core of QM is neither mere quantization (such can be topological), nor uncertainty (uncertainty can even emerge from hot classical Einstein-ethers), but strictly the correlations, like for example the Bell inequality violating ones, that are stronger than classically possible (simply because classically, alternatives are "dead"; they simply do not "interact" because they do not "exist").

What you write here, namely that the core is a "continuously variable classical quantity, such as angular momentum, ..." is obviously neither Wheeler's "utterly simple idea that *demands* the quantum" (since you merely postulate quantization), nor is it clear that such cannot emerge from a classical substrate, nor can you seriously hold the opinion that the most fundamental and natural description of QM starts by first assuming classical continuous stuff. Classical physics emerges from QM, not the other way around.

Sascha

Thomas Howard Ray replied on Sep. 8, 2012 @ 17:28 GMT
"Classical physics emerges from QM, not the other way around."

Of course, you cannot support this statement in any objective way. EPR-Bell is by strictly classical parameters, for one thing -- and for another, so are Wheeler's ideas. What the experimental violation of Bell's inequality explicitly shows, is that classical physics *cannot* emerge from quantum mechanical rules.

Problem is, you are so convinced that physic is an observer-created -- as opposed to observer-participatory, which is Wheeler's interpretation of the covariance inherent in relativity -- that you ignore the physics entirely, in favor of the language analysis that attends anti-rationalist philosophy.

Tom

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Sep. 8, 2012 @ 17:32 GMT
Correcting my grammar: " ... physics is observer-created, as opposed to ..."

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Sep. 8, 2012 @ 13:51 GMT
Sasha

I would like to show

old essay http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/946

essay for this contest

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1413

Two persons inspired me for this work

1.Ludwig Wittgenstein

2.John Wheeler

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Frederico Pfrimer wrote on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 23:26 GMT
Dear Sascha Vongehr,

I am fascinated with how close our views are on some fundamental aspects. I may not agree with every aspect of your views and interpretations about QM, but our main motivations and ideals are the same. I’ve been precisely discussing on the relevance of language for physics and the importance of the meaning you associate to your worlds. I also firmly believe that QM is that fundamental, and on this domain language plays a major role.

I deeply agree that the expressiveness of our language dictates what we can describe and also with Wittgenstein’s similar statement. Actually, I say almost the same thing on my essay. Your Idea that most of fundamental statements are not even wrong but meaningless is also something we share in common. In fact, I defend the thesis that the fundamental theories defines (for a subset of natural language ) which statements are or not meaningful. In my essay I argue that the interpretation of a theory should connect the math of the theory with the language, and so, a meaningful statement is one we can translate into a mathematical statement.

I really think that our fundamental theories are not simply right or wrong, but that they really make sense or not. I agree that most of the problems at this level are actually because there are meaningless statements. Your ideas helped me understanding mines. If we could simply state with clarity most of this fundamental problems, the problem would be dissolved. The notion of closed theory I discuss on my essay

The Final Theory and the Language of Physics,

is deeply related with your notion of tautological logic where our fundamental theories are. I believe it can give you new insights.

I also think that there is a new paradigm and language that makes quantum mechanics natural, and I refer to this as the worldview that makes quantum theory understandable.

Best regards,

Frederico

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Author Sascha Vongehr replied on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 14:08 GMT
Yes, indeed, there are similarities between our views. Your essay suffers more severely from the problem that my essay also has, and that all on-topic essays here must have, because the contest specifically asks to write about the wrong, which is fundamentally the meaningless, therefore we are forced to write precisely about what Wittgenstein taught us to be silent about. I was accutely aware of this and spend a darn long time to revise over and over and over again in order to be meaningful nevertheless.

I suggest: Forget about the wrong, toss it all out, and provide what you call a closed theory. I know, it is hard; academic constraints force us to take sides in the ontic vs. epistemic debate or at least discuss that in order to preempt reviewers' complaints about that one is not aware of the "relevant" literature (instead of simply not confusing with the irrelevant). But life is short, so I encourage you. Keep me updated.

Frederico Pfrimer replied on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 18:48 GMT
That is precisely what I think, but as you said clearly, there are several constraints. I’ve been trying to provide a closed theory, but then If I don’t enter into this epistemic-ontic debate they say that I’m not aware of the literature or that I’m not doing something new. For me this debate is really irrelevant, if not meaningless. You may find my arXiv paper interesting, “On the nature of reality”. And you may realize that it contains some of Wittgenstein’s ideas.

You can express with clarity something I believe is the greatest problem of contemporary fundamental physics. But your point is often overlooked. But it is time to change this. I hope we could keep sharing ideas. We have close views, and the relevance of my work is related with how many people can see the importance of your ideas.

Best Regards

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Author Sascha Vongehr replied on Sep. 14, 2012 @ 04:00 GMT
I had a look at your arXiv paper already before I wrote the comment above, and my criticism was at both. Nobody has time to read carefully, so if you on top write much about what is wrong, your own description cannot be noticed. "On the nature of reality" is not a title I would usually look at either. If you truly think you "get it", act it. You would not write a title like that if you refused the meaningless. Simply construct your closed description, do not defend against the meaningless, proceed until you have a novel result of which you are sure it is not just a crackpot's rabbit hole. Don't let the fear of competition pressure you down a rabbit hole. If you really "get it", you already know there is little competition, because anything that even potentially smells "postmodern" is so utterly refused by physicists and philosophers of physics, even the anti-realist ones, you can leisurely walk and still be first to discover some of what waits on the next level (if being first among 10^9 primates who don't give a moist rodent's posterior is a desire you suffer from - a common affliction among us).

Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 13:49 GMT
Dear

Very interesting to see your essay.

Perhaps all of us are convinced that: the choice of yourself is right!That of course is reasonable.

So may be we should work together to let's the consider clearly defined for the basis foundations theoretical as the most challenging with intellectual of all of us.

Why we do not try to start with a real challenge is very close and are the focus of interest of the human science: it is a matter of mass and grain Higg boson of the standard model.

Knowledge and belief reasoning of you will to express an opinion on this matter:

You have think that: the Mass is the expression of the impact force to material - so no impact force, we do not feel the Higg boson - similar to the case of no weight outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Does there need to be a particle with mass for everything have volume? If so, then why the mass of everything change when moving from the Earth to the Moon? Higg boson is lighter by the Moon's gravity is weaker than of Earth?

The LHC particle accelerator used to "Smashed" until "Ejected" Higg boson, but why only when the "Smashed" can see it,and when off then not see it ?

Can be "locked" Higg particles? so when "released" if we do not force to it by any the Force, how to know that it is "out" or not?

You are should be boldly to give a definition of weight that you think is right for us to enjoy, or oppose my opinion.

Because in the process of research, the value of "failure" or "success" is the similar with science. The purpose of a correct theory be must is without any a wrong point ?

Glad to see from you comments soon,because still have too many of the same problems.

Regard !

Hải.Caohoàng of THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS AND A CORRECT THEORY

August 23, 2012 - 11:51 GMT on this essay contest.

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Sep. 24, 2012 @ 15:00 GMT
Dear Prof Vongehr,

As a follower of Scientific Blogging, I read also your "Help Create The Most Powerful FQXi Essay : Fall of Direct realism" and " Of Quantum Non-Locality And Green Cheese Moons In Many Worlds".

There is one sentence that intrigues me very much :

"Totality does not have a future, it includes ALL futures" I should add and PASTS. It intrigues me because in "THE CONSCIOUSNESS CONNECTION" my Total Simultaneity is going in the same direction.

"The present situationis preceisely all that is presented now", is in line with what I call the "Subjective Simultaneity Sphere". My TS is not the "Godly" external randomness, nor the fully "described" randomness it is the AVAILABILITY of infinite probabilities.

I would be obliged if you could read and comment my essay.

Wilhelmus

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 15:21 GMT
Dear Sascha,

I have read your paper - and I am not quite sure, that Wittgenstein's core insight is described resp. interpreted correctly. Obviously Wittgenstein was touched by a deeper truth, which seemed to him unassailable and definitive. I would even say that Wittgenstein himself did not really understand the truth he had found.

Actually, his tractatus logico-philosophicus can be...

view entire post

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 05:30 GMT
If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings in the contest are calculated in the next way. Suppose your rating is
$R_1$
and
$N_1$
was the quantity of people which gave you ratings. Then you have
$S_1=R_1 N_1$
of points. After it anyone give you
$dS$
of points so you have
$S_2=S_1+ dS$
of points and
$N_2=N_1+1$
is the common quantity of the people which gave you ratings. At the same time you will have
$S_2=R_2 N_2$
of points. From here, if you want to be R2 > R1 there must be:
$S_2/ N_2>S_1/ N_1$
or
$(S_1+ dS) / (N_1+1) >S_1/ N_1$
or
$dS >S_1/ N_1 =R_1$
In other words if you want to increase rating of anyone you must give him more points
$dS$
then the participant`s rating
$R_1$
was at the moment you rated him. From here it is seen that in the contest are special rules for ratings. And from here there are misunderstanding of some participants what is happened with their ratings. Moreover since community ratings are hided some participants do not sure how increase ratings of others and gives them maximum 10 points. But in the case the scale from 1 to 10 of points do not work, and some essays are overestimated and some essays are drop down. In my opinion it is a bad problem with this Contest rating process. I hope the FQXI community will change the rating process.

Sergey Fedosin

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 17:08 GMT
We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown. We have devised profound theories, one after another, to account for its origins. At last, we have succeeded in reconstructing the creature that made the footprint. And lo! It is our own.

Sir Arthur Eddington, Space, Time, and Gravitation, 1920

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